Metal band, Dreamshade rocked out in South Africa in 2014 and are excited to be heading back to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and PE this month.
They formed in 2006 in Lugano, Switzerland and consist of Kevin Calì (Vocals), Fernando “Fella” Di Cicco (Guitars, Vocals), Luca Magri (Guitars), Gian-Andrea Costa (Bass Guitar) and Serafino “Sera” Chiommino (Drums).
The band released their first EP “To the Edge of Reality” in 2008 and then released their full length album “What Silence Hides” in 2011.
Their latest album “Vibrant”, with songs like “Where My Heart Belongs”, “Up All Night” and “It’s Over”, features new music genre influences like Alternative Rock, Electronic and Rap. This highlights how this metal band evovle with their sound.
They dropped new music over the course of last year and we anticipate new material very soon.
There seems to be an illustrious Metal scene in Switzerland, from Messiah, to Poltergeist, Tribes of Cain… what makes Dreamshade different from the others, and explain the scene in Switzerland?
“Switzerland is a small but prolific country, I’m also surprised on how many bands we have, and the most interesting thing is that several types of metal are covered. The good thing is that people are quite open-minded so it can be that on the same stage you can find us and Eluveitie (probably the most famous folk-metal band at the moment). We find this cool because we actually love to listen to different music genres, from rap to electro, not necessarily metal. We are probably the ones trying to go more to a “melodic” direction, keeping the energy high and spreading positive vibes with the lyrics; this is probably what makes us different.”
I would like to get to the know the band, so how did Dreamshade come about?
“Same good old story: kids from the same neighborhood at the same school who want to start a band ‘cause they love music! Fella and Rocco started Dreamshade more than ten years ago. In the following years, Sera and Kevin have joined the band, then me five years ago and finally Luca. But we could say that Luca was already with us before: he already replaced Rocco as guitar player during some past tours, he was our FOH engineer and also did some other stuff for the band. Anyway, we all have known each other for many years, even before joining the band. We come from the same small region in the South of Switzerland and we all live very close to each other (Fella lives 5min. walk from my place, 15min. from Sera…). Maybe we didn’t grow up together since the beginning, but we definitely share the same roots.”
With each album/EP you seem to be reinventing your sound with different influences – you have been working on new material and released your new single ‘On My Own’ last year; can you give us a taste of the new material and what elements will you guys be adding to this new album?
“I’ve got to be honest, maybe it’s a little bit too early to talk about an album. We’re are working on many new songs and we’re very satisfied. We have released “On My Own” and “Question Everything” to let people know the new path we have taken. These two songs are really representative of the sound we’re pursuing, and I really hope we’ll release one more song in the next few months. In my opinion we’re in a good spot between “Vibrant” and “The Gift of Life” at the moment, we’re keeping the rich vocal arrangements of Vibrant with some more “Swedish” metal riffing on the guitars.”
Out of all your songs, if someone, who had never heard of Dreamshade before, asked you to sell them on who Dreamshade are at the moment, which song would you play them and why?
“Definitely “Question Everything” because it has plenty of elements we love: catchy refrain, crowd choirs, some shredding guitar riff in the verse, one of the best bridge we ever wrote, a melodic guitar solo and, selfishly (and joking a little bit), this is one of the first times that I’m very happy with my bass sound. But that’s my problem, I’m that kind of “never-happy-overly self-critical-fu*****-boring” guy ☺ !”
You have had an incredible ride as a band – is there any one moment that stands out for you and why?
“Probably the last time we were in China at the Forest Festival in Nanjing. We had the best slot on the main stage in front of many thousands of people, but it was raining as hell. Because of a stormy wind, the stage was completely wet and we were wet as well, like if we were falling into a swimming pool with our instruments. But the crowd was amazing, and we played the entire show jumping all around even though it was quite risky. The only concern we had was that the organizer might stop the festival for safety reasons, but it turns out he didn’t do it. I’ve a memory of me and Luca at the hotel after the concert drying the guitars with the hairdryer, that was really fun!”
You loved South Africa so much, that you decided to return, much to the excitement of your fans – what will make this tour different from the previous visit to South Africa?
“That’s fun because for me it’s going to be the first time in South Africa, I joined the band just after they came back home last time. You can’t imagine how excited I am, I’m also a big fan of Die Antwoord, Civil Twilight and Neill Blomkamp’s movies! Even if I wasn’t there the first time, I could say that Dreamshade have made hundreds and hundreds of concerts in the past five years all over the world and we definitely (and hopefully) earned more experience. We’re preparing a setlist with the latest singles and a great mixture of songs from “Vibrant” and “The Gift of Life”.”
Are there any bands at the moment that you guys are listening to or that are inspiring you, and why?
“This is the hard one, because we all listen to many different music and quite far from the music we play. For example, me, Fella and Kevin listen to a lot of Italian rap (because Italian is our native tongue), but I wouldn’t say that it influences our music. I’m a lot into the British rock and new wave of the ‘70s and the ‘80s at the moment (Police, The Clash, The Who, Depeche Mode) but this definitely hasn’t anything to do with us as well. But what I could say is that when we were talking about the guitar sound for “On My Own” and “Question Everything”, we used a couple of songs from Bullet For My Valentine as a reference. To answer your question, maybe Linkin Park and Don Broco are still the most inspiring ones for us.”
For more information about the tour go to: http://www.bsharpentertainment.co.za/dreamshade-return-to-south-africa/
Dreamshade have also added Port Elizabeth to their South African tour. The show takes place on the 14th February at The Music Kitchen with support coming from Truth & Its Burden and PE’s very own All We’ve Known and Mezzanine Floor.