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Interview: Josh and Cooper Meyer, Those Who Dream

Cheryl from Blitz sat down with Josh and Cooper Meyer of Those Who Dream, to speak about inspirations for their upcoming album, the new style, and their cool covers. 

What was the inspiration for your new album (‘Life in Cyan’)?

Cooper: So, the inspiration I’d say is just like our life experiences. Like just, everything isn’t always amazing, so we wrote these really deep emotional songs. But then we wanted to just do something a little bit different and sort of subvert the normal sad song, we wanted to do something a bit weirder so we came up with this whole concept of doing these really happy-sounding songs that actually had these really deep lyrics. And, we sort of created a world around it, like we created this ghost character and sort of brought him to life and now he’s on the album cover and he’s like in the Coward music video.

J: We kind of wanted to make it a little more relatable too, I mean like everyone can relate to love songs, everyone can relate to kind of break-ups and all that but there’s not much going around about you know anxiousness and you know the way you view the world and the way you view people and all that. So we wanted to kind of make fans feel a little more comfortable with how they’re feeling and how they might feel growing up. We just wanted to relate on that level too.

C: Yeah, so we were like, we made these songs for people to relate to, I guess. I mean it’s not necessarily gonna be like a lesson or like just necessarily straight up helping them. But it’s just showing them that they’re not alone.

J: Yeah, little peace of mind.

You have previously gained attention on Triple J Unearthed and Rock Sound for recreating every Twenty One Pilots music video and your All Time Low ‘Future Hearts’ medley – will you continue to do covers like this, now that you have the new album (coming) out?

J: Absolutely. Especially through the ‘Future Hearts’ medley, we kind of developed a little bit of a cover style for us that worked really well, which is instead of trying to recreate a song and recreate the instruments they did, just completely throwing out the idea of the original song and just taking the lyrics and making it our own. When we do covers, we don’t let ourselves listen to the original song while we are doing it.

C: Yeah, I tell (Josh) to stop listening to it for that whole week. So yeah, I mean we didn’t intentionally create this um thing for ourselves and people enjoyed it. I think we are going to keep going.

J: People really liked it. For sure. And it’s really fun because it’s almost like you’re writing your own song but with these kind of lyrics that someone else has written.

C: And doing crazy videos, like that’s a lot of fun. The Twenty One Pilots video where we recreated every single video, I mean it was stressful, but it was a lot of fun.

J: For sure, and it’s definitely something that stands out a little more so we will definitely keep going. Yeah, it’s heaps of fun.

Your new single ‘Coward’ is out. Compared to some of the tracks from your first album, ‘Luminary’, it sounds like it borders pop. Was there a specific shift in style, having that really happy upbeat theme. What inspired this change and who or what were your influences for this album?

J: Well really we almost wanted to exaggerate that kind of happiness, so we did these really cool kind of over the top style songs that you know might sound really boppy and kind of contrast in that way. But it is definitely a change from ‘Luminary’, like it’s almost hard to compare.

C: Yeah, and we also wanted to – we’ve been playing lots of live shows since ‘Luminary’ and we wanted to incorporate some of that energy into our songs. Our live shows get pretty crazy and we’re just sort of jumping around going mad and we just wanted to have that in the recording so we just had these really boppy, energetic sounding songs, that just sounded like a party.

J: That being said as well, like ‘Luminary’ was really – we produced it ourselves and it was pretty polished and kind of like, everything was on the beat, everything was right down to the second, whereas with the new EP, we really wanted to give it a little more organic-ness, and a little more kind of charisma to it, to show people what our live shows are about. A lot of what we do is about how we come off live, and how we play the music live.

C: And like influences wise, I mean there were some crazy different ones, on this one. I mean, there was a song that was very synth pop, which is Chvrches influences, you know like Depeche Mode, older bands. There was like, The Summer Set, all different sorts of acts.

Being brothers in a band together, is there ever any sibling rivalry or any challenges when it comes to the music – writing process, recording etc.?

J: It’s kind of funny because I don’t view him as a brother, I treat him as a best friend. And sure, we kind of have banter and we you know fight like siblings, but a lot of the time we’re hanging out as friends.

C: And we are like the exact same person, I feel, it’s like we’re twins but we’re not. And that really helps in the creative process. Like when we are writing, there’s not really that many times when we just completely hate the other person’s ideas. It’s always just like the same vibe and the same feeling. We just add something to each other.

J: For sure, and we’re not even saying this for the sake of the interview. We are really similar.

C:  Genuinely.

J: But, no, the only sort of bickering and all that is over something to do with the band, or something, little tiny things. It’s never kind of crazy fights. We resolve that.

When can we expect to see Those Who Dream in Sydney?

J: Well, we are really excited for the next few months actually. I’m not sure if we can say… I’m going to say September/October, and I’m going to leave that there. We are definitely going to be on the East Coast soon.

What band would you like to tour with?

J: Definitely –

C: All Time Low!

J: Same person, once again. I was going to say that. We just saw All Time Low the other night actually, and it was insane. I met their guitar tech and it was awesome, so we’d love to tour with them.

If you could play any instrument that you can’t already play, what would it be?

J: Saxaphone.

C: Saxaphone… Trumpet.

J: Honestly, that was the first instrument I wanted to play growing up. My cousin, Renee, she always played it and I tried it on and it was literally the size of me at the time. It sounds like beautiful farts and I love that. So beautiful.

So can we expect to hear some sax on the next album, then?

J: Oh this album! We had a session saxophonist. I just wish I could’ve been that guy.

What is the biggest or funniest mess up you’ve had on stage?

J: We’ve had a lot of big mess-ups, but the one, I think, that still haunts us till this day was one of the first shows we played in Perth, and we were really trying to make a cool name for ourselves. We were trying to be real cool. Cooper got on stage, went to plug in his headphones, it was all sick. We were about to start the intro, he hits the cymbals, and the fan behind him – the literal, kind of like cooling down fan – it falls right onto his head.

C: It was not cool, it was not dramatic.

J: But meanwhile, I didn’t know anything was happening so I was just still looking at the crowd, looking like insanely cool. I was a cool guy, while Cooper was like just wiped out by this fan. I was oblivious, I didn’t know what was going on.

Those Who Dream’s new album ‘Life in Cyan’ will be released on May 30, and is available for preorder now.

Keep a look out for Those Who Dream in Sydney, by following them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube.

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About Cheryl Till

Cheryl loves not knowing what to do, including what to write for this bio. She occupies her time with different hobbies, although she isn’t entirely sure if reading and watching Netflix for hours on end as a form of procrastination count as hobbies. You can probably find Cheryl in a comfy chair somewhere, pretending to be productive.

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