Melbourne’s Dream On Dreamer are gearing up for a massive second half of the year, with their debut full-length Heartbound due out August 5, available worldwide on UNFD (Aus), Rise Records (US, UK, Europe) and Triple Vision (Japan). The band are about head off on a national tour with US metalcore giants Avenged Sevenfold, before doing another lap around the nation on their first headlining tour in support the Heartbound release in August. After that, the band are due to tour Europe for the first time with Rise label-mates Memphis May Fire and The Color Morale, including several dates in frontman Marcel Gadacz’s native Germany. Marcel had a talk with Killyourstereo.com to discuss the exciting times ahead.
Who was most on the ball with tracking Heartbound? Who took the least amount of time to get their parts down?
Our guitarist Callum definitely did most of the work in terms of writing. He was recording both guitars most of the time, he did the biggest job. Our drummer was done in a day, which was pretty weird. He took one day to record ten songs. I think he had the best time because he had six weeks of holidays afterwards.
How did working with US producer Cameron Mizell (Memphis May Fire, I See Stars) help shape the album? Did he work on re-arranging the songs, what was his role?
His role was basically making sure that we recorded everything properly. He didn’t help too much in terms of adding things to the songs, but he did obviously add a few things. In terms of background sounds and atmospheric stuff he was the man to go with and he helped us with that. Our songs were all written before we actually went to America. It was pre-recorded as well, so we had a good idea of how the whole album sounded. Cameron helped make the album sound bigger, more professional, that was his role. He added little bits and pieces in, the things he is known for as a producer.
So you had the whole album recorded in demo form before you went over?
We had some pretty cool pre-production actually, we were pretty stoked on that as well. We did it at Evelyn Studios, which is our guitarist and his brother’s recording studio. The Getaway Plan did their pre-production there. It gave us a really good idea of what the album is going to sound like, because it wasn’t just a demo recording, it was pretty good. It definitely gave us a good idea of how everything is going to match up, and how the songs flow into each other, what works, what doesn’t, so it helped us.
You have an upcoming European tour, and there has been talk of a US tour and a Japanese tour. Would these tours been possible if you weren’t signed to Rise Records (US, UK, Europe) and Triple Vision (Japan)?
It just works hand-in-hand with labels and bands. Even before we signed to Triple Vision we had offers to go over there and do a few shows and tour. We are waiting for the right moment and the right chance. There is awesome stuff coming up, which I can’t really talk about just yet. I think having the label support helps. Having Rise Records on board helps, you know, the European tour is a Rise Records tour, Memphis May Fire and The Color Morale are both Rise Records bands and they’ve both toured Europe before. For us, we just got given the opportunity, and we couldn’t say no to it. It sounds really promising and we will all have a good time over there.
I’m guessing you are pretty excited to get the chance to play in Germany.
Yeah, definitely, it’ll be awesome. I remember I went to one of the places where we are playing in Germany and saw Darkest Hour. A few years back I also saw Dead Swans in one of the same clubs, they are one of my favourite bands, so it’s pretty exciting to be playing the same places.
Is playing in Germany something you’ve been hoping to do for a long time?
To be completely honest, it was my dream to be able to come over here and start a band and be able to do this kind of stuff, that has always been my dream. I remember back at school and back when I was still living in Germany, I always had that vision and that dream and everybody used to doubt me for it, saying ‘it’s not going to happen mate’ you know, ‘there’s other people out there’ and that kind of thing, ‘ah well good luck, but it’s not going to be that way’. I just think you have to try and push it, I’m really pretty excited, and stoked that the whole thing is coming and falling into place and that, showing people that you can do whatever you can if you hold onto your dreams, it’s just really up to you what you make out of your life. If you work hard for it, then it pays back sooner or later. That’s what I always believed in so I never gave up.
Do you have much of an idea of how big a fanbase the band has in Europe?
I don’t really know yet because we haven’t been out there yet with the band. We get daily Facebook messages or emails from people all over Europe saying that they are really, really excited that we are finally going to come over there. So I think there are a few people out there. Especially now, being signed to Rise Records, which have a massive impact on that sound, you know on bands worldwide. Having Rise Records on-board now for us, opens up more opportunities in Europe. Everyone that listens to bands on Rise in Europe will hear about us sooner or later. It definitely helps us grow a fanbase over there, and we might be surprised and get a lot of people coming out when we go over. I don’t know, I don’t have any expectations for when we head over, I am just really stoked to go there and see what happens.
