Interview: DREAMSENSE

Russian symphonic metal act Dreamsense are a new name on the scene. They recently launched a music video of Nightwish cover for “Slaying the Dreamer.” The band is working on their debut album to be out later this year or in early 2019. Rocking Charts talked with singer George Ognev, guitarist Ilya Dykin, bassist Tony Shabbat, drummer Alex Ziegler and guitarist Sasha V.

Hey guys. How are you doing?

George (vocals): Very well, thanks! Looking to the future with enthusiasm and working on our next release.

You recently launched a music video and a single of Nightwish cover “Slaying the Dreamer.” How do you feel about releasing it?

Sasha V. (guitar): Yes, we recently released a very good cover of a very cool song, so if someone did not have time to watch the video and listen to the track, check it out 😉 it was a great experience, a lot of work has been done and I think it’s not for nothing. It was a great experience. 

George (vocals): To be honest, now we feel great and very happy with the result! There were many obstacles on our way to this release, and many of them seemed impossible. For example, we decided to shoot a video a week before the release. It was kind of crazy and it was a very big challenge for us, but we did it. So now we are very happy that we can finally sleep peacefully for a while 😀 

Ilya (guitar): As for me, this is the beginning of the “active phase” of the band, so I am pretty excited!

Alex (drums): All of us are super excited! It’s our first release in current roster and we are very proud of the result.

Dreamsense - Slaying the Dreamer

How much of a challenge was to work on arranging the song?

Sasha V. (guitar): In general, there were no difficulties with the video, even though we decided to shoot it very unexpectedly, but with the song itself there were a lot of problems, as I heard. Me and Tony (bass) are new ones to Dreamsense and we don’t know the whole story.

George (vocals): From the moment we chose this song for the cover, we realized that this song would not sound like the original. The original song was released on the album when Nightwish did not use the full orchestra. So we thought it would be cool to make it sound more our style, with an orchestra instead of keys. In addition, we tried to keep the original spirit of the song, but made it sound much darker. We wanted to make our dreamer more like a fighter who can stand up for himself, who will not stand still, but will resist. Also, it was a challenge for me as a singer to achieve those high Opera style notes (G5) at the end of the song. Because people told me that men couldn’t sing that part, and I wanted to prove to them that it is possible. It was part of a dream that came true ☺ 

It’s come to my attention that you are also working on a debut album. What can we expect?

Alex (drums): it will be a blast!

Tony (bass): Something really beautiful.

Sasha V. (guitar): I’m not sure that I can cover this topic, but yes, we are working on an album. The songs all sound great, the workflow is quite smooth, but not without nerves. But I can say with confidence that the album is very well thought out and all the songs sound great, soon you will be able to hear it yourself.

George (vocals): I can’t tell you much about it. But you can expect the 11 stories in 12 songs. There will be songs we’ve played before, as well as a few songs that no one has heard before. On this album we tell stories from our lives. They are all different, and to be honest, most of them are not about happiness. But the whole message of this record is how not to lose hope and whatever happens – keep moving forward to your dream.

Ilya (guitar): You can expect some really good music, we spend a lot of time writing them and bringing them to decent quality, so I hope you will appreciate the album. 

George Ognev (vocals)
George Ognev (vocals)

What is your opinion about the current symphonic metal scene?

Sasha V. (guitar): The symphonic scene is quite interesting. I believe that this scene, if it does not develop, it certainly does not deteriorate. The guys working in this style try hard and write really great music. And the very fusion of heavy music with orchestration sounds organic, deep and subtle.

George (vocals): I think that symphonic metal scene was always interesting.

Ilya (guitar): I am not interested in the current state of symphonic metal. I play and write this style of music, so that’s enough for me.

Can you tell me something about your influences?

Alex (drums): as for me here come While She Sleeps, Oceans Ate Alaska, Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine

Tony (bass): If we talk about the current releases, for me it is Meg Myers’ last album – Take Me To The Disco.

Sasha V. (guitar): our band influenced by such bands as Nightwish and Within Temptation. Personally, I was always listening to more heavier music and bands, such as: Megadeth, Children of Bodom, Arch Enemy, Dir En Grey. These great bands influenced me as a guitar player. 

