Dreamtide: The guys get daring on album number 2.
Helge Engelke and Olaf Senkbeil talk about the brand new Dreamtide album and the songs that make up the new opus.
Interview with Dreamtide guitarist and mastermind Helge Engelke.
I really like the style of the new album - you seem to be closer to a Fair Warning style sound. Was that a deliberate move?
Oops, right the very first one is a question I didn't expect at all. But first of all, thank you.
Having been in Fair Warning for more than 10 years I would have estimated that 80% of the songs on this record NEVER would have been on any FW record.
Maybe I am wrong but that would mean that the tastes of my ex-fellow members have changed drastically.
To answer the question more straight ahead: There was no intention at all, not even a single thought about it, to get closer to FW.
What did you have in mind when you started to write the new songs?
I'm a simple mind, so most of the time there is not much going on there. I wouldn't even say that I write songs. I would call it 'discovering' what - for reasons unknown to me - grew in silence and at a certain point of time wants to be unveiled. For me there is a clear separation between song and arrangement. The song is the melody and the chords. The rest is arrangement. When it comes to arranging songs the mind is
involved. Here the goal was to achieve something which could prove the
compatibility of melody and energy.
These are complex songs - there is a lot going on within each track - is
that your natural writing style?
I didn't think the songs to be too complex. But if you say so, it might be because I get bored easily and I like to add things to make it more colourful.
Is there a theme - a running story between the songs on Dreams For The
None that I know of, but maybe there is.
It's quite a long record - did you record all the songs you wrote for the
I wrote about 19 songs for the album and we picked 13.
I must be honest and say that I thought the production quality of the first album was better, even though I like the songs on the new album way better.
Sorry, but I can't follow here. The way the album sounds is intentional. The goal was to achieve maximum energy. I call it ' tsunami-sound'. The following is not meant as arrogantly as it may sound, but it would have been very, very, very, (did I mention very?) easy to let it sound like the first album.
It was simply not what I wanted. This album was not mixed to match (dated ) standards given by others. Dreams are free.
Somebody sent me the review of Dreams for the Daring on your website and I read about the complaining about the sound. The first thing which came to my mind was my grandmother, who (with a smile) kept telling me the story of how it was when the first railways were build in our area: All the farmers where concerned about the milk getting sour when the trains were passing by at such high speed.
Well, as we know now the milk didn't get spoiled, transportation just got quicker.
Fair comment Helge, thanks. Is it hard to complete these projects on the small budgets that bands have to work with or is it another issue?
No, nobody else but me is to blame.
You have included 3 re-mixes, with three tracks given a rather different - more modern - mix. What was the reasoning behind that idea?
These so called remixes are the original versions of the songs. When we played the first demos to our record companies, they had some objections to some of the sounds used on these versions. After some discussion we agreed to release both versions.
Were you happy with the results and who will you aim these tracks at?
Well, as I said, these versions were the original versions and therefore there are no reasons to be unhappy with them.
The second part of the question is not so easy to answer. I hope I got what you mean.
I don't think, play or write in categories like melodic rock, Metal, or Slayyourmotherdeathtripledistortionmetal.
The only category, which I think in, is music and songs. Whenever I find sounds or ideas for arrangements I like, I use them. These can be things from the past, from different cultures or things completely alien to the (so called) style of music people might think Dreamtide is supposed to play. This sometimes means consciously breaking the rules and limits of what is thought of as melodic rock.
If songs are written and arranged considering a narrow style or label of music, it necessarily means death of inspiration, creativity, and after all, death of music.
Can you tell us a little about each track on the album?
To describe music in writing does not come to me easily, but I'll give
my very best.
An effort to combine high energy with nice melodies. Lyrics are about turning dreams into reality and on whom to count on or not while doing this.
Live And Let Live
Up-tempo, guitar based, without neglecting the vocal lines. Lyrics deal with some bad experiences I made with false friends.
I'll Be Moving On
Quiet beginning then getting more powerful. Hopefully a successful effort to blend a major-key song with power. Lyrics about the necessity of change.
All Of My Dreams
Starting out as a ballad, then getting more complex. Some more or less hidden musical quotes in there.
I'm Not With You
Complex arrangement, still heavy guitars. Lyrics address to people who try to sell you war as some kind of computer-game.
Man On A Mission
rhythm-orientated and heavy at the same time. Again some hidden quotes.
Quite German issue in the lyrics: The eternal quest for truth and the
possible danger of going astray on this quest.
Very heavy guitars, blending with Arabian influences. Lyrics deal with the situation in the Middle East.
Land Without Justice
Dealing with what I've been taught about right and wrong and finding out that neither government nor laws can guarantee justice.
Blend of some 'modern' and some 'old-fashioned' guitar-sounds, adding some keyboards here and there.
Going from an all-keyboard theme to heavy guitars.
Dreams Are Free
Based on a 70's funk- like riff 'translated' to heavy guitars, once the guitars kick in there's not much left of the funk-influence. Funnily, the lyrics are anticipating problems people who expect pure 'melodic rock' from Dreamtide might have with music or sound of 'Dreams for the Daring'.
Again a song of necessary change in live and music. Leaving undesirable things unchanged can sometimes be more comfortable (sweet) than taking the necessary steps. Musically; I don't know.
You Can't Burn My Heart Out
Maybe a ballad. No, not really. Calm and heavy parts. Oh, come on listen.
What is next for Dreamtide - touring? Another album off in the distance
Hopefully touring will be next for Dreamtide. Finishing this album was somewhat strange because there were some songs left unfinished and unrecorded. But people said 'How many songs do you want to put on one album?' Basically that was the reason to stop writing and recording and for entering the mixing/finishing state. There is certainly more to come.
