Power pop-punk trio DREAMERS visited Austin’s Empire Control Room & Garage last month in support of their new EP, “You Are Here.” The band, consisting of lead guitarist and vocalist Nick Wold, bassist Marc Nelson and drummer Jacob Wick, got their first big break in 2014 when their single, “Wolves,” climbed the SiriusXM Alt Nation Alt 18 Countdown. Their new single, “DRUGS,” has also gained traction since premiering on Alt Nation’s new show, Advanced Placement.
By Tess Cagle
ORANGE caught up with DREAMERS after their Austin set on Feb. 12 to learn what they’ve been up to for the past year — from signing a record deal in Disneyland to rescuing a kitten in Texas while on tour. The trio will return to Austin next week for SXSW.
Your tour manager says you haven’t gotten much sleep the past couple nights — what’s been going on?
Wold: We’ve been doing a lot of radio stations during the day. We’ve got to drive the night before, after the show, to make it to that on time, and then we’ve got a show that night as well. It’s nonstop, but it’s great. I mean, this is what we want to do.
Nelson: We’ll usually get like three hours of sleep before radio. But then we’ll have a nap before coming to the venue. And naps are good for dreams. I’ve had lots of wonderful dreams the past couple days.
Wold: You know, Leonardo da Vinci used to have this theory where you could sleep in little chunks like that, instead of one big chunk, so that you could be more productive.
Wick: And you remember your dreams better.
Wold: There are very few people as productive as da Vinci, so he was probably on to something.
Nelson: He was prolific as hell. We try to model our lives like him. We want to be the Leonardo da Vinci of bands.
You guys gained popularity in 2014, but how long have you actually been a band?
Wold: It was really since right around then. I was in a band for a really long time that broke up, and I was in a period of writing songs and not knowing what to do. That’s when I met Nelson. We started this thing and just recorded a bunch of songs in Virginia with an amazing producer. That ended up being the first EP, the “DREAMERS EP.” We came up with the band name after that and we put it out. It was really quick that “Wolves” started playing on Alt Nation, and that’s how it started.
What was that like? Was it an instant breakout moment for you?
Wold: Yeah. I mean, it’s been like a lifetime of making music and learning music for all of us, but this was kind of our second or third draft where we felt like we knew what we were doing better. It happened really fast with Jeff Regan playing us on Alt Nation, because he’s a badass and he can play stuff that he likes that doesn’t already have traction. We got a huge response from the listeners, and that’s what it took.
Nelson: It was really awesome watching that happen. It just kind of started, and then we saw it building online with people tweeting.
What was happening in the year between the release of “Wolves” and your new EP?
Wold: Partying. No, I’m kidding. We didn’t party, we toured a ton. We circled the United States three times. We opened for Stone Temple Pilots for over a month, played with a bunch of bands who are our friends. We signed a record deal in Disneyland. Another thing we did during that year was record our album at Sound City, which is coming out soon. We just released five songs from that recording session, and that’s our “You Are Here” EP.
Do you guys have any crazy tour stories you’ve experienced this past year?
Wold: One time we rescued a kitten in Texas.
Nelson: I’ve been thinking about her a lot actually, as we’ve been driving through Texas. I miss her.
Wick: The cat was on tour for about 10 days.
Wold: We were just at a gas station in the middle of the desert and we heard meowing. We convinced this person to open up the hood to his pickup truck and there was this cat on the engine. The gas attendant had driven to work for like eight miles with the cat on the engine. So we stole her. She had to be bottle fed, she wasn’t eating solid food yet. We just took her in and named her Lil Trucker. Then we found her a really good home.
You guys are coming back to Austin soon for South By. Since there are thousands of other bands coming, how do you plan to stand out?
Wold: We’re going to do the whole South By completely naked.
Nelson: And with pyrotechnics on our body.
Wold: It’s something that’s never been done: we’re going to be naked and on fire. But seriously, I don’t think we want to do anything too different from anyone else. We just always want to do it better and do the best we can and play music.
Check out DREAMERS’ official SXSW showcase schedule here.