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2nd of August 2018 – Happy Little Accidents

“Don’t you ever get tired?” – A fan asking me about my workload in general

Well… Yes, but I basically bite through it and still get shit done because I am stubborn like that. 😛

So this was quite the eventful set of days. I have been working on many different projects lately (Which I will elaborate on more in other posts) and all these have been taking big chunks of my time. However, one project in particular entitled First Re-Draft 2019 (This is still a working title) has been the bane of my existence for the last year or so.

Allow me to use this info-graphic to explain what I am working on right now:

Okay, so short said, this new album that is coming is a re-release of a re-release… I don’t blame you if you are lost on the how’s and why’s. 😛

It’s quite a story though, so allow me to elaborate:

First Draft was my very first foray into songwriting in 2004 and it was a special time for me for many reasons. Making my first music on my own showed me that I was able to express some of my darker emotions for the first time in my life. This was very much needed and healthy for me and is still my main drive to make art in the first place.

Here, have a few pictures of me in 2004 and 2005 working on music to set the scene. When I was still an angsty teenager. Woop! 😛

Of course this album was under-produced, under-written and in general well… under-whelming. But it was needed to start my adventures into music. I am not interested in releasing that album in that form ever again as I personally think it’s a small nightmare to listen to (hell, I didn’t even sing in key most of the time. It was bad 😛 ) but I will always keep it in my heart for being the starting point opf this thing that I am still doing to this day and some of the basic song ideas always stayed with me.

Fast forward to 2011

After releasing my third album Scrapbook in early 2011, I felt an urge to go back to my earlier songs and see what I felt like listening to them with clean ears and my current state of mind…

I wanted to get back to the original Cool Edit Pro (Yes really!) recording sessions… But I ended up being an idiot and losing the mastertracks to my original first album in a computer crash. So the only thing that was left was the MP3 and WAV audio version I had of it and that was it… Hence my frustration that I could not do anything with those songs anymore…

It was however after listening to those WAVs & MP3s that I realized these songs were very rough… But there was something underneath that roughness. These songs deserved a better fate. These songs still had validity, but were marred by bad production, bad lyrics and bad performance from my end.

So with my new found experience both musically and production-wise, I tackled the songs again and took out the best parts to rewrite the tracks to what became First Re-Draft in 2011. This was a massive improvement over the original album and it is still available to the Dreamwalkers in the Dreamwalkers Realm (TDW music members that can download it from this very website if you are a member. Check the last couple of TDW booklets in the albums to find out how you can become one!) and it got some decent reviews but that was it really.

Fast forward to late 2014

After the release of the MTSAAFAT album, which featured older songs redone in a new shape as well (Songs like Surface Scratching, Jimmy and Mourning After 2 originally were written in 2006) I still had a nagging feeling about First Re-Draft… Releasing it only to website members was (in retrospect) not a smart move… And it still felt like people were missing out on these songs…

So I reopened the 2011 sessions in the studio and started listening to it… And still wasn’t completely satisfied! AAAAAAH!

I just knew that I could improve the production, performance and overall sheen of it once again and that would be the last I would do to it. So, as a real George Lucas (yes, I went there), I got back into remixing these songs. This process took me about a year, but then I realized the original parts were not gonna cut it… So I slowly started to re-record guitar parts and bass parts to make it all sound beefier and more direct…

Still, that is what it feels like, like with most good stuff that went down in my life: It happened. People came in at the right time and BAM, there it was. I am still surprised by that. And looking at that development now in 2018, I can only say: THAT is what was needed.

We wrapped up The Antithetic Affiliation last year (all this time while also working on this album in the background) and with the excitement of that process in mind, I started including my band mates in the First Re-Draft sessions. Every band member added new flavors, solo’s, sounds, vibes and overall impact to the songs and FINALLY it feels like the songs are complete now.

And if that wasn’t enough, I made a fun little post on the Facebork this week, asking who felt like singing along on this record in the choirs… I got over 40 replies with an actual 13 capable singers ending up able to perform it and more are still applying! I did not expect that many responses to come in. :O

Add to this that I can mix better records these days and know my shit more, I am actually getting quite excited to finally release these songs in the way that they deserve to be heard and played. The first song, Happy Day (which we also play live both electrically and acoustically) was already released as a preview of sorts in May of 2018 through BlankTV. The responses have been very positive indeed! Feels good to launch something that isn’t even finished properly and then getting people that excited. 😛

And now it’s August 2018 and I am preparing to record all the choir parts with the new singers. And that is the complete history of First Re-Draft to this point.

