Traditionally, the verse/chorus/verse song structure is the preferred choice for most bands and musicians. Easy, simple, and it’s sure to get people listening to your music much easier than if you were to opt for an unconventional structure instead. Dreams & Empires however don’t want to take the easy route, and instead incorporate several different sounds and ideas into their songs: synth, keyboards, string sections, breakdowns and more can be featured in the space of a few short minutes. Obviously, this makes for less songs to make the final cut, “Sometimes we literally just sit and play write full pieces and then ditch them” professes bassist Graeme Tennent. Drummer Craig Jameson can only back this up, saying that “we’re all perfectionists, we’ve scrapped so many songs. We take inspirations from a lot of bands, and we all have different music tastes.” This must be an arduous task towards main songwriter and guitarist Robert Tennent, “I don’t know how I do it or how it works.” he reveals, “It just fits naturally I suppose. I don’t stick to the same genre every song, it’s just a sound were comfortable with; our sound.” Odd to be told that Rob at times also writes some of their material whilst he’s on the toilet. Yeah, moving on…
After being completed by guitarist Alex Dunn and synth player Nick Farrell (who has since left at the beginning of 2011), the band set out to find a vocalist through a MySpace blog, and eventually recruited Christian Johnstone to complete the line-up. Nick’s leaving sadly didn’t come easy on the band’s plans to progress forwards after their EP release, “It’s been quite a speed bump to the progress of the band.” confessed Rob, “It was really just personality conflicts between us as a band and Nick himself. Select members of the band just weren’t gelling with Nick and was becoming a negative force in the band”. “We’re working extra hard now.” added Christian, “We’re down but not out.”
This however didn’t bring things to a complete hold with Dreams & Empires. Soon after Nick’s departure from the group, the band played a selection of support slots for London ambient metal act Devil Sold His Soul, becoming some of the most high profile shows the group had played yet. Not bad for a band who had only formed just over a year ago.
What’s even more pleasantly surprising about this outcome for the band is their lack of material, regardless of how spectacular it may be. To date, the Glaswegian quintet only have a 3-track self-titled EP to their names, which they’re gratefully giving away to download free of charge on their MusicGlue profile (www.musicglue.com/dreamsandempires). “We’re a new band. We just wanted as many people as possible to hear our music.” explained Alex, “Putting it online gives anyone in the world the chance to listen to it. Who doesn’t like free music?” Thankfully, the band couldn’t be more pleased with the reception they’ve received for their debut so far, “Most people that have listened to it have come back to us and told us they enjoyed it so far. Any negativity we got was welcomed.”
With an essential member down, a successful debut leading to a growing fan base, the band are looking ahead to their follow-up release and building upon their current fortunes. “We want to tour the UK, and get a new CD out. Tour as much as possible, play as much as possible. We just want to get out there.” The future could be bright for Dreams & Empires, and with a free EP available, why not give them the chance to achieve that?