Dream On Dreamer

Interview: Dream On Dreamer – Marcel Gadacz

Dream On Dreamer have been on an incredible journey for the past two years. Since 2009 when German vocalist Marcel Gadacz teamed up with American drummer Aaron Fiocca and local musicians Callan Orr (guitar), Luke Domic (guitar), Michael McLeod (bass) and Daniel Jungwirth (keyboard), the band have been constantly on the rise.

In 2010 the band released their EP titled ‘Hope’ after signing with Australia’s premier management and label company UNFD. It was this release that would propel the band from local heroes to an international breakthrough band.

The band didn’t sit back and rest on the success of their EP as they went straight back into writing for their debut full-length ‘Heartbound’. The band travelled to Florida and spent two months recording with Cameron Mizell before signing a worldwide deal with Rise Records. The band then performed their biggest shows back home as they opened a series of tour dates in Australia for Avenged Sevenfold.

With the success of their tour in Australia and a worldwide label, the band announced their first UK and European tour opening for labelmates The Color Morale and Memphis May Fire. At their date in Glasgow I had the opportunity to talk to vocalist Marcel Gadacz about the band, their album and more as we jumped around the venue to find a quiet spot.

Be sure to head on over to the bands Facebook page and check them out. If you like what you hear then grab a copy of their album ‘Heartbound’ or a t-shirt from their store.

How has the tour been going so far?

Pretty good man. It has been a great experience and I’m really excited to be here right now. I’m excited to be everywhere to be honest. It’s great to be able to go out and explore different countries and this tour is taking us far and wide.

Is this the band’s first UK and European tour or have you played any dates before?

Yeah this is everyone’s first time touring the UK and Europe together so it is all new for us.

Two big tours in a row as the Avenged Sevenfold tour was the last tour you did back home.

Oh yeah that was a freaking cool experience to be playing these massive venues, some of the biggest you can in Australia. It was just them and us on the full tour so we got a lot more focus than what we would have done if they had brought along another support band. When we got offered the spot we were excited but then worried because their fanbase is completely different from ours. We just thought there will be 5,000 kids there every single night, how can this be a bad thing. There must be people there who will be open and like us and we did have a couple of hundred [people] every night really getting into it.

Yeah and really that’s all you need as they start to share your name and the word just gets out there about the band.

Exactly. You could see those people in the crowd gradually warming to us over the set so I’m sure we did gain some new fans but the experience was incredible.

It couldn’t have been better timed either as the album came out at the end of that tour. You just gained all these new fans and there is the album for them to buy.

[Laughs]. That was it exactly; we couldn’t have had a better gig at a better time.

As you are still relatively a new band, did you use that tour with Avenged as a perfect occasion to sort of pick their brains or to watch and learn from people who are now at the top of their game?

Yeah you learn from every tour that you do and you gain valuable experience no matter who it is you’re playing with but Avenged Sevenfold have been doing it for years and years now so I suppose yeah, I was a little more focussed when I was watching them to see what I could pick up that would not only benefit me but Dream On Dreamer. It was great to see everything that went on backstage as this is the first tour we’ve been on which involved a crew and production, big stage set up, buses full of equipment and flames on stage, just a crazy amount of shit. To sit and experience all of it going on around me was sort of what I needed as I realised this is how big you can become if you work hard enough. A band like Avenged might not be everyone’s type of band but it’s amazing to see a band doing do well.

Yeah seeing that all first hand is the kind of thing which will make you work harder because you now know it is achievable and touring the UK and Europe is one of the first big stepping stones as it is difficult for bands to get this sort of opportunity.

Totally and we were the only lucky band in the whole of Australia who got to experience it first-hand so we can’t thank everyone enough who helped us get that opportunity.

The Devil Wears Prada tour is the next one back home which will work well in your favour as the crowd will be a lot more open to your style.

Yeah and the venues they are playing in also are great so that will be another amazing opportunity with them and We Came As Romans.

You just signed to Rise Records back in June so how did it feel for such a respected and well known label to come in and want to sign you?

When we started this band or I should say when we became serious about our goals and direction, one of those goals was to be signed to a worldwide label but we wanted someone who had a reputation such as Rise Records. When the offer was put on the table it was unreal, it really did take some time to just sink in that it was actually happening to us. Everything they were offering sounded very promising and even without them doing anything for us, just the exposure of signing to the label and that being announced helped to push more fans our way. We were signed in Australia and at the time we were ready to step up and go worldwide so the deal couldn’t have been better for us. I think with our sound, the best label that you could possibly be signed to is Rise Records in my opinion.

