Post-hardcore Australian band, Dream On Dreamer, have taken on the world over the last few years with an intense touring schedule. Now, with the taste of global success on their tongues, the band have expanded their line-up, refined their sound, and have just released their second full-length, ‘Loveless’. Killyourstereo.com had a chat with vocalist, Marcel Gadacz, about Snoop Dog, DIY, throwing Frisbees, and, of course, the band’s new album.
Hey Marcel, how are you?
I’m good, how are you?
Good thanks. Have you been up to much today?
Well I’ve just woken up. I’m in Germany at the moment so it’s early in the morning.
Oh (laughs), I thought you might still be in Australia, in which case you’d have had a whole day before this. All right, well we’ll get right into it.
What are you passionate about other than music?
Design work, art work, just art in general. Also, fashion and food. Lately I’ve been getting into sports and fitness a little bit, so yeah, I’ve been spending a bit of time on that. I keep healthy (laughs).
I’m sure you’ve been asked about your influences many times, but are there any unusual ones, which people may not expect to be behind your music-making?
I’m not quite sure because I’m not sure what is weird in other people’s eyes. You know, to me all of the influences we have are normal. Perhaps bands like 30 Seconds to Mars and Coldplay. Maybe, I don’t know, Snoop Dog.
Yeah, things like Snoop Dog. You wouldn’t really expect that.
Not really though, that was a joke.
What I’m saying is we don’t really have influences, which are a specific style of music, like we get influenced by everything really. The kind of bands that we all listen to, and all kind of agree on, are Underoath, even, as I said, Coldplay, Brand New, Poison the Well, Modern Life is War, that sort of feel. I can only speak for myself though, we all have different tastes.
When did it hit you that Dream On Dreamer were really being recognised as a band? Was it when ‘Heartbound’ received such a great response or before that?
Well, I think it was when we went overseas and recorded ‘Heartbound’ in America. That’s when we noticed that people actually do care, not just in Melbourne or just at home, and maybe going overseas to America for the first time on a tour. It was about half a year after the album dropped and it was a good experience because you actually start to realise there people in America who are at your shows knowing your songs. They actually really like you and it’s just great to see that people care around the world for you. That’s the first time when we really noticed that it’s worth it to put even our whole life towards this.
You released the first single for the new album, ‘The World in Front of Me’, not that long ago. How do you feel about the response to that?
Well, I hardly check things like comments because I’m up in Germany and all that music is blocked from YouTube (laughs), but I’m not really that type of person who will go through all of the comments and read them and stuff. With the first song you can get a feeling if people will like it or not, and so far I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback and it makes us happy. The feedback so far has been really good, and everyone seems to be accepting the new singer.
With the release of ‘Loveless’ how do you feel? Are you excited? Nervous?
I think now that everything is coming together and it’s only about a week away ‘til the album drops it gets more and more exciting and stuff is happening and we know there’s really good times to look forward to. It’s going to be really exciting, but yeah, when I wake up I haven’t really been able to sleep for the last couple of weeks because it’s just on my mind the whole time. It’s not just the release but also the work that has gone into it, with it and around it, so it’s really stressful but really exciting and awesome at the same time.
How was it to self-produce this record?
It was really good actually. Yeah, looking back to it now, it was really good. Because we had a lot of time to spend on it, we could really be picky and stuff. We wrote like five other songs or something that we scrapped because they weren’t good enough, and just to have that feeling of having done something yourself and it still being on the worldwide market just pushed us so far. It made us really put so much more work into this because if this wouldn’t turn out good then that’s all on us, you know (laughs). Usually bands go into a studio somewhere, obviously with a huge producer and stuff, and they kind of make the band’s sound in a way, you know. They really rely on the producer in a way and some bands haven’t even written an album yet. With us, we felt pressured, but it was a good pressure and we almost got to the point where we couldn’t do it anymore because it was just nerve-racking and it was so much for Callan. We want everything to be perfect or as close to perfect as we truly can, and yeah, it was a pretty stressful process, but worth it, and everyone’s really happy about it. We wouldn’t undo it, we wouldn’t have done it any other way now.
You’ve also designed the artwork for the album yourself, how was that?
Really good. I mean we really tried to, not just with our music but even visually with our art and the way people see us, give it our own touch and feel. This time it was really time for me to have a say into that and have an input with the whole artwork and the way people see the band visually as well. It was really important because, as I said, I don’t want to just bring across a message with the lyrics I write, I also want to bring a message across with the art I create. It’s just tied in with the whole ‘we’ve done everything ourselves’ and the whole album was done ourselves as a band and that was just like the cherry on top, I think. It just needed to happen. I just felt really privileged to be able to do that, with the album being sold worldwide when it is something that you created. It’s just great that I’ve been given the possibility to do that.
Is there more pride behind an album like this which is almost entirely DIY?
