Now this is a classic Pennsylvanian metal band. If you have not heard of DREAM DEATH it is simply because they never got the chance that they deserve. Tracking down their “Journey Into Mystery” album is like trying to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
Why didn’t DREAM DEATH make it big? What was it that went wrong?
-Was there ever a chance of that? I doubt it. The music is too non-linear, non-commercial, non-whatever. There was also too much heartbreak on many levels associated with DD. Things never bounced our way. So we moved on. Penance, for example, was a way to start with a clean slate.
How does it feel that you have a cult status and that many hail your debut LP as a masterpiece?
-I don’t know if it’s true or not but it feels great. To have created music and know other people enjoy it is what it’s all about really. The reason you started playing in the first place. Anyone who puts out music and has it remembered 20 plus years later should feel honored.
What kind of label was New Renaissance to be on? How much support did you get?
-Shit and none.
What is it that makes you want to continue with DREAM DEATH to this day?
-I think there’s still something to say with the DD sound. My interest lies in the fact that there are no rules with this band. Of course there are still things that make it uniquely Dream Death. Creating heavy music with a lot of aggression and movement is Dream Death’s raison d’etre.
When you started all those years ago what was it that defined your sound? How did DREAM DEATH end up sounding like DREAM DEATH?
-Just being metal fans really. I think when Mike and I started writing it was a bit of a backlash against thrash. Not that we didn’t like thrash bands, quite the opposite, but it seemed like there were too many coming out at one time. I felt that sometimes the speed thing took away from the heaviness. We wanted to be heavy.
To me the whole of Pennsylvania is like a hot bed for metal. Why do you think that metal is such a great thing in your state?
-Well, I can only speak for Pittsburgh. It was great timing in the 80’s with several quality bands forming at the same time. Many fans latched on to those bands and started bands themselves. The scene in Pittsburgh was fairly large back then.
What was it like to be a part of the metal scene around the time of your first LP? How different is it today?
-It was an exciting time. Many new bands. Always meeting new people. I’m not sure how the scene is different today. For one thing, I’ve noticed that many people today are appreciative of older bands and the history of metal. Back then, I’m not so sure……
When you write songs today do they come naturally or do you have to think about what you write? How different is the sound of DREAM DEATH in 2013?
-In the older days we’d just try to come up with “the riff” and then build around that. Today I like to roughly plan out the whole song in my head and then get working on the entire piece. Many times what’s in my head isn’t what ends up coming out but instead takes some twists and turns. I’ll then demo the material and present it to the other guys who will make changes or add their own bits. I hope that the 2013 DD is a progression on the older stuff.
You’ve released a comp of old stuff. What kind of feelings ran through your head when you compiled the songs?
-Well, Mike compiled them. I wrote the liner notes. This was the first time that I listened to this music in quite a long time. I was surprised how well the music still held up as well as it’s slightly experimental nature. It definitely peaked my interest in creating new music.
What does the future hold?
-You never know with this band. DD3 hopefully…………