Kerrang! (UK) - - HOTTEST BANDS OF 2018 -

Here’s a ques­tion for you: how does a UK band get thou­sands of fans across the U.S., rack up four mil­lion youtube views on a sin­gle song and then get signed to an Aus­tralian la­bel, all within six months? No, se­ri­ously, we need to know, be­cause that’s what Swansea na­tives Dream State have man­aged.

“It all hap­pened so fast, it was hard to han­dle,” con­fesses CJ, front­woman of what can ac­cu­rately be de­scribed as one of the UK’S hottest bands. “when I think about it all I start to feel a bit sick. Some­times I feel like I might pop!”

With ac­co­lades and at­ten­tion sud­denly rain­ing upon them, you could as­sume that the post-hard­core quin­tet have had an easy jour­ney. But that’s far from the truth. They’re the prod­uct of a tur­bu­lent en­vi­ron­ment, a bat­tle with ad­dic­tion, and are tes­ta­ment to the power of self-be­lief.

“There are only a few gig venues left near us,” CJ ex­plains. “they’re drop­ping like flies and it’s re­ally sad. The lo­cal mu­sic com­mu­nity is still there, it’s just find­ing some­where to house loads of rowdy gig go­ers and loud mu­sic – that’s the prob­lem.”

This was the first ob­sta­cle Dream State faced and, sadly, it’s not a prob­lem unique to South Wales. with more and more venues across the coun­try clos­ing their doors, these hos­tile con­di­tions could prove fa­tal to some bands. But Dream State saw the chal­lenge as an op­por­tu­nity, and it has al­ready driven them fur­ther than ever seemed pos­si­ble.

“We toured out­side of our scene and re­ally pushed our­selves on­line. we’re not both­ered if peo­ple think we’re some Youtube sen­sa­tion; if we’re suc­cess­ful within our world then we don’t care what badge peo­ple put on us.”

Quiet con­fi­dence and un­wa­ver­ing am­bi­tion have quickly be­come the band’s call­ing card. their shows are raw, pas­sion­ate and pow­er­ful af­fairs, with scyth­ing riffs and CJ’S ra­zor wire-wrapped vo­cals served up in abun­dance, and this en­ergy has trans­ferred re­mark­ably well into the sin­gles and videos that fans are rins­ing on re­peat on­line.

Com­par­isons to la­bel­mates Ar­chi­tects, as well as the likes of Alex­ison­fire and A Day To Re­mem­ber, have been drawn thus far, but Dream State aren’t in­ter­ested in ap­ing the achieve­ments or the sounds of any­one else. they’re con­cen­trated on be­ing them­selves and them­selves alone.and in CJ, they have a fo­cal point who can help set them apart. Not that she’s en­tirely com­fort­able with that.

“I some­times have is­sues with anx­i­ety,” the front­woman ad­mits, “but all of that dis­ap­pears on­stage. When I’m singing, I can be a voice for hurt peo­ple, in the same way that bands like Linkin Park and Slip­knot were a voice for me. Be­ing on­stage is a free­ing feel­ing.”

Even the band’s break­through sin­gle, white Lies, is the prod­uct of great ad­ver­sity. CJ found her­self bat­tling sub­stance ad­dic­tion and ac­com­pa­ny­ing men­tal health is­sues, but through mu­sic she found an out­let to over­come her demons.

“I re­mem­ber sit­ting down to write White Lies and think­ing, ‘i need to be hon­est with my­self.’ I’d hit a wall and mu­sic be­came ther­apy for all the bad habits

I had. I don’t want to be seen as some sort of bro­ken in­di­vid­ual,” she con­tin­ues, de­ter­minedly. “i’m some­one who got them­selves out of a bad stage, but the song it­self was a com­plete sur­ren­der.”

Un­be­knownst to CJ, her abil­ity to dig deep and con­front those is­sues would ul­ti­mately be the spark that would light the fire (“To me, white Lies is a sign that my life is better. with­out ad­dic­tion, great things have hap­pened since,” she con­cludes). with the track spread­ing like wild­fire on Youtube, the band were ap­proached by a hand­ful of record la­bels and quickly signed with Aus­tralia’s UNFD.

And the at­ten­tion they were sud­denly get­ting wasn’t limited to on­line fer­vour or record la­bels. their on­line pop­u­lar­ity in the States trav­elled back across the At­lantic and soon their shows around the UK were flooded with new fans.

“Sud­denly we weren’t play­ing to 40 peo­ple, we were play­ing to 200.We also get asked by fans when we can tour Amer­ica,” the front­woman says. “the plan is to get out there even­tu­ally, but we want to tour the UK more first. then we can play in Europe.and then we can tour in Amer­ica.”

So, if you’re in Dream State, how do you cel­e­brate all of your hard work be­gin­ning to pay off? Ap­par­ently, you don’t.

“Hon­estly, we haven’t had time to have a proper cel­e­bra­tion.we haven’t popped any cham­pagne, we’re just get­ting on with things,” she con­sid­ers, mo­men­tar­ily, “i need to walk out on­stage to a huge fes­ti­val crowd for all of this to re­ally hit me.”

Thank­fully, she’ll soon have the chance to do just that at this year’s Down­load – a fes­ti­val close to the band’s heart.

“We go to Down­load ev­ery year. I’ve been about five times. we’re there from the Wed­nes­day right through to Sun­day and we camp, come rain or shine. I never thought I’d be on the other side of those stages.”

If any­one should know what makes a killer Down­load set then it should be this lot.and it’s no sur­prise to learn, given how rapid their rise has been thus far, they’re al­ready think­ing of head­lin­ing the whole thing one day. Yep, you read that cor­rectly. this lot aren’t mess­ing around.

“That’s the ultimate dream [for the band] and I be­lieve we can do it. we’ve blown up so much in a rel­a­tively small amount of time, we have the power to get there. Fuck it, I re­ally be­lieve that. I be­lieve in us 100 per cent.”

Well, we de­manded an­swers and now we have them.to date, the se­cret to Dream State’s suc­cess is a heavy dose of de­ter­mi­na­tion, un­wa­ver­ing self-be­lief and the abil­ity to dig deep in the face of ad­ver­sity. The only ques­tion re­main­ing, then, is where will that com­bi­na­tion take them? Based on the last year alone, it’s safe not to set any lim­its…


Man, Star Wars movie ti­tles are get­ting weird…

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