Have you ever wanted to form a band? You don’t know where to start but all you do know is that you have the passion to create music as a team. I had the privilege of sitting down with Berklee band Dreamer and Son to talk about the motivation and confidence that it takes from once being just solo artists to now functioning as a team to create a strong musical idea.
As their community eagerly waits for their first EP “Written Off // Moving on” the band discusses the steps they took to perform and write music as Dreamer and Son.
“Every step is a victory, every win is worth throwing a party. No matter how it goes this will be a win” – Jake Sierzega
Who are your current band members to date?
Sayak: Our current band members include me Sayak Das on vocals and guitar, Jake Sierzega as the bassist, and Matt Bolton also on guitar, Josh Parra Drums.
Can you tell us a brief history of your band?
Sayak: So yeah last year, it’s my freshmen year at Berklee and I see all these upperclassmen doing all this crazy stuff. Kyle Thornton won a trip to play Lollapalooza and some of them are playing all these crazy cafe shows. I am just sitting here thinking, how am I going to fit into all of this? I don’t have the technical skills, I am not a Berklee drummer or I am not a Berklee vocalist but what I am though is a songwriter. So I took songs that people had forgotten about and wrote arrangements that made them fresh and new. I played those songs in a style that I liked. Then I posted a cover of me singing “Hey There Delia” by the Plain White T’s. It had gotten a few good reviews. But then I got kind of tired of sitting on the idea of putting stuff out and never performing. Which was something that I really wanted to do. So then I had seen Jake, Josh, Matt and Jonathan with their bands. Jake was with Goodbye 617, Jonathan was with Mo Booth, Matt was playing with Hallow Now, and Josh was with The Oversight which I was also playing some keys for at the time. I just wanted to play one show. Then it all really started at the first practice. We in our hearts that this wasn’t going to be a one show type of thing.
Jake: It was pretty unbelievable. Josh had come in later at rehearsal to fill in for Jonathan. We only had about 20 minutes left to rehearse and we knew that this was something special.
What happened to Jonathan? Does he still go to Berklee?
Jake: Jonathan decided to go to Valencia. He left the band in peace. There were no hard feelings at all. He just wanted to go do his thing in Valencia.
Sayak: There was no drama at all. At first we all didn’t want to say that we were a band because everyone was already a part of other groups. Sayak didn’t want to steal them away from their other groups.
How long after your band formed was your first show? Where was the first show? What was your first show experience like?
Sayak: The first show was a life changing experience. It was at this point we weren’t Dream and Son. We had not established ourselves as a band because everyone was still a part of their other groups.
“It was the best day of my life”- Sayak Das
Jake: There was a lot of commitment to the group. After the first show Josh decided to cancel his Valencia plans.
Sayak: I remember sitting in the Uber after the show. Now he doesn’t make rash decisions. He just came out and decided on the spot that he wasn’t going to go to Valencia to study abroad.
Jake: Then we were like, what now?
Sayak: Then we played another show at the Middle East in Cambridge Mass. This was all in the Spring of 2015. That was it for shows for that semester. The first was at “Middle East” on March 31st of 2015.
What genres of music do you mostly perform?
Sayak: We are a Rock band. We have influences from everywhere. We are everything from Coldplay, Muse, the 1975, and the Japanese House. We want our music to be an organic mix. Our music gets to the point. We know who is going to like it. We want our music to be intelligent with catchy courses but with something to appreciate. We wanted to add crazy chord progressions. They sound simple to someone to someone who doesn’t have a trained ear. Other students will respect that. There are a lot of students that are doing well in the real world but not doing well at Berklee. We want to be a collaboration of the two and appeal as to many people as possible. Bringing different communities together and just people who love music as music as we do.
What have fans been saying that stood out to you? How is your progress?
Sayak: When ever someone says something to us about our band we think “Wow”. When someone we didn’t know knew our band I was ecstatic. Someone had commented on one of our videos and said “I can’t wait for you guys to tour the UK” and I was like wait? What? The UK We haven’t gotten that far yet. Her name was Jose leek? She was from the UK. From then on were trying to build more followers.
What message are you trying to send to your listeners when you perform your music?
We want our show to be about the passion and raw energy getting to other people. That is the foundation about what the band is built upon. One of our greatest achievements as a band is when we made the video cover of “Over My Head” by The Fray.
A lot of students at Berklee try to form bands. What advice would you give to other students on creating a Berklee based band? (Promotion, dedication, collaborating)
Sayak: The biggest thing you can do, as a freshman is play with as many people as possible. Watch your peers. Observe other students that are in your class, get to know everyone. The best thing you can do is being as social as possible but don’t let it control what you want to do. Don’t follow the crowd. Still be your own person and stick to your own dreams. Strive for what you want to do.
Jake: If you have a gut feeling follow you’re gut feeling. If something doesn’t work out. Go back to your gut feeling. It starts mental. Everything they want to do. If you get to the point to where what you want to do takes over you and ever fiber in your body is that thing, then you will be able to do. Opportunities come when you look for them. I want to be a rock star, but that would not have been at first glance if it did perform at Sayak’s first show. One thing leads to another. Sometimes our dreams and goals are in the places you wouldn’t know to look. Play with everyone and be surrounded by everyone. I might not have not seen the opportunity if I didn’t do this.
Sayak: If you think you’re the best in your town and you’re banking on that then you won’t get very far. Stay humble. Just cause you were the best in your high school doesn’t mean anything at Berklee. Get respect from your peers.
Where do you see the band a year from now? What are your goals for 2016? What are some obstacles?
Sayak: First the EP is coming out. Then we are going to try to plan our tour. It’s going to start in Boston and go through Canada back through Niagara Falls, through New York and then back to Boston. This is to get the EP to as many people as possible. That is up until the summer. This summer we will be collaborating and writing discussing the Fall plans. We have a rough idea for making an acoustic EP instead. By 2017 a goal is to at least have our music into the hands of the people who want to listen.
Be sure to join Dreamer and Son February 24th at The Red Room in Café 939 on Boylston St in Boston Massachusetts. For tickets and further information click here.