We will now work on finishing up all the parts in all songs ASAP and then work towards releasing this full thing on CD and digital platforms in early 2019. (If murphy’s law doesn’t screw us over that is 😛 ) Then I can finally let go of this in a satisfying way and show the world the songs in a quality that represents the music as it should be. The last parts always take the longest, but it will be all worth it! I am excited! 😀

Now then, enough blog writing, time to get back into le studio again. 😉

Cheers!
Tom (TDW)

26th of July 2018 – Last time I checked I was still alive…

“JESUS CHRISTBALLS IT’S HOT IN HERE” (My inner monologue when walking outside)

So yeah, no blog for about a month. I know that I suck at keeping these kind of things updated, but in this case the main reason was not negligence and/or incompetence (have to admit that these both have been reasons in the past) but an honest insane influx of work that took place in the months june and july up until this point.

I won’t go into ALL the details of what has been happening, but I do want to bring out the main points that caused me to, well … not write a blog. 😛

The things that occupied me were:
– My trip to Barcelona for Be Prog MY Friend 2018
– The first edition of Progressive Invasion and the preparations for that
– Our acoustic performance in Monnickendam on the 14th of July
– A neccesary computer reinstall I needed to do.
– Dying from the heat here

Got all that? Yes? Good. Now allow me to elaborate on these matters a bit more.

Barcelona / Be Prog My Friend 2018

Barcelona was (as expected with my prior experiences) both a rollercoaster ride of wonderful emotions, meeting good friends, seeing amazing gigs and making the foundation of a documentary for this years’ be prog edition, as well as a way to get my head off of things. The weird part is that the holiday always ends up with me being physically broken (A week of active walking, running, sightseeing and filming under the hot sun, is intense) but mentally recharged.

I needed that week away much more then I thought in advance. And even though my time was also spent working the hard in the way we did, it still felt like I was able to unload some of the stress of the last months. I am as always happy I went and especially with the friends I went with, this was an experience I didn’t want to miss!

The Be Prog documentary obviously needs to be made still as it will be a lot of work. But I am planning on a release in late august if the gods of technology and time allow me to finish it up. 😛

Progressive Invasion – The First Edition

The saturday after returning from Barca, I immediately had another gig lined up to visit with camera’s and what not, as the first edition of Duycker’s Progressive Invasion took place with the Australian bands Copia & Anubis and the dutch bands Hillsphere & Transient State. I am involved in these events as both the videographer, but also as an advisor of sorts together with a bunch of other booker/musician friends. It’s a fun new project that I like being a part of!

It was very cool to witness this event taking place as I of course have both Hillsphere & Transient State under my label (And I am always proud of my boys!) but also because it was a great opportunity to meet up with my brother-from-another-mother Dougie from Hemina/Anubis who was performing that night. Needless to say, this was a great day and nerding out about progressive rock and metal with a bunch of Australians is something you can always ask me to join in with. Also the guys bursting into laughter everytime I switched back to my native language Dutch was something of comedy gold. I don’t think I can actually listen to my native language again without thinking of Dougie saying that we all sound like Sean Connery. “IT’SH ALL THE SHAME IIN THE NAYDERLANDSH!”

Another fun fact is that Dreamwalkers Inc will also play on one of these events on the 9th of November with our musical friends of Seven Steps To The Green Door, Timeshift Accident and Day Six! So mark those calendars and be sure to come to Duycker, to see all these bands give their all!

Here’s the facebook event for the November gig:
https://www.facebook.com/events/394654080938762/

And finally, an aftermovie of the Australian Progressive Invasion night will follow somewhere in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for that. 😉

Dreamwalkers Inc – Acoustic in Monnickendam

Fast forward to the 14th of July, were a small delegation of Dreamwalkers Inc (Because we could not bring Kenneth, Hanna and Joey due to reasons) performed a gig at a brewery called “Bierderij Waterland” in Monnickendam.

