Exclusive: Listen to the Dreaming’s ‘Puppet’ in Its Entirety

Hard rockers the Dreaming will release their new album, Puppet (Epochal Artists/EMI), next Tuesday. But you can hear the album in its entirety right here. Vocalist Christopher Hall, who previously fronted Stabbing Westward, fills us in on the album below. Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

REVOLVER What did you want to do differently on this album from your last, 2008’s Etched in Blood?
I felt our last album strayed away from the sound we originally set out to make. This was a combination of influences from our producer, mixer, manager and newer members of the band. I really liked our first record but I feel like Puppet better captures the vision [drummer] Johnny Haro and I originally had.

We set out to make music that was heavy and dark but very melodic with strong songs. We really wanted to recapture some of the electronic sounds that were a part of Stabbing Westward and Econoline Crush that seemed to get lost on the first Dreaming album.

So my goal on this record was to learn everything I could about producing and engineering, so I could maintain creative control over the album and not let too many outsiders get involved. The one outsider who really helped was Eddie Wohl who mixed the record. He helped make my production work sound polished and helped shape the overall sound of the record in the mix. We had several members come and go during the recording process and each of them left their mark on the songs in different ways. It was a very long record to make due to my learning curve on how to record and produce, but I think it was worth it in the end.

How do you approach the Dreaming differently from what you did in Stabbing Westward?
Stabbing Westward went from being a band of two guys writing industrial music in our bedrooms into a monster that took on a life of its own. I seriously did not even recognize Stabbing Westward by the last album. In the Dreaming we wanted to get back to that feeling of making music for ourselves. Not for a label or an A&R guy or a manager or even for fans, but just the music that we wanted to make. It took away a lot of the stress and anxiety about making music. I think once you get to the point that fear of losing your success rules your creative process you should stop making music and become a banker. The Dreaming has nothing to lose so we make whatever music we feel like making; it’s very liberating and cathartic.

What are your favorite tracks on the new album and why?
My favorite song on Puppet is “End in Tears.” I love the hypnotic feel of the groove and love listening with headphones. There are a ton of cool creepy ambient sounds on that track and its fun to discover new sounds with every listen. I recorded several songs that I had written before or during the first album that ended up not getting used first time around. Either they were unfinished demos or the producer didn’t like them because they weren’t pop metal enough for the sound he was going for. These were songs I was very passionate about and fought for but ended up on the producer’s chopping block. It was great for me to be able to revisit them with a fresh perspective and with a different group of musicians. Some of these songs got a second chance at life kind of like the Dreaming.

In the past you’ve covered artists like INXS, Depeche Mode, and the Cure. How do influences like those figure into the heavy music you play?
These were my favorite bands growing up. Not INXS so much but the Cure and Depeche Mode, along with heavier bands like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. I think Depeche Mode were the most influential band to electronic music. I know there were earlier bands and noisier bands and more abrasive and cutting edge bands but nobody took pop song arrangements and orchestrated them using synths the way Depeche Mode did, and they did it consistently album after album with amazing songs and sounds that never grew stale. Covering a song like [Depeche Mode’s] “It’s No Good” is great for a songwriter. The act of deconstructing it and figuring out how it was built and then making it your own gives you lessons on how to write a great song. Then you just apply those lessons in a non-plagiaristic way and you have the building blocks for better songwriting.

What is it you want people to take away from listening to this record?
I’ve never really known what I want people to take away from my music. I used to try to tell people what my songs were about. I remember once in Stabbing Westward getting in an argument with a fan about the meaning of one of my songs. I was very offended that they didn’t get what my song was about. Later on, I realized that they were right. It doesn’t matter what I think my songs are about.

What’s important is how the listener feels about it. If they connect to it in some ultra-personal way that I never intended then that is great. Why should anyone care what the song means to me? That’s my pain and my story. Everyone has their own pain and their own story and if I can somehow connect to that and give them an outlet for that pain or a moment of feeling less alone in the world then I’ve done my job. I know not everyone is going to love every song but I hope that our fans find something good on the album that they can connect to. Thanks for listening.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/gerald.dorrity Gerald Dorrity

    Slice of fried gold!

  • Hricca75


  • http://www.facebook.com/S3NT13NT.GL1TCH S3NT13NT_GL1TCH

    Fucking incredible! Totally kills the first album. Dark, synth-heavy, catchy greatness all around. Especially “End in Tears.” I can tell this will be on repeat for a long time!  The Dreaming has just destroyed their first album, haha!  😀

  • http://twitter.com/MissKokamon Courtney Parks

    I was just thinking today on how I wished this album was out already so I could drown out the day. Then I get to work and discover I can listen to it here! And it sounds AMAZING! 

  • Purpleglowingsmurf

    LOVVVEE!!! Way anxious to have my own!!! I am VERY happy this album turned out so great..(I had no doubts!!) Anything they do is amazing!!!!!!

  • CafeeDomminite

    Love love It, My favourite i think is Fight For You Fantastic xxx

  • Dparkervt

    Disappointed! I’ve heard too many of these riffs before, dressed up in electronics or not. Far from the highs of Stabbing Westward, to my ears.

    • http://www.facebook.com/michael.t.grace Michael T. Grace

      Right? It’s missing the atmosphere and production of SW. And I can’t handle this awful guitar tone.

  • Darkestdays11

    I love the fuck out this!!!!!

  • DoctaPeela


  • Daxagent

    Thanks for the fix Revolver!

