Interview with Daydream XI by Derek Avila

May 19th 2015

We had the pleasure to interview Daydream XI regarding their first full-lenght album: The Grand Disguise.

Hi guys, thank you for doing this interview.

Perfect Prog: First of all, Let's talk about Daydream XI, its past and current plans.

Tiago: Hi! First of all thanks to Perfect Prog for the opportunity! It's our pleasure.

Daydream XI started on 2008, when we gathered our first songs to record our EP called Humanity's Prologue, which was released in 2009. The Current lineup came to be on 2012 when one of the guitarists left the band and I started to play, as well as singing.

In the past, we were fortunate to play alongside some great acts like: Angra, Paul Di'Anno and Symphony X, here in our hometown.

And in 2014 we were invited by Mike Portnoy, through the Sixthman Soundcheck contest, to play on Progressive Nation at Sea, alongside some of the leading acts in Progressive music these days.

PP: I think that lineup matches your music

Marcelo: Thanks, Derek! I think this is our best lineup ever too, but I'm a fanboy of my own band, so... (laughs)

Tiago: Yes, I think we are very comfortable with it right now and it will probably stay as a quartet.

PP: What are your influences and favorite bands?

Tiago: Influences are vast: Dream Theater, Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Symphony X, Devin Townsend, Periphery, Animals As Leaders, Tesseract, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Rainbow, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple. I'm also a very big fan of Soul, Blues and Pop. I like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson as much as I like any Prog or Heavy Metal band. I also listen to a lot of classical stuff as well. Orchestrated things and movie scores and games songs: Big choirs and string arrangements.

Marcelo: This is a really tough question... It goes from The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Yes to a lot of heavy metal stuff: Iron Maiden, Metallica, Opeth, Dream Theater; to some punk rock like Blink 182, Millencolin, Lagwagood, some grunge: Foo Fighters, Nirvana. Some Jazz players like Charlie Parker and Wes Montgomery. Also Steve Vai, Guthrie Govan. It's really hard for me to answer that, because listening to music is something that I do all day long and I do listen to a lot of different stuff and try to be influenced by it all so I won't be stuck in a style of playing.

Bruno: I like Progressive Rock a lot. Like: Genesis, Rush, Pink Floyd and I'm a big fan of Blues, Jazz, Soul and Funk. Actually I have a band that plays funk and soul.

Daydream XI: At the end of the day, If the music is well played, well written and has something to say to us, we don't really care about genre.

PP: And now about your album: How long did it take "The Grand Disguise" to be finished?

Tiago: Basically we spent a whole year, from the first day of the tracking of the drums to receiving the final master from Jens. Ten days for the drums, about two or three months of guitars and basses and another month of vocals.

Bruno: I recorded in ten days, eight hours each day. It was exhausting.

Marcelo: Not to mention the whole writing period. Too much happened, like lineup changes and stuff like that. While we were working on the songs. So it took a lot longer than we wanted, but I guess it was for the best.

Tiago: But in the next album things will be different! Trust us!.

PP: Good things take time. Yours is an amazing album.

Marcelo: Thank you very much, man! We really appreciate that you like it so much.

The feedback we've been getting is amazing! We were expecting some good reviews, I guess, but not as many compliments as we are receiving. It's been mindblowing.

PP: What was like working with Jens Bogren?

Tiago: Scary... hahahaha

We were really frightened at the beginning, because we thought he would rip the songs apart and change a lot of stuff. And guess what? He did!

But our biggest fear did not come true. The title track is the one he liked the most and suffered the least amount of changes all the way.

He is a great guy with a very objective view. And it was one hell of a pleasure to have a guy who worked with such big names in the market to, in some level, give some recognition to our job.

Marcelo: He gave us great input on what we could do to make our songs even better than they were in pre-production.

I think working with someone like Jens on your first album is scary too because he has worked with such great bands like Soilwork, Pain Of Salvation, Symphony X... So you feel like... "He's gonna say we suck!" - But he really liked our work and helped improve it. It was an amazing experience!.

Tiago: I froze when he complimented my singing! I thought: "this guy has mixed Russell Allen and Daniel Gildenlow... Oh my God!"

