Exclusive: The Dreaming Premiere “Every Trace” Video
Hard rockers the Dreaming will release their new album, Puppet (Epochal Artists/EMI), on November 1. But you can see the video for their song “Every Trace,” right here. Vocalist Christopher Hall, who previously fronted Stabbing Westward, fills us in on the song below the vid. Let us know what you think of it in the comments.
REVOLVER What’s this song about?
CHRISTOPHER HALL “Every Trace” is all about ghosts. Not the spooky Casper kind but the ghosts of our past that just refuse to stay in their graves and rest in peace. “Everywhere that I go I can see you, your ghost won’t die…” You could take that literally like you keep seeing this same person out at clubs and in traffic or walking down the street but I meant it more symbolically. Everywhere I look is a memory of a life we had that I want to forget. We used to go to that coffee shop, my car still smells like you, we bought that couch together, or you chose that ugly ass color for the bathroom.
Everywhere I look there is a ghost of you to remind me of what I’ve lost; both the good and the bad. I like the imagery of the funeral pyre and burning all these things to try and get them gone once and for all. Ghosts. I hate them.
How did you come up with the concept for this video?
“Every Trace” was used in a great fight scene in the movie The Hammer about a deaf UFC fighter named Matt Hamill. The movie follows his life growing up deaf and competing against other fighters as well as against prejudice. It’s a great film and we proud to a part of it. So we combined scenes from the film with footage of us in a cool old fight ring. It was a really cool shoot. We were all bouncing off the ropes like our favorite wrestlers; unfortunately no one got hurt.
Was this an easy song to write?
Some songs are really easy to write; you sit down one day with a melody stuck in your head and two hours later you have a whole song. This was not one of those songs. I wrote the chorus first. There was this model/singer named Nina Bergman that my manager wanted me to write songs for but I wasn’t really interested, but she kept bugging me so finally I sat down and strummed an acoustic guitar and sang her this chorus. She said and I quote, “I don’t really want to do any cheesy ballads.” Well ballad was hardly what I was going for, so I figured I should sit down and figure it out. The problem with the song was the groove. It has a natural Marilyn Manson–like shuffle to it like the beat to “Beautiful People,” but Johnny, our drummer, doesn’t naturally play that way. He likes to play everything more like Billy Idol techno punk. I tried playing the song very 6/8 kind of an Iron Maiden, “Run to the Hills,” gallop. It was not pretty. Then I heard a song by Muse on the radio and was instantly, “That’s the groove of my song.” So I listened to that a few times and figured out how they were laying out their groove and started with that as the foundation. It had a very ’60s Dr. Who feel to it. It took Johnny more than a few tries to figure out what he wanted to play on the drums but once he got it the song just came together quickly.
What sort of feedback have you gotten on this song so far?
So far the fans have been really positive about “Every Trace.” So far everyone seems to like it. It was not our first choice of singles, but our manager also works with Jada Pinkett-Smith and one day he played the song for Will [Smith—yes that Will Smith] and Will declared, “This is your hit right here!” So we went back and listened to it again and we agreed it was the best choice for our first single. Who’s gonna argue with Will Smith? He was one of the Men in Black, he punched an alien in Independence Day, and he fought vampires in I Am Legend. I’m not arguing with him.
But every time a band does a new record, it’s always a stressful time for both the band and the fans. Is it going to sound totally different? Is it different in a good way or bad way? Is it stale and repetitive and too much like the old stuff? Some fans want you to grow, while others want you to stay the same. In the end there is no pleasing everyone so I just aim to please myself and hope other like it, too. This record was the first that I have produced on my own, so it was liberating to have the freedom to exactly what I wanted but also scary because there is no one to blame if it all goes to hell.
I tried to recapture some of my lost heritage from Stabbing Westward on this record. I felt like Stabbing Westward had lost its way on the last album and kind of felt the same about the Dreaming’s first album. I really liked it, but I felt like it got pulled in all sorts of different directions by people outside the band and even by some of the guys in the band. This is my attempt to reconnect with my love of ’80s and ’90s electronic music combined with rock guitars and good songwriting, which was in my opinion the strength of Stabbing Westward.
Photo by Epochal Artists Records