We played a set of acoustic/ambient songs for about 30 minutes and had a lot of fun playing there. The audience was chill and nice, the venue was actually pretty decent in terms of size and hospitality and the added CD fair (by which we were invited to play) was great fun as well. Add into this great weather and special beers and one can conclude that this was a good day indeed!

We also recorded it, so the planning is to release a song from this set as well. So keep an eye out on our pages. 😉

A computer reinstallation and the drudgery that followed

You know that feeling when you worked on a PC for about 3 years on many heavy projects and it’s kinda showing signs of slowing down due to clutter? Well, to be fair I thought that wouldn’t happen with my current PC as I am kinda working this frankenstein super device, but after 3 years of loyal service it begged me to reinstall the darn thing and get all the temp clutter out. So that took about a week of my life just to get all the software back and such. However, it now runs as it should again. I know this is not very exciting news and all, but it does explain why I wasn’t able to make videos and/or update other things as I wanted to. I am really happy everything works again now. Let’s hope I can stretch it longer then 3 years this time. 😛

Dying from the heat

2018 might just be the most insanely hot summer we had in a long time. Normally the Dutch summers tend to have a few hotter days (around 32+ degrees celsius) and the rest of it average warmth (around 25+ degrees celsius)… However, this summer we are “treated” to a mega heatwave of an almost constant 30+ and it’s starting to leave it’s impact on the environment and people. Besides animals wanting to search for cool places and plants and trees needing all the extra help they can get, it’s clear that people are feeling this as well.

Short said: I am not made for this weather and even with my AC on full swing (powered by my house’s solar panels fortunately) I still feel like I am melting alive. Here’s to hoping the temps will drop again soon, because this shit ain’t good for my productivity. 😛

Anyway, this is the quick and dirty summary of what the last couple of weeks have been like. Just know that there are many things coming up and I am planning on posting more frequent updates as the coming weeks will feature more TDW-related developments!

Enjoy melting in the sun! 😛

Cheers!
Tom (TDW)

11th of June 2018 – The Mechanics of Pride

“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels” (St Augustine – 345 – 430)

Click on the image above to see the aftermovie of Hillsphere’s show at Sugar Factory done on the 8th of June 2018. It’s worth it, trust me. 😉 Or start reading below here:

I have a love/hate relationship with the emotion and mechanics of pride. Most of the time I consider pride nothing more than a sense of vanity: A validation that one apparently craves and wants to show to “the others” to say “Look at me! I am awesome and you should think so too!”… It’s not often a coincidence that this form of pride is spouted by those who are the most insecure about themselves… Needless to say, this is not exactly the type of emotion I would want to associate myself with.

I also often consider pride to be a bad guiding element. Many great mistakes and fatal misjudgments were made in the name of “pride” by people who thought they “did not need help” or “who could do everything by themselves without guidance or advice”. The stories are plentiful, yet, people don’t seem to notice and/or learn from it.

Now I am not saying that being autonomous is a bad thing (I mean, autonomy is the bane of my existence in life these days and it brought me to where I am in life now.) but pride, can be the one thing to stifle autonomy and turn it upside down. It’s pride that blinds people for advice from the outside that could benefit them, just to name one example…

And I am not saying you should not “take pride in” something either. I am proud of my work and my music because of the blood, sweat and tears that went into creating all those things. These things are here now and they will not be taken away from me. That simple fact can fill me with joy and a small ego boost at times. But does that mean I am always proud of myself? Always filled with pride and always glowing with an arrogant sense of self proclaiming “I CAN DO ALL THE THINGS?!” … Nope, it’s more like the opposite. But the source of that is too complex to explain here now.

So then the question is: Is there a positive version of pride? Why would I make this introduction about pride in this post? Where am I leading this too?

Well, last Friday (08-06) I had one of those few instances in which pride actually was a positive emotion and mindset. This happened when I saw the guys from Hillsphere play their album release show at the SugarFactory in Amsterdam. They released their album through my own label Layered Reality Productions earlier in May and they could now finally “play it to the world”. On that stage I saw a band of young, talented and passionate young men playing music they loved the most with a fire that is inspiring and above all a joy to behold.

Seeing this spectacle before me, filled me with pride and a sense of accomplishment.

