Hailing from Exeter in the UK, The Dreamer Within is a band beginning to lure very potent attention with their compelling metalcore bred sound. Young as an outfit, they have already shown themselves a fresh presence and roar on the British metal scene with a stage presence that has audiences swinging s evidence by acclaimed shows with the likes of I Divide, Glamour of the Kill, Skindred, and Palisades. Recently the quintet unveiled a new video for the song Purge for another big poke at broad attention. It had us wanting to know more, so with thanks to the guys we explored the beginnings of The Dreamer Within, their new video, an impending EP, and more besides…
Hello and many thanks for taking time to talk with us.
Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?
Alex and Charlie started writing stuff when they were at Uni many years ago…like 7 years ago (they’re both well old). They both knew each other played guitar from school but Charlie didn’t like Alex because he had better hair and knew how to play more Metallica solos than him. However they ended up jamming together in a covers band and started writing their own stuff just for fun. They’d send each other random riffs and ideas and eventually ended up putting drums to some stuff so things sounded a bit more legit. One day though, Alex decided to put some synth over one of the riffs for a joke, however there was actually no laughing matter – it sounded genius. Well actually it sounded terrible but it started to influence some other things they wrote and eventually synth became a must for any song ideas. To cut a longer story shorter: they eventually got in touch with some people who they thought might be interested in actually playing some stuff live, including Alex’s dear cousin Josh who loves to play a bit of bass. After a few years of practice, writing and re-writing everything and a couple of line-up changes we eventually managed to play a show in July 2014. Ultimately, our love of metalcore probably brought us together, plus we all really like wearing vests. We all have pretty similar music tastes though, ranging from more straight up metal to trance/EDM so going down the contemporary metalcore route was a pretty natural thing for us.
What sparked the decision to form the band and the direction it was to take?
It’s always been quite a natural development, we all love our music heavy and full of synth! As mentioned above, the original conception of the band happened years ago (you can probably still find the original version of Recovery on the internet without having to look too hard) and the direction of the band really just came from a culmination of the things we love about music, minus Taylor Swift’s voice though unfortunately.
Is there any specific meaning behind the name?
Choosing our name was a stressful time. We all had terrible ideas and it got pretty frustrating as all the super cool names were taken according to numerous Google searches. We agonized over so many until one day at practice, Charlie lost it and said “right, I’m going to my car to get my mountain dew and packet of cashews, I want a name by the time I return…” and sure enough, Eliott came up with The Dreamer Within. It probably reminds us most of Charlie being furious and eating cashew nuts, although on a more serious note, we liked it as it vibed well with our style as a lot of our lyrics relate to recognising what’s important within oneself and looking at the world outside the box if you catch our drift. At the core of it, the name refers to the part of yourself that is dormant inside that aspires for greater experiences.
Tell us about your early days as a band; the unforeseen surprises and difficulties which you came up against that maybe musicians do not expect or realise will show themselves.
It’s still pretty early days really! I think one thing we never really considered was just how much effort (and equipment) has to go into creating the kind of sound that we have to manipulate live. I’d say one of the biggest surprises was probably when we played our first show after releasing our debut single Heart of Mine as originally we just wanted to release some music and play a live gig to say that we’d done it; the feedback was so overwhelming that we decided to keep going and never really looked back. In hindsight we could have probably done a far better job at getting ourselves shows at the start – we ended up waiting to be asked by other bands a lot which was awesome when it happened but it did mean we struggled to keep ourselves booked up. Ultimately, we realised that everyone in the local Exeter scene was super nice and talking to people/other bands was the best way to get about. Typically, no one ever has any batteries and we use A LOT of batteries for all the wireless stuff etc. The amount of times we’ve had to do an emergency battery run before a show is ridiculous – we never learn! Josh is the worst for this and also equipment in general. One show we played in Plymouth had him kneeling on the floor playing after his strap broke mid set. Obviously he didn’t have any sort of backup plan so the drummer from The Core of IO had to duct-tape it up for him while he was playing…we looked really awesome…
As you say, it has been a relatively short time that The Dreamer Within has been around; how would you say your sound has evolved in that time?
To be honest not that much – the first two songs we released in 2014: Heart of Mine and Recovery 2.0 are songs that were written alongside a few others that we actually had in mind for our up and coming EP so we’re still very much influenced by our original ideas. We guess that people can probably expect a far heavier EDM presence in some of our more recent compositions but essentially we want to get better at what we started doing rather than change our sound loads of times before people really get to know us.
Do you write and create as a unit?
Alex and Charlie often lay down the primary structure for most of the tunes as they’re both guitarists. They also have the responsibility of recording, mixing and mastering everything so it makes sense for them to take the lead on that side of things. However overall the songs come together from everyone’s ideas as Eliott is a keen synth composer and Matt handles pretty much all the lyrical side of things. As much as we make fun of him, Josh is a sick bass player and he rarely has to be taught anything and is happy to write his own bass parts rather than mimic the guitars…All pretty harmonious really.
You recently released the video for new track Purge. Tell us about the song’s theme first of all.
Purge is primarily about recognising agents of deception and control in everyday life and “Purging” the feeling that you need to conform to believing what’s force fed to you or allow yourself to be easily influenced by common sources of information. Essentially the message is ‘don’t believe everything you read/see, don’t just sit there letting the world carry you along, get out there and find your own truth.’ We hope we don’t sound too cliché and political!
The press release with its announcement suggested that your new tracks, as well as being more creatively imposing and inventive, have “a darker lyrical tone.” Can you elaborate upon that and does Purge epitomise that evolution or are there further dark depths to be discovered?
We think the darker elements come from the overall feel of the songs themselves rather than the lyrics. We find it impossible to write anything in a major key! However regardless of what the song is about, lyrically we always try and put a positive spin on things to inspire a more uplifting feel.
What kind of things most inspires the band’s lyrical side?
We like writing about mankind’s place in the Universe, why we’re all here, what we should be doing while we are here etc. We are all really into space and all that cool stuff so we’d like to think our songs have a really big epic feel to them. We also like writing about some supernatural/potentially supernatural stuff as we think that a lot of potential answers to the world’s great mysteries could lie in thinking a bit more radically than the norm. Our first single, Heart of Mine is actually about Final Fantasy 7 which is one of our favourite video games. Video games are a theme we’d like to explore more in the future. All of us are also massive Star Wars fans so you can probably expect to hear a song in the future that mentions about how Rey from the new film is the greatest female ever.
Back to the video; who did you film it with?
An ace gent who goes by the name of Ben Lumber; the frontman of Acres who are currently killing it in Europe.
Did you, as a band, have a particular idea for it in mind or left it to the director etc. to come up with the basis for what is certainly an eye catching, ear pleasing proposal.
We scouted out what we thought was a pretty cool location for a first video. To be perfectly honest we took a lot of influence from videos that came out in the golden 2008 – 2012 metalcore/(dare we say it) crabcore era. It’s not a big surprise to hear that we love all that stuff. Because it was all performance based, it was up to us to choreograph our moves and group shots. We tried to throw in as much energy from our live shows as possible so what you see in the video is pretty close to what we pull off live, although that can be dependent on the size of the venue! Ben had some great ideas for angles and solo shots etc. but we had a lot of input in the visual side of things and Ben was great at listening to our ideas and working with us.
I believe the band is working on a new EP? Can you give us some insight and spoilers to that?
Cheeky😉 I think we can probably let slip that the EP is going to be called This Is Not Our Home and will be out at the end of May. It will be made up of 5 tracks including Purge and another new song we’re doing a video for very soon. After listening all the way through, you should end up feeling like you’ve just danced with the Incredible Hulk at a rave until 6am.
Apart from the EP, what is in store for The Dreamer Within fans from hereon in across 2016?
We’ve got some really cool festival announcements coming up over the next few months including Massacre Fest in Gloucester. We also have our first tour booked from June 1st to 5th with High Rise, Follow the Wolf, and Last Hounds which we’re stupidly excited for. It will be our first time playing most of the venues on the schedule including dates in Leeds, Leamington Spa, and London so we’re really looking forward to seeing how we go down in places that aren’t near the South West.
Many thanks again for chatting with us. Anything you would like to add?
Thanks for having us! And to those of you coming to our hometown show of the tour on June 2nd – keep your eyes open for a ripped and kewl announcement about that😉
And finally, give us an insight into the records and artists which could be claimed to have most inspired your own life and creativity.
We’re inspired by a lot of the bands that people wouldn’t be surprised by like Asking Alexandria, Abandon All Ships and Enter Shikari etc. Although collectively, it’s not unusual to see us listening to artists/bands like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Bullet for my Valentine, Trivium, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Erra, Funeral for a Friend, Paramore, and The Lonely Island to name a few.
Check out The Dreamer Within further @ https://www.facebook.com/thedreamerwithin
The Ringmaster Review 23/03/2016
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