The Bad Dreamers are at the top of their game when it comes to writing great pop songs. Hailing from New York, David Schuler, the man behind The Bad Dreamers has down right mastered the art of telling. The songs he creates feature deeply rich narratives along with carefully crafted lyrics to bring out just the right amount of nostalgia. His songs are catchy, compelling, and just plain wonderful to listen to.
A few months back I had the good fortune to speak with David to talk about his music. We talked about his powerful song writing, his inspirations, his love for horror films, and the new direction for his music with his upcoming single Georgetown. David also discussed some of his favorite artists that he found most influential.
You can find our listen to my full interview with The Bad Dreamers below:
How long have you been making music?
It's been a long time. I started playing guitar when i was 13, going through 7th grade. The truncated version would be I went through high school playing in bands. Then try to go to audio engineering school after i graduated and then I dropped out.
I kinda got my own protocols ragin and kept writing. I was in more band through my 20’s and ultimately it let me to writing and producing for a lot of other artists in the music business. And then i started this project a couple years ago. But yeah it's been a lifelong endeavor. We don't really have any other musicians in the family. But as soon as i stumbled into playing guitar, that was kinda it.
I definitely know exactly what you mean by that. If you get started into music, you generally get started by music in an early age. Once you get that bug, it kinda digs into you and you know that's more or less what you’re going to be doing.You do some great guitar-work, you sing, I also hear some saxophone and stuff like that.
Do you farm that out to other musicians or is that all done by you?
There is only one song that has a sax part in it. I put a version of it out with only the saxophone. Then i pulled it off, then i re-released it with the record and put guitars over it to blend it in. But I play everything, all the instruments, drums, live drums, bass.
Oh you do live drums?
Yeah yeah, some of it is live. Not all of it. its a mixture, but it's pretty much just me on the album. I only had someone else master it.
That's actually funny, i do find that the more artist i talk to. it is kinda like its own art form. Mastering is like really one of them things where sometimes it's like better to send it out to someone else who really knows how to take those little nuances of each individual sound and put out a wonderful mix.I was actually going to compliment you on that. The production value of what you do is really top notch. The way you have that sound separation and just the way your vocals sit on the tracks. is really really well done.
I appreciate it. I mix everything, I mix as i produce and write. That's just kinda part of my process. That's probably maybe secondary or third to the song itself and the production. But yeah the guy who mastered it did a great job.
I keep thinking about the drums. Now that is really interesting, how would you say if you pull a percentage out. Would you say it would be maybe 30% live drumming. When I listen to it it sounds so clean when you hear the tracks, but it also has a very good organic sound too. So the way you mixed that is even good.
So lets see, there is 3 songs with live drums on the album. Then New York Minute is live too, which isn't on the album. It came out afterwards. But yeah so maybe as there are 9 songs on the album.
The good thing about that is it seems to give it that separation of musical elements. Not every single song is going to sound the same, in fact none of your songs really sound the same. They do have a common thread but its seems like when i first gave it a listen, a lot of songs really sounded inspired from a lot of different places.
Now if you were to think some of the inspirational people and artist you were most inspired by, what would you most lean towards as inspiration?
Man, i don't know. Because i feel like its changed and evolved so many times in the course of my musical life. When I was first starting out, it was only metal. So I was only listening to Metallica, Pantera, Slayer. I was certain I was going to be a guitar player when I was a kid. It was sorta my mission to learn all the influential albums at the time. Master or Puppets, Cowboys from Hell and learn all those parts on guitar. Then sorta take that and stick it into my own little thing.
I quickly realized it wasn't really what I wanted to do. You grow and you get introduced to different sounds, different music. Like my parents, more so my mom I think, she was listening to a lot of pop when I was a baby. Those influenced and the memories of that music didn't really show up for me until much later, which is sort of apparent in The Bad Dreamers stuff. She was listening to Michael Jackson, Hall & Oates, Tina Turner and stuff like that.
I didn't really come back to those influences until maybe 2009/10. I think it goes across the spectrum. I have my favorite songwriters, producers, singers, guitar players, drummers. It's sort of a whole wheelhouse of different players and performers.