The art of choosing…talking with The Dreamer Within

The Dreamer Within_RingMasterReviewPromo Shot

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.

That’s kewl 😀

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.

The Dreamer Within_RingMasterReviewIs 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 The Dreamer Within2_RingMasterReviewdoes 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

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 23/03/2016

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Interview with Jonny Davy of Job for a Cowboy

With a new line-up the mighty Arizona death metal quintet Job for a Cowboy have lit up 2012 with their  magnificent new album Demonocracy. Returning with a continued evolution in musical maturity and technical excellence, the band retain their claim to being the most hostile, visceral, and exciting bands in death metal. As expected the album does not give an easy ride but is genuinely one of the most rewarding you could wish for. As ever we wanted to find out more about the album and look behind its sounds, as well as hearing more about the band itself. With pleasure we were able to do so with vocalist Jonny Davy who kindly tackled our questions.

Hi Jonny and many thanks for taking time to talk with us.

We will cut straight to the chase and the new album Demonocracy. Wow impressive, has it emerged even more powerfully than you at first envisaged?

Absolutely. We ended up changing parts and experimenting ideas within the studio. Something we haven’t really done before. I’m glad we took the time and effort to rearrange parts and hash out new ideas. We are all super happy with the product.

I admit I am no expert on the back catalogue of Job for a Cowboy but from the previous album Ruination there feels not only a distinct evolution in sound but in maturity, the songwriting and song construction especially, is that something that has been simply organic or have you worked particularly on that?

It is organic only for the fact that our motto in the bands writing system was to ALWAYS progress as a band. We are here to impress ourselves and others amongst the band. A lot of bands find their niche and safe zone, writing the same material record after record. We are entirely opposed to this and continue to enhance our sound as much as possible.

How much has the addition of new members guitarist Tony Sannicandro and bassist Nick Schendzielos, sparked the changes in the band sound?

A new lineup always sparks a fire under everyone’s ass’s. The reality is, every time we find new members we make sure that they are a step up from the previous ones. I know that it is cliché to say, but this is the strongest lineup that we have ever had, and if any of these members leave… it will be the end of Job For A Cowboy.

You are never an easy band to listen to haha, you demand a focus other death metal bands ignore but offer deeper rewards for that but with Demonocracy there is maybe a more instant aspect to parts of the music with the solos etc, would you agree?

Haha, yes I agree. I feel like this is the type of record where you really have to listen to a few times before really digesting it all.

The album and band is still as aggressive and hungry, that is very apparent on the album but is there a fine line between expanding your sound and direction ahead and losing the impact you have always brought to date to be wary of?

You know, it is hard to say. We don’t necessarily nit pick our music at that angle. We just try to have fun with it and try to make sure it is an improvement from the past.

Many bands would have used the acclaim and success of Ruination as the base for the next album but you seem to have started with a clean slate though it is still obviously a Job for a Cowboy sounding album.

I think every album for us is a clean slate. We don’t want to focus on one record and work around that. We want to keep making new ideas and stepping forward.

How does the songwriting work within the band and has it changed in any way with Tony and Nick on board?

It has changed dramatically. In the past, we always wrote and even lived together in Arizona. Now, guys live in Boston, Denver, Seattle and Phoenix. All across the United States. We had to shoot our ideas through email and home recordings. I think giving everyone space however let everyone hash out their ideas without the distractions of other members knocking them down before they could really progress.

Tell us about the theme and inspiration for the songs and lyrics.

Obviously from the title they are very political. So many bands in our genre from a lyrical perspective write about the stereotypes of death metal. Anti-Christianity, gore, death, murder… We stray away from this stuff and have a much more punk rock attitude.

You have again worked with producer Jason Suecof, he seems to have a real understanding of what you are as a band and want to bring to your music?

Jason is awesome. He has become a great friend and we really respect what he does in the studio. It is nice walking into something and know what to expect. That is why we keep working with Jason.

The album cover is immense, a welcome into Demonocracy as powerful as the music. Can you tell us about it and who designed it etc?

Brent Elliott White, who also did the cover for Ruination did this cover as well. He is an amazing artist just in the sense that you can give him so little and he can create so much with it. I gave him a rough idea on the lyrical content and he nailed it right on the head.

As mentioned you have two new members, so was the band set back a little with the departure of Bobby (Thompson) and Brent (Riggs) and can we ask the reasons for their leaving and was it something  that was on the cards for a while?

I’ll start with Bobby. He simply wanted to start the family life back at home. He actually helped write Tarnished Gluttony on the record. Great friends to this day, he just couldn’t handle the touring life with what he wanted to do at home anymore. As for Brent… Well, drugs became his first priority. He fell into the black hole of caring about drugs over everything else. He had to leave.

What was it about Tony and Nick that made you realise they were the guys to help out firstly touring and then to be added as permanent members?

We knew Nick from Cephalic Carnage, he still plays bass for them to this day. As for Tony, he was with Despised Icon for a couple years. They were both easy fits, especially from a personality perspective.

What have they brought to the music that was possibly lacking before?

Much much much much more technicality.

Has the new dynamic and ideas the two have brought in made you return to older songs with a slight re-invention in mind?

No, I think people like to hear our older songs the way they are. We don’t want to pull a George Lucas and recreate Star Wars.

I am no musician but was wondering when you bring a new guitarist in alongside the existing one is there a change required in both in regard to how they have played previously or in the existing member’s role within the already written and established songs?

It just turns into a new collaboration. We want our new members to do everything freely as they want.

One can assume you will be touring the ass off of Demonocracy?

Yes! Nonstop!

How do you think the live shows will change with the new guys on board compared to before?

A lot more energy.

You all seem to love every aspect of Job for a Cowboy but one senses the live arena is where you have the biggest thrill from?

Absolutely, we have toured nonstop for years. It is our true passion.

Too early I know but anyway what is next for the band and you as individuals?

More and more touring across the world.

Once more many thanks for taking time out to talk with us and good luck with Demonocracy, though one feels it will not be needed.

Would you care to leave us with any last words or thoughts?

Check out the new record!

Read the review of Demonocracy @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/job-for-a-cowboy-demonocracy/

The RingMaster Review 16/06/2012

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