AltWire [Derek Oswald]: Well, first, just want to say that it’s been quite awesome seeing DREAMERS grow as much as you guys have in the last two years.
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Oh, thanks so much!
AW: You’re welcome! Let’s try to reach a bit earlier, though. You were first involved with Motive and then you moved to Brooklyn in which you helped form DREAMERS. What triggered such a big change?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Yeah, well actually I first grew up in Seattle and then I moved to New York to go to school at NYU. And it was after that, I definitely fell in love with the city and decided to stay there. And it was in Brooklyn that I started that band, Motive. And that was kind of, to me, like a learning experience. Like, training ground time. Brooklyn scene, figuring out how to be a band and stuff. And we eventually kind of broke up, and went our separate ways creatively. And I was writing a whole bunch of new music and working by myself. And that’s what DREAMERS came out of. We wanted to do it again, knowing what we know now, and knowing how to do it a little better.
AW: Your self-titled EP landed you in Alternative Press’s ‘100 Bands You Need To Know Of In 2014’ and then that was followed by a personal selection by the then-frontman to Stone Temple Pilots, Chester Bennington.
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Yeah!
AW: Could you give us a bit more of that story? How were you contacted and was that your biggest breakthrough at the time?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Yeah, that was definitely our biggest breakthrough at the time. Alt Nation started playing us a ton, even though we were unsigned and a new band, and Alt Nation was actually how Chester and the boys heard us at first. They were doing that big tour, which was a ‘passion project’ for them. They were all really excited about it. Because Chester had been a big fan of Stone Temple Pilots and because Stone Temple Pilots were excited to have new energy in the band after the Scott Weiland ordeal. So they reached out to our booking agent and he hit us up — our agent in New York, a friend who’d been booking Motive as well, back in the day — and he was like, ‘Er… guess what, guys? Stone Temple Pilots wants you to open…’, so that was an awesome moment.
AW: DREAMERS — the current line up now has Jacob Wick on drums. Did you already know Wick, or was the search for a new drummer a bit more extensive than that?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Yeah, it was kind of extensive! Chris, our old drummer, didn’t want to continue with the touring life, which is pretty intense. We had a month off tour, where we we’re like, ‘We need to find someone, fast.’ So our manager actually went nuts, asking around. We ended up auditioning, like, eight or ten guys — I think — in LA. And Jacob was the no-brainer choice for us, out of that process.
AW: Now, when you were searching for the drummer, were you looking for a musician that had the same sound and feel as DREAMERS, or were you looking for a connection, even if it led to a major change?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Yeah, we were open to changes, for sure. I think we just had a few things that we knew, having been in bands with so many people… that we needed. Like, we needed a great drummer and we needed a great back-up singer, which he is. We also needed somebody who was really serious and who wanted to really do it professionally. And also just had a good vibe. And he checked all the boxes, so the audition was quick. In fact, he thought we didn’t like him because it was so quick! We were like, ‘Alright, we’re done!’ [Laughs]
AW: Now, how was it recording ‘This Album Does Not Exist’ at Sound City Studios? Was there any sense of inspiration, or maybe even pressure with Nirvana having recorded ‘Nevermind’ at that studio?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Definitely. I grew up in Seattle and I was a huge grunge kid. And that, to me, is like, legendary stuff; the greatest. So, that was one of the selling points for signing with Fairfax, who own that studio, and just a really exciting prospect. And then seeing all the records on the wall in there from, like, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, on to the ’90s with Rage Against The Machine, Nirvana… it’s awesome. It was pressure, but it was good pressure. Like, it made us stand up straight and really focus and feel like we had to do it justice. Plus, the studio itself is just really amazing … so, it was good all around, I think.
Like, every studio has a record on the wall just to be like, ‘Oh, gold record from … ‘, in every studio in LA. [Laughs] But the ones in there are, to me, super-more-awesome. And they have all this old gear too still, from back in the day. Like, I think Dave Grohl took the Neve console that was in there, but they have a new console which is another old one from Nashville that I think Bob Dylan records were recorded on — something crazy like that.
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: And, they told us after we were done recording that we were playing the same drums that were on the ‘Nevermind’ album. So, like, ‘Oh, now you tell us!’ They’re like, ‘Yeah, you didn’t know that?’ Yeah. That was cool.
AW: The producer for your debut album was Kevin Augunas who has worked with The Cold War Kids and The Lumineers. Was this a chance partnership or do you specifically feel that he was the best producer for that album?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Well, in hindsight, I can’t imagine that album being made any other way. It worked really well, and it was a really positive experience for us. It was kind of chance; like, he found us. He is the head of our label, which is called Fairfax Recordings. Really small label and, he was reaching out to us at a time when a few labels were, and we kind of weren’t sure what we wanted to do or scared of signing a bad deal. We were having a good time as an independent band, but he gave us a great situation and we were just happy to submit to it. Also, I love Cold War Kids and he’s recorded a bunch of stuff that I really like: Edward Sharpe and this band Broncho who are our friends and who are one of our favorites.
AW: So it just kind of felt like a natural fit — he recorded a lot of the music that you like, then?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Yeah, exactly. It was the first time we felt we had a really good option. Great situation.
