Interview with Michael Schwager
(Drums), Dreamscape (September 27th 2007)

How has the response been on your new album “5th Season” and what kind of expectations do you have for it?

Dreamscape – Well, we’ve had a lot of positive feedback about sound, song writing and the cover artwork till now. When we finished the album, we were sure, that this was really the best Dreamscape album we’ve ever made, but every artist thinks that, once the work is completed. (At least it should be like that). 

Four years has passed since your last album 'End of Silence', why did it take so long for you to get this new one out, and don’t you consider it a risk to take such a long break?

Dreamscape – Oh, this is our Achilles heel. Some of the actual songs were written in 2004, but it was all but impossible to get the work done because of time pressure. Benno, Jan and Roland were so involved in their side projects or tied up with their work, so that practicing, live playing and also the studio work was difficult to plan.

This is also the main reason, why the band has changed the line up. And that’s been a positive development. Firstly, we are still good friends with Jan, Roland and Benno and secondly, we have an unbelievably cool gang on board, so that the fans can expect much more and quicker musical output from the band in the future. 

If you should choose one song on the new album, which represents the essence of Dreamscape, which one would that be… Personally I would pick the title track, a song I feel pretty much sums up what Dreamscape is capable of.

Dreamscape – Yes indeed, “5th Season” is not only the title song; it is the creative mirror of 5 mad musicians :-) But I also like all the others. 

If you had to describe your music to a complete musical ignorant – what would you tell him? I have used the term progressive metal, a very used term, which to some extent is fitting, but I still feel there is much more to it than just that…

Dreamscape – Progressive metal is a valid description, but we value influences from all kinds of sources. For example “Somebody” has real pop elements in it. We never plan a song to be in one kind of style or another, the music still flows out of us and contains aspects of all the different feelings man has. That the main result is prog. style comes from the complexity of these feelings. 

How important is the lyrically side of Dreamscape – and what has inspired you on this album?

Dreamscape – The lyrics always play a very important role in the music of Dreamscape. They must fit the music and also be full of respect for Creation. 

Tell us a bit about the album art work…

Dreamscape – Well we had some concepts from different artists on our short-list and finally gave the job to André Beckston. The colors and pictures he used best suit the music we’d written. It conveys the power and feeling of the music visually, before you’ve heard a single note. 

The production is very good, who produced and mixed the album?

Dreamscape – Always the same: “Jan Vacik” who is not only a marvelous keyboard player, but also a master of the mixing console. For this album, due to time pressure, we recorded the drums and guitar ourselves outside the dreamscape studio. This made the recording process more relaxed. 

How did you get the name Dreamscape, and is there a story behind it?

Dreamscape – It was Wolfgang’s suggestion, relaxing after a band rehearsal, drinking beer and thinking of getting famous some day ;-) The Name also means that the band’s music is a dream you can walk around in. 

What do you consider to be the biggest accomplishment for you and Dreamscape, not necessarily sales wise?

Dreamscape – I think it’s that we’re still making good music these last 20 years with great musicians, never looking back but always looking forward, thinking about what we like to do. Additionally, I can’t see anything that I’m so proud of, to make me stop trying to visualize the next step. This is currently playing more live concerts and finding our feet with the process of writing the 6th season. :-) 

This is sadly the last album with the current line-up, what will happen next? Will the band disband; continue with another line-up or…

Dreamscape – Hey, we are more present than ever before, touring with “Sieges Even”, still recording new songs for the next album no. 6, which can be expected next Year! Far from it! There is absolutely no sadness in the current development; we see it as a process of growth. 

Name an album, person or event that has had a huge influence on your life … and why?

Dreamscape – For me is was definitely the red “Beatles Complete” double album and the “Highway to Hell” album from AC/DC, with them I learned my first drum grooves. So you can say that Ringo Starr and Phil Rudd were my first teachers. LOL

Give me your shot at some albums you’d rip for your iPod if you were to be sent to the MIR space station tonight…

Dreamscape – Surely the new albums by “Sieges Even”, “Dream Theatre”, “Symphony-X” and Katie Melua’s “Piece by Piece” for the lonely hours. 

Which album(s) have put a big smile on your face and has made you bang your head in the past year?

Dreamscape – Every album by “Tool”. This music and especially the drummer is really crazy! 

I thank you very much for participating in this interview and sharing this information and your thoughts with us - these last lines are entirely for you. Any final words you would like to round off with?

Dreamscape – First of all a big hand to all of our fans! You’ve taken the message of the changing line-up in such a cool manner, deserving of our full respect. Thanx for all the cool guestbook entries at during the last months, asking us to “continue and go on with your music etc.” and we accept your request!

So for all of you reading these lines, bless you and hope you can do the things you like the most, as we try to do. Don’t listen to bad music and always read the Powermetal Webzines. :-) 

Interviewed by Kenn Jensen.


Dreamscape - 5th Season

Album available on Massacre Records.

For more info on Dreamscape - click on the album cover.