Interview by Lili-Anh Le Minh
Montreal’s own All Day Dreamers have been together for quite a few years, building up a fanbase and creating a name for themselves. With Giancarlo Aimone, Nicholas Rafael, Anthony Festoso, Lucas Liberatore and Anthony Lalla, the band has played countless concerts and showcases throughout the years. They also released a full-length album and are working on the release of their first music video. Last November, I sat down with Giancarlo, Anthony F. and Anthony L., who came a little later in the interview, to talk about the band’s years together, their musical backgrounds and their upcoming plans.
CONFRONT: To start things up, I can have a little history 101 about the band please?
GIANCARLO: We’ve been together for 8 years with the same 5 members. We went through a lot of rough experiences and I think they’ve helped us a lot to get us where we are now. We’re a tough band, I don’t think there’s anything that can break us up and our music reflects that. We’re a hard rock band; we started kind of pop-rock but as we got older, we kind of changed and so has our music.
CONFRONT: And what’s the story behind the name of the band?
GIANCARLO: Every single person in the world is a dreamer. We all dream, we all have our own aspirations, we all want to do something with our lives so it’s a name that not only represents the band; it represents the world. And we have a dream, which is to make it and we won’t stop.
CONFRONT: Deep stuff! I like it! And you say the 5 of you have been together for 8 years; there are so many bands out there now that it seems as though it’s a constant rotation of members, how do you guys do it?
ANTHONY F: Yeah people we played with when we first started out are surprised when they hear we’re still together, we get that lot. I guess we have good chemistry together, we’ve known each other since we were really young, or our parents knew each other before we were born so I guess the main this is we had a solid friendship before we started the band and that helped with the rest.
GIANCARLO: I think when you’re in a band, it’s more than just musicians together. It’s a friendship, it’s a relationship. And I think if you have that before you start a band, it’s always better and it’s worked with our band. I’ve worked with other musicians because I went to school in music, and so did Anthony, and it’s very different from what we have in our band.
CONFRONT: So you both studied in music, what pushed you towards that?
ANTHONY F: My love for music just led me to this path. Honestly, I didn’t know what else I could do besides music.
GIANCARLO: I can’t really add to that. Being in this band helped me realize that music was so fun to perform for your whole life! How could you not want that? It’s one of the most amazing experiences that we’ve had.
CONFRONT: So you don’t really have a plan B right?
ANTHONY F: This is my plan A,B,C,D…
GIANCARLO: Exactly! I think we went to school so we can at least find some sort of job in music but I think both of our plans is to make it
with the band and if not, do something music-related for the rest of our lives.
CONFRONT: That’s cool, you’re really passionate about it! And from what I’ve seen at your shows, your families are really supportive. How do you think that has impacted the band?
ANTHONY F: It’s definitely a big influence on us because we know that there are people there who support us whether we chose this career or anything else. It just helps solidify everything.
GIANCARLO: To know, when you go home, that your parents and your family care about your music and your future and they know that this is your plan, it makes things a lot easier. Us going to music school, our parents didn’t look down on us; both of our parents are really proud of us so we couldn’t ask for more!
CONFRONT: That must really cool! So, you guys play a lot of shows, what has been your most memorable?
ANTHONY F: It’s a tough question because every show that we play, there’s something different. And just the fact that we’re there performing is the most memorable ting for us. But we played a festival this summer in Blind River in Ontario and it stood out the most because it was a 3-day event so we had a lot of time to enjoy the outdoors; we actually camped out there! It was our first show outdoors and there was an amazing crowd.
CONFRONT: So it was kind of like a mini Woodstock?
GIANCARLO: Yeah! It was like that! And just to add to that, I think every show has something memorable because every show is different.
CONFRONT: And I’ve noticed you play a lot of shows in Montreal, but do you try and get out of the city too?
ANTHONY F: Well since July, we’ve been playing showcases every month in Toronto for labels like RoadRunner and Gene Simmons’ label. We’ve played at The Opera House, Sound Academy and Mod Club.
CONFRONT: Sound Academy is pretty big though right?
ANTHONY F: Yeah it is! We also got to play during Canadian Music Week back in March and we got to see Papa Roach play at Sound Academy so it’s great for us to see one of our influences play at a venue that we played at.
GIANCARLO: Yeah it was pretty sick!
CONFRONT: That must be pretty amazing! And you said you play a lot of showcases, did that spark any interest from labels?
ANTHONY F: The thing is, right now, labels won’t just see that you’re a great band and take you. There are all kinds of great bands out there who are not signed and it’s not because they’re not good; it’s because labels want a band that is a complete package and that has everything done for them. That way, they just take you and kind of just put you out there. So we got great reviews from the labels concerning our music but they wanted a band that had several albums out already, that had a big following, music videos that are on the top charts out there and have radio play already. That’s what they’re looking for.
CONFRONT: But that sucks though because to get up to that point, you need a lot of background support.
GIANCARLO: Yeah and that support always fluctuates. For example, if you take a break to record, you already lose some of your fanbase. And when we talked to labels at those shows, they all said you have to have a buzz around your band, you have to have likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter; your name has to be there already. Then, they’ll just take you and they’ll throw you in; you’re ready to go. Until that day, you have to do everything.
CONFRONT: Yeah you’re on your own. And talking about that, you guys are in the new internet generation of bands, do you think that helped or do you think it’s making it more difficult?
