INTERVIEW: Brandon Graham of Dream Phases Opens up About the Band's Debut Full-Length Album, "So Long, Yesterday"
Summer might already be over, but for California eclectic psychedelic rock outfit, Dream Phases, their exciting year is just beginning. Last month, the band released their fuzzy, 70’s garage rock-influenced single, “Frightened Man,” and in just a little over two weeks, they’ll be releasing their debut full-length album, So Long, Yesterday. The new album will mark a bold new chapter in the five-piece’s three-year history that has already seen their following grow beyond their native Los Angeles to reach an international audience of fans anxiously awaiting their official debut.
In support of the upcoming album, the band is currently gearing up to hit the road overseas, with tour dates kicking off at the start of October and wrapping up a month later. With huge plans for the rest of their year, we caught up with Dream Phases to chat about their upcoming album, tour dates and much more. Read the full interview now below.
Can you tell us a little bit about Dream Phases for anyone who might be hearing you for the first time?
Brandon Graham [vocals]: Dream Phases started as my solo recording project in 2016. I was working a lot as a touring and session musician, and I had begun to amass a good amount of songs, which I made into a demo album that I passed along to friends. Shortly after I asked some of my favorite musicians to help record the first released EP (Maybe Tomorrow), including my brother Shane, and Keveen, who are both in the band now and my biggest collaborators. The band name came because I wanted to have a band identity as opposed to a solo artist. It’s about how, through life, our dreams and ambitions go through changing phases.
You guys are getting ready to release your debut full-length album, So Long, Yesterday this fall! What are you most excited for listeners to hear on the album?
This album has been in the works for over two years now, so firstly I’m just happy to have people hear it. We ended up skipping around finishing various other releases, took breaks, and then came back with some newer songs to finish the album. A few of the songs have been in our live set since the beginning, and several were from my original demo album. It’s nice to have studio versions of songs that have only been heard live.
It being your debut full-length, did you have any major goals in mind when you first started working on the album?
I suppose the album goes back to the demo album I mentioned. At that point, I was trying to figure out what Dream Phases would sound like, and trying to make a sound with a certain feel and vibe. The goal was to create something we enjoyed, and that hopefully, an audience would enjoy, which would allow us to tour more and make more albums. Also, one goal was to write an album as personal therapy in a way and to move on from certain things that the lyrics deal with.
So Long, Yesterday serves as a bit of a reflection on growing up in LA. Were there any specific stories that you wanted to be able to tell with these songs?
I think LA often gets characterized in a very love/hate, black/white way, but I think like any major city, it comes down to your personal experience, where you go and who you know. There truly is something romantic about a city full of dreamers and schemers. I find the city and people extremely inspiring, and I attempted to write about some of those people and experiences that I have encountered, both good and not so good.
The album also draws from a wide variety of influences and genres. Was there anything that you were listening to when working on the album that really inspired you?
I typically shy away from listening to a lot of outside music when I’m recording, mostly because I’m too focused on what I’m making and don’t necessarily want conscious influence at the time. I did, however, try to incorporate more ambiance and soundscapes into the songs. I was influenced by Abbey Road and theDark Side of the Moon in that I tried to have the songs flow together like one full piece.
How do you feel you’ve grown with the writing and recording of the album?
I was able to deal with a certain chapter in my life, and now I feel like I’m looking for the next thing to write about. Also, we made a certain sound with the album, and it would be nice to push that more and to add in more musical influences on the next album.
You also recently released “Frightened Man” from the album. Can you tell us a little bit about this track in particular?
“Frightened Man” is one of the first songs I wrote for Dream Phases, it came in consecutive days with “Maybe Tomorrow,” and “Crossfire,” which are both on different releases. It’s about not giving in to fear and pursuing your dreams. It’s also about doing what is right, and being there when someone might need you.
Can fans expect to hear some more new music from the album before it’s out?
Yes, we are going to put out at least one more single called, “Confusion,” on September 27th. There might be a third song too, we’ll see.
Do you have any other big plans for 2019? Any shows or tour dates coming up?
We will be returning to Europe in October and November to tour and to promote the record. We’ll be playing in Italy, France, UK, and Switzerland. When we return home after that, we are planning an album release show.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Of course, thank you. We appreciate everyone that has taken an interest in our music and that are looking forward to hearing the album.