Why? Because in this very same venue in 2015, I saw this band (with a radically different line-up though) performing in the small room next to this big one and I saw something legitimately awesome in their performance and their music. I knew from the get go that I wanted to sign these guys, because I knew their music had potential and deserved to be heard. I was glad they felt equally positive about my offer and our working relationship became a good one ever since. My pride did not just stem from “Me doing stuff for them and being proud of that” but actually being proud of them as a band for persevering and creating something as intense and unique as this show turned out to be.

My feeling of pride suddenly became something outside of myself and a way to say “I am proud of you guys!” like it was a gift to give. That strong sense of being happy and proud of and for them, made me tear up near the end of their gig. I was legitimately touched by what they put on display and it once again reinforced that I signed a band that has potential and is a force to be reckoned with. Of course this also is to my own advantage as a business-man and such, but I mostly noticed that the emotional response from me personally was the strongest. I was able to help these guys in their adventure… And I hope I can do that many more times.

So as a conclusion, I can say that pride in itself is still something I am not the greatest fan of (as it is mostly distributed to those who in my opinion, are not deserving of it or are using it wrong…) but in this occasion I let the pride flow in. And it felt really good. And after the show I hugged Elias (the bands’ main composer and the one member that went through it all) and told him that I was very proud of him and loved them all for their work. I gave a bit of my pride to him … And it felt fantastic!

28th of May 2018 – Finally: A facebook hype that I actually approve of.

Your face is a facebook hype! (Me – Me)

So most of you might know that I am both personally and business-wise active on social media (Mostly Facebook and Instagram and sometimes twitter if I don’t forget!) and I have been on those pages for quite a while now. I tend to see the whole social media thing as a great way to communicate with people I like and that live too far away to just hang out with for real, but also a great way to spread the word about the things I make. (Being music, video’s, websites and whatever else) Granted, social media is as much a reflection of the world as the internet is (Ergo: It ain’t pretty at times) but overall I am pretty positive towards it.

However, I tend to have a pretty firm stance on “hypes” that go around on the social pages like “Share this if you think…” or “share this to show you care” or the ever illustrious “If you don’t share this you are…” posts that bring a great emotional and social pressure along with them that apparently a considerable amount of people are not able to withstand…

My regular stance towards these things can be described as a ten foot high middle finger made out of concrete, glazed with a sense of amused apathy and a mountain of “I hope that the one sharing it and emotionally blackmailing me will die lonely” on the side. However, sometimes a hype goes around on the socials that I DO approve of which is done on a grand scale and in this case it involves the “10 DAY ALBUM CHALLENGE”!

Talking and writing about music is always lovely, so I went out and wrote 10 mini-reviews/rants about 10 albums that I love dearly, to describe WHY these records meant so much to me. I figured this would also be good blog material and such, so I will now share my selection of records here to at least give you guys an impression of what inspired me.

The descriptions are added below for your convenience. Short, sweet, yet enough info to make a point. (Or so I hope.)

Hope y’all will enjoy it! Meanwhile, I will get back to working on the new TDW stuff that is coming, which is still a work in progress but which is shaping up nicely! Cheers!

Tom (TDW)

10 – Between The Buried And Me – The Great Misdirect
My first pick is this insane album by Between The Buried And Me. The song Swim To The Moon is basically progressive music porn and warrants the full price of admission. I hope I can ever see them perform that live once. (a man can dream!) And yes…. I like this one MUUUUUCH better than colors. Fight me. 😛

9 – Frank Zappa – Does Humor Belong In Music
The 2nd album to be posted is a live recording of Frank Zappa’s 80’s liveband performing a set which I can only describe as friggin’ insane. It was a tough call between this one “Joe’s Garage” and “Tinseltown Rebellion”, but I just had to pick this one for the balanced setlist that ranges from hardrock satire to jazz-avantgarde extravaganza’s and everything in between. 😉
I can only answer the title’s question by saying: YES

8 – Genesis – Selling England By The Pound
The 3rd album to be posted had to be a Genesis album for obvious inspirational reasons. To be fair, I was doubting between this and Nursery Cryme, but that one is a tad less consistent than this offering in my opinion. Dancing with the moonlit knight alone is worth the price of admission and then it’s only just starting! Great album. A classic for a reason.

