Dream On Dreamer and The Getaway Plan have been around for a long time in the Australian alternative/heavy music scene, coming up around the same time together in the the second half of the 2000’s. They’ve both been around Australia multiple times and have been able to take their music far overseas too, with both acts still having a decent output even now. Yet you’ve gotta start somewhere with your music, and both Dreamer On Dreamer and The Getaway Plan had solid starts, I must say. With a national tour together coming up quickly in February, we asked the pair to reflect upon their humble beginnings, where their creative head-spaces where at back then, how they feel it’s all held up now, and their influences from that era. Thankfully, both artists were about it and they were happy to indulge us. Check it out!
So what was the intent with those earlier Dreamer releases and what artists and music were you guys consuming that inspired those sounds? Do those same artists inspire you now?
Callan Orr (guitar): When we wrote the ‘Hope’ EP and ‘Heartbound’ we were heavily inspired by a lot of the bands from the Rise Records roster. Main ones being Confide and The Devil Wears Prada. For us, being young at the time (18-19 years old) this was the current up and coming sound. As for now, well, first of all Confide split, but The Devil Wears Prada are still doing something cool. It’s a lot less relevant it seems but they have matured their sound and it’s really cool to see. But in general, I think we’ve stayed in the same family of influences, we still look to bands like The Plot In You and Bring Me The Horizon, and I think it’s definitely interesting what they’re doing. It’s good to see things changing slightly because the scene was very monotonous for a long period of time and I think that caused a significant drop off in fan base. Now I feel like those people are starting to come back around now that bands are starting to take things in a slightly different direction. I could be wrong.
How do you think the EP’s and your debut LP have held up today? How do you view them now personally?
Callan: I’m so flattered when people say they still want to hear Hope/Heartbound. To think that something I wrote when I was 18 is still enjoyed now that I’m 28 is pretty remarkable. I definitely think there was a lot of excitement around and within the band at that time and that’s something that’s awesome to look back on. It’s always a tricky one, things in general have evolved a lot in the past 10 years so it’s hard to put yourself back in 2010 when you listen over it. I can appreciate what it was for the time and it still holds a lot of rad memories for us.
Recording ‘Heartbound’ was a lot of our first time leaving the country, staying at a Days Inn in Orlando Florida, waiting for our producer to show up when we didn’t have iMessage or a way to communicate with him, so we just had to wait around for him to pick us up. Some days he would show up at 2 pm to take us to the studio, some days he wouldn’t show up at all. We ended up going a little cabin crazy, one night we turned our room into giant a pillow fort (flipped all the bed frames and hung the sheets over the mattresses) just because we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. Our producer loved it!
What would you say are your favourite songs from those older releases? Any deep cuts that still feel special?
Callan: I think from all of the back catalogue, a song that has sort of stood the test of time is ‘Ambitions‘. It’s still a staple in our set and we love playing it because it reflects on being young and just striving for that one thing you’re passionate about, and we still carry a lot of those same values. I also think ‘Persist the Voice’ is another favourite from that EP. It’s super complicated though, goddamn!
What was the intent with the earlier Getaway Plan releases and what bands were you guys consuming that inspired your sound? Do those same artists inspire you now?
Clint Owen Ellis (guitar): With ‘Hold Conversation’, with recorded this EP with Phil McKellar who had also worked on Sunk Loto’s, ‘Five Years of Silence’ and Silverchair’s ‘Diorama’. Both of these records were massive influences on us and we wanted our sound to meet somewhere in between. We still spin these records pretty often and they sound as good as ever. Underoath were also on heavy rotation and had a big impact on the intensity of our sound, but we don’t listen to those older records as much as their later releases. We were really pushing Matthew [Wright] to scream as hard as he could so it had that desperate tonality of Spencer’s but I don’t think we needed to go that hard.
Then there’s ‘Other Voices, Other Rooms’. With ‘Hold Conversation’ giving us an opportunity to tour more, we began to be influenced by a wider variety of bands. Older bands were also giving us a lot of advice and one recurring tip was to cut down on the screaming and focus more on the song writing. At first some of us were worried about not having that heavy appeal, but once we got some songs together we realised we were onto something much more exciting. It was all quite natural, we weren’t forcing ourselves to change. It just coincided with us getting older and wanting to expand on our influences. Thrice were a really big influence on us, and their album ‘Vheissu’ is still considered the gold standard in late night music rants. For me personally though, U2’s ‘Joshua Tree’ completely changed the way I approached writing guitar parts and ‘New Medicine’ is an obvious example.
How do you think the band’s earlier releases have held up today? How do you all view now personally?
‘Other Voices, Other Rooms’, it’s amazing how well this record has held up. I’m so grateful that we can continue to play all of these songs live and they don’t feel dated or out of place. It’s certainly not perfect though and there are a few guitar parts that could have been improved, but overall I think the stars really aligned for us on this one. The flow of the album is a highlight for me, and I’m glad we put the extra effort in to make sure the track list made sense.
What are your favourite songs from either release?
Clint: ‘Hold Conversation – If the Suspense Doesn’t Kill Us…..’ has stood the test of time for me and it still makes it into our set list. We released it as a single only because it didn’t have screaming, but it resonated with a lot of people and helped us gain a lot of new fans. But I’ll always remember sitting in the control room and listening to Matt record vocals for ‘The Afterword’ and thinking how lucky I was to be there making that record. Everything was just so damn exciting and we were too young to take it all in, but then you’d just have a moment where everything stops and you realised how special it all was.
With ‘Other Voices, Other Rooms’, I really like ‘Red Flag‘, it’s a great track to play live. During the recording Matt and I were sitting outside the control room and our producer James Paul Wisner was experimenting with a slide riff. Matt and I were looking at each other wondering what the hell we were hearing and we promised each other, no matter what he showed us, we were going to say no. We got called in and listened to the riff and quickly approved it, and it’s one of the highlights of the album for me. Recording the choir on ‘Entr’acte’ was also one of the most moving experiences of my life. I can’t believe we got to do something as cool as that. The recording sounds great, but it’s nothing compared to what it was like hearing it live.
Catch Dream On Dreamer & The Getaway Plan on tour in February:
Friday 1st February Uni Bar Hobart
Thursday 7th February Newcastle Hotel Newcastle
Friday 8th February Manning Bar Sydney
Saturday 9th February Valley Drive In Brisbane
Friday 1st March Stay Gold Melbourne
Saturday 2nd March Stay Gold Melbourne
Friday 8th March Lion Arts Factory Adelaide
Saturday 9th March Amplifier Bar Perth
Sunday 10th March The Newport Fremantle
Thursday 14th March Que Bar Wagga Wagga
Friday 15th March The Basement Canberra
Saturday 16th March SS&A Club Albury