Dreems (Multi Culti): " When I toured with the band I realized how much harder they have it than a DJ"
Dreems might not have 500 fans in Facebook as of today but the man behind the monicker, considering his flamboyant life that has expanded to a few continents by now, has definitely impressed many, many more along the way. Just a few months ago Angus Guzman has moved from Australia to Canada to work on Multi Culti label together with Turbo’s Thomas Von Party.
That’s what it’s all about – Multi Culti. Vidis, Opium Club’s program manager, became obsessed with the shamanoelectronic sound of the label as soon as he heard the first release (and I caught the virus as well). To cut the long story short, less than half year later we’ll be having Dreems in Opium for one of the last nights this season. I’m more than sure he will steal the show.
Angus has numerous stories to share that include his highschool, work, business, travels and what not. I’ve managed to write some of them down. He told me to check New York time zone when scheduling the Skype interview…
I was wondering what you are doing in New York…
I’m not actually in New York – it’s just easier to explain. I’m in Montreal! That’s just the same time zone.
Ah, Multi Culti is there, right?
Yup. I’m from Australia but I’m living in Canada now. I moved here a couple of months ago to work on the label because it’s based here. I figured I enjoy American summer as well as Australian summer…
I know you’ve spent some time in Europe as well. Were you travelling with a band?
Yeah, yeah. I was playing in a band called Jagwar Ma. I was doing some stuff on synthesizers and drum machines. We did a few shows in France, also Corsica, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, United Kingdom, Ireland… Where else did we go? I can