Q and A with Dream AliveNovember 20, 2014
Dream Alive is a pop rock band out of Los Angeles, CA. They bring with them a great classic sound that is a joy to hear. The band is made up of lead vocalist and keyboardist Nik Phoeniks, Karan Parikh on lead guitar and vocals, Ramon Ryder on rhythm guitar and vocals, bassist Martin Fredriksson, and drummer Stanley Love. Find out what the guys had to say below when they sat down with BareBones Ent.
BS: How did Dream Alive come together?
DA: It was pretty serendipitous actually! Ramon (rhythm guitar) and myself (Nik Phoeniks) met at the Rainbow Bar and Grill (a great Hollywood rock n roll haunt with lethally strong drinks). We jived immediately on our common musical influences, and started writing together. Karan (lead guitar) was my next door neighbor at the time, and would hear the music coming through the walls. He knocked on my door and asked to jam with us, and his guitar work provided the musical backdrop that complemented the songwriting PERFECTLY. Karan suggested Stan and Martin (Drums and Bass) for the band as they were all going to MI (Musician’s Institute) at the time. As soon as we all got together it was a no-brainer that we shared a bond musically and as good friends.
BS: What has been your biggest influence musically?
DA: We’ve always been a fan of the bombastic arena rock of the 70’s and 80’s, as well as some of the more psychedelic influences (Pink Floyd, later Beatles era, etc). We also like some of the newer takes on some of those sounds, such as indie rockers ‘The War On Drugs’ or even ‘Muse’. The combination of new and old has always been a mainstay in our writing.
BS:You have a great older rock sound to your music. What inspired that sound?
DA: We all grew up on the old stuff, especially the late 60’s/70’s era of music (thanks mom and dad!) I remember listening to and discovering an avalanche of amazing music from my dad, who would come home with a new CD almost every week, which I would then wear out to oblivion. So it’s safe to say that sound and the melodic influence is in our blood. At the same time we didn’t want to sound dated, and really strived (especially on this new album) to find a sound that would hold up as contemporary in today’s musical landscape, all the while being a reminder of the older rock sound.
BS: You recently released your album, Before The Dawn, what was the creation of that album like for you?
DA: It was an incredible experience from start to finish. We all went in with the unspoken rule that if a song is not working, we have to do whatever we can to serve the song rather than our own egos. That simple premise helped us ‘opinionated musicians’ come to agreements on what would give us our ‘AHA!’ moment. The drums and bass for all the songs were recorded at ‘Phantom Recordings’ home of legendary drummer Simon Wright in Van Nuys, and everything else was recorded at our home studios (including Karan’s new ‘K Loft Studios’) This gave us ample time for experimentation, and we dove in head first, often times rearranging songs last minute or striving for new textures/sounds. All in all, we are very satisfied with the result!
BS: Sell the reader on why they need this album in their collection.
DA: The album is a statement on the transcendence of obstacles. This unifying theme is present throughout the album, and we really tried to bring out our strengths and test our limits, which is evident from the diversity of songs and moods within this theme. Because of this, we truly feel that there’s something for everyone on this album. If you like rock and it’s many diverse styles, and want to experience a fresh new take on a classic sound, this is the album for you!
BS: Your single, “Don’t Say No”, is a good song, with an interesting video. What made you want to make the video in that way?
DA: Thank you for that! It was the first song we recorded for the album and the first music video. Our friend and mentor, Irving Ong (who produced the movie ‘Heartbreakers’ starring Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love-Hewitt) took it upon himself to direct the video. Given his wealth of movie-making and cinematographic experience, he really wanted the video to feel like a mini-movie as opposed to a traditional music video. This is evident in the backlighting choices, as well as the frame rate it was shot in. We wanted a fun story that would end the characters up at a Dream Alive gig, simultaneously showcasing our “live” energy while providing a storyline backdrop to the ballad. [Video at end of interview]
BS: What are you currently up to?
DA: Now that the album is out, we are currently playing shows out of town, which is something we’ve been really excited to do for a while! We just played at The Cheyenne Saloon in Las Vegas, and are currently getting some shows together in Northern California. We also have been trying to get actively involved in charity work, and most recently headlined the NICCU Health Fair to a crowd of 1200, benefiting the pediatric intensive unit for premature births. It was an awesome experience, and we look forward to working more in that capacity, as well as playing more in other areas and getting a tour together in the coming months!
BS: When can fans expect to see you in their city next?
DA: We are in the process of getting a tour together in the coming months, and look forward to playing out to more of our fans as soon as possible! We are shooting for late this year at the moment.
BS: What is the best part of playing a live show?
DA: The best part would have to be that it’s not like a recording. We really try to make our shows different from popping in a CD and playing it, which is why we don’t use any backing tracks. We like the wild, raucous and unpredictable nature of the stage and our interaction with our fans, so it’s nice to get out there and really feed off of each other’s energy! We also try to make the show an experience rather than just a collection of sounds, and we purposefully arrange the songs to be more conducive live.
BS: If you could tour with any band who would it be and why?
DA: Hmm that’s a tough one! Past or present? I would say if it was past it would be The Beatles of course! Anywhere we can play with a ton of screaming girls as far as the eye can see sounds like a good deal to me!
BS: Anything else you would like to say to your fans?
DA: We want to thank you all for supporting the music thus far! It’s been an incredible road, and we can’t wait to make the next leap forward with you guys! We look forward to getting more material out and play more shows for you guys in the coming months! You are what keep us inspired and we can’t thank you enough for that.