by Song River
We are impractical. We do not listen to those that doubt us.
We push the boundaries.
We believe that nothing is impossible.
We rewrite the rules.
We are boundless.
We are enchanted.
We are asleep to the waking world.
We are DREAMERS.”- Dreamers
With such a manifesto emblazoned across their website, you quickly realize you’re about to enter into an interesting conversation. Without a doubt soon after listening to their music and watching their videos, I knew the band Dreamers was a sound and visual treat. Seventies punk and a bit of metaphorical transcendence are just what the candy man ordered. Lead vocalist/guitarist Nick Wold was completely accommodating as we spoke recently in between rehearsals and a little down time.
The band’s second EP, You Are Here, is out now and they are heading out on tour March 10th.
Song River for YabYum: Hey Nick, how are you doing, where are you guys right now? And congratulations on being signed with Fairfax Recordings.
Nick Wold: Doing great and thanks for talking to us. We actually are in L.A. right now. We have a little down time so we have been spending it in rehearsals. And, yeah, we are so happy to be with Fairfax; we signed with them this past April. We signed with them in the middle of our tour with STP, right when we were playing at the Anaheim House of Blues, which is right in Disneyland. It was perfect.
SR: Rehearsing for new material? Tour?
NW: Actually rehearsing for the tour, we are shipping out on the road March 10th. As for the recordings, we are proud to say they are in the can.
SR: That must feel really good. When you stop and think about everything a musician puts into their songs, what goes through your mind when those “our music is in the can” moments come?
NW: That is a rewarding part of the process for sure. It’s exciting to write, but it’s difficult and challenging too. When I can look at it, and it’s done. I can go SWEET!
SR: Everything is a process and you got to enjoy it as you’re going along. Your music is kind of like raising your own child. You put so much time and effort into putting all the pieces together so it turns out right. Creating a song may not take 18 years, but even 18 minutes can seem like a lifetime when you’re creating.
NW: And hopefully, if we do this right, the band will around for 18 plus years too.
SR: There is no reason why you can’t be out there playing and kicking it out into your 80’s.
NW: Exactly! We hope to “Rolling Stones” it up! Last year we played a gig and the Zombies were playing too. I remember they came out and said before the played “Time of the Season”, [Nick does his best old man Bronx sounding voice] “We’ve been playing this song for over 50 years!”
SR: Okay there is a little bit of confusion I want to clear up on a couple of things. First of all, who is in the band? Social media has two names, your photos shows three guys, then other interviews mention three names.
NW: Facebook? Yeah. We had a different drummer before, now we have a new drummer. That’s pretty much the whole story.
SR: So who is the new drummer?
NW: Jacob Wick and his is amazing. Definitely the man for the job. I think we can be happier now as we have all found our stride between myself, Nelson (backing vox/bass) and Jacob (backing vox/drums).
SR: Did Jacob come in then as your drummer to record your new EP, You Are Here?
NW: No, that would have been Chris Bagamery who is on the album. Jacob just really came in the last couple of months.
SR: What happened with Chris?
NW: It was kind of a long time coming, I think. He didn’t want the tour life. It’s hard. We eventually just brought it up and it was best for everybody. I mean Chris and I grew up together, we still are very amicable.
SR: Tour life is hard, fast paced and nomadic at times.
NW: Yes, it is. But we want to go all the way with it.
SR: What are the ages of the bands musicans and family obligations?
NW: We range from 27-30’s. As for family obligations, we don’t have any right now. Which is good for doing what we want to do right now, fortunately for the band.
SR: Yes, fortunately for the band drive, but not so much for your love life. But there is time for that later. There’s a new girl in every town isn’t there anyways? I hear they grow on trees.
NW: [laughs] Exactly, there is time. And if you find out where they grow on trees, let me know.
SR: Somewhere in Texas, so I hear… The other thing to clear up is the producers’ name on your last EP, self-titled, Dreamers. I have seen it written as Danny Elfman and Danny Calve.
NW: Actually it is KALB. Danny Kalb.
SR: I know when I read the name of your producer being “Danny Elfman” I was thinking whoa, really?
NW: Hey, now I know we wouldn’t mind, I wish! Maybe he’d be down to do a collab.
As for Danny Kalb, he worked on a Beck record and on Ben Harper’s stuff. Danny is amazing and a good friend of ours. He produced our first EP with the songs “Wolves” and “Waste My Night” on it. The EP that just came out a few days ago, You Are Here, is with a new producer out here in L.A. By the name of Kevin Augunas [James Supercave, Nick Waterhouse].
SR: Why did you decide to put out another EP instead of a full-length?
NW: We just wanted to make sure we were getting our music out there. We had moved out to the LA area, got signed, and have tons of music. We thought it was important to keep that connection moving.
SR: It almost seems to be intrinsically important to keep new music coming. Even if its single.
NW: We like it this way. We are go-go-go; we are ready! And we feel that is definitely key, to keep the good stuff coming.