Are you working on anything else you can tell us about?
Is there any contact between you and Tommy now - a few years down the
We never lost contact and we never had any trouble. Even the very day Tommy announced his leaving of FW we were on the telephone. It was clear that our tastes drifted apart, nothing personal.
Anything you would like to add Helge?
No matter what kind of rock you prefer. Dreamtide is meant to reflect a broad variety of rock. Have a listen yourselves and decide if you like it or not.
Thanks for taking the time out to answer these questions!
Thank you for giving us a forum.
Interview with Dreamtide vocalist Olaf Senkbeil.
How are you enjoying your role in the band?
I am very happy that Helge gave me the chance to sing for a worldwide audience. Here in Germany I have only been a singer in a cover band and also for some studio work. That is o.k. for earning your survival money but it is not desirable for the rest of your life.
Because of that I sometimes lost my joy in making music and even in singing. The time of the Blind Guardian choir session on nightfall in middle earth and also when Helge rang me up because of the searching for a singer for his new band made me really happy. He is a very very talented and well educated guy...in music!! So for me it is a pleasure because I am able to learn a lot in producing and songwriting. Also I do hope that my English is going to become better because of Dreamtide and things like giving interviews.
Short version: I do enjoy my role a lot!!!
Your English is fine Olaf! Dreams For The daring is the second album for the band and you as singer - how do you think this album varies from the debut?
The album is a heavier one because when Helge wrote the stuff for the first album he didn't know what kind of band his new one would be - he was not knowing who would be the band members.
That has changed and now he knows how my voice is sounding and for instance the range where my voice is fitting the song material best. - (We hope that we know that ....*lol*)
Did you do anything different vocally on this album?
Not really. The recording sessions have been a bit faster because I also think that I do find my way back to Hard-Rock-Music more and more --- Lost my love in music because of covering too much --- and I think when Helge is writing a song I do know how he feels it and I try to give my best in expression and sound.
At what point do you record your vocals - and how is this process undertaken in the studio?
We did the recordings at Helge's studio near Hanover. He got some soundscape-units and we used the Brauner Valve. I got examples of the songs (Yes Helge should also be a well known singer *smile*) and I sang the verse and also the refrains in a row.
Helge was the controlling guy. It is always good if you have an interested listener (producer) and when we recorded some material we decided which one of the takes would be the one with the best expression.
How would you describe the sound of Dreamtide to someone that is not familiar with the band?
Hard powerful music with good melodies. Classical songwriting well produced sometimes with modern sounds.
Do you have any personal favourites from this new album?
Not a very special one because it changes everyday but "Live And Let Lie" is good catchy one, also I really do love the "Land of Justice" hard aggressive music and actual lyrics.
Tell us about other projects you have sung on over the years...
Well there have been a lot of various things. I started in the eighties with singing in some bands, blues and also German rock music, but the first thing I am really a bit proud of was the band Jacks Hammer (http://www.jacks-hammer.com). We did some nice rockin stuff and have had a lot of fun at that time.
After the death of my father I have had to earn money for my mother and my brother so I started to sing in a cove rband and I also started to sing some studio stuff. Therefore I sang on the "Jamaica-Soundsystem - Every Breath You Take", musical stuff (Stella musical), commercials. I even sang a Greek cover version of the song "Opa Opa".
Nothing what I haven't sung at that time even on the German "superstars" Daniel Kübelböck and Alexander *lol* I sang some choir passages --- good work and good professional team - greetings to Billy.
But I also did some serious stuff like the choir sessions for Blind-Guardian, Helloween, Grave Digger, Freedom Call, Lacrimosa and so on - therefore I do have to say: Thank you Mr Rolf Köhler for inviting me as a choir singer.
Another thing where I am a bit proud of is the CD Bittersweet from another band of mine.
The band named Morphshop (http://www.morphshop.com). That is no hard rock music but also one of my favourites. If you can manage it take a look on the homepage.
Do you have a list of other vocalists or bands that have been your influence and inspiration over the years?
Yes a lot of..... It started with Lennon/McCartney "Oh Darling", Ian Gillan especially the orchestral record 1973 Royal Albert Hall, Coverdale, Dio, Bob Catley, Gordon Summers, John Farnham, Joe Cocker.....and there is no end because there are a lot of good and inspired singing girls and boys throughout the whole world
So I would say the feeling and the inspirited singing of everyone could be an inspiration for myself.
I see you posted some replies on my Noticeboard a few weeks back - do you enjoy the online interaction with fans?
Yes it is so directly and those messages have been really a big fun for me because I talked to guys who really don't like my way of singing. But in the end we had a lot of fun and it was a good talk *lol*!!!
Does the Internet have its disadvantages?
For sure there are always more than only one side.
If you talk about some pornographic sites and also the "illegal" downloading of mp3-Files.
It is good for a band to be able to be known worldwide but you are not going to earn money. Therefore you have to work in different professions for paying your rent and so on.
Maybe this could also be a chance for more life-music and selling CDs without industry like record-companies. Than it will be maybe only necessary to have a good promoter. But as you see this is a theme for hours and hours to talk about and I don't want to bother you.
What CDs are you listening to right now?
Dreams for the Daring *lol* -- but yes I do really, Dead can Dance, Clannad, Stoppock, Zuccero, Helloween and Masterplan
Anything you would like to add Olaf?
Just let me say thank you for your interest in our band
Hope that we will be able to play some concerts in 2004
Best regards and thanks (hope you'll understand my broken English but that's it...)