ANTHONY L: In my opinion, I guess it’s a win-lose situation because for album sales, it’s a lot easier to illegally download these days or just go on YouTube but in a way, if someone were to download my band’s album, I’d be really happy because you get more exposure.
ANTHONY F: Yeah I’d rather have someone download it illegally and listening to it than have it sit in a box in a store, not getting any exposure.
ANTHONY L: Then again, we might be saying that now because we just want to get bigger and we want exposure. Who knows, maybe in the future, we’ll be like Metallica and complain about it.
GIANCARLO: When you’re at the point where you depend on music to make money, it’s different because it becomes your job. Right now, we’re not looking at that. We’re still looking to make it big through our music so we’re not really thinking about the money. There is a detriment to online music; it’s the fact that there are tons of bands that sound like us and you have to find something very different compared to all these bands. What do they all have that you don’t and what do you have that they don’t? I think you can attest that all the music that is coming out now is coming out because it’s very different. It feels like music is going back in time; we’ve reached a point where music has to go back again. It’s reached a point where it’s too different and you have to find a common genre; that’s what’s happening right now. And I think our band, we have our own distinct sound that took us 8 years to find.
CONFRONT: So what makes you stand out?
ANTHONY F: I guess it’s everything together. Our music is not so different from other genres of rock but it does stand out because it incorporates so many different genres of rock.
GIANCARLO: And we really concentrate on our live performance; we try to give a good show and we want people to walk out of there and think we were great.
CONFRONT: Well that’s important! That’s how you attract fans right?
GIANCARLO: Exactly! And I think in this day and age, bands feel that recording is important but we feel that giving a live show and giving what people paid for is almost as important, if not more, as recording. It’s like the band is letting out its personality.
ANTHONY F: Yeah because some people, this might be the only chance they get to see you. If you give them a bad show, they might not check you out after. So we’re always performing at our best at every show, no matter how many people are there because we want them to feel like it was worth it.
CONFRONT: Especially that now, sometimes, you listen to a band online and you think they sound great but then you get disappointed when they’re performing onstage.
ANTHONY F: Yeah and us, it’s the opposite; people say we sound better live than on CD.
GIANCARLO: Actually, the making of our album didn’t go as we had planned.
ANTHONY F: It was a unique experience for us for sure but since we focus so much on our performance, so as much as our CD is great, some of the live elements, you can’t record onto a CD.
GIANCARLO: That’s the one sad part about production. There are so many samples and stuff that gets put in, it takes away from the raw emotional aspect of it all. When you see us live, it comes out and it’s just fun to watch bands live in general. You’re there, the music is loud and it’s just encompassing everything around you.
CONFRONT: Yeah it’s just not the same. And are you guys working on a new album now?
ANTHONY L: We’re working on our new EP that we should be releasing by the end of winter or spring.
GIANCARLO: Yeah and then we’ll work throughout the summer on having tons of shows to promote it.
CONFRONT: That’s cool, and what about any music videos?
ANTHONY L: Yeah actually! And it was a great experience for us because we’ve never done a video before. I can see myself doing that for the rest of my life! It was the best time. We’re going to try to get it out to music stations once it’s out but YouTube is also a big thing now, with views and all.
GIANCARLO: So we got to promote it as much as possible. Once we release it, it’s not over; we have to push it and we have to make sure it’s a good video that represents our band and our music. We’re hoping to have it out by January. We worked with Justin Agustin, who’s done a lot of big up and coming hip hop acts. And he did a good job.
ANTHONY F: And it was just a really fun experience; we’re used to watching videos but it’s another thing to be part of it. I’m excited to see the outcome.
CONFRONT: And what else is in the future for the band?
GIANCARLO: In the near future, we really want to promote our band and we really want to take the next step; it’s time for us to take that next step. We’re ready! So basically, promoting online, getting our EP out, releasing our music video…
ANTHONY F: I’m also hoping to open for bigger bands.
ANTHONY L: We’ve already had the chance to open for bands from Disney, Universal, Def Jam Records and we’re hoping to have more shows like that. It’s great because we usually win over the crowd and we get our own fanbase through these shows.
GIANCARLO: So yeah, we really have to push for that. We have to open up for a whole lot of bands because we get so many fans that way and we’re hoping to take the next step and open for bigger bands at Metropolis and maybe eventually the Bell Center in the near future.
ANTHONY F: A drumset! It’s me playing a show!
GIANCARLO: This is me: a gigantic smile, pizza in one hand and microphone in the other! We love Pizza, it’s all we eat!
ANTHONY L: That and spaghetti and meatballs!
CONFRONT: Typical Italian huh?
ANTHONY L: This is me with my hair down, I’ve got little legs and a big torso, a guitar, some pizza and a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Oh and a cap with the Expos logo! My stick person is better than yours!
GIANCARLO: And we’re drawing in our other members.
CONFRONT: Awesome! Anything you’d like to add?
GIANCARLO: All of our music, when we write, we write about what we feel matter. We write about the environment, about the aspects in life like bullying and suicide. We try to make a difference so this is why we want our music to be heard; maybe it can help people get out of rough situations.
CONFRONT: Music is a powerful thing.
GIANCARLO: It is. Yeah and for us, right now, if we can make a difference with our music, it’s all that matters. This is why I say we’re Dreamers.
CONFRONT: That does represent you well.
GIANCARLO: And thank you for taking the time to do this interview, sorry we talk a lot, we’re Italian!
CONFRONT: It was my pleasure, I had a lot of fun!
To check out their music or to learn more about them, check out these sites: