What a year so far, huh! Forget about COVID-19, Dream On Dreamer are breaking up and yes, it has shattered us, but they’re giving us one last album called What If I Told You It Doesn’t Get Better (our review here) and one last interview. Read on to find out Marcel Gadacz‘s take on a commemoration tattoo, how he feels about the tour being postponed and how much fun the song ‘Explicit’ was to record.
But most importantly, how their final album is a celebration, not something to be sad about…
Hi Marcel! I’m so glad we get to chat today, I’ll try not to cry.
That’s okay, we’re all trying not to cry, all of us.
I’m just gonna get straight to the point, you’ve broken our hearts! When you announced your break up, no one saw that coming. Obviously it wasn’t a decision made lightly, but can you tell us how you came to that decision?
Basically, to sum it all up, I feel like since starting the band and after five albums, what we always wanted to do we had already achieved. It was one of those things where all of our dreams that we had set out for the band and our achievements satisfied us.
And it’s in no way to be seen as a sad time and, like you said before, it’s pretty unexpected because the band is at a stage where everything is going pretty well. We found our sound more and more and I don’t want people to be too sad about it because at the end of the day what’s going to live on is the music we created and the memories that we’ve had, and it’s an entity that will live on forever – far longer than our lifetime.
I’ve been loving seeing everyone reaching out and sharing memories with you or just sharing their favourite songs/albums/tours. Do you have a stand out memory of writing an album or a tour or just a great day you had with the band?
There have definitely been standout moments in our career over the years! For me, one was when we played our first live show. We started the band and had no idea where it was going to go, and we created, in hindsight, something that a lot of people have taken something away from and that’s a feeling that’s so liberating and it shaped us, it literally has.
All my 20s have been spent with this band always in the back of my head. For the past 11 years we’ve created something we’re really proud of and not just as a band, but a community and a form of art. And things like when we were nominated for an ARIA, like no heavy band was really nominated for an ARIA Award back in the day; it was our first album and I didn’t even know what the ARIA Awards were when I moved here! That we were able to achieve those things it’s very much outstanding.
And another would be our first European tour which meant so much to me. We’ve toured Europe maybe six or seven times in our career now, and I had left my family over in Germany to do this and it was a big stab in the dark really, I had no idea really that that would ever happen. And it sounds really generic now, but it was the dream when I set out and to see family friends that I grew up with or friends from school that didn’t like me or whatever coming to buy a shirt and knowing lyrics to songs, it was a huge thing for us and for me personally!
Being able to achieve that and to record our first album in America, none of us had been before and it was two months in the US. Being able to do that, when some people don’t even get out of their town! Producing and writing music in a completely different part of the world, all those things are so important and something that I will never forget and something that I’ll never take for granted.
You have a huge highlight reel from being in this band and you know it’s not exactly a small portion of your life, what will you be investing your time and energy into after?
All of us, I think, will never stop making music. But also a lot of priorities have shifted too; some of us are dads, have families and partners, and most of us are in our thirties and or starting to be. But we’re always going to be active musically, and I’ve been working on my own project as well over the past five years and that will see the light of day very soon. And if anything, when one door closes another opens and it’s exciting not so much sad. We have done everything we wanted to do and go out on a high with another new album that nobody had expected.
Okay, let’s talk about the album before I get teary thinking about your break up. It has a long, if a little depressing, title What If I Told You It Doesn’t Get Better. I love that you’re giving us one last album before you go, but why was it important to give the people one last record?
Firstly, very interesting aspect there with the title. It is so strong and I feel really strongly about it; it is really dark, but it also depends on how you look at it. If you were to be a very optimistically driven person, not saying I am, but it can also be seen as something that is so great that it literally can’t get better. As in the sense that this whole chapter is the perfect way for us to go out, because we go when it’s the best and it’s the best we’ve ever felt as a band. It’s really the highlight of it all and that’s why the title is so striking because it can be looked at from both angles.
We wanted to give you one last album because I feel like we’ve always had a very close relationship with our fans and we want to give people what we love doing, say goodbye and be remembered as a band that has created a lot of music over the years. And really, we were all just as much a part of each other’s lives, and if anything it’s sort of a thank you.
