Latest release: Loveless (UNFD/Warner)
When the time came for Melbourne’s Dream on, Dreamer to produce their debut long-player, Heartbound, two years ago, the then six-piece band spent seven weeks in Orlando, Florida with prolific producer Cameron Mizell. This time around, the band has gone the totally DIY route, with guitarist Carl Orr doing the work behind the desk.
“We had a listen to all the stuff that’s been coming out lately,” vocalist Marcel Gadacz says, “and we felt that we had to make something better than the last album. Obviously we’re still proud of what we did on Heartbound, but we’ve progressed and matured as a band since then and I guess we are just more in touch now with what we want to do with our sound and the music that we want to make.”
At the time Heartbound was released, Gadacz told us that working with Mizell in the US was a “positive, happy time” but there was always that seven-week deadline hanging over their heads. Taking things into their own hands gave them the flexibility and liberty to further hone their craft.
“We definitely had a lot more freedom to be ourselves this time around,” Gadacz admits. “I think that Loveless is much more what we wanted Dream On, Dreamer to sound like as a band. Carl worked really hard to get the sound that we wanted; I think this album defines us a lot better than maybe Heartbound did. Not having the same kind of restrictions when it came to time meant that we could really develop and we were able to tweak the sound right up until the last minute.”
The album’s artwork was also given into the band’s own hands, with Gadacz himself handed the responsibility for creating the somewhat simplistic and enigmatic graphic that adorns Loveless.
“Being a graphic designer, I wanted to come up with something that was kind of like a trademark or something,” he explains. “Something that people would be able to identify with our band and with our music. There is a meaning behind the symbol, I guess, but we really want people to have their own interpretation on it too.”
The two years since Heartbound have been enormously busy as Dream On, Dreamer has criss-crossed the globe, playing around Australia and across the world with the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, The Amity Affliction, Memphis May Fire and more. Their international sojourn has taken them to places like Russia, which Gadacz describes as “truly amazing” and on to the hallowed stages of Soundwave, which the singer points to as a career highlight.
“The opportunity to play the Soundwave Festival was just a very special thing,” he says. “Also the first time touring America was amazing, having the opportunity to be part of a really big tour and being able to play for so many people.”
The journey hasn’t been without incident, as early this year saw some re-configuring of the line-up with Zac Britt taking over the clean vocal and rhythm guitar roles left vacant by the departures of Luke Domic and Mcoy, and Daniel Jungwirth switching to bass from his former role as keyboards player and sampler. Rather than slow them down, though, Gadacz concedes that Britt’s addition to the band was seamless and even invigorating.
“Zac just fitted right in right away and we were just able to go straight in and start writing together,” the singer says. “There wasn’t any real transition or any real difficulty with it at all.”
With the album barely on the shelves, local fans got their first real opportunity to savour the new line-up when they went out on the road with A Day to Remember and The Devil Wears Prada last week.
“We were overwhelmed that we got that offer to be on that tour,” Gadacz says. “The timing was perfect with the album having just come out.”
A couple of warm-up shows for a lucky few in Melbourne before that jaunt, however, was probably the first real acid test for Dream On, Dreamer new material. In front of their die-hards in the reasonably intimate surroundings of the Espy, it seems they met with immediate approval.
“People were up and getting involved right from the start,” Marcel Gadacz says. “That was really great for me, for us, to see. People were really into it. They kind of understand what we’re about now.”