Sometimes inspiration dries up.  Other times it hits you over the head and you write like you are possessed.  Last year I interviewed members of the band DreamLand about their recent single 'Blood Red Sun' and the experiences that lead them to writing about a particularly dark subject.  Metaphor was the key but so was coincidence or serendipity.  It started on a hot December evening in a house in a small valley where shadow, heat and humidity combine at sunset to create an eerie effect; an effect known to locals but not to the boys from Dreamland - yet !

 

Dante:  This is a great track.  So how did you get the idea for Blood Red Sun?

Warren: Well the band decided to head down to the coast town of Dromana.  Brad, our drummer knew of a house 20 minutes from the township that we could rent for like $60 a night, cheap in the area.  He had never been to it but had seen an add in a shop window last time he was in the town.  So we enquired at the shop and got the keys for the long weekend.  We knew it would be a bit of a dump for the price but all we wanted was a place to set up our amps, jam, drink a bit and crash.

Dante:  Were you focused on songwriting at the time?

Warren:  Me and Craig (lead singer) were.  But we'd hit a dry spot and didn't know what to write about.  Or we had our own ideas that the others weren't keen on.  I wanted to write about personal experiences but the others were more into the heavy metal imagery of battles, horsemen and demons etc.

Dante: So what happened when you got to the accommodation?

Warren: Pretty much what we expected; we had power and hot water and a place to crash.  A bonfire out the back kicked off the evening, and around 9PM we saw a breathtaking red sunset.  Took a few photos and kicked back with a few drinks.  It got dark very quickly after that and for some reason we just were not in the mood for partying, drinking or anything much except calling it a night.  And even then no-one could sleep.

Dante: So there were disturbances during the night?

Warren: No, nothing.  That was something strange in itself.  We heard no sound, no insects or anything.  But no-one could sleep.  We woke up lethargic and tired the next morning after tossing and turning all night.

Dante:  And that was it?

Warren:  Not really, no-one spoke next morning but we all wanted to get out of there.  We went outside and a lot of vegetation in the area had died.  Flowers that were there the day before were dropped over or dried up.  Even the grass was sort of grey as though sapped of moisture but it wasn't hot.  We packed our gear and left.  We didn't really know why but half an hour after we had left and got back into the township Brad said 'Man that place was depressing'.  We all agreed - it was like a dark mood had lifted that we didn't realize was happening at the time.

Dante: So you never went back?

Warren:  No way.  But we got talking to one of the local shop keepers and found out that a few years before, that a double murder had been committed in that house or by someone living in that house.  It wasn't clear exactly, but apparently on the night of the crime, it was one of those rare nights of the year with the blazing red sunset.

Dante:  Hence the track.

Warren:  Yep,  It was several months after that we wrote the track, mainly because we didn't really want to think about the experience too much.  But looking back on it after some time had passed gave us a clear enough perspective to put pen to paper.  And that's how we wrote Blood Red Sun.

Dante:  Recorded and mixed on Scope?

Warren:  All but the vocal, which was done on a cheap workstation at the time but resurrected from an old backup and remixed on a modern DAW using Cubase and Scope.

     
 

Blood Red Sun by Dreamland

 
Dante November 2010