Steinhardt Alum Talks DREAMERS, Jazz
Mar 21, 2016
Over break, WSN got to chat with the frontman of the cosmic rock band DREAMERS, NYU Steinhardt alum Nick Wold. The band has been on a barrage of tours for over a year now, and WSN caught up with the roaming rockers to talk about love and life on the road.
WSN: A lot of your sound & image rings heavily of ‘70s influences. What about that era speaks to you – the social culture, the aesthetic…?
Nick Wold: We’re totally influenced by different versions of rock and roll from all the different decades – the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, so I think a lot of that comes out because we’re all about it. It’s the reason we like this type of music – to carry that back and bring it towards the next thing. So we love Iggy & the Stooges, we love Bowie, Bob Marley, those kinds of bands. I think it just comes out naturally. I’m glad that people notice that.
WSN: In your interview with EW, you mentioned that your song “Shooting Shadows” was about “the chains you put on each other” when you’re in love. Could you speak more about that?
NW: You know, there’s always some conflict in relationships and love, and the fact that you love someone ties you to each other. Your heart is tied to theirs. So if you’re ever pulling in different directions, it’s painful, and you’re very aware of the chains. It’s all a bunch of imagery about that, and those feelings. Sometimes you feel trapped, sometimes you feel suffocated, and then you come back and that’s what you want, or what you don’t want. It’s negative sounding, but it’s totally what we do. In love, we want to stay close and control that in some way. And, you know, it can be a sexual innuendo.
WSN: You studied jazz saxophone at NYU. How did you end up playing rock music? What brought you to the Brooklyn scene?
NW: Well, I grew up in Seattle in the ‘90s and so I was surrounded by rock and grunge, you know, and all that. And then I became a saxophone player in high school, and I was really serious about that, and got really into the ‘60s with Miles Davis and John Coltrane. That was my first experience learning music and getting good at it, getting into it. So at first [jazz] is what I wanted to do, but as I got older, I realized that for me to express myself the way I really wanted to, I had to do something that I thought was more relevant, and could speak to a greater audience, and get back to my roots and switch altogether. But I learned so much in doing saxophone, and that’s what brought me to New York. A lot of people that I still work with are people that I met there, so it was totally not the wrong thing for me.
WSN: Do you have anything you think NYU kids should know?
NW: Impart my wisdom to the current NYU kids? I would say this: NYU’s thing is all about being “in and of the city.” And the best thing I ever got was being around all these people who are really interesting and doing really cool things and really cool art, and after NYU it’s not like that. A lot of people don’t care to do things or don’t have the drive to do something interesting, whatever it is. So take advantage of that. Because it’s awesome. That’s what I’d say. And study abroad!
A version of this article appeared in the March 21 print edition. Email Hailey Nuthals at [email protected]