Red Bank-based garage rock/powerpop outfit The Dream of When(?) are set to celebrate the release of their first EP March 10 at Asbury Lanes. Sure to please fans of The Lemonheads, Teenage Fanclub, and the like, TDoW(?)’s sound is reminiscent of the early-’90s-era college rock, grunge and powerpop that is beloved by so many. Also on the bill: Baron Praxis, Tide Bends and Matthew Pelli.
Last month NJ Indy was able to catch up with TDoW(?) frontman, Dylan McLarnon, to discuss the new EP, the release show and more.
What precipitated your starting The Dream of When(?)?
I was in a band called The Red Room and then I play in [another] band, The Black Clouds. I love making music with them, but I just needed to do something else. I wanted to start a new project so I hit up Justin, our drummer, in July. It was the 4th of July, actually. We had our first jam session and we kind of just started the band with the intent of having it be this garage-y, psychedelic sort of sound. Then we jammed with Clay (guitar, vocals) and Chris (bass), and we started recording whatever songs that are on our EP… and it just sort of took off from there. Julia (keyboard, vocals) was added to the band, I think, in November; and she’s been killing it.
Where is home?
Basically all of us, with the exception of Justin, live very close to Red Bank—Justin lives in Brick. So, I would say Asbury [is important to us] but Red Bank is our home.
We caught your solo set a while back at Nip n Tuck in Long Branch and your music brought a lot of early 90’s artists to mind: Evan Dando, Gavin Rossdale and Blake Schwarzenbach in particular. Who are the band’s biggest influences?
I know that Chris, our bass player, loves the Flaming Lips—as do I. I think Beck, Spoon, The Lemonheads. There’s also a lot of nineties influence in there, too. Like, obviously you can say the early grunge music has a lot of influence on us. We’re actually having our album mixed by Jack Endino, who did Nirvana’s “Bleach” album, so that’s kind of cool. He (Endino) does The Black Cloud’s stuff…and he’s gonna do our album that comes out in the summer, although the EP [has not been mixed by him].
Lemonheads, they’re huge for me. And there’s also a lot of the newer psychedelic bands that I like, like Osees (Oh Sees); I would say they have done a lot for the kind of music that we’re getting into.
Where did you record?
Well, just to give props to our bass player, Chris: he has his own guitar store in Shrewsbury called Be Sharp Guitars. There’s a little studio upstairs and he started recording every practice that we did—which can either be a really good or really bad thing. Sometimes I’ll listen back to myself and be like, “this is awful” haha. But, he records every practice and he’s got a great ear for it. He just recorded/mixed/engineered whatever that you hear in the EP. I think it sounds great. He did it all by himself, he learned on his own. It sounds very much like you’re in the room with us, I would say; but it’s polished and refined.
What was the writing process like for the songs on the EP?
So, the way that I write songs… I come up with so many ideas, and, I just, I feel bad sometimes. I keep writing and I’m constantly like, “Here’s another song, let’s learn it!” These six songs on the EP were basically the songs, with the exception of one of them, that I presented to the guys when the band first started. These are the first songs we learned.
Thoughts on the direction of TDoW(?)?
I dig everything that we’ve been doing. I’m very grateful to have these people around, and I think we’re all on the same page with the music that we’re writing. They probably like the songs better than I do. I just need to keep writing; it’s crazy, I love it. It’s so funny, you know? These songs seem old to me now and they aren’t even out yet, haha.
You’re doing some shows to support the EP release?
We have our release show on Friday, March 10, at (Asbury) Lanes. That show’s gonna be pretty big, we’re very excited for it. That show is with Baron Praxis, Tide Bends and Matthew Pelli.
Any plans to hit the road this spring/summer?
It’s funny because me and Clay both work at Jack’s (Music Shoppe)… so it’s been difficult to figure that out without screwing everyone [at the shop] over. Tim from Ribeye Brothers also works at Jack’s; he does a lot of shows so he understands. It’s kind of tough juggling [taking time off for shows], but in the long term, I think in July, we’re talking with some venues in Boston, and I know some places in Rhode Island, too. If we could do something like a long weekend [in New England], that would be cool. I have a friend, Spooky Ruben, who’s an artist out in LA; he wants to do some East Coast dates so we’ve talked about a mini-tour sometime this summer or whenever.
Last words? Shout-outs?
I just really want to shout out Jeff Raspe—he put us on the air on Brookdale Public Radio. Oh, and another Jeff, from our [Instagram] videos, haha. He’s actually an amazing human and probably our biggest supporter. Also I want to shout out our bass player, Chris, for basically getting this thing off the ground. Major props to him.
ON THE BILL: The Dream of When – EP Release Show. March 10, 7 p.m., Asbury Lanes. Tickets. Follow The Dream of When(?) on Instagram. Listen to the TDoW(?)’s previously released tracks here.