New York-founded, L.A.-based pop rock trio DREAMERS churns out infectious indie pop rock you can shamelessly sing in your shower. Currently living the dream, they’re now headlining festivals they once attended in their childhood. DREAMERS played their first Lollapalooza in 2016, attracting the largest crowd for the small stage that weekend. Their single “Sweet Disaster” made it into the top 10 on alternative radio earlier this year.
We caught lead singer Nick Wold on the road to preview their upcoming show supporting The Maine. We cover their favorite rising acts, working with some of the industry’s veteran rockers, and where they get their sweet threads. Catch DREAMERS at the House of Blues on November 1st with The Maine and Night Riots.
DREAMERS: We’re at LAX right now about to head to Tucson for a couple of shows.
CM: You’re based in LA now right?
DREAMERS: Yeah, we are. We started the band in New York but we moved to LA a couple years ago when we signed a record deal here.
CM: How has that been for you so far, comparing the West Coast to the East Coast?
DREAMERS: It’s been great. It’s been really good to us actually. We’ve been touring most of the time, almost always so it’s kind of a home base that we come back to, but it feels like an exciting time in LA. Lots of my New York friends are moving here.
CM: Oh, that’s awesome. I saw that you guys played ACL not so long ago. How was that?
DREAMERS: That was great. I always wanted to go to that festival. I’d never been, so the first time being there playing was awesome. We had a great crowd and we always love Austin. We’ve been there a million times and it’s just a great vibe.
CM: What are you currently working on right now. You’re getting ready to release an album pretty soon.
DREAMERS: Yeah, we’ve been writing kind of all summer. We’ve been touring for like two years straight and this summer, we took the time, most of three months in LA to kinda settle in writing — whoa, I’m sorry, I just saw a huge seagull inside the airport. Yeah, so it’s been really nice to just hang out in the sun in LA and writing again. We’ve written tons of songs. We wrote like 50 songs and we’re about to start recording album two.
CM: What does your creative process look like? It took about 3 months you said?
DREAMERS: Yeah, we tend to just — I dunno, I’ve tried everything under the sun.. writing. The thing that works for me the best is just to say I have to start and finish a song today and think about lots of general ideas on what kind of music I want to make and just try for it and see what happens and end up writing a ton of songs really fast that way and then kind of choosing which ones are the best and finishing them.
CM: Do you have any specific sorts of inspiration for any of your music or just kinda like sitting at home?
DREAMERS: I have lifetime inspirations that I keep going back to. A sense of Nirvana. I grew up in Seattle, so Nirvana was like my favorite band and The Beatles, just a lot of old stuff like that. And then, we’re always listening you know to the newest things and are inspired by a lot of new sounds of bands that we have met and we’ve gotten to play with on the road like Grouplove and K.Flay and Sir Sly. So we just kind of want to live our nineties grunge-rock fantasy but make it sound like it’s really new and fresh and exciting.
CM: You answered several of my questions all in one right there. Do you have any up-and-coming bands that you’re currently listening to?
DREAMERS: We’ve been playing with The Wrecks a bunch and they’re awesome. Night Riots were about to go on tour with. We’re really into them. It’s been rad in LA that we feel this kind of like collaborative vibe and all the bands and they’re kind of alt-bands are just kind of really interesting people that we’ve gotten to meet. It feels like a little scene or something. Like, we toured with The Griswolds and The Mowglis and have since written a couple songs with them. Yeah, so I guess all of the above.
CM: And is there anybody that you really want to collaborate with that you haven’t yet? Any dream collaborations you have?
DREAMERS: Yeah, we’re trying to get set up with Nick from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. That almost happened. That would be really cool. Another one is probably like Rivers from Weezer. We had a chance to meet him recently because we opened for them a couple times and he said that he digs our songs and stuff so that’s really crazy for me because I grew up listening to Weezer, they’re one of my favorite bands. The first record, I wrote a song with James Iha from Smashing Pumpkins. That was kind of a dream come true collaboration also. Really chill.
CM: What was he like in person?
DREAMERS: He is super chill and kind of soft-spoken and just a rad, nice rocker dude. It was really fun. He’s got a studio in LA and he’s been–he’s a long-time collaborator. He’s done other bands, other projects and he’s down to write, so it’s great. Ended up putting a song on the record.
CM: Is there anybody that you’ve worked with so far who has pushed your creative boundaries–producers, collaborators, anyone?