AW: Now, your upcoming album has twelve tracks. Are any of those carried over from the EP, or from older sessions? And, to extend on that, are there any tracks in particular that you feel push the range of sound and style that fans have come to expect from DREAMERS?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Yeah, there’s gonna be some tracks from the EP. It’s all from the same recording session as the ‘You Are Here’ EP. So it’s all kind of out of that same world and that period of writing. There are definitely some tracks which are different than anything else we’ve put out. But to me, they all feel kind of ‘kindred’, for some reason, but probably just cause we we’re all writing them at the same time. One we just put out, ‘Sweet Disaster’ — is one of my favourites. I think it’s kind of a little different and showing the direction that we’re kinda going in.
“I grew up in Seattle and I was a huge grunge kid. And that, to me, is like, legendary stuff; the greatest. So, that was one of the selling points for signing with Fairfax…”
AW: Can you offer any glimpses into your creative process? Are the lyrics that we know from your vocals heavily molded by you, or has each member written some of the words?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Yeah, I write pretty much all the lyrics. Most of the DREAMERS stuff started before we even had the band. So I had written it, kind of all on my own in Brooklyn. And then Nelson joined in to record it. So, this project is mostly me writing and then the band kind of all putting it together musically in the studio. But I think now that we’re all kind of a unit, we’re definitely going to be writing together more. Just kinda trying out new things and seeing whatever works.
AW: You’re in-between a few handfuls of shows, starting again in New York this month. Where is home base for DREAMERS now?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: [Laughs] Good question! Home base is definitely LA. We’ve relocated, officially, to LA. But we’re touring non-stop so we kind of feel very nomadic. Being from all over the place as individuals, and then being in Brooklyn, and then being on tour, and then being in LA… so we’re actually only here in LA for, like, a week or two at a time. And then we’re back out! Out on the road.
AW: Now, are there any stops coming up that you haven’t been to before? Maybe some places that you’re really excited to see?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: These stops are all familiar places. We’re going back home to New York and we’re playing a few different shows over there actually. We’re playing one in Montauk — which is like out in the Hamptons — at a place called Surf Lodge, which everybody says is fun. I’ve had great times in Montauk, but never played there. And then we’re working our way to Chicago which we’ve already been a million times, but which is, like, one of our favourite cities to play, actually. But we’ve never played Lollapalooza before, which we’re playing. And we’re also going to be opening for Third Eye Blind, which is gonna be a trip.
AW: Wow! [Laughs]
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: [Laugh] Yeah! It’s like a Lollapalooza after-show party situation.
AW: Doesn’t that just blow your mind? If you think about it, Lollapalooza itself was created by the frontman of one of the biggest rock bands of the ’90s —
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Yeah, Jane’s Addition!
AW: — Exactly, and now you’re going to be opening for another huge band that you probably grew up listening to. Is that just, like, a head-trip, realising that?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Yeah, that’s definitely probably the head-trip-est thing about this, which I love. Just cause it connects you with those times when you were being a kid and imagining what I’d be like to be in a band. Kind of like, ‘Aw, now I’m playing with those exact guys…’. Plus, we love the ’90s. A lot. [Laughs]
AW: Hey, best era for music, in my opinion! Except for the ’60s and ’70s of course, but… [Laughs]
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Yeah, y’know, there’s some good decades in there for rock n’ roll! It’s hard to compare.
AW: You mentioned earlier that you guys were probably going to start writing together as a unit now that you guys have found your perfect line up. Do you guys leave songwriting for the studio or have some songs originated while you guys were out on tour?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: I’ve tried writing on tour a lot and never had that much success with it. I’ve tried everything, like, I always try like… ‘Let’s try writing drunk…’, ‘Let’s try writing at night…’, or, ‘during the morning’. I’ve had the most success when I just come back and sit down at home. Like, get up in the morning and just be like, ‘Alright, I’m going to write something new, right now.’ And that kinda works best for me. But, that’s not to say we couldn’t write on the road in the future. It’s just hard, cause the road is chaos.
AW: There’s so many distractions.
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Yeah, I’ve heard some people write on the road but that sounds very difficult to me. [Laughs]
AW: For readers about to check out your music for the first time after reading this. What song would you personally pick for them as your first time hearing DREAMERS?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: First time hearing DREAMERS? Well, you could start at the beginning with ‘Wolves’, which is the first song we ever put out. But also, right now, I’m super excited about ‘Sweet Disaster’, probably cause we just released it so it’s fresh. But that’s one that’s personally important to me. I feel like it encapsulates the sound or the feel of the album. So, those would be two recommendations!
AW: Anything else you’d like to add to the fans? Anything else they can look for, for the year ahead?
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: I’d just say, look out for our vinyl which we’re stoked about cause we’ve never had a vinyl before. And get ready for lots more, cause we’re still cooking!
AW: Awesome! Well, hey, thank you so much, Nick. I hope you have a good rest of your day, appreciate it!
Nick Wold [DREAMERS]: Yeah, thanks so much for the interview! Appreciate the good questions.