The Swiss metallars DREAMSHADE have recently
released their new album, ‘What Silence Hides’, through Spinefarm
Records. According to a press release, the CD "sits loosely under the
'melodic death metal' banner, a genre that continues to be developed by
DREAMSHADE's high-profile labelmates Children Of Bodom. But
DREAMSHADE succeed in bringing modern elements to the traditions of
the music — the result being a fresh blend of melodic death and
progressive metal." The band consists of six uniquely talented
youngsters, Lugano's DREAMSHADE was formed in 2006 by guitarists
Rocco and Fella. Their self-financed EP ‘To The Edge Of Reality’,
released in 2008, gained an excellent response around the globe and
during the last two years the band has played several big European
The band's debut album ‘What Silence Hides’ was recorded
at Cave Studios in Switzerland. It was mixed at Studio Fredman in Sweden
and mastered by the legendary George Marino at Sterling Sound in New
York. The 10 tracks featured on ‘What Silence Hides’ are tightly
arranged and expertly played, ranging from the genuinely melodic through
to no-holds-barred, full-tilt fare. Strong haunting melodies, powerful
high-tech rhythms, atmospheric, emotional keyboards, soaring guitar
hooks and aggressive screams and howls, it's all here to be savoured and
enjoyed, the whole thing wrapped up in the powerful artwork of Colin
Marks from Rain Song Design.
In order to get to know this band a little better, we tracked down
Fella (Guitar), Iko (Vocals), Rawi (Keyboards)
and Rocco (Guitar) to answer some questions. Here you can read
what they had to say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com
Could you start this interview off with a short
introduction of the band? How did you guys get together and where does
the bandname come from?
The whole project started back in 2006. Me and Rocco (guitar) were
schoolmates and used to play together in a punk rock band something like
two years before, but he quit because wanted to spend his time learning
to play metal. One day he called me after a long year studying music and
proposed me to put our musical ideas together. We started writing new
material to find the right sound for us and quite soon Rawi (keys) and
Ivan (bass) joined the band. The four of us started having a very great
feeling working together, so we wrote something like 20 songs before the
arrival of our singer Iko. He really had what we required and we
welcomed him as soon as we heard him screaming. In 2008 we decided to
select the best 5 songs we had and we hit the studio to record an EP.
We spent more than one year searching for the right drummer, as no one
was technically able to play our songs. So we asked Sera (drums) to be
the session drummer for our recordings. He has always been known in the
music scene of our area for being one of the greatest drummers. He
learned the 5 songs very quickly and had the feeling that this project
would work, so he joined the band.
The bandname came out somehow in 2007. We were in our
rehearsal room and had a few beers, you know... we were kids and not
able to hold our drinks! Then we spat out some ideas to represent the
meaning of this band. We needed some words to express what this band
means to us so the word "Dream" came out, but a dream is something you
only live when you are sleeping so we wanted our bandname to express
what remains of our dreams, which actually is their shades...
How did you launch into writing material for your album
‘What Silence Hides’ and how much time did you spend on creating the
Well, actually it was a bit hard because first we had to technically
evolve ourselves and then write songs that express our emotions at their
best. The songs on ‘What Silence Hides’ are very different and way more
mature than the ones on our first EP. We took inspiration from many
kinds of music outside metal and then turned what we learned into our
songs, that's why our album sounds new and we believe it's a modern way
to write melodic death metal. At the beginning it was a little bit
complicated to write our material and it took something like two months
to write the title track of this album, because we had to understand
which way to follow to write the rest of the tracks. Usually we write
many songs at the same time, some get finished before others.
Which approach did you choose to create this album?
We had a really great feeling when we started writing material for this
album, we wrote every single riff we created in our minds, even if it
was too hard to play! In those cases we forced ourselves to learn them.
It happened to me many times that I woke up at night and wrote down the
riff I was dreaming. When we relized we had tons of complete riffs, we
just made a strict selection and got rid of the "normal" ones, I mean
those which a musician tags as "not bad" or "nothing special".
How can we imagine you worked on these songs? What's the
typical writing process like for Dreamshade? For example, did someone
write all of the material by himself or was it more of a group process?
Usually, me and Rocco write all the music parts: guitars, bass, keys and
drums. Then everyone re-arranges his lines as he prefers. Iko wrote all
the lyrics on this record and sometimes I would meet with him to write
some parts together, like for example the songs "Only Memories Remain"
and "DeGeneration". We study every song at home by ourselves and then we
play them all together in our rehearsal room. Nothing more than this.