Dream On Dream Band PictureDream On Dreamer did start out in a period where the internet has a firm grasp on the music industry so how much did you rely on that to begin with before you had the opportunity to be signed in Australia and then worldwide?

Social networking was what really kicked everything off for us at the start especially with Facebook and YouTube because they are free and we could really get our name out there worldwide. We could upload a song, tell a few people, it is linked on one website and then everyone can get to know your band as it spreads across sources. Before we knew it we had fans worldwide and I don’t know if everything that has happened already would have happened so quickly to us without it.

I was going to say that the past two years have been a little crazy as you have went from a new band to opening up for Avenged Sevenfold, signing a worldwide record deal and touring the UK and Europe so how did you take it all in?

You kind of just deal with it [laughs]; there is really no other way to explain it. Yeah it can be a lot to take in at first but you get so much positive energy from doing this that it just fuels you to go forward. We work really hard, whether it is with this band or the bands we’ve been in before, we have always given it our all so now it’s all finally coming together and we’re enjoying it. We’ve worked so hard to get where we are today, we didn’t sit around and wait for an opportunity to come to us, we’ve pushed ourselves to the max in order to get here. We have to keep being as positive as we have been and keep going. It just doesn’t apply to us but to any band who was in our situation this time last year, the harder you work then the better the reward will be at the end and we’ve been rewarded so far. We are not going to stop here, we’ll pick it up and keep on going and eventually you never know, maybe we will be headlining big shows back home with huge stage productions.

The band’s name did explode upon the release of ‘Hope’ last year. So over that year’s period do you think the band changed a lot which affected how hard you wanted to work for it and did it effect the writing process or the sound of the album or was everything much the same for you?

The core of the band never changed as it is still the same people but obviously times change and circumstances change which help people to grow up. In that year a lot of stuff has happened in my life which has changed me as a person but not in a negative aspect, I’ve been able to gain from it and use it to my advantage. You know it’s the old saying, “whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” and I think that’s what we took into this album. ‘Hope’ was more like, let’s see what we can do, let’s experiment a little and see if people like it. Once we received the response and we could tell what worked and what didn’t. After that we were in a much better position to move forward to the album. When we started to realise that people actually cared about the band and the music then that’s when we decided that it had to be taken more seriously. We knew we would have to go out and top it not only for ourselves but for these people who now believed in us and wanted to see us do something.

You said that ‘Hope’ allowed you to do some experimentation with your sound and I don’t know if you have read reviews of the album but that appeared to be the main picking point for a lot of people that there was too much happening, too much experimentation within the tracks.

We do whatever we like to be up front about it man. If people don’t like it then we can’t change their opinions as we do what we do and we love the way we do it. We write music that represents us and of course we will take into consideration some of the more favoured parts by fans and such but we have to stay true to ourselves. If that’s what we feel at the time is what represents us then that’s what we will put out. You never know things might change but the core sound of the band will remain the same. If people have bad things to say then I welcome them to say it because I don’t really care, for everyone who dislikes our music we will probably have someone who likes it. It is good to know on that level what people think about our music because people do read these reviews to get an idea of the album and to find out whether or not it is worth exploring but at the end of the day people will make their own minds up so hopefully they give it a fair listen.

I suppose you could look at it like with so many elements that you’re striving to produce something with more of an original feel to it.

Yeah exactly. We have so many different influences within the band that it is impossible for us to decide on one style of music. I suppose to people that will make it sound like we have a heap of stuff going on but this is the only way we can express ourselves by putting it all together.

What was it like to go and record in Florida? Was it good to get that change of atmosphere and to be able to get away from home and just experience a new type of surroundings to help inspire you?

Oh yeah for sure man. The idea itself of just leaving home and flying to Florida to record a CD was crazy. I think we ended up being away from home for two months while we did all the work on the album. Everything just made the experience special because usually after a day of playing a show or working on material you could just go home but here we had to stay in a foreign country and work every day to make sure that we were going home with the best album that we could have recorded. I’m not sure if we took it more seriously or if the situation just made it feel more serious. We were still ourselves during the process but I think our bodies and minds just naturally moved into that zone, we didn’t need to tell ourselves that now we have to work and we have to do this, we just went into it and that was that. We were certainly more productive. Not that I’m saying we weren’t before [laughs].

