It's times like these that residing in California would have certain benefits. Melbourne may be a city renowned for it's live music in Australia, but after chatting to Colin Gibbens – manager for The Dreaming, I'm wondering how to teleport myself to their gig on the 12th of November at Whiskey A Go Go.
In the words of the Los Angeles Independent, ""The Whisky was on the forefront of every musical trend including Motown, Rock 'N' Roll, Heavy Metal, Punk and New Wave," says Mikeal Maglieri, son of Mario [owner of Whiskey A Go Go].
"That hasn't changed," says Scott Lenz, a contributing music editor for Buzz Magazine…"Because the Whisky…has held true to its original focus of nurturing emerging talent."
The club, famous for launching stellar rock musicians, will be the platform for The Dreaming to release their new single 'Alone'. It's a slinky, bass heavy track guaranteed to create some new fans in Australia or reignite the old Stabbing Westward punters. For fans of metal, wave and electronic – think Tool, Nine Inch Nails – Stabbing Westward may have been a staple part of a 90's music diet. Their song 'Save Yourself' was a huge success, with the band disbanding in 2002. Gibbens advises, "When Stabbing Westward broke up it was not because of Chris Hall [lead singer] or Walter [guitarist\keyboards]. They wanted to continue the band, but there were two guys who were part of the partnership agreement that wanted the band dissolve."
Once Stabbing Westward dissolved, Hall started a new project called The Dreaming with Stabbing Westward drummer, Johnny Haro. The Dreaming had two previous releases, Etched in Blood and Puppet. The latter is a powerful album. I listened to it in one sitting and was blown away by the crisp marriage of new wave, electronic rock and edgy retro guitar. The sound can only be defined as a legacy of the Stabbing Westward synth elements and crushing melodies of Hall that really push the tracks forward.
The band formed when Hall ran into Flakus at his father's funeral. They decided to start working together again under the name The Dreaming. There was some legal issues that kept them from using the name Stabbing Westward, hence the new incarnation. 'Alone' was produced by both Chris Hall and Walter Flakus. The clip is striking, shot completely in black and white, with piercing still photography from a talented fan, Garrett Midkiff.
Gibbens advises, "It's the first track since Stabbing Westward broke up, that Chris and Walter worked together. The track was mixed by Rhys Fulber. Walter and Carlton both did a club remix for the track. We had new photography done for the album, but it is not ready yet." The song is hauntingly beautiful. Hall has a deft ability to build both drama and heartbreak that packs a punch. The film clip, is gritty and suspenseful, the bass and drums constantly building tension – only released by Hall's melodic range, and mesmerising vocals.
Feedback for 'Alone' "has been amazing " Gibbens happily explains. The band has received overwhelming support from YouTube. "It's obvious that people want Stabbing Westward back, but the band did deliver it with this song. Hopefully people can get past the name and realise it's the same two guys."
While there are no immediate plans for the band to tour Australia, Gibbens advises, "I have reached out to a few people in Australia to figure out the best way to take the new release to market there. But if we can get a buzz built up and jump on the right bill I cannot see why that would not happen." I suggested an event like Soundwave would be a great platform for the band [Even though line-up is cemented for 2015]. But, I'm sure a number of iconic music venues would gladly stage the outfit on an Australian tour.
The band are planning several US tours [for any fans heading north], "hopefully one with Gravity Kills. The full length comes out in Feb, and we will be touring March and May in the US and the summertime in Europe. You never know you might see some Stabbing Westward shows next year!"