Downfall is heavier to my ears than the songs on the previous two releases. Is this representative of the whole album – did you move into heavier territory, or is it just the one song?
I think it’s just that one song. The whole album is more progressive. Overall I think it’s a little bit heavier but there are a lot of songs on there that are something you haven’t heard before, something new, hopefully, something new to peoples’ ears. But overall I think it might be a little heavier, especially Downfall, it’s one of the heaviest tracks on the album, I’ve got to say that. There is one track that has no clean vocals, only screaming, which is something that we’ve never tried before, as all of our other songs have had clean vocals in them in the past. It’ll be really exciting and interesting to hear what people think of that. We still try to be as melodic as we can, just not with the input of having singing in there, we will see how people pick up on it.
Have you been playing songs off the new album live yet?
We have been playing Downfall, which is the only one we have been playing so far. We’ve been practicing the songs obviously, but for us, we don’t really want to play new songs when no one has heard them yet. We really want to get the album out first. On the Heartbound tour the majority of the songs we play will be off the album, as obviously it’s an album tour, so we will be playing a lot of new songs on that tour.
Dream On Dreamer has done several national tours, but never a headlining one before. Did you want to wait until you had an album release under your belt to do a headlining run?
Yeah, I think you have to wait for the right moment to do it. There’s not much point when you have nothing really out there yet. Just because you do a headline tour doesn’t mean that you are going to be doing well on that tour. I love support tours, I love playing with bands that have been around longer than us, bands that are bigger than us, and it’s an opportunity to be on a tour like that, it gets your name out there even more than going on a headline tour and ten people watching you because no one knows who you are. It’s just about the right time. I don’t think doing a headline tour would have been a good idea earlier on, it’s not really that smart.
Many bands have come to prominence recently using heavily dance-influenced keyboard parts, while Dream on Dreamer seem to use them more for ambience. What do you see the role of keyboards being in Dream on Dreamer?
Yeah, we definitely don’t see it as a main instrument, it’s just something that is more in the background, it’s not overwhelming or anything. We want our guitars, our singing and everything we do in the band (at the forefront), and the keyboards are just a background thing that we have going to make the sound a little bit more interesting. We don’t rely on that instrument if that makes sense, because a lot of bands that are in our genre, their main focus is on the synth, and that is definitely something we aren’t a fan of and don’t want to do. So yeah it’s just something to provides another element, in the background. It just works with our sound, as you said, an ambient sound and that’s where we want to go, and not with the synth-heavy techno sound, it’s just not what we are into I guess.
A while ago you guys mentioned on Facebook you were planning on remixing and re-recording vocals for three tracks from your 2009 demo. Did that end up getting released?
No. What happened was, to be completely honest with you, our EP was due for release in Japan, but to put out a CD in Japan, it needs to have more than five tracks, that’s the standard there. We needed more tracks, so the idea was, to put the old demos on that CD. We got an offer to go back into the studio where we originally recorded them, and remix the songs. We went back there, and we didn’t have time, as we only had one day to record singing. I re-recorded my parts. We felt that it wasn’t progressing at all, it wasn’t getting any better and we didn’t want to touch something that was already done. We’ve got to move on, we felt it was silly to try to make them sound better, when in reality that’s what we were sounding like back in the day, two years ago. We just wanted to leave them as they are because it will always be something good to look back on. It wasn’t necessary to do it. Like, we did it, and we listened back to it, and we thought, ‘we don’t really need that, it’s not something we should really do and we’re not a fan of it, so let’s just not do it all.’ *laughs*. So we just forgot about it. Well we didn’t forget about it, but we just never put it out and we don’t intend to.
What happened to the Japanese EP release?
The EP didn’t get put out in Japan, as far as I know. Now we have the album coming out, and it’s going to be more legit like that, rather than putting some shitty demos on an EP, just to get eight or nine tracks for a CD, it’s just not working, you know what I mean.
What gets played most on the stereo in the tour van? Is there any one member who lords over the music selection or plays really obscure stuff?
That would probably be me *laughs*. I listen to a lot of stuff that none of the other members are really into. They might get into it but they don’t really care about it, I guess. I listen to stuff like Doomriders, Cult of Luna, and Pelican. Whenever I put stuff like that on the other guys don’t really know what to think of it, they can appreciate it because they are fans of music in general, but it’s not something that they are really, really into. And then there’s people in the band who try to be really funny and put on some shitty chart song or whatever, but that’s just the way it is, just having fun, having a laugh.