It was Cameron Mizell who handled the album who has also worked with Memphis May Fire wasn’t it?

Yeah it was.

What was it like to work with him on the album?

He’s such a great dude and we love him very much. We actually keep in touch and we usually talk every couple of days as we formed more of a friendship or a partnership with him rather than him being just brought in and then let go. We really became friends during the process and we got along so well.

That would also make the process a lot easier instead of having someone who is maybe sniping at you for things you should do differently or such.

Exactly and he is such a mastermind at what he does, it was an incredible experience and I don’t see why we won’t work together again the future.

I was reading up on the band before today and I saw that one of you actually has your own studio?

Dream On Dream Heartbound ArtworkYeah we do.

What made you actually go abroad then, as far as Florida to record when you could have done it at home and had full control over the entire process?

Well Callan [Orr] our guitarist has been recording bands at his studio in Australia but at the time I think it was just a case of wanting to work with a bigger producer who had a lot more knowledge than any of us when it came to piecing together an album. Callan is gaining all of the experience from the artists that he works with and while in Florida he got to use it as a learning experience in order to become a better producer himself. We wanted the most professional album that we could have within our budget so when we were given a list of names, Cameron stood out as the one that we should work with.

It will be the tough choice for future albums then if you stick with Cameron because of your new relationship and his experience or you cut costs and let Callan take control.

Yeah that is something we will handle when it comes to it but if we are given a budget which allows us to use a high end studio with an experienced producer then I think we’ll always want the best product that we can possibly release.

I know absolutely nothing about the Australian music scene other than the odd great band which is coming out of there but with the success that many bands from Australia have had in recent years, it does mainly appear to be overseas so have you ever thought about relocating to take advantage of a bigger market or is the scene in Australia really strong and it keeps you there?

I doubt we as a band would relocate to Europe. I am from Germany and that’s where I lived my life until four years ago when I moved to Australia so I know it’s not the greatest place to be living in but I’m not saying it is a bad place to tour. We will probably be touring Europe a lot more in the future than anywhere else but no matter what we will also be located in Australia as that’s our home. We still have our label and management working over there for us so I don’t see why we should have to change, I realise why many bands do for the reason you stated but we’ll still be able to tour and take advantage of opportunities just like we are now. Plus we have the advantage of being able to actually tour in Australia because that is a hard place for bands to get to so we actually have somewhat of an advantage there. It works out perfect with us being there. There was a time we were talking about moving to America because it seems easier to get exposure because of the amount of bands coming out of there and really everything happens in America in our music scene. We were thinking if it would help or if it would be necessary in order to get out there but in the end we made the decision to stay in Australia and it has worked out for us, thankfully [laughs].

There have been so many great bands coming out of there over the past years such as Parkway Drive, The Amity Affliction who just signed to Roadrunner Records, Circles, 12 Foot Ninja, Karnivool.

Karnivool.

Yeah.

That Tool sounding band.

[Laughs]. What do you think it is about Australia that has a lot of good bands coming through? Is the unsigned scene really that good?

I think it is much the same as America and Europe, you always have a handful of bands who are doing really well and then others who are known but maybe need a bit more press to give them that exposure. I do agree that there are a lot of great bands coming from Australia at the moment but there are just so many. I think at the moment there are over 50,000 bands registered but I think in order to get anywhere in Australia you have to do the right things. I’m not joking; every second dude you meet on the street is in a band [laughs]. I don’t think there is a special aura about Australia which just helps put out bands, I just there that there are so many devoted musicians in the country that it’s hard for many of them not to be noticed now. There are a lot of great up and coming bands and some of the more established bands right now are not doing too great but that’s just the way things go.

The last question I’m going to ask you is about the band’s name as I see it differently everywhere I go from your logos to press releases and mentions online. Has the comma been dropped?

[Laughs]. Yes the comma is now out as it just became easier. When we started as a band we decided that we wouldn’t have the comma in the name because it was easier and it would save any confusion when you search it online. Then we thought about it with the comma and we thought…

It gives you something to think a little more about when you say it. Dream On, Dreamer.

Yeah exactly so we put it in there to be like, oh hell I don’t know, more sophisticated or something like that [laughs]. So yeah it has been dropped now to make things easier as we saw flyers with the comma in the wrong spot so the name read “Dream, On Dreamer” or they completely neglected it altogether. Every time we saw it we just begged them to get it right, it’s not that hard [laughs]. It was just too much of a pain in the arse so it had to go to make life easier.

     

About Michael

Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

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