  • Heidi Swartz

    Christopher Hall has nailed it again!  Not only has he brought back some of the sounds we all loved with Stabbing Westward, but he has introduced new sounds and melded them seamlessly together. One of the things I hate about some bands is that you cannot understand the lyrics.  Chris has an amazing, powerful voice but he doesn’t scream.  There is a difference between passion and noise.  You can feel the passion and understand what he is trying to say.  I can honestly say that this has exceeded my expectations and that is saying a lot considering how much I love this band!  I will not be listening to anything else in the near future!

  • Protagonist1984

    I love The Dreaming and have been following them since the beginning. I was hooked ever since I heard the first version of Let It Burn. I love this new album, but on each track I feel like I can’t hear Chris. His voice gets lost in the all the vocal effects.

    All in all, I’m disappointed in the album in the same was I was with Etched in Blood. It’s over mixed.

    • Fifteenthsummer

      Meh, I don’t agree but that’s my opinion. I’m not saying you’re doing this, but I think too many people try and hold this in the same regard as Stabbing Westward’s material and it’s kind of an unfair comparison. Darkest Days is like 13 years old now, and this stuff isn’t going to recapture that sound, nor should it try to. Everything these days is super-produced and super-loud. Another thing is that the transition between Stabbing Westward and The Dreaming was a long one. It’s not like Chris released a bunch of albums in succession after Stabbing Westward (whereas someone like Trent Reznor did so your ears got used to the newer production techniques with each record), so hearing a Chris with a “modernized” sound is a bit weird at first. I’m willing to bet though that if Stabbing Westward put out a record in 2011 it would sound something like this. It gets my seal of approval.

      • Protagonist1984

        The songs that were redone were, in my opinion, best in their original versions. i.e., Let it Burn, Always and Never, Hollowman, Solo Crucifixtion and Puppet. At least you could hear the vocals. The new songs are too dressed up, and the riffs that got changed don’t seem like they got changed so much because of a new insight but as to avoid being complete copies of the old version with only a change of lyrics. I like super loud and I like techno/electronica sound, but there’s a difference here.

        I’m a fan of this band, but not the cheap sounding echo on the vocals. I want to hear the lyrics!

  • Smack042

    I agree. Many of these songs are over mixed. I have all of the original versions of these songs and the new synthed versions are killing me. Very disappointed with the new direction but hey, im not in a band and its easy to be an armchair critic so what do i know? Oh, I know that Whole & Solo Crucifixion used to be epic songs with the perfect mix of emotion and gritty riffs and these new aborted versions make me want to slit my wrists from all the emo sadness. There is some good new material here and i’ll still support you and pick up the album but seriously guys, i’m glad I have the old recordings.

    • Carter

      i want the old recordings

  • Shannon Angus Bryden

    This is freakin amazing!!!  Christopher…and Johnny come through to bring the Dreaming to where I have pictured hearing this band go so many times in my head. All your influences shine through and keep you true to yourself. The keyboards are amazing in the mix. I have been listening to Finnish and German bands for years waiting for the Americans to get back to keyboards and piano in the mix…Love it!!! and will be purchasing and playing this to death in my car for everyone to hear me coming bro!

  • Justinpage1

    Sick and Amazing, This Band is official!!! I wish they would tour the east coast!!! come back to VA Christopher!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/fobia Karla López

    Love it… except for a few tracks that were perfect as they use to be…. ( i.e. hole…. that use to be so perfect as it was D: ).  

  • GavinAttitudeStrike

    This is by far the best album in a LONG,LONG time!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1462994382 Nico Pohjola

    Christopher and the Dreaming forged yet another kickass album, Christopher Hall rocks!

  • http://www.CoverageHD.com/ DerekBrad


  • Luke

    Too many of the songs sound too similar. It sounds like one big long song opposed to 11 different songs.

  • kc

    Hey Luke, You have an opinion, but in my eyes, it is just a cop out explanation, because you don’t like the band.  They sound different, and different tempos and melodies.  You can just say, I don’t like this band instead, of spewing some random piece of irrelevant information.  It is a solid playlist.

    • Luke

      Actually I’m a big fan of the Dreaming. I have both Etched in Blood, the first EP and the acoustic EP. (The acoustic EP prob is my fave) My complaint lies in the production, not in the songs themselves. I felt Etched in Blood had similar issues as this record. I always seem to like the initial versions the band releases, then the final versions end up being a bit “watered down”. So I guess I’ll stick to the older versions!

  • George

    awesome will be at bbuy tomarrow

  • Steve T

    Sounds awesome.  Love to hear the way Puppet, Hole, Solo Crucifixtion and Always & Forever (used to be Always & Never) have evolved since they were written a few years ago.

    And Luke, it’s called having a cohesive sound.  The songs flow together, and the sound is recognizable.

  • John

    Shouldn’t this album have 12 tracks? Where is “Fight for You”? It’s supposed to be track 6.

  • Kerrykoeppen

    Album Review: Puppet

    Existential-bliss, Mind-thumping, Ear Imploding Charisma to the MAX!!.. Never before has an album caught my attention in a way that PUPPET reaches out to me!.  Now, Can YOU (society’s minion’s..) take pulse and listen to this album in it’s entirety, without stamping out the fire this band has set before them??  Creatively speaking, This one KNocks stoners of their thrones…well done gentlemen, and manically am awaiting another deafening spin.

  • Kerrykoeppen


  • Jeremydanav


  • Steve

    Amazing album, been on repeat and in my mind since I got it.  “Fight for You” is the best song in my opinion, it makes my blood flow and keeps my veins on fire.  I’ll be a follower for the life of the band.