How hard was it to come up with a band name and how does the name fit the music?
-As the band started off as a Paradise Lost tribute back then, we had several iterations like I Despair, or Another Desire (which are PL song titles). The original name popped up at the time we started to write the songs for the demo. Dreamgrave is about dancing on a blade’s edge: every human being is driven by high hopes and dreams. The longer one fights for those dreams, for self-definition, pursuing pure happiness the more fragile they become, the more their dreams get vulnerable and at the end even the strongest are able to give up. Dreamgrave is the very place where these crystallized and invaluable efforts remain and tempt forever.
As I am new to your band perhaps a short introduction might be in order?
-Dreamgrave is a dark progressive band from Szeged, Hungary that initially formed in 2007, and after numerous line-up changes, finally came to fruition in September of 2012. Back in the prehistoric days we released a demo, but the first serious effort came in 2014, October when we released the first full length album entitled “Presentiment”. Our sounds marries traditional progressive metal with symphonic, gothic and strong influences from extreme metal. Featuring female soprano vocals alongside both clean male singing and death metal growls, the music bears influences from acts ranging from OPETH and PARADISE LOST to HAKEN. We’re musical storytellers. I think we definitely have a unique approach of how we use different musical ideas to express the emotional rollercoaster, which I can call the most important objective of Dreamgrave.
As I am no musician I have no idea how it works, but how do you make your own music based on what influences you? What parts do you pick?
-Well, speaking of influences I’m quite certain that every single album we’re listening to and like will somewhat influence the melodies, the structures and the overall feeling of the songs we create. We all are coming from really different musical backgrounds: Marcsi is huge fan of Anneke van Giersbergen, and have black metal roots, but also loves Hungarian folk music and has an academic degree in singing. Tomi is more into modern metal, while Peti would vote here for jazz, whilst Krisztina for classical music and Volbeat! 😀 Dreamgrave is a damn melting pot, you see? My roots are coming from the late 80s and 90s: early Paradise Lost, Alice Cooper, a lot of hair metal (I love Warrant!) and my favourite guitarist is Eddie Van Halen. Of couse we have several common idols, like Opeth, Steven Wilson, The Gathering, Paradise Lost, Katatonia, Anathema. In these days I’m personally really into Leprous for example.
When you are in a band does it feel like you are a part of a worldwide movement?
-No, not really. For us it’s purely about self-expression.
How important is it that you look the part in promo shots and stuff? How important is the graphic side of the band?
-Marketing wise it’s – of course – there’s a standard which you certainly have to fit or rather exceed. We definitely put a great emphasis on the graphical production of our releases, just take a look on our digipak illustrations and cover images because of the very reasons I’ll talk in the next answer.
What would you say influences your lyrics? How important are they?
-When some topic is lurking around me for some time, I will eventually form an abstraction and write lyrics about it. If you take a closer look on Presentiment or Monuments digipaks you’ll realise that we always work our ways around a more or less abstract concept, which not just adds an extra layer to the mood and atmosphere to our music, but keeps it open to the listener’s imagination. The thoughts we’ve put into the records are clearly perceptible by taking our physical releases, walking through the texts and lyrics in the booklets and travelling the journey we invite the listener to.
Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-I think it heavily depends on the genre we’re talking about. Prog consumers traditionally still value the “classical” album format the most. That’s simply rooted in the fact that progressive music’s complexity, and especially the artistic charge of compositions needs a more complete and round environment to express and reflect.
Digital is more convenient but yet uninspiring, where the ritual of putting up a record, or just listening to music with whole commitment in overall slowly fades away.
Where will the future of format end – digital verses physical verses whatever?
-A specific kind of people, who dedicate their fullest heed, who celebrate music for what it is will always embrace analogue sound sources, as the colorful randomness, the warm imperfection of these technologies make every single copy a unique experience.
How much of a touring entity are you guys? What is a live experience with you like?
-We have two EU tours in plans for next year. Things have changed a bit since we started negotiations with our new label, so fingers crossed!
We’re not shoegazers that’s for sure! In a couple of months we’ll release some live video taken earlier this year in Budapest. Those will worth a thousand words.
What lies in the future?
-We already have several ideas pinned down for the next chapter in Monuments trilogy. As for now the demos show some more extreme, yet psychedelic direction, and there’s an agreement in the band that we’ll keep feature new instruments on every record. Beside the new record we have two EU tours in plans for next year. Until then we want to release a music video for Drop The Curtain, as well as some live videos just mentioned. A vinyl project is also underway for both Presentiment and Monuments, plus we will prepare a little gift for our followers on Bandcamp, so stay tuned!