7 – Protest The Hero – Fortress
The 4th album on this list is in my opinion one of the prime releases in the Math Core/Metal genre with a guy that can sing in ways I wish I could. Damn, my voice for being lower. 😛 I remember the first time I heard “Sequoia Throne” and thinking… “Okay, I might as well just stop making music now. These guys basically put ALL THE GOOD THINGS in their songs” 😛 YAY! CHAOTIC TECHNICAL NOISE STUFF!

6 – Pain of Salvation – The Perfect Element, Part 1
Day 5. We are now entering the records that shaped me as a composer, writer and singer. This record is one of those albums that helped me with all those things. It’s a record that (to me at least) invokes waves of melancholy, sadness, anger but above all loneliness… And that is what makes it perfectly beautiful in my opinion. Also (probably not so) fun fact: If you want to see Tom cry over beauty, let this band play The Perfect Element live. Halfway through I will have tears streaming down my face and loving it. Not ashamed at all. 😉 One of the first records that made me feel things this deeply. Not for everyone perhaps, but I am thankful this exists.

5 – Porcupine Tree – Deadwing
Arriviiiiiiiiiiiiing somewhere…. but not heeeeeeeeere. *has goosebumps even thinking about the darn song* This album is a masterpiece hybrid of progrock with metal, ambient and pop overtones. Inspirational stuff to the max! 😀

4 –Tool – Aenima
PRYING OPEN MY THIRD EYE! … PRYING OPEN MY THIRD EYE! … Yes I know Tool has become somewhat over-idolized over the years and I am just as annoyed by the people who think they are the “best-thing-since-sliced-bread-ever” (seriously, but that does not detract from the fact that this very album has inspired me in ALL THE CREATIVE WAYS. Especially songs like Stinkfist, Hooker with a Penis and the epic title track (“Fuck L Ron Hubbard and Fuck all his clones. Fuck all these gun toting hip gangster wannabe’s!”) give me rushes of adrenaline every time and the rhythms on this album are always great inspirational fuel if my drumparts are lacking. 😉

3 – Symphony X – The Divine Wings of Tragedy
I know, I missed a day yesterday. But that had to do with the new TDW & Dreamwalkers Inc. vid that was launched through BlankTV and such. So now I am back at the old album challenge again. To be fair, it was the “V – The New Mythology Suite” album that got me into prog metal, but I want to nominate this Symphony X record because for me it feels like this album is the blueprint for basically all symphonic, melodic progressive metal from the 90’s in a way. Tracks like “Of Sins and Shadows”, “The Accolade” and the epic title track prove (to me at least) that Symphony X understood the magical mix were truly great melodies, metallic intensity and neo-classical music found one another. My only criticism is that Symphony X is apparently not interested in playing this material anymore and that makes me sad. I would pay good money to see them play a set with just material from this album and the two albums that followed and I think I am not alone in that respect.However, the music and the album stay for repeated listening sessions fortunately, so I can just play this over and over. And I am grateful for that!

2 – Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
There is a reason this artwork is hanging on my livingroom wall… A big reason. How many bands are able to invoke goosebumps by just playing four notes? I don’t know many of them, but by golly, the opening guitar notes of Shine On You Crazy Diamond hit me in ALL THE SPECIAL PLACES. Debates about the best Pink Floyd album are in my opinion kind of useless as everyone of their records has redeeming qualities and both good and bad songs, so this choice is purely made on my emotional resonance. This album carried me through quite some dark periods in my life, fighting both my brain and my body itself, so that’s why this will always have a place.

1 – Dream Theater – Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
And here is the big one. The album that I can listen to over and over again on repeat and not get bored with. I have fallen out of love with Dream Theater over the last couple of years for a multitude of reasons I will not get into now, but I can say that this album is (in my humble opinion) their seminal work and one of the prime examples of “How to Prog Metal right”. Especially the magnificent title track that deals with the lives of six deranged individuals with their mental struggles resonated with me when I first heard it and still resonates with me to this day. It felt like a band finally put to words what I had been feeling for the longest time. Thank you DT for writing this album and giving me comfort when I needed it. 🙂

24th of May 2018 – All the stuff that happened this week

But where is the ambiguity? ..It’s over there in a box! (John Cleese – Monty Python)

A thursday blog post for a good reason as today we (finally!) have launched our new vid for the song Happy Day through BlankTV!

