"Chris is a true artist." - David Box
Known around campus as “The Wake”, Sullivan and Heinrichs recruited drummer Shane Litsh and bassist James Payne and started playing shows around the Stillwater area quickly building a strong and loyal fan base. Heavily influenced by the songcraft and live recording styles of Pop/Alternative bands of the time like Gin Blossoms,Goo Goo Dolls, Counting Crows, and the Connells, it’s easy to hear the college radio era influences on the band. In a very short time, the band went from playing backyard college parties and local clubs to being courted by major east and west coast record companies. By 1995, Wakeland was signed to GIANT Records (a Warner Brothers label run by Irving Azoff) and thrown into the studio quickly in an effort to capitalize on the Alternative wave that was dominating the airwaves at the time.
After a whirlwind international tour to support their debut major label release, “Magnetic”, Wakeland found themselves playing in almost every state in the U.S. with stops across the ocean in London, England and many other locations worldwide. In 1996 alone Wakeland found themselves touring with the Verve Pipe, Semisonic, Vertical Horizon, The GooGoo Dolls, Matchbox 20, Guster, Tonic, and Jackopierce-- just to name a few.
While hits like, “Half of You”, "Misconstrued", "Falling Again”, and “Charlotte” found marginal airplay, the band ultimately suffered from influences outside of their creative control. Whether it was the fickle nature of America’s taste in music or the normal internal strife of their record label, Wakeland found themselves without a recording contract after the disbanding of their record label in the spring of 2001.
Although Wakeland still played local and regional shows that would draw huge crowds and all but guarantee a sold out audience, Chris started working, playing and co-writing with independent artists like Emerson Hart, Cary Pierce, and the other members of the legendary pop band Jackopierce. During this time it could be argued that Sullivan found his true musical niche. His style of writing flourished and his creative independence let him push boundaries and write the next chapter that would become his solo career. Since that time, Chris has enjoyed collaborating with worldwide recording artists and continues to play the hits from his days with Wakeland as well as new songs like, “In Time” and “Sunday Morning”.
“Chris Sullivan is a musician’s musician.” said Box Talent owner, David Box. “He’s the kind of artist that doesn’t just create music, his unique approach to songwriting and playing live gives him the ability to write, arrange and produce songs that instantly identifies with the listener and that's very rare in what has become the disposable hits of todays recording artists.”