We’re giving you another album that we feel really strongly about and that showcases everything we’ve ever done from day one until now. It’s a celebration rather than a sad moment.
I’m surprised I didn’t see it that way! I describe myself as a positive person, but I immediately went negative on this title, but I get it now!
That’s the beauty of it all! And when you look at our discography and artwork and our songs, everything has always been on the darker side of things and I love that entirely. I’m not too much of the happiest chap out there and we all struggle with our own evil energies, and for this album to have the artwork be something that’s more delighted and not so dark it works in contrast to what people may perceive as a depressing sad title. But in reality, as you found out, it’s not that.
I love the song ‘Explicit’ just because you’re having a go at everyone who asks why you don’t scream anymore. Was that fun to put together?
Yeah! If I ever can use the word ‘fun’ in relation to any of our songs that would be it. Because usually our songs aren’t necessarily happy or fun because that’s not what we make music for, and I feel like this is a song where we had no boundaries. We are showing off what we can do in terms of vocals or how heavy we can sound and yeah we are having a little dig at those people who say ‘what happened to these guys’ or ‘why aren’t they heavy anymore’. We can still be heavy if we want to!
And it was one of those moments where I remember recording it and we were going with the flow, like we created it not in a serious way, it wasn’t calculated. And it stands out because the song itself is not really a Dream On Dreamer song because it’s not really what we’re about. We’re about lyrical content that is somewhat hopeful and truthful, and this is where we take that and show off that we don’t necessarily need to take ourselves too seriously all the time to create a catchy song.
You’re a pretty tatted up guy, so are most of your bandmates actually. Would you consider getting a Dream On Dreamer tattoo to commemorate your time together? Even the whole band get matching tattoos!?
Yeah, perhaps. The tattoo industry is such a widely spread thing now, and I haven’t really been getting tattoos, although my partner is a tattoo artist so it’s all around me, but she hasn’t done much work on me because I haven’t been tattooed that much. Personally, how I see tattoos, it’s one of those things we did to rebel and stand out when I was 17 and 18 and now I’m 32 this year. I was heavily tattooed before being in a band- I was heavily tattooed in school! And no one else was! It wasn’t even legal when I was 17 and in school in Germany and people looked down on you when you were tattooed and some still do. I was growing up with that, and people looked at you like you were some sort of criminal. But now it’s completely different, it’s more of a fashion thing and for me personally, the meaning of tattoos has become a little distorted.
I don’t regret getting any tattoos and I still love them to this day but if we were all to get tattoos, I feel like there are much more profound ways of us doing that. I’m not saying that it won’t happen!
I don’t want to talk a lot about the Coronavirus but obviously it’s a big part of our lives right now. And because of it, your tour has been postponed. It was supposed to run right through April and May and then that’s it, you can move on. How do you feel about it being dragged out now?
In all honesty, it caught everyone off guard. And we didn’t want it to drag out at all, not saying it’s a drag but we put this into very structural sections over the past year on how we would roll this out. And with the album coming it could potentially backfire on the whole campaign. So if anything it’s a very disappointing scenario we have to go through, not just us but everybody. And some of us had planned things after, too.
You know, there was a strategic way of exiting this and now everything is postponed for a very long time. And another reason we wanted to wrap this up is that it’s always in the back of your mind. I’m not a person that functions well with things being unfinished, I feel that I’m going to struggle a fair bit because it’s still there. And I don’t dislike the fact that it’s there because it will always be there until I die, it’s what I’ve spent over 10 years of my life on, but it would’ve been nice to go to sleep and not have it occupy potential space in my mind that I could be using for other things.
Dream On Dreamer was a priority for all of our twenties and it will always have a huge part of our lives, but we’ve all grown up. It definitely is a little bump in the road, it’s not a great way to do this and there are so many other people involved in this that we all need to work with each other and take it as what it is.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say we’re so glad that you’ve postponed and not cancelled, we’re still so excited to see you all for the last time in 2020, it’s going to be great.
Yeah absolutely it will happen! We’ll be making the most of it.
Marcel, we’ll be sad to see Dream On Dreamer go, but we’ve loved watching the band develop over the years and it’s been a hell of a ride. Thank you all so much and it’s been lovely to chat with you.
Thank you! Stay safe.
Interview by Ebony Story