It’s really cool to see that a channel that started as a haven for Punk music has branched out to many more styles and also is now embracing the kind of stuff we make in the way they do!

Also, this week was a tad quiet on the TDW front because external work has mostly been consuming my time. However that doesn’t mean nothing happened at all, as I did work on writing down more lyrics for the Facebook and website lyric/photography project, while arranging stuff for future gigs. We will announce some gigs in the coming days actually, so be sure to keep those eyeballs open for that!

So I can say there is never a dull moment here. It’s just that some things aren’t really… exciting enough to share I guess. 😛

Anyway, stay tuned for more cool stuff that’s coming next week!

BYE!
Tom (TDW)

15th of May 2018 – New things! ALL THE NEW THINGS!

I wanted to post blog updates on Mondays… Then I got distracted by something important (read: shiny) yesterday. Though to be fair, it was worth it. 😉

Last week was a good week! Now, most of you guys and girls also know that I am also the main guy behind Layered reality Productions and on that front last week, some great news could be shared as another new band joined the label! This time it’s the experimental metalheads of IDEK. who basically make the type of music that combines groove with technicality and above all FUN! So much fun! These guys are a legitimate hoot and I think you should totally check out their video for the song “Approaching Storms”. It’s awesome!

Also it’s great to see my old musical brother Müşfik Can (Who used to be on stage with me with Mind:Soul) play bass with these guys and actually prehg-ing it the f*ck up again. Always good to see old friends rocking out in a good way. 😀

On the TDW front, work has for First Re-Draft keeps going on as we recorded more and more parts, including synths, vocals, violins and what not. This stuff is getting bigger and better with every step. Oh yeah, I can now also say that a new music video will launch next week for the song Happy Day! The video is almost completely done and I am now waiting for the master to be made so we can launch it! 😀 I was able to make a concept/live video for it with new artwork and live footage from our earlier gigs. So people can’t blame me for being lazy I would say. 😛

And then of course work for the studio The Imagineering Suite (my main income basically) is coming along nicely as well. I am working on some cool new website projects and there’s video and audio work in the pipeline that is also very exciting to me!

Though to be fair I am always open to new jobs on the audio, video and webdesign front, but that is not the purpose of this blog. 😉 (If you want to know more you can always check www.thesuite.nl though. :P) #notanad #maybealittle #derp #herp

Oh yeah, the TDW tourshirts are still selling and more and more people are showing their bodies and headfaces in them! Fun! 😀

If you want one too, you can order it here: https://www.layered-reality.com/product/tdw-dreamwalkers-inc-2018-artwork-shirt/

Alright, that’s all for this week. Time to get back to work and get stuff done!

Greetings from the sweaty and hard-working side,
Tom (TDW)

PS: for the last couple of weeks it has been constantly HOT here in The Netherlands and honestly, I am not really built for that…
PPS: …Even my buttsweat has buttsweat now…
PPPS: …Send halp.

7th of May 2018 – Look ma, I got back to writing again…

So… A challenge it is!

It’s been a while since I wrote ramblings, but I figured this would be a good new challenge for me. Actually force myself to write something every week to keep the writing muscles active. I know that with my stream of music, video’s and whatever I make lately, the written word tends to get buried as a priority, so I decided to use this page on this here website as a new creative outlet of sorts. So yeah, if you are here reading it, here’s to the start of a new adventure!

I want to set one goal: and that is to update this page once a week with whatever I consider worthy of adding. This will mostly be TDW related stuff, but knowing how my brain works, it will probably be random as fuck.

My most pressing priority right now is working on First Re-Draft for this year. We are working on re-recording and revamping the songs from 2011 with the members of Dreamwalkers Inc and it is really getting to new and exciting places! Also it is with great joy that I got to work with new people like Kelly Thans and having people sing that didn’t sing before like DWI’s Joey Klerkx!

