Ian & The Dream
“Fans can expect it to sound different than the last record – a little more atmospheric, more reverb, with all the familiar big guitars and vocal layers. I was definitely inspired by the last Weezer record, Everything Will Be All Right in the End. I thought, wow, that’s the tones and sounds I’m imagining for our record. I’m excited to get some of these new songs out. I’m finishing a track called ‘Got Into Your Garden’ that I think is very indicative of our core sound – sunshine, melody, emotion, all wrapped into an uplifting message. I think people will feel better after they’ve heard it. I think fans can expect to hear a songwriter who has grown up and has different things on his mind than when he made California Cauliflower.” Click to www.ianandthedream.com to keep up with Ian & The Dream and prepare for the new record. But first, keep reading – there’s still so much more to get into in all the answers to the XXQs below.
XXQs: Ian & The Dream
PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand outfrom others in your genre?
Ian Ash (IA): I’ve heard us described us power pop, which I think fits us well. I think we stand out because we put a lot of emphasis on melody and chord progressions. I always go for writing melodies that will invoke strong emotions even when you’re not paying attention to the lyrics.
PEV: What kind of music were you all into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?
IA: We come from pretty diverse backgrounds – I was into the Beatles and oldies, Chivo was a metalhead, and Brian (Farvour) listened to everything from Foo Fighters to punk rock. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are our common ground – we all listen to them. Our first “concert” was in our neighborhood where Chivo and I met. We had a bunch of friends come to a house party where we played out on the deck. It was lots of fun!
PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene in your hometown, when you first started out as a band? What was your first show like together as a band?
IA: We had a fun first show at a bar called Donnie Boys in downtown Waukesha. Lots of people packed into a tiny area – good memories. Breaking into our scene was an interesting experience because we sound so different from most of the artists around here. We never identified with an “indie” sound – the indie work ethic, yes, but not our sound. Our sound is very accessible, so we branded ourselves around that. We went to all sorts of business meetings, saw some of the other popular bands play – the things you want to do to expand your horizons.
PEV: What has been the most frustrating part of the whole “music business”?
IA: Watching out for scam artists! So many people just want to take your money and do nothing with it – so we’ve had to learn how to carefully and wisely invest in our future. Lots of people are preying on the fact that serious artists are willing to pay their dues. Yes, you have to pay your dues, but make sure you’re getting value in return from a reputable character.
PEV: What can fans expect from a live Ian & The Dream show?
IA: A lot of energy! They can expect interesting visuals, emotional moments, funny moments and three guys who really cut loose on their instruments and enjoy every note of it.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?
IA: Time to be in the present and just feel. Thinking time is over, the logistics are all in place – now it’s time to lose yourself in the moment and leave it all on stage.
IA: It’s more tight knit with a sense of community than other groups. We’re not afraid to put what everyone is thinking on the table – there’s no internal politics or people craning their necks to be heard. Just friendship and brotherhood. Musically everyone is very open-minded. We all just want to serve the song and the good feelings behind the music, so that comes first above all else.
PEV: What is the underlying inspiration for your music? Where do you get your best ideas for songs?
IA: Just the sheer necessity of having to write to express myself has always been an inspiration. Everything that happens to us – our love lives, philosophical questions, the desire to be understood -all make their way into the music. Some of the best ideas come out of the blue when you least expect them, and then you’ve got to capture lightning in the bottle so to speak.
PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back on your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?
IA: Oh, sure. It’s funny to think back to how little we used to know about the business, or how we used to be musicians but not really entertainers. What a difference! The ways we’ve grown as individuals are profound, and I think it makes for a more inclusive experience when you see us in concert.
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of Ian & The Dream?
IA: That we’ve been together so long, and that we’re very loyal to each other. Me and Chivo started playing music together in middle school and we’re still in the same band, though the name has changed. We’ve seen each other grow and change a lot. We’ve pushed each other to be better. Most people don’t play music together for this long; too many external factors tend to push bands apart. But we’ve grown closer and I’m thankful for that.
IA: We’re beginning work on our next album now. Fans can expect it to sound different than the last record – a little more atmospheric, more reverb, with all the familiar big guitars and vocal layers. I was definitely inspired by the last Weezer record, Everything Will Be All Right in the End. I thought, wow, that’s the tones and sounds I’m imagining for our record. I’m excited to get some of these new songs out. I’m finishing a track called “Got Into Your Garden” that I think is very indicative of our core sound – sunshine, melody, emotion, all wrapped into an uplifting message. I think people will feel better after they’ve heard it. I think fans can expect to hear a songwriter who has grown up and has different things on his mind than when he made California Cauliflower.
PEV: What is the feeling you get after a song is complete, and you can sit back and listen to it for the first time?
IA: It’s one of the best feelings an artist can have. I’m one of those guys who has a vision of a recording in my head before I start – I hear all the parts like a big symphony in my head and I have to get it down on tape soon, or the melody will keep haunting me day in and day out! I’d say it’s a pretty blissful feeling.
PEV: With all your traveling, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
IA: Liverpool! Wouldn’t it be great to spend some time in the Beatles old haunting grounds?
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play in your hometown?
IA: They’ve been incredibly supportive – they’ve always encouraged us to keep going, probably because they know how much I’ve always loved to write, record and perform. They know it’s what we’re meant to do and that we can’t help but do it. I’m very thankful they’ve stuck by our side. They always come out to the hometown shows, and those are some of the best shows.
PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
IA: I meditate a lot using a technique called Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are. I also do yoga, which has helped me find the quiet space in my mind that’s so essential for creativity. I love motorcycle riding, playing chess, rock climbin g- the list is endless! Chivo is big into video games; he can beat me at pretty much anything. Brian is a family man – he’s got such a special bond with his wife and daughter – they just set up a mini drumset across from his, and now they have father/daughter drum-offs together.
PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?
IA: It would have to be Paul McCartney, simply because he inspired me to play and write music in the first place. However unlikely that collaboration may be, if Kanye could do it, why not us?
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
IA: I’d say Vinyl Theatre. They’re hard working, nice guys with a great sound. I met them at Yellowphone Music Conference in Milwaukee and we did a show with them at Shank Hall. I’m sure they’re going places!
PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life what do you think each of you would be doing for a career?
IA: Hmm – good question. I would probably be teaching something – meditation, yoga, some kind of skill that more people should have for the world to be a better place. I think Chivo would be a video game developer or a social media coordinator – he’s very talented in the cyber world. Brian would be a comedian for sure. He’s just so naturally funny and charming.
PEV: So, what is next for Ian & The Dream ?
IA: Working on our new record, and gearing up for some fun summer festival dates!
For more information, click to www.ianandthedream.com