One of the hottest breakthrough bands around right now, Dream State are preparing for a defining year. Hot on the heals of last year’s ‘Recovery’ EP, and an epic Linkin Park cover for Hopeless Records’ ‘Songs That Saved My Life’ charity compilation, the five-piece are hard at work on their debut full-length proper - it’s a “long and intensive process”, guitarist Rhys Wilcox explains.
Hey Rhys, how's it going? Enjoying your time on the road?
Hey Upset! I'm doing great thanks! Our UK tour came to a close in Cardiff last night, so I feel like there's this haze of euphoria and exhaustion surrounding me at the moment. The response has been completely overwhelming in the best possible way, and I can't wait to get going again!
We hear you've been writing lots of new music lately, can you tell us what you’re up to?
The secret is out, and I can say that we're officially working on our debut album! We've been completely immersed in our art for the last twelve months, reaching a potential that we didn't know we were capable of. It honestly feels like we're on to something special and thanks to the help of producer Dan Weller, our vision for this album is falling into place. While I can't go into specifics, you can expect a release via UNFD later this year!
How far along are you?
I'd say that what we've done so far is just the tip of the iceberg, haha! Making an album is a long and intensive process which is only limited by how much energy we can physically and mentally put into it. That being said, we don't want our listeners to be waiting too long for new music either, so this is when deadlines can be a blessing in disguise!
Do you have any favourite new songs we should be watching out for over the summer?
Absolutely! We've been giving a sneak peek of new material across the tour, and it's been amazing to see the crowd's reactions every night. It'll carry through to our upcoming shows, so make sure you watch this space!
'Hand In Hand' is great, is it a good example of what you’ve been working on lately?
Thank you so much! We're glad you like it!! I see 'Hand In Hand' like a good movie trailer; there are snippets of the action throughout, but it's not too revealing. We've really pushed the boat out with a load of abstract conceptual stuff, so there's guaranteed to be surprises, twists and turns to keep you on your toes!
How have you guys gone about deciding what to include on your debut and what to leave off, has it been a tough process?
The last year has been insanely hectic with touring, jobs, festivals and holidays being regular obstacles to overcome. We have to be ruthless and concise with decision making if we want to get the best possible result under the circumstances. Choosing songs felt a bit like natural selection - survival of the fittest - which was definitely frustrating at times, but there have been moments in this process that brought out some real magic which might not have happened otherwise. Looking back over what we've done so far, I like to think we made the right call!
What tips would you give other bands approaching their debut album?
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. It's been a lifelong dream of mine to work on a full-length album, but it's an incredibly rare experience which needs to be lived to the fullest. Time in the studio is brief and expensive, so it's essential to get the foundations down and be well rehearsed ahead of time. It's not always possible, but having options and finer details in mind as part of the writing process can make all the difference!
What are you lot up to over the summer, lots of festivals and stuff?
Lots of festivals, lots of album work and if we're lucky, a little bit of downtime too! Currently in the pipeline are Groezrock (Belgium), Teddy Rocks, Handmade, 2000trees, Reading & Leeds and Burn It Down. So many great stages and bands to watch - I can't wait!
Taken from the June issue of Upset.
Featuring Yonaka, Employed to Serve and more in our 2019 Summer Special.