Ilya (guitar): in my childhood I saw a Metalocalypse on a TV, so this was a “Firestarter” of my love for metal.

George (vocals): The most important thing that influenced me – was my grandmother and our visits to the theaters when I was a child. I remember as if it was yesterday, I was 5 years old and we came to listen to “Carmen” by George Bizet. I was very excited about it because I heard Carmen aria “Habanera” once and totally fell in love with it. Since that day, I couldn’t live without music at all. Then there was Rammstein, and their work opened doors for me to the incredible world of heavy music when I was 11 years old. So it was only a matter of time before my love of classical music collided with my passion for hard style music.

Tony Shabbat (bass) and Alex Ziegler (drums)
Tony Shabbat (bass) and Alex Ziegler (drums)

What are you listening to these days?

Alex (drums): Taylor Swift’s “Reputation”, “You Are We” by While She Sleeps and of course “Gravity” by BFMV

Tony (bass): Mainly Meg Myers, Attila, Asking Alexandria and Texas Hippie Coalition.

Sasha V. (guitar): Now I am listening to a lot of Japanese music, like Dir En Grey, the Gazette, Tk From Ling Tosite Sigure and Buck- Tick, I’m listening to heavy music like Slayer, Death, Megadeth, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Children of Bodom, and also something more or less classic like Guns N ‘Roses, Mötley Crüe, Black Sabbath, I love a bit of core music like Architects, Thy Art is Murder, Obscure of Acacia, Jinjer, sometimes I listen to rap artists such as Ghostemane, Mgk and scarlxrd.

Ilya (guitar): Galaktikon II is my jam right now.

George (vocals): I’m listening to many different genres. One day it may be Arch Enemy, another Lady Gaga. A couple of months ago I’ve been listening to Vivaldi’s and Handel’s arias, they were amazing.

Your 5 favourite records of all the time?

George (vocals):
– “Carmen” Metropolitan Opera 2008 staring with Elina Garanca
– “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” OST by John Williams
– “The 2nd Law” by Muse
– ”Ceremonials” by Florence and the Machine
– “Imaginaerum” by Nightwish

Alex (drums): “Led Zeppelin IV” – Led Zeppelin, “Avenged Sevenfold” – Avenged Sevenfold, “Thriller” – Michael Jackson, “The Dark Side of the Moon” – Pink Floyd, “Red” – Taylor Swift

Tony (bass): It really depends on when question asked. Right now I vote for these: Meg Myers – Take Me To The Disco, Paramore – Brand New Eyes, A Day To Remember – Common Courtesy, Attila – Chaos, Stone Sour – Hydrograd

Sasha V. (guitar): Dir En Gray – Dum Spiro Spero, Death – The Sound of Perseverance, In Flames – A Sense of Purpose, Mötley Crüe – Dr. Feelgood, Children of Bodom – Are You Dead Yet

Ilya (guitar): Carcass – Heartwork, Celtic Frost – Monotheist, Sylosis – Monolith, Tool – Aenima, Godflesh – Pure

Sasha V. and Ilya Dykin (guitars)
Sasha V. and Ilya Dykin (guitars)

Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?

Alex (drums): First of all, it’s all about album and live shows. These two things are mostly important for us at the moment.

Tony (bass): Go on a date with Emilia Clarke. [laughs]

Sasha V. (guitar): I think that the album is a priority. Of course, we will try to make our listeners happy with live shows. We will write together new music and try not to die. [laughs]

Any words for the potential new fans?

Alex (drums): Never give up your dreams, be yourself and stay tuned 😉

Tony (bass): Hi, this is Tony. I hope you’ll like our record so we can make an eye contact at one of our concerts.

Sasha V. (guitar): Guys, I hope you enjoy our new work, check out the cover version of Slaying the Dreamer. In General, I hope that you will listen to our songs and if they bring you some emotions, we will be sure that our work was not in vain. Thanks to everyone who supports us and I hope that the Dreamsense community will only grow. Thanks and good luck!

George (vocals): Listen to our music, keep an eye on news about upcoming album and enjoy your life! Because life is really wonderful. And one more thing: don’t stop dreaming. 😉

Visit Dreamsense’s official website for more information, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. “Slaying the Dreamer” single is available from iTunes.