PP: What's the prog scene like in Brazil?

Tiago: The prog scene in Brazil... We have very few prog bands but they are all very good. Bad Salad, Jack The Joker, Deventter, Atlas Of Conscience.

It's a very small scene, even though it's been growing very fast. I think we have some hope for the future of prog music in the country, but it's not very strong right now. But quality over quantity is always better, right?

Marcelo: There was Mindflow, but I stopped hearing about them in the last couple of years.

Brazil always has been more of a power metal country I guess.

Bruno: and Samba!

PP: What are your next plans for the upcoming months?

Bruno: Work, a lot... actually things are happening.

Marcelo: True, there's a lot of stuff going on lately. Bruno just did a workshop yesterday, we're booking some concerts, we have a music video scheduled... all that while we're working on our new album.

Tiago: We have a music video on the making, we are planning a concert in our hometown for August, lots of rehearsing of the old and the new material. Trying to book some other shows in other cities and we are almost done with the pre production of the new album.

We are divided between promoting The Grand Disguise as much as possible until we hit the studio, probably by the end of the year, to record the follow up.

Bruno: Working hard until 4 AM, almost every day.

PP: We've seen that many Daydream XI members are offering Skype Lessons and Clinics, etc. Are you guys working as full time musicians or any of you have other jobs?

Marcelo: I have other jobs, but they're all music related. I used to work with video editing as well, but now I only do it for the band cause it takes too much time and I need all the time I can have for the band and my music studies.

Bruno: I work at City Hall and I'm a drum teacher after the job.

Tiago: I am a vocal coach at a local music school, for two days of the week. I'm also a freelance designer, which tends to fill a lot of my time. And Daydream XI is kind of a blending between all the work, as much as posible.

I guess I'm the only one of us four who does not teach via Skype, because most of my method as a teacher is built upon bringing down the singer's insecurities and fears, to allow them to experiment with themselves and progress without fear. And I found it very hard to do this without a strong personal relationship with the student.

PP: Beside playtroughs, do you have any plans for Musical Videos for any of your amazing songs?

Tiago: Yes! We are on the pre-production progress of a music video for one of our songs.

Marcelo: But we are not spoiling on which song we're doing...

Tiago: We were able to assemble an AMAZING team of professionals. I'm amazed at how well it's all going as far as pre-production goes. The crew is amazing so the video is bound to be great!.

All I can say is that is going to be a very innovative music video for the Prog Scene in Brazil. And we are working to make justice to the whole "Epicness" of the album.

PP: And finally where do your fans can look you up and buy your album and merch?

Tiago: Facebook has been our main mean of communication with the fans! We are always willing to hear what people think and answer everything they need to know.

On Soundcloud, people can listen to the full album for free.

Stay tune to our Youtube

Instagram is were we are posting some more exclusive content, like things from our daily routines as a band and as musicians.

And the last link is where people can buy the album! Available on digital download and CD.

And Twitter: Which we don't use very much at the time... But we'll go back to it in a few weeks.

PP: Thank you for your time, any last comments you would like to add?

Daydream XI:

Well, much thanks to you Derek and to Leonel for making Perfect Prog and giving us the opportunity to talk a little bit about our work! Thanks to everyone who's reading and supporting the band in whichever way!.

Bruno: It was a pleasure to do this interview, and thank you and Leonel for the opportunity.

Marcelo:

Yes! Thank you very much for the opportunity of speaking to your readers and for this wonderful chat! Also thank your for the kind words about the album and about our work! Stuff like that is exactly the kind of fuel artists need to keep on working.

I hope everyone who listened to the record enjoy it as much as you -and we- do!. And to everyone who didn't listen to it yet, please go on our Soundcloud and have a listen! You won't be disappointed!

As Ringo once said: "I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and I hope we passed the audition!"

Daydream XI: Our main goal is to one day see each and everyone of your on the road, and bring to you the very best live set we can possibly can.

To all Daydreamers out there: Let us know! We are listening and reading to everything you have to say about the band. Feel free to connect with us!.

You can follow Daydream XI at their official social networks listed below:


Also don't forget to check out the Review for the Album: The Grand Disguise