Yesterday I was working on the mix for Happy Day for example (Probably the first track to hit youtube for you all to enjoy somewhere in the coming weeks!) and especially when listening to all the solo’s, vocal parts added, the choirs etc I once again discovered how blessed I am to be surrounded by awesome musicians that can make the music I hear in my head even better! (and yes, Lenny, that also includes our search for the proper solo guitar tone! I am happy we did that as well! 😛 )

Also recently, I had the pleasure to be interviewed by the smart, talented and funny Merel Mooistra for her youtube channel. The 3 hour(!!!) interview is now available online for everyone to hear. It is however in Dutch, so if you can’t understand a word of it… Well, you can still watch us talking in gibberish? 😛

Anyway, that’s it for this first entry, here’s to hoping I can actually follow through on the next post. Bye!

Tom
(The Dream Walker)

“Why would you make a video like this?”

Well, that isn’t an easy question to answer, so my apologies if this description is going to be wordy as fuck.

The most vital matter that instigated the making of this video, came to me when the news reached me of the suicides of both Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell in the first half of 2017. It’s not that I was a mega fan of both singers or that I was particularly moved by the situations in itself (although I think that every loss of life is one too many and deserves to be recognized and mourned for.), but it was a strange underlining to a thought I had more and more in the last couple of years… A thought that was sparked the first time in 2014 when the great comedian and one of my all-time heroes Robin Williams committed suicide as well…

Depression has become a “common illness” among people of all generations these days. In my direct life alone, I know multiple individuals that either have suffered or are suffering through a state of depression at this moment. I don’t know if the numbers actually increased or that depression in this day and age of open communication is more visible, but it has become a more prominent subject in my life lately with more occurrences popping up.

I myself have been hit by the beast known as depression as well, so the topic in itself and the byproduct of it growing so big that thinking about ending life just to “not feel pain anymore” or “not to be in people’s way anymore”, has been one that has been on my shoulders figuratively for many years. Yet, I never felt that I had the right to say anything about it or do something with it, because …

Why would anyone listen? What’s the point? Who do I think I am, to say anything about this subject? …

These questions symbolize one of the prime problems with depression and low self esteem: Feeling worthless and feeling like a waste of space and oxygen, therefore not telling anyone that you are feeling the way you do…

I never made a secret out of being a highly sensitive person (or HSP for short.) and the struggles that came along with that in my life. (I dedicated my first album “The Haunts” to that integrally for example.) Living without an emotional filter and constantly having to translate impulses and situations in your brain while they seem to be projected at you with warpspeed and through a megaphone, definitely isn’t a prospect you would want to wish on anyone. But this darker side of it, was something I didn’t feel like elaborating on too much.

‘Till something changed for me, by pure luck…

If we rewind to 2015 when I started writing the last TDW album, the song Dirge was something that kind of came into its own by pure luck. I was in a sad mindset and started playing guitar to perhaps unwind some of my thoughts. The main guitar riff and the chords for the chorus, came out in about 5 minutes and I knew that I had to record it not to forget it. I recorded it and the words wrote themselves as I was singing to it. I knew the song “worked” and I felt better after creating it, because it felt like I had let go of something. Something that apparently was much bigger than I thought it was. The song became a part of the new album and that was that.

People however kept asking me what the song was really about and why the funeral imagery of a dirge was implemented so clearly… I couldn’t answer the question fully, but could only say that it “felt right” as sometimes is the case when making art. Also I felt that I did not want to over-explain the song and just let it be what it is.

However, when the news of the earlier mentioned suicides hit me, something clicked in my head… I knew what Dirge was about suddenly… It was about my struggle with depression and feeling worthless and non-contributing to either society or anyone else’s life whatsoever… It didn’t matter if that was the actual reality or not. This was what I felt and what apparently had to get out of my system to heal. That was a rude wake up call, but a much needed one.

The deaths of these well known and loved characters and also the experiences I have been through with the people around me for the last couple of years, have proven a few solid facts to me regarding depression:

– It doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to EVERYONE, no matter how successful, rich or perfect your life seems to be.
– It’s vicious and will attack when you are most vulnerable and alone.
– It’s not always visible to the outside world and for a depressed person, seeking help is one of the hardest things ever.
– There is not always rhyme or reason to it. Things can seem to go right, yet you can still feel completely hopeless and useless, because this phenomenon makes you feel like that…

If you suffer, you suffer and it should be taken seriously, because it truly is the loneliest feeling in the world to suffer through periods like these on your own. The resulting stream of thoughts that came from this “epiphany”, shaped the video that you can watch now.

