For years New Day Dawn songwriter and front lady Dawn Botti led a double life. She was an executive at a major media company by day and a rock musician by night. Her band performed all over the U.S., including at a number of major music festivals, such as South By Southwest (SXSW) and the Millennium Music Conference. Her double life lasted until June of 2012, when she was confronted with an ultimatum.
“My boss said to me either you’re going to be successful here and you’re gonna push your music back down to a hobby level, or you can’t work here.” It was a choice Botti had thought about on a regular basis but she says when it was actually presented to her, “it was the easiest decision in the world to make. I’m not giving up music.”
Soon after she parted ways with her nine to five, Botti and her band consisting of drummer Gary Szczecina (who is also Botti’s husband) and guitarist PJ Angeloni, finished their second album, Rise Above This, which will be released in February.
Musically, Botti describes Rise Above This as “anthemic rock, with big, bold choruses.” This is due, in part, to New Day Dawn working with platinum-selling songwriter/ guitarist Chris Henderson (3 Doors Down), and John Moyer (Disturbed, Adrenaline Mob) who each produced tracks on the album.
New Day Dawn isn’t Botti’s first attempt at rock success either. Her previous band, Slushpuppy, received early airplay from Matt Pinfield on NYC’s K-Rock (WXRK 92.3FM), back when it mattered and regularly filled iconic venues like CBGB’s. Slushpuppy broke up in 2003. Shortly thereafter their bassist Cory Baker committed suicide. Determined to never quit, Botti started New Day Dawn, but then put it on the back burner when she became pregnant with her son. In 2006 the band started back up and released their first full length album, The Company We Keep, in 2008.
For Botti, she says one of the highest compliments someone can give her is that they can’t get her songs out of their head. “To me, that means I’ve succeeded. I want you to remember.”
After one listen to Rise Above This, it’s clear Botti is a woman, and New Day Dawn is a band, you won’t want to forget.