Govball 2019 Preview Series: Alt-rock band DREAMERS creates art through music

Image Courtesy GovBall Press

Image Courtesy GovBall Press

The best weekend of the summer is fast approaching: The Governors Ball Music Festival is set to start this Friday, May 31, and continue for the rest of the weekend at Randall’s Island Park in New York City. With the fest only days away, here’s our final profile in which we spotlight some of the best up-and-coming musicians playing this year.

DREAMERS, the alt-rock group consisting of singer and guitarist Nick Wold, bassist Nelson and drummer Jacob Lee Wick, has been creating music together under their John Lennon-inspired name (does the famous line, “Some may say I’m a dreamer” ring a bell?) for the past five years and have had music as a part of their lives for even longer.

Wold himself discussed the importance of music throughout his entire life. At the age of 11 Wold began to seriously study the saxophone and at 18 he moved to New York to study jazz at NYU.

“I remember pacing around, being like, ‘Should I go the safe route and get a job when what I really want to do is make a rock band? But of course that’s impossible, that’s a pipe dream,’” Wold explained in regard to his decision to pursue music professionally.

“And I just remember pacing around, partly just believing that you only get one life, probably because I was depressed and ready to make moves to change my life, and probably just because I believed you could be happy even if you didn’t succeed, so I decided to take the dive and not regret not trying,” Wold continued. And with that mindset, DREAMERS was created.

However, the creation of the band wasn’t necessarily easy.

“I was just writing a bunch of songs and realized that I could work at the bar only one day a week instead of four if I didn’t have an apartment. So I was kind of homeless by choice, living in my practice space and writing every day, all day, with a $20 gym membership so I could shower,” Wold said about the very early stages of the band.

While he was in New York, Wold met Nelson who shared the same serious attitude about creating a successful rock band. Once they signed a record deal with Hollywood Records and moved to Los Angeles, the two met Jacob, completing the lineup. What united all of the boys was their dedication to creating music that had a true rock ‘n’ roll spirit.

“We wanted [our sound] to have ideas and attitude. I feel like there’s a certain spirit of rock that not a lot of bands do, but a lot of great bands have done. We wanted to see if we could channel some of that, in our own way; to kind of take it into the future and keep the torch lit, that’s what we hope to do,” Wold explained in regards to the band’s overall aesthetic.

In terms of the band’s sound specifically, all of the members take inspiration from great classic rock bands of the past, along with 90s grunge bands: Wold’s favorite band growing up was Nirvana, while Nelson idolized Stone Temple Pilots.

“But we also wanted to forge a new path, to not just be retro but try to do something in that spirit that is more futuristic and to try to change,” Wold added.

DREAMERS has certainly met a fair amount of critical success, between their first single “Wolves (You Got Me)” getting air time on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation as well as a series of successful tours, their biggest being when they opened for Stone Temple Pilots. However, Wold described DREAMERS’ popularity as a “series of little breaks....never like a sudden change.”

Another impressive achievement to add to this “series of little breaks” is a slot on the 2019 Govball lineup. This was especially exciting for Wold, who remembered actually attending the Governors Ball as a festival-goer back when he was living in New York.

“I had gone to Governors Ball back in the day when I lived in New York and could only dream of being onstage,” Wold said.

Perhaps what’s most refreshing about DREAMERS is the clear thought and time put into each song, mixtape and album. The point of the band isn’t merely to create catchy music (although this of course plays a role), but on a greater level, to reach a true degree of artistry.

“I guess we think that the role of the artist is to be a dreamer, a thinker, an imaginer. That’s what we aspire to be. We hope that we can provoke ideas and feelings and things like that in people, things that were provoked in us by great music that we loved. That’s our greater purpose,” Wold said.

“There’s also a personal purpose,” Wold continued in regard to the reason behind the music. “When I was younger, I always felt like there were feelings and thoughts that were so crazy and so sad or beautiful or whatever that I couldn’t express it with only words. So [music] is kind of a way to communicate things that are bigger than words. That’s what we try to do.”

From alt-rock bands like DREAMERS to electro-pop ensembles like SHAED to rappers like Tobi Lou to classic rock bands like Hundredth, it’s clear that Govball is ushering in a generation of new, diverse talent in addition to this year’s hottest headliners.

Now when you go to the festival, you’ll be able to say you know more than just the big names. Not only will you come off as an underground music connoisseur, but you’ll actually be able to enjoy more sets with this new music knowledge as well. Instant music clout plus more music enjoyability equals a happy festival-goer.  

Make sure to catch DREAMERS at the Governors Ball on Friday, May 31 at the Bacardí Stage at 12:45 p.m. Tickets can be found on the festival’s website.


Lucie Turkel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lucie.turkel@uconn.edu.