What were the goals you had in mind when you started to
record ‘What Silence Hides’, any elements you definitely wanted to
include on the album?
The first of our goals was to record the album very professionally so we
did everything to play its songs as well as we could. Then we wanted it
to sound really modern and powerful so we put Fredrik Nordström in
charge of mixing the whole record. We are very satisfied with our
product and we really hope that people will enjoy this album.
Could you please describe the implications of the title
‘What Silence Hides’, what does it stand for and is there a special
meaning behind it?
It’s not easy to explain… Daily, we face situations and sensations that
may be hard to express with words, and the only way to understand them
is with gestures and emotions. Words can sometimes be constraining and
only with silence and our deepest feelings we can understand each other.
But that’s just a rough explanation, all the rest can be understood by
reading the lyrics.
About the lyrics, can you give us a little background
about the songs on the album, is there a story behind them?
Glad you've asked me this. I'm particularly happy with
the content and themes of WSH's lyrics. I really put myself and my
feelings into this record; in fact through all the songs I developed the
concept of existence, which really affects and torments me every single
day, splitting the whole album in two distinctive sides: positive and
negative experiences. I'm a human being made of emotions and sensations
that I have to face every day. Sometimes they've turned into the
positive side, where you may find: love, happiness, success, friendship;
of course on the other side you'll find bad and sad stuff: solitude, the
loss of a loved one, hate, anger, sadness and so on...
Let's say this is kind of a concept album.
How important is it to you that people pay attention to
the lyrics apart from listening to the music?
It's one of the things I care about the most! Lyrics make a song as well
as the instrumental parts. I follow many bands in the scene and
absolutely feel incomplete if I cannot reach the whole meaning of a
song, and I believe that a relevant part of it is hidden in the lyrics'
contents. During a live performance I need to share our songs with the
crowd, letting them sing along with me!
If someone was only going to read the lyrics and not
listen to the music, what would you hope they would take from them?
If they did that they would probably think that we are and indie-pop
band! Just kidding.. I hope they can find themselves in my words and my
feelings. For example I'm pretty sure that if you read the whole lyrics
you'd find out that several of the things I write about already happened
to you. In WSH I wrote about daily situations.
Who produced the new album, and what made him the perfect
man for Dreamshade? Can you tell me a little more about him?
Our album was produced by Etan Genini of BlackAce. He is a smart young
guy who mainly manages pop/rock artists and can live from his music
business. He's the owner of Cave Studios, the place we went to record
‘What Silence Hides’. He got interested in our music already in 2008 and
when he discovered we were about to finish the songs for this record he
called me. He loved the way we were working and believed our band may go
far, so he offered to work for us. What I really like about him is that
he relies on us both concerning the business aspects and the artistic
ones: he gave us the liberty to express ourselves without pretending to
modify our songs or anything like that, he just gave us complete
In which elements on the new album can one clearly hear
his vision and ideas?
One can probably not hear his own ideas as the whole album was written
by Dreamshade. The element which was influenced by his help is the sound
How would you describe this album to someone that has
never listened to the band before?
‘What Silence Hides’ is probably what was missing and a lot of people
were looking for in melodic death metal. Those who like Children Of
Bodom, In Flames, Norther, Darkest Hour, Killswitch Engage, Misery
Signals, and melodic death bands in general will probably enjoy our
music. Our sound is the combination of new atmospheres and melodies with
the power of the brutal riffs. It's not only about heavy refrains,
technical shreds and purely agressive sound. There are several emotive
arrangements in our music. Don't get me wrong, it is nothing to do with
emo stuff. I just mean we are very melodic although we play with an
Can you tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of
things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics?
What are you personally into?
Iko writes the lyrics, and he mainly expresses what he feels in his
daily life. When Fella and me write music, we probably express what we'd
like to hear at that moment. It's not easy at all to understand how to
write music. It would be nice if it was. It depends on many things.
Probably when you are very sad you are not able to come up with a happy
riff, but you may find the perfect continuation for that song you didn't
finish.. Anyway what motivates us to wite music is the music itself.
Sometimes you discover a new band which plays exactly what you were
looking for for ages, or it may astonish you with something completely
new which you just can't stop listening to. Then you will live a lot of
experiences and emotions with that music in your mind.. And the idea
that you can make someone feel that way is just... so nice! It's like
giving someone a present and seeing the joy in his eyes, which makes you
feel way better than receiving it yourself.
Could you respond to the following terms in just one word
Metal : is
music. Also like pop, rock, classical, hip-hop, electronic and so on...
Underground : is
waiting to be discovered.
