Heavy with a dreamy sound
By Erin Crowell
Traverse City band Dreams Scar Reality has reached a larger audience in southern Michigan than back home in Northern Michigan. But that will change or at least they hope so when they release their first CD at the Fireball Lounge in Kalkaska, this Saturday.
If youre not doing cover songs up here, youre not supported as much, says Ben Donathan, guitarist and co-visionary of DSR. Theres a lot of undiscovered musical talent in the area.
DSR is a progressive metal band, with influences from popular bands like Tool and Machine Head, but with original music material songs about childhood, growing up, politics and life in general.
Their sound can be described as heavy and haunting, like the guitar riffs of The Deftones mixed with the vocals of Tool.
Were heavy with a dreamy sound, Donathan says.
In total, the band includes Todd Heiges, vocals; Nate Humphfleet, drums; Al Saylor, guitar; Mike Culverson, bass; and Ben Donathan, guitar.
Donathan and lead singer Heiges founded the band after performing together for several years in the Fife Lake group, Sleeper Cell.
I had just moved back from Ann Arbor in May 2008 and I always loved playing with Todd, says Donathan, a musician of 12 years. We wanted to start a band thats progressive metal but also has a dreamy sound, kind of like Pink Floyd.
Other band members have raked up music experience, including Humphleet, who was the first drummer for the nationally touring band Chiodos before he joined DSR.
Bassist Culverson brings his musical talents from mycomplex, the Mt. Clemens, Michigan band that signed with Cargo Music (Blink-182).
Compiling the CD took five months, using songs the band has performed at their venues, which numbers close to 65 shows in just the past year.
Weve got enough material that were already working on a second CD, says Donathan. We know we just have to get our music out there.
The next step is getting signed, says the group. From there, its just progressing into the next up-and-coming metal band.
Ideally, performing at the State Theater along with Tool, Donathan says candidly.
It seems DSR has got the musical talent and the experience. So why the limited bookings? The small following?
Its a combination of demographic and popular music genre, says Humphleet.
Ive done a lot of traveling and have seen a lot of towns. I love this town as far as it being safe and secure, but no one here really likes original bands. Cover bands are more popular because people want to hear stuff thats on the radio, says Humphleet. Then theres places like Grand Rapids that welcomed us, basically gave us a giant hug.
The band has performed at several southern locations, including a recent performance at the Orbit Room; and at the Carnival of Chaos in Stanton in front of over 7,000 people.
So far, the band has performed at the Leelanau Sands Casinos Elements Lounge and The Loading Dock in Traverse City.
DSR hopes to open the eyes of Northern Michigan to a genre of original music not typically seen or heard in its local venues.
But regardless of their following and where its at, DSR is about the fans, says Heiges.
Were a band that just loves music, says Donathan, whether its performing for five or five thousand. We know how to get a crowd going. Once people see us, they dont forget us.
Check out Dreams Scar Realitys debut CD at the Fireball Lounge in Kalkaska, Saturday, Dec. 12. They will perform, along with bands Release the Crimson, Absolutely Nothing and Messyface. Doors open at 6:30pm, with the music following at 7pm.