I did a facetime interview with Gabriel from Dreamspook, who was wearing a badass unicorn sweatshirt, and here’s what he had to say.
First off, who are you and what genre of music do you make?
My name is Gabriel and as far as genre goes- I’m sure a lot of people complain about that being a hard question to answer- I’ve been kinda labeling it lately as melancholic- ha ha- like, groovy synth rock, I guess? And yeah, I guess that’s what I’m making right now.
I love your unicorn sweatshirt by the way.
Thanks so much, my boss got it for me.
That’s fantastic. If you had to describe your music with a color, what would it be?
Sort of a… Not neon, but a soft, glowy pink.
What’s the biggest struggle you have when it comes to creating?
Oh my goodness. I think in my head I tend to think too far ahead of myself where I just wanna see what the finished product or song or whatever it is will look like and just dwelling too far on that thing that will eventually come in the future, but it inhibits me creating in the present and just being willing to let my thoughts kind of roam around instead of trying to force it down a specific avenue. So yeah, usually just worrying about getting way too ahead of myself and worrying about the end goal, I guess. Whether it’s the song itself or an album or after that, releasing it, and all that stuff. I’ve just gotta stop getting ahead of myself.
If you could play any show in the world, what would it be?
I think- I’m from Colorado, I live in Minnesota right now- but I think a lot of musicians in Colorado, we all wanna play Red Rocks really bad. So I’d really like to play there and I think I’d really like to open for Grizzly Bear. I think they’re just a really magical band.
What do you consider your biggest musical success?
I think success is measured by a lot of different things, but I remember- and I still think this- in high school I was in the top two choirs at our school, and I’m still a little bit convinced that being a part of that music there and singing with all of those people is like, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever been a part of. There’s something really, inherently special, maybe even sacred or something, about that many voices coming together to just make really beautiful music. I feel like there’s still something in me that’s trying to make something that pretty, but I don’t know how feasible that is.
What inspired you to start making music?
I grew up in a really musical family, my mom’s like a piano teacher, violin, viola, cello teacher, so I grew up playing cello in like elementary school, middle school, and then one of my older brothers was in a Christian rock band and I thought that was the shit at the time. And I really looked up to him. So I think a lot of it was obviously being immersed in it, our whole family is like really musical. And also seeing someone apply those skills and create those things with what we just learned and were around growing up. It just always felt like a natural thing to do, I suppose, even if it’s really frustrating sometimes.
If you could hear any person living or dead sing to you, who would it be?
Sing to me personally? Like, serenade me?
What a dream. Um… Ooh, that’s such a weird question, I’ve never thought about that. I’m gonna start with a living person because that seems a little easier right now for some reason. I think Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear has one of my favorite voices ever. I’d let him serenade me and I’d let Annie Clark from Saint Vincent serenade me. If they were ever so inclined. I feel like I need to come up with someone who’s already passed though. I don’t know. I’ll just need to stick with those, otherwise, I’ll be spacing out for like fifteen minutes.
Who, aside from any band or musician, is your biggest influence?
That’s hard to peg down to like, one person. But my brother Matthew, he’s a potter-
Yeah, and he’s very good at it. Just him as, like, a human I find he’s pretty good at it. Being human. And just how he’s kind of developed a discipline and a passion for what he does and how he approaches it and still having goals to set in the future. I think whenever I’m feeling lazy I’m like, man, I’ve just gotta be more like that guy. So he’s definitely a huge inspiration for me because he makes beautiful things and he does it well and he does it thoughtfully.
What’s your favorite book?
Excluding Tolkien books, since those are pretty great in my brain, East of Eden by John Steinbeck is like really powerful and formative for me.
What do you like to do other than music?
Who is your favorite musical artist?
Radiohead. I always feel dumb saying that. Because the stigma of Radiohead is sort of snobby and shitty, which is totally fair.
I expected you to say Grizzly Bear.
Oh yeah, they’re up there, but Radiohead just has a hold on my brain forever. I can’t not listen to them most days.
What’s one piece of advice you have for young musicians?
Shoot- I’m still a young musician. My desire is always to make something really really great and really good and I feel like the only way to do that is to just be earnest in your intentions and in your creation and there’s obviously a lot of ways that great art and great music can manifest itself but I think all of it’s sort of based in authenticity and just a natural inclination to find some sort of release through music, I suppose.
Lastly, what’s your lucky number?
I don’t know if it’s even my lucky number, but I’ve adopted it as my favorite since early on, like elementary school, because nobody else like it and I was like, “I’ll take it then”. It looks nice written out. Yeah, I like thirteen.
You can follow Dreamspook on Instagram at @dreamspook, and be sure to check them out on iTunes and Spotify.