The emo-pop Perth duo can't believe the year they've had, from opening for their childhood heroes to playing a dream music festival.
It's been a whirlwind year for Perth emo-pop duo Those Who Dream, comprised of siblings Josh and Hazel Meyer. "It's pretty surreal for us because we've just been touring with some of our childhood dream artists like Mayday Parade, Short Stack, and Real Friends this year. That's just insane to us," Josh says.
From a symbolic standpoint, it's incredible for the group to be on the Good Things Festival line-up alongside artists they grew up listening to, such as headliners Bring Me The Horizon and fan-favourites Sleeping With Sirens. "I mean, this is 16-year-old Hazel and Josh's dream come true," he continues. "We're beyond humbled; I don't even know what to say."
His sister does know what to say: she feels vindication and sends a shout-out to her teenage self. "It's so full circle because I can picture myself in high school ditching classes listening to probably ten of those artists on the line-up, and now we're playing with them? It's such an amazing feeling," she explains.
For fans following the band who haven't heard the news: Hazel is a proud transgender woman. She posted some stunning new photoshoot pictures to Instagram last night and wrote, "starting feminising hormones and choosing happiness over comfort 10 months ago saved my life. after spending 21 years repressing, confused and detached, i've truly never felt so much clarity, self love and self assuredness before. here's to the first chapter of the rest of my life".
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Speaking to Hazel, her passion for music and horror films is clear to see. Opening for Mayday Parade and meeting them was incredible: "Yeah, I cried before one of their songs," Hazel laughs, recalling the moment when Derek Sanders said, "Shout out to our new friends, Those Who Dream. I was like, Oh, come ON!"
"The emo scene is coming back; we just had the When We Were Young Festival in Las Vegas, and all these other festivals are being revitalised. All these bands are having to come down under to Australia and do these tours," Josh muses - no one is laughing at the emo crowd at school anymore. "To be a part of the re-upbringing of this scene is why we started the band; we wanted to be a part of something bigger.
"We wanted to push the boundaries of the genre and bring kids who used to listen to this music to our shows," Josh adds. "People might be a little confused when they see diverse line-ups, but I think it's such a beautiful thing to have people who don't plan on seeing some of the lesser-known artists, but they end up walking past and seeing them and going, wow, I actually really like this," Hazel says. She continues, "we've had people who listened to much heavier music come up to us and say, 'This is not the music I normally listen to, but I can give you that the little shredding woman is great.'"
Not only do we have Bring Me The Horizon headlining Good Things and capping off the emo resurgence, but we also have changemakers like Nova Twins pushing the traditional punk and metal scene. "I think having all these bands on the lineup, including us, is a way to like bring kids from different draws of life, different influences, different bands that they like, but it's all under the same umbrella to enjoy a whole bunch of music that we're just spoilt for choice," Josh says.
Those Who Dream's music videos are creepy and tap into modern horror sensibilities. "We do all the art ourselves, the music videos, and the merch. We are such film nerds; we grew up watching a lot of psychological horror and thriller movies," Hazel begins. There are too many inspirations behind the band's work when Hazel consumes as much art as she can. The band started telling new stories in the current era of Those Who Dream, which kickstarted with Violet.
"We're taking a lot of inspiration from movies like Shutter Island, and some of the cure for wellness stuff, all these sorts of movies that sort of like just push the balance of horror meets psychological torture," Josh adds.
The siblings find strength in their relationship with each other, they agree. Hazel paints her perspective: "Working alone, we both have a lot of self-doubts, as many creative people do. You ask yourself, is what you made actually that great? Having each other means, we can reassure the other that, no, that's really awesome; do more of it."
So, what's next for Those Who Dream now that they've conquered so many insecurities and Hazel is living her best life? "We have so much cool shit planned for 2023, period," Josh laughs as the duo celebrate making the music they want to make and playing the shows they want to play.
"2023 is about putting it all into action. We have so much music that we're sitting on and so many ideas for the shows. We have so many plans for music videos and stylistic directions we're going in, and it's all just going to happen!" Hazel concurs, "This story that we're telling with our music videos - for the past few years, a lot of videos have been following this narrative - There's so much more to expand on that we've become like a Netflix Original."
Hey Netflix, wanna call Those Who Dream when the soundtracks for the new seasons of The Umbrella Academy or Wednesday need music?
Those Who Dream will perform at Good Things Festival. More info here.
GOOD THINGS FESTIVAL
DATES AND VENUES:
Friday 2 December - Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne (LIC AA 15+)
Saturday 3 December- Centennial Park, Sydney (18+)
Sunday 4 December – Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane (LIC AA 15+)