Adam’s November 2011 interview with Chistopher Hall of The Dreaming, and Stabbing Westward.
Adam Tibbott; So many vocalists now are returning to their original band name after a hiatus or the band breaks up, whether or not any of it’s original members remain. Perfect example being Billy Corgan reforming The Smashing Pumpkins with a new line-up. Had you considered continuing The Dreaming as Stabbing Westward?
Christopher Hall: i have no intention of renaming the dreaming stabbing westward in order to cash in on that name. i think that’s the cowards route. I’m not afraid to start at the bottom and work my way back up to what ever level of success the dreaming has. I have faith in the guys and our label.
AT: You’ve worked with Johnny Haro previously during your time with Stabbing Westward. Had you discussed with any of your former bandmates about possibly joining The Dreaming?
CH: do you mean former SW bandmates? no that thought never crossed my mind. SW has already written all the music we had left together. I’m no more nterested in that than i am dating an ex girlfriend from 10 years ago. what’s the point?
AT: Jay Baumgardner has produced music for a lot of my favorite bands. What was it like working with him and what did you take away from your time together?
CH: we only worked with Jay on one song for a movie soundtrack. i’m not really sure what it would be like to be produced by him. but i have grown pretty comfortable producing our own music. i would be interested in hearing Jay mix a track someday. i think he is a great mixer.
AT: The Dreaming have been performing several tracks off of Puppet live in concert for a few years now. What was the reason behind keeping tracks like Puppet, Dead To Me and Solo Crucifixion off of Etched In Blood or previous releases?
CH: our manager at the time hired a so called producer to do that record. he decided he wanted us to be more of a pop metal a7x type band so he only worked on the songs that lent themselves to that sound. songs like solo crux, whole, puppet, hollowman didn’t make his cut. so i waited till i produced the next record and rewrote and re-recorded them to reflect the new sound i was going for.
AT: Out of your entire musical catalogue, which track has had the most meaning for you personally, not just as the artist who crafted the music but as someone looking in from the outside? That being said, the best music is written from personal experiences and many of your tracks have led us to believe that you’ve been through some pretty rough times. Which song has been the most difficult for you to open up about and release to your fans?
CH: I don’t really have a favorite song. I’m constantly challenging myself to write a better one than the last. but that being said I think crawl would be the most intimate song i’ve ever written. I don’t have any problem opening up about any subject and writing about it. all is fair game in art. if i’m not willing to put my pain and suffering on public display i shouldn’t make art.
AT: With the disolvement of Cement Shoes Records after the Congress of Corruption Tour in 2007, did you have any doubts that The Dreaming’s full length debut would be released?
CH: I didn’t have any doubts it would get released I was just pissed that we wasted so much time on some one who was clearly a joke. that experience did sour us a little bit and later down the road when we got our record deal with Epochal Artists and it took a year to get everything finished and released a few of the guys flashed back to those days and decided that the record was never coming out and that it would be in their best interest to pursue other paths. they were wrong but it seems to have worked out for everyone. so there’s no ill will. my current lineup is hands down the best I’ve ever had.
AT: Does it change how you craft an album’s story based on so much music being bought in the digital medium now? Where the buyers having the option of purchasing a single track instead of the entire album?
CH: regardless of the myth of darkest days being written as a 4 part album (in truth the label asked us to shorten it but ego ruled the day. everyone was more than anxious to cut other guys songs but not their own) i don’t write albums. I write one song at a time and make sure that every song is a complete song unto itself. no album tracks or filler or super heavy tracks that have no chorus. that way no matter what flavor of my music you like you are sure to find a song or 10 that you enjoy.
AT: Can you tell us how you got Sara Taylor of The Birthday Massacre involved in recording vocals on Hole? Any chance of The Dreaming going on tour with The Birthday Massacre?
CH: chibi is a friend of mine. we were talking over the summer about doing a song together and within a few weeks I had sent her the tracks to whole and she sang some beautiful harmonies and counter melodies in her home studio and sent them back to me. I wish as a producer i could have worked with her one on one but maybe next time. and i am constantly trying to put together a dreaming TBM tour. i think that would be so much fun.
AT: Many years down the road, when you’ve written your last song and packed away your gear for the last time, how do you want your fans to remember the music you’ve created?
CH: I won’t stop writing till i’m dead and even then there will probably a 100 songs on my computer no one’s ever heard. i don’t care what people remember me for as long as it’s not “what do i have to do”.