Internet : a
very important part of our lives in today's world.
Religion : the
important is good not god.
Politics : something
that divides people.
The Netherlands : NL
= atlantis, under the sea level
cheese and chocolate
What have been the highlights and low points throughout
The first big success was to play at summer festivals. We played at
Metal Camp 2008 in Slovenia, and that was just our 5th concert. We then
also played at Metal Camp 2009 on the main stage, which was an awesome
experience, we played at Summer Breeze 2009 in front of a very big
crowd, but the strongest experience we lived was when we played with
Amon Amarth in Zurich at Volkshaus. There were plenty of people and our
booking agency came to check us out. Signing with Continental Concerts &
Management and with Spinefarm Records was the first recognition of our
hard work and the first step of our real career. But we aim for way more
We are dealing with the low points right now as the band
is taking so much effort that we have to work part-time, and this
obviously has some consequences..
What is your opinion on the metal scene these days? Is
there anything missing in the scene?
Metal in 2011 isn't as it was 20 years ago. It's much more difficult for
a band to emerge. This comes from different factors. In music and
therefore also in metal, practically everything was already invented
while technology and experience bring many groups to become good bands
with the potential to be successful. Also, the music business is now in
crisis. Internet brings knowledge and helps bands to promote theirselves
but cuts down discographic incomes. Music is always associated with
fashion and if the fashion before was more towards rock music, with
today's several different music genres, there is always less place for
rock and metal music. The attitude today in rock music is different. For
example in the '80s punk, hardcore and metal where under the same
"branch" of music. Today with all the different kinds of music it's much
more difficult for a listener to follow all metal styles (this
obviously holds also for any other kind of music). So this increases
the fashions in our metal scene but closes people's minds, which find it
hard to listen to different kinds of music. What's missing in the scene?
Dreamshade's upcoming album!
How would you describe your own music?
A pool of emotions. Melodic and romantic in some cases but also rough
and brutal like every metal band has to be. Also technique is an
advantage for a musician but this doesn't mean you know how to write and
play good songs.
What makes Dreamshade different from the other bands out
Our music is tagged as melodic death metal and that's correct. If you
listen to Dreamshade you can immediately find similarities and make
comparisons with melodic death metal top acts such as Children Of Bodom,
In Flames or Soilwork, but actually Dreamshade is something new. This
isn't because we need to be necessarily a melodeath band but is probably
because each band member listens to different things, we are all open
minded, so everyone brings something different and new to the band. Our
music is a combination of what we feel and like. So melodeath is where
we started from when we were aged 14 but we try to put in everything
that brings us great emotions. Bands I estimate under musical aspects
and for their attitude are for example Protest the Hero, Architects and
Misery Signals. I think bands like these deserve a great place in
today's and the future's metal scene.
What can we expect from Dreamshade in the near future?
Any touring plans?
we are willing to play at most festivals this year and to tour as soon
as possible and as much as we can. Our booking agency is still looking
for a good european tour for us. It's not easy as we haven’t released
our album yet and many people don't know who we are yet. But we are
ready to pack our things and leave, we just can't wait it! In the
meanwhile we will play at our Release Party in our hometown and at
Finnish Metal Expo 2011 in Helsinki. We have already been confirmed to
other events for this year but nothing’s official yet.
Where do you see the band going within the next couple of
years, and where do you see the band’s musical direction going for the
I am very positive and I really think we will run a long way in the next
two years. This year we will concentrate on live performances and we
will write the songs for the next album, which is planned to be released
in 2012. At that time we should have expanded our fanbase and I hope we
will be able to cross the pacific. You know, we really believe in this
project and we see it’s going very well. That's the minimum we pretend
to achieve and the more we do, the better it is!
We want to be satisfied as much for this album as for the
next one. We will not change our style and one will recognize our sound
but of course we will evolve. We don't want to release a copy of ‘What
Silence Hides’. Our songs are already very different from each other and
we don't "follow" any tendencies, so if you like this album you will
have no problems with the next one. I really love the new songs we
already wrote and all the riffs Fella is inventing.
A last statement?
I'd like to thank you guys so much! It's very nice and it's been a
pleasure that at Metal-experience someone got interested in our music,
that you took the effort to share this with the world, and that you gave
us the possibility to express ourselves with this interview. You guys
To all the readers, I hope you got a good impression of
our band and that you will listen to our music, just enjoy it, and share
it with us at a concert!
Iko – Vocals
Fella – Guitar
Rocco – Guitar
Rawi – Keyboards
Ivan – Bass
Sera - Drums
2010 - What Silence Hides