Although some bands seek to establish an identity that differs from all other musical acts in the past and present, Brooklyn’s DREAMERS prefers to conform to the ongoing tradition of rock ’n’ roll by picking up the slack where others in previous decades left off. “I feel like we try to separate ourselves from current bands and embrace older bands, naturally because all our favorite bands are older bands,” said lead vocalist and guitarist Nick Wold in a recent phone interview.
Born from the ashes of Wold’s and drummer Chris Bagamery’s previous band Motive, DREAMERS has adapted their sound from the more Seattle-influenced indie-grunge into what they call “cosmic rock,” a blend of ’70s punk with power pop. “We ended Motive with a lot of creative differences,” explained Wold. “So we started from scratch [with DREAMERS]. In Motive we were young so we learned a lot along the way, often getting tangled up in our own shoelaces. DREAMERS is the second draft of having been through the ringer in Brooklyn for years, and we ended up becoming a totally new band eventually.”
With the formation of DREAMERS, Wold and Bagamery teamed up with bassist Marc Nelson (known commonly by just his surname). As a three-piece, one would expect the band to be limited by their sparse arrangement, but Wold asserted that this is not the case for them. “We have everybody sing harmonies. [Our goal is] to see how much music we can make with just three guys. We also use a cymbal pad, keyboards, synths, and guitar loops, in addition to projections in the back with some crazy animations.”
So far, the band’s contracted presence has been a hit, with fans of the previous incarnation jumping on board with DREAMERS and their new direction — showing strong support for the band’s self-titled, debut EP from November 2014 that saw them retreat to Ravensworth Studios in Virginia with producer Danny Kalb. “[The fanbase] always seems to get bigger actually,” said Wold. “It seems like there are more Motive fans now than before, and they’ll come to a DREAMERS show and request a Motive song which is really affirming for me.”
The band’s breakout single “Wolves (You Got Me)” quickly landed in rotation on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation, providing listeners with their first taste of the 2014 EP. Their follow-up full-length had been scheduled for a release not long after, but a record deal with Fairfax Recordings is the reason for the extended wait between releases. “We started originally as an independent band, but then we got a record deal which was great for us,” said Wold. “We pushed [the LP] back after we signed with Fairfax, and we came to Los Angeles to record in Sound City, which is a legendary studio. As of now we are releasing the first three songs as an EP on February 5, and the album is coming out later in the year.”
The connection to Sound City Studios and a historical musical setting in Los Angeles is part of the reason DREAMERS feels stronger ties to older bands and previous generations of rock ’n’ roll. “There’s a certain thread through [rock] history that we identify with,” said Wold. “From The Beatles on through Nirvana, there’s a philosophy of rock ’n’ roll we identify with and want to continue…sort of nebulous like a sound coming through the decades that we want to pick up in our own way.”
While their influences and motivations are firmly rooted in the past, the band’s chosen moniker supports the notion that they are also focused on the future. “You’ll have to listen to the record,” laughed Wold. “It’s just my idea of what [the future of music] might be.”
411: DREAMERS will play Saturday, January 16, at SOhO, 1221 State St. Call (805) 962-7776 or see sohosb.com for more information.