Yeah, there is. It definitely makes you proud, because, as you said, it’s all done ourselves. It just feels different because if it’s bad or good we are the only ones to blame, you know (laughs). There is a lot of pride, I think, and a lot of happiness as well because in the end the result is our thing and when we show people it is really something that we can be proud of. I think no one in our music scene has really gone for that approach, which sort of sets us apart from them and emphasises what we have more, not that we let it get to our heads or anything, but there is still a lot of pride in it because it’s something we should be proud of.
Dream On Dreamer is now a five piece with the addition of Zachary who is also on vocals. Do you feel this frees the band up to do more with your music?
Yeah. I feel like it’s always better to have less members in the band than to have like a whole stage full of people (laughs), nah, but Zachary has been a really good addition to the band and you know everything happens for a reason. I think Zachary seems to be really involved and he’s, not like a soul mate, but he’s like a good friend with a really creative mind. He is an artist in a way and we can really relate to each other from personal experiences and that’s someone I sort of needed for the artwork process as well, someone sort of leading me in a direction where I felt really confident with it, and he’s that sort of guy. We sort of have the same vision and I can only say he’s been a really good thing to happen to the band as well. The sound now is beyond anything we could have imagined, so yeah, it’s awesome that he’s in our band now because even his old band were a big influence. It was great, I would listen to The Dream The Chase and I always loved that band. When they started touring we starting touring so we always kind of had that connection and I loved that band from the start so now having that guy on board with us it just makes it all whole.
Judging by ‘The World in Front of Me’ the band now has a cleaner sound, obviously because of the addition of more clean vocals. This would open your music up to a wider audience but do you think it may also turn away any existing fans?
I think there are people who love ‘Heartbound’ and then people who hate Heartbound and love ‘Hope’, and everyone seems to love ‘Hope’, and that was done in Australia. With this one I figure that people who liked ‘Hope’ will like ‘Loveless’ more because the whole feel is way more unique, I guess, or personal. I still love ‘Heartbound’ but I’m just saying that older fans will probably wake up again and become our new fans and the audience that we sort of had during ‘Heartbound’ is still going to be liking the new stuff because it’s better musically, I guess, it’s better vocally and I don’t think anyone would be turned off by that because, you know, everything changes. The whole world changes every day and we’ve changed as well in a way that we have gotten better, and we’ve improved ourselves personally. So we are more confident in what we do now. We’re more confident in the music we write, we have found our sound more, you know, we’ve each brought something that we’ve really wanted to do rather than putting music out there that is something for the masses. That’s always what we try to do. This is us, this is us wanting to make that music, this is us writing those songs, and this is us delivering a message. It’s up to the people now whether they like it or not, but I think they will like it, and as you said, we’re opening up a whole new avenue for a different market, and maybe it is a bit more mainstream but I don’t mind. I mean, whoever likes our music likes our music and I appreciate everyone supporting that.
The band has done a lot of intense touring over the years with a lot of big names. How were those experiences?
Really good. The first time we went to America we went on a really awesome tour with bands like Sleeping With Sirens who were doing really well at the time and we became good friends and stuff. It’s bands like that, like The Ghost Inside, you know, they’ve always had a bit of an impact on our music as well, and it’s just good to be able to now not just tour with those guys but to even have friendships with them. That’s something that you just build on tour and we’re really thankful to have been given those opportunities and to be able to tour with bigger bands overseas and to be able to get our name out there. It’s just an awesome experience all up.
Are you glad to have had some time spent not touring while writing ‘Loveless’?
Yeah, it was good. We could sort of find ourselves again, and find the passion that we had at the very start again and throughout the whole thing. I’m not saying that we don’t have passion anymore, we’ve got more passion than we’ve ever had, but we were doing it every day or whatever and it wasn’t anything too exciting for us anymore. Whereas now that we’ve had a break we just can’t wait to get back out again and I think that’s what we’re going to deliver, that whole atmosphere. So yeah, it was good to have a bit of time off and a bit of time apart.
What do the band like to do to pass the time between shows when touring?
Usually just spending time with other bands, or with friends or your own band, you know. We sometimes throw the Frisbee around and just chill out and relax. I don’t know. We just hang out really. Personally I do a lot of graphic design work, cause I always have my laptop with me in a way. So I try to make use of every bit of spare time I have because I hate being bored and I don’t even know what it’s like to be bored (laughs).
That’s good. So what is the next step for Dream On Dreamer?
The next step is to tour as much as we can overseas and in Australia. That’s what we’ve been doing, but we want to do it to an extent where we expand more as a band and we want to open up more possibilities. We just want to grow as a band which, you know, is probably the answer of every band. Essentially we really want our message to be heard by more people, and we want what we have to say to be taken seriously by other people out there who haven’t heard of us before. Yeah, so, tour a lot, hopefully get on some big tours, have awesome shows, and have a good time.