DREAMERS: Yeah, for sure. We write with tons of different producers. We kind of try to branch out as much as possible and try things so our albums end up being a hodge podge of different producers but then we’ll kind of like reproduce everything with our producer. But, yeah, I kind of feel like I learn something new from everybody, especially every experienced songwriter or producer. They all have different tricks and different angles for the same problem, so it’s awesome. We’ve been writing with this guy Tim Pagnotta who is the singer of a band called Sugarcult and now he’s a record producer.
CM: What does your typical day look like now? You’re currently on tour. What do you do to manage your tour schedule and kind of like that boring time in transit?
DREAMERS: Yeah, right now I’m reading a book. In preparation for tour, I ordered just like 15 books on Amazon because it’s like the one chance I get to read. Usually, I don’t get any time to and I like to read sci-fi and like non fiction, random stuff. But other than that, we’re pretty busy. We’re pretty insanely busy just because we’re getting opportunities to do stuff and it’s kind of a dream come true, so we’re trying to do as much as we can. We end up not getting a lot of sleep. Yesterday we had two 17-hour days in the studio and last minute having to get ready for tour and we had to fly to Sacramento. Had a show last night and got very little sleep. We fly back to LA in order to link up to a plane to go to Tucson today and then we’re going to start a 5-week van tour after this, so it’s pretty tightly packed.
CM: When you’re not on tour, what does your typical day look like?
DREAMERS: Well, this last year, everytime we’re back, we just start writing. I’ve tried writing on tour and not have that much, as much success. It’s better for me to just get home and take the whole day and focus on it. So if we have like 5 days at home, let’s write more songs. Something like that and just kind of write and then get a chance to chill with the band at night and experience LA life.
CM: So now that you guys are living in LA, do you feel like your sound has evolved a little bit with collaborating with some of the LA bands?
DREAMERS: Yeah, it definitely has. My old band in New York was super like New York post-punk, The Strokes, you know, CBGBs vibes. Lately, we’ve been kind of getting back to our roots I guess of childhood which is like 90’s grunge. So we’ve become re-obsessed with Nirvana and Oasis and stuff, but yeah, I don’t know. It’s definitely been I’m sure influenced in many ways by all the people that we know now. Everybody’s just in LA. All our favorite bands. All the new bands. So, we’re definitely always listening to that I’m sure being influenced in uncountable ways.
CM: Last year, you were at Lolla and played Lincoln Hall with Zella Day. Any favorite things to do, any favorite places to play while you’re out here?
DREAMERS: I’ll start with saying Chicago is one of the first places where they played us on the radio, one of the first cities to support us. We’ve been going there for a long time and had lots of great times and good friends. We’ve played tons of times. We’ve played Subterranean. It’s like a checkered floor. That place is super cool.
CM: Yeah the upstairs area.
DREAMERS: Yeah, there’s like a spiral staircase going from the stage to the green room. It feels kind of like a rock n roll sort of dingy but also really cool vibe. I love that place. Lollapalooza was insane last year. It was one of our first really big festivals and we had the biggest crowd on the small stage of the whole festival apparently, so that was kind of crazy.
CM: Any career highlights so far?
DREAMERS: Yeah, this summer we played Bumbershoot in Seattle which is a festival I used to go to as a kid, so that was kind of crazy for me personally. I don’t know, yeah there’s been some sort of milestone things like that like going back to New York and playing. All of it’s been kind of a highlight lately. It’s kind of a crazy blur of a highlight. We’re just trying to–
CM: For anybody who hasn’t seen your live show, what should we expect?
DREAMERS: Expect some crazy dreaminess, psychedelicness and expect all the songs that you know and love and perhaps a cover song. Perhaps some surprises and mainly we just want to try to get loose and transcend the boundaries of normal daily life.
CM: Sounds like quite the experience.
DREAMERS: Yeah, hopefully some moshing will ensue, but like friendly kind of moshing, not hardcore moshing.
CM: If you could be remembered for any of the songs that you’ve already created, which one would it be?
DREAMERS: Wow, maybe one you haven’t heard yet. On the record, “Sweet Disaster” was my personal favorite song for the gang. We kind of had to argue the label to get it to be the single, but it’s awesome that they agreed in the end. That song is really kind of a personal one for me, so I’m glad that it’s the one that got played on the radio.
CM: Any last words for your fans? Anything exciting coming up?
DREAMERS: Expect more from us, because we’re never gonna quit. I would say just keep dreaming. Everyone, dream on.