The video in this case represents the final phase in which the main character has given up, is not able to fight his emotions anymore and thus chooses the most horrible way out… This doesn’t happen because he wants to, but because his desperation and loneliness have gotten the better of him. Depression clouds your judgment and truly makes you see the world in a very endless grey haze indeed.

“But what about the ghosts then?” Someone asked me after watching the videos first cut.

The ghosts you see in the video are not just ‘dead people for a shock effect’, but they are actually the loved ones standing on the sidelines seeing someone they love dearly destroy himself, unable to do anything. It’s like wanting to help, but being a ghost and thus not being ‘really there’ to physically make a change to someone’s life…

Depression does not just hurt the ones going through it. It also hurts those around them because they often feel like they can’t get to the core of the depressed person and provide the help needed. It’s this situation that makes depression a very sickening reality indeed. Someone else cannot take the steps to help and/or counseling for you when you are depressed… But the thought of not being good enough, important enough and/or relevant to anyone to even be worthy of help, will block that help initiative for the one suffering from it…

So…Why did I make this video?

The simple answer could be “naïve idealism” combined with an urge to let go of this subject and do something constructive with it.

If this video perhaps sparks some conversation or maybe even makes someone wake up and think “Maybe I should search for help to not end up like this”, it would make me a very grateful person. However, visual media and music are all multi interpretable so perhaps someone else sees something radically different in this video. And that is fine too. Everyone should be able to relate to art in their own way without being obstructed by the creators’ view. Which is why I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write this piece in the first place… However, perhaps the video plus these words, might make you think about things you didn’t consider before and if that is the case: I am happy to have contributed something.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and even though the subject matter and execution turned out as dark and intense as it was, I still hope you will be able to experience the video for what it is.

Love and best wishes for all of you,
Tom (TDW)

Ladies and gentle-dreamwalkers!

The album has been out for a month now and as you can see from the lack of updates from our side, it has been downright crazy here! Crazy is good though, so we are not complaining. 😉

The album has been recieved well so far by both press and fans alike and more and more people are sending in their love regarding this piece of work. It really feels amazing!

TDW & Dreamwalkers Inc - Live at Fort33 - Photo by Kelly Thans Photography

Also we had our first gig on the 2nd of june 2017 in Fort33 and that first live metallic experience was indeed a lovely one. To celebrate the awesomeness of this night, we made a video for the song Aphrodisia that features live images from that night together with the album’s song. You can check it out below!

Be sure to follow TDW & Dreamwalkers Inc on all the social media channels, because more information regarding the live shows, album, new videos and more will also be shared there!

You can find us on social media here:

facebook.com/tdwmusic
twitter.com/tdwmusic
instagram.com/tdwprog

Hope to see you all on the road in the future and feel free to spread the joy!

Cheers,
Tom (TDW)

Ladies and gentle-dreamwalkers!

Today is the day we can finally reveal the artwork for the new album for all of you, behold:

TDW - The Antithetic Affiliation - Official Front Cover

The album cover was made once again by Maarten Gunsing who translated my musical visions for the album into one striking image. Thanks a million man!

And here is the full album tracklist for all of you:

The Cynic – The Dark disc

1: Monolith – The Descent (7:20)
2: Aphrodisia (8:21)
3: Dirge (4:41)
4: Lest We Forget (23:16)

The Idealist – The Light Disc

1: The More We Remember (22:39)
2: Anthem (6:38)
3: Lovesong (4:39)
4: Monolith – The Ascent (7:20)

Bonus DVD

An Acoustic Night At The Chapel (Live at PPE 2016)

More information about the packaging and releasedate will follow in the coming weeks!

And finally, be sure to mark your calendars for the release show for the new album that is coming on the 2nd of June 2017 at Fort33 in Leusden! This will be the electric debut-gig for the band and it will become quite the spectacle to behold. And the special guests on the night will be The Aurora Project and Hillsphere, so that will make the whole experience even bigger and better! Hope to see you all there on that night!

Get your tickets here today!

TDW & Dreamwalkers Inc - Progressive, Symphonic Metal from the Netherlands