The Dreaming Find Strength and Fight Back on ‘Puppet’ — Song Premiere
Most Noisecreep readers will remember vocalist Christopher Hall from his ’90s alt-rock band Stabbing Westward. After releasing four albums and landing several singles on the rock charts, the band went their separate ways in 2002.
These days Hall fronts The Dreaming. The Los Angeles-based group also features members of Murderdolls and Living Dead Lights and recently signed with Epochal Artists Records/EMI. The Dreaming will release an album called ‘Puppet’ next month and Noisecreep has the exclusive premiere of its title track. Check out the track and an interview with Hall where he talks about the band’s genesis and their album.
What is the song ‘Puppet’ about and why did you choose to title the record after it?
Well universally ‘Puppet’ is about losing yourself in another person and allowing them to change you against your will into someone you don’t even recognize anymore. And it’s about finding the strength to stand up and fight and take your life back. ‘Puppet’ is exorcising those demons for me and taking myself back.
Listen to ‘Puppet’ From The Dreaming
Tells us how The Dreaming came together following the demise of Stabbing Westward?
The Dreaming has been a never ending process that started a week before Stabbing Westward broke up. I knew things were done in Stabbing Westward but I had all this music I still wanted to make so I called my drummer friend Johnny Haro and asked him to record some songs with me. Johnny had toured with Stabbing Westward for 4 months while our drummer was recovering from a rollerblading injury. To me it was the best Stabbing Westward had ever felt and sounded and I wanted to recapture that energy in my own music. Since then we have gone through a lot of great (and not so great) musicians in our quest to have that rarest of things in LA; an actual band. Not a bunch of hired gun musicians looking for a fast track to rock stardom or a quick paycheck but an actual band where every member contributes and respects each other’s ideas. Where everyone has everyone else’s back no matter what. It’s a dream I know but that’s why we are called The Dreaming.
How did guitarist Eric Griffin (ex-Murderdolls/Wednesday 13) and bassist Martin Kelly (ex-Living Dead Lights) come to get involved with the band?
After touring for 3 years on our first self-released album ‘Etched in Blood,’ I decided to take a break and write a new record, but that took longer than we thought. I spent a year writing and recording in my home studio. We finished the album and quickly got signed to Epochal Artist Records. We hired Eddie Wohl to re-mix the album for us. After finishing the mix he suggested we re-track the drums and guitars in a proper studio. Then we mixed it again with the new sounds. All of this took months of course and then once the record was done we had to get in line for a release date which due to all sorts of uncontrollable circumstance got pushed back multiple times. The point is that everything in the music industry takes time; lots of time. a few of the guys in the band felt like things weren’t happening fast enough so when opportunities came to be a hired gun in a bigger band they jumped at it and left us to piece together a new band a few months before our record release. And that led us to Martin and Eric and Ryan our newest guitarist.
I can honestly say that as bummed as I was to lose guys that had been with us for 5 years the new guys more than made up for it in musical skill and enthusiasm. Eric brings a really organic feel to the guitar parts that range from bone crushing rhythms to sleazy Guns N’ Roses style leads. Martin is a monster on bass. He is actually a badass shredder on guitar and parts that were too technical for bass guitar before now sound huge when Eric and Martin lock them in together. Ryan has some really awesome effects and it’s great at creating crazy sounds that capture that epic sound live. All this was pretty exciting for me. I was suddenly hearing my songs being played as well live as they sounded in my head or on the CD. I’m hoping these guys stick around for a while. The album features a stellar line-up of guests on the record including Carlton Bost (Deadsy), Jinxx (Black Veil Brides) and Chibi (The Birthday Massacre).
Tell us bit about what it was like working with them in the studio?
Well Carlton was the main guitarist on the album. He is always a pleasure to work with and I wish him the best of luck in Orgy and Skold. We did a lot of the album via email. I would send him songs and he would send me back a bunch of guitar parts. He is also a very talented programmer/keyboardist and we co-wrote one of the songs on the album called ‘There Will Be Blood.’ Jinxx is one of the most talented guys I’ve ever known. He has a brilliant musical mind. We once wrote a song together while hiking with no instruments; it was all in our head. He’s the only other musician I’ve ever been able to do that with. He helped me with the piano on ‘Hole’ which is the track that Chibi from The Birthday Massacre sang. Sadly Chibi and I worked via email as well. It would have been great to be in a studio with her and watch her sing but she knocked out the parts in a day from her house in Toronto and emailed them right back. I’ve always been a huge fan of The Birthday Massacre and her voice and I think she did an awesome job. Now if I can just get her in a video!
What can fans expect if they pick up ‘Puppet?’
Well first of all I think fans will be pleasantly surprised at how much ‘Puppet’ echoes back to the darker more electronic sounds of SW but with the higher energy drums that Johnny Haro is famous for. I have found in the past both with SW and The Dreaming that it is easy to lose your way when too many people get involved in the creative process so I produced ‘Puppet’ myself and was pretty aggressive about defending the sound we were going for. As far as being different from other rock records, it doesn’t sound like Nickelback (not that that’s a bad thing). It’s darkly melodic and uncomfortably personal at times. I went for an epic soundtrack experience throughout the whole album so the listener feels like they are a part of the music. I want them to feel like these are their songs; their feelings, their pain. I hope everyone enjoys it.
The Dreaming will release ‘Puppet’ on Nov. 1st via Epochal Artists.