SR: Taking a look at your whole presentation for Dreamers – between the website, your videos, artwork on the album – it’s very much a throwback feel of psychedelia. Kind of that ‘pomp-rock’ coming across. Is your stage presence theatrical?
NW: I wouldn’t say our performances are theatrical, but when we play we try to bring about a transcendence. The act and feel for all of this uniquely human thing coming together as we ‘break on through to the other side’ of art, music and transcendentalism.
SR: You are creating a brand.
NW: Exactly. Something that is uniquely us.
SR: Is what you’re creating intentional or has it been trail by fire?
NW: I think a bit of both. Who do I want to be, and what do I want to create? With a name like Dreamers its kind of grandiose in a way, but it connects. That’s why we came up with our manifesto and our lyrics at times have double meanings. As we take this psychedelic trip we take every night in our dreams.
SR: Looking at your videos that you’ve put with your songs. The morbidity all seems metaphorical. Are you a student of Freud? Between Freud and Warhol… like wow. It would seem somewhere in all of this, there is a group of musicians who are intelligent and love messing with other people’s minds.
NW: [laughs] Maybe it’s me liking the shock to make us think. I like campy old movies. It’s a silly way to express the feelings we are trying to express. I mean some people may think a video is about violence against women, but I think we keep it to a level that it is all metaphorical.
SR: When looking at the overall Dreamers package- I thought of the scene from Willie Wonka when they are traveling through the tunnel. You could take that clip and be horrified or you could analyze and appreciate it.
SR: Life is all about either confronting whatever ‘it’ is and analyzing it to understand it, or it’s about closing our eyes and choosing to remain in the innocence of our own happy place and not dealing with it. You can either attack what is in front of you or run and hide. Your music and videos are like this.
NW: First of all I love that read. Thank you. I loved the kids’ movies from that time. Remember The Neverending Story? It had its creepy, dark moments and was Dali’isc’ at times. I think that is what art really is; it is Baroque, at times.
SW: You have got to be willing to step a little bit on the wild side of life because that who is you are. What video/song do you think has been misread?
NW: Well, you know the suggestion that there is something like violence to women in our videos hasn’t really come from our fans or the public, but more from within our own family’s. In the video for our song “Shooting Shadows” there is this woman in the water and she is drowning. I wanted to communicate that it is totally metaphorically, as she is singing the lyrics, she feels trapped. Nothing there to do with violence against women as some might have thought.
SR: I know when I watched it I understood it to be that feeling of our own doing… we are at times our own undoing. Who creates most of your artwork and video presentations?
NW: We have done most of it. [laughs] The cheap and campy side of us. I did the animation for the “Wolves” video myself. Loved it. All the art is really from all the artists we know from here and New York.
SR: I did love it. It was like Svengoolie and the movie Twilight met. It makes you guys so uniquely you. Really, music today is a whole networking from all over the globe. It would seem to put together a team of your own choosing is how it operates today.
NW: Yes, less corporate-machine related.
SR: I understand during everything else you’ve musically got going on, you are also doing some collab writing?
NW: Yes. I have been and its opening up a whole new world. I wrote one song recently with James Iha of the Smashing Pumpkins. That one came up through our booking agent, who was just randomly hanging out with him and brought it up to him and we were looking for some cool co-writes and it happened. He was a really chill guy. It was nice, we just set up a date, met at his studio and just started riffing. We recorded in one day, demoed in a couple and it’s a new song not out yet called, “Little New Moon.” It won’t be out for awhile, but, yeah, very cool. Then the song “Shooting Shadows” I actually wrote with the lead singer of Atlas Genius, Keith Jeffery.
SR: Nick, you’ve got tons of music going on, collaborations happening, artwork flying, touring commencing… but when it comes to making pizza… who in the hell is responsible for making the pizzas when you all are together hanging out?
NW: We have never collectively made a pizza.
SR: There is a photo of you guys taken at the Knitting Factory, of just the bands socks and shoes. That struck me. Do you have a sock fetish, Nick?
NW: [laughs] Oh yeah, I remember that photo actually. I don’t know, I just love weird socks. I definitely don’t have a brand, I just find them wherever. Those socks in that photo are actually my favorite pair of socks. They are my UK socks because I want to tour in the UK. We need a sock wearing endorsement.
SR: Final question. I was watching an interview you had done with a program called, Kids Interview Bands, which is just a great idea to build young kids self-esteem, people, and social skills, and you mentioned you still like to play dress up for Halloween, and you would like to do Ziggy Stardust. I am curious, since Bowie’s recent passing, is there a song of his you’ve considered doing?
NW: I am a big Bowie fan, especially the Aladdin Sane days. We have been locking on to his music when we come on stage. While in Canada and with the Arkells, we did a Bowie cover together of “Modern Love” and we used “I’m Afraid of Americans” when we were coming out on stage.
SR: Looking so forward to you all coming to the Rebel Lounge here on March 14th. It was an honor to talk with someone who really thinks outside the box. Talk to you soon.
NW: Thank you for the great questions and insight. We will see you soon.
For more information about Dreamers’ show at Rebel Lounge this week, head here.