Covid has been a shit time for everyone. Bands that have had tours and releases planned have had to scrap plans leaving them in limbo. Tom Christen has come up with a plan for the CD’s and merch he had pre-purchased for gigs to get his next album finished.
I suppose I should start from the beginning., from where I started Dreamworm. I’ve been writing these songs for years and finally started recording them a few years ago with some former band mates of mine. I decided to do an album launch and a video shoot for one of the songs. We had a big launch last year and did a couple of shows. I managed to get some musos together and formed a bit of a band. Obviously this year there has been no live music at all. I’ve put all this money into these recordings, videos and merch – t-shirts and CD’s. I was going to sell them at gigs but of course there are no gigs, so I have this big box of merch. I thought about the idea of doing a crowd fund to do some more recording. But it took me a while to get the balls to actually do it. It’s a bit of a huge step putting your stuff out there and asking people to chip in to help you do it. I thought I could offer people the CD’s and t-shirts and I came up with another few ideas and I thought I could go from there.
I listened to ‘Dreamworm’ obviously it’s a concept album.
The first album is a bit of a concept album. I came up with this idea of the Dreamworms and this story. A lot of my favourite albums have a bit of a theme or concept behind them. I do love a lot of metalcore, I’ve been getting into that scene particularly in the last few years. I grew up listening to the early 2000’s, like Korn, Deftones and RATM. I suppose that has kind of influenced me as well. But I do like prog metal too so bands like Tool, Chaos Divine, Circles and Periphery. My girlfriend calls herself a ‘prog nerd’ she likes bands like Caligula’s Horse, that more melodic prog. I love that too, but I also like the heavier side of prog, Chaos Divine are probably one of my favourite. So there is a bit of that influence I’d say but with Dreamworm it’s a bit more on the groove side. I don’t claim to be a shredder compared to some of those bands, I just like good songs. I like writing good heavy songs with cool riffs in them and melodic parts. I don’t claim to be the greatest singer or guitarist, but I think the songs are good and they are worth putting out there which is why I came around to doing this crowd fund thing.
So what’s the story behind the Dreamworms.
The first album I did it was this idea of the Dreamworm, this mythical beast, coming to this prophecy of swallowing the Earth. HP Lovecraft was an author back in the 1920’s and he wrote all these horror stories about tentacled beast from other dimensions and stuff, so it’s a little bit influenced by that. I’ve read a lot of horror books. Bands like Cradle of Filth have these sorts of themes behind some of their songs. So that first album is really dark and heavy with a lot of those themes. This album that I am working on now, I’ve already recorded a few of the songs and I just want to get the last few done to finish it off. It’s the follow up and it’s a bit more abstract. After we’ve been swallowed by the Dreamworm it turns out that we aren’t destroyed but transformed. That’s the theme around the whole album, transformation. Where the theme of the first album was destruction, death and letting go. Transformation is the theme in a lot of the songs on the new album.
Each song on the first album is different musically.
I try and do that deliberately. I guess because I get bored easily, so I do try and make the songs different. If I notice one of them has a similar riff I’ll change it a little bit just to mix it up.
How long are you running your crowd funding for?
It ends on the 27th November. I set it for about a month.
Mike Trubetskov is recording and mixing this album for me. He’s an awesome guy and we’ve become good friends. He is an amazing musician and producer and we just really clicked. We are both into a lot of similar stuff like Industrial metal and when I told him the sound that I wanted he just got it. I did the vocals and played the guitar and he programmed in the synths, although he did play some. He’s one of those annoying people that is just good at everything. I need someone like that because it’s taken me years to get my singing and guitar to the point were I’m half decent and happy enough to put it out. But producing is a whole different kettle of fish. I’ve been recording demos at home with the little set up I have here but trying to get it to sound good is a whole bag of wizardry that takes years and years to learn.
When you do it yourself it’s really hard to know when to stop. You add all these bits to it and forget you have to be able to play it live!
Yeah. And that is really important to me. It doesn’t have to sound exactly note for note like the CD, but you want it to generally be in the ball park.
Being a musician now is tough. You not only have to be a musician but also a marketer, a social media wizz, you have to have a handle over a lot of different things. Some people can wear all those hats very effectively and some people need help with certain aspects. You need to decide which are the things you want to focus on and which things you want to collaborate with people.
For a lot of us Covid gave us the push into getting our online marketing into gear because that’s the only way of doing things now. I’ve tried to see the silver lining in it in that sense. We can’t do gigs so let’s focus on some other stuff. I’ve worked on my playing and my song writing. I feel that is the best way I can contribute to the scene, by putting out my own stuff.
It will be interesting to see, now as things open up. People were planning shows for later in the year but some of those have been cancelled so know it’s like the next round of people cautiously planning shows for next year. I feel optimistic about it, but you have to start planning at some point. We need to kick start the scene again, it’s not only musicians but people that have stalls at festivals, artists and all those sort of people who have had their income completely gone. We need to think about trying to safely get these things happening again. Online is good but it’s not quiet the same. You can live stream, we have done some as Harshmellow, and it’s better than nothing. But it’s nothing compared to that feeling of being there.
Looking at the future way we do things is something that the scene is going to have to look at because this may well happen again.
Yeah that’s a good point. I don’t know what the answer is. I guess for me right now I’m just focusing on this crowd fund and then the next step. One step at a time. Then next year starting to put out some feelers to book shows with other bands.
Thank you again for your time. I can tell we are both really passionate about the scene. Not even as a musician but just as a punter seeing bands.
You can help Tom ‘s crowdfunding here: https://www.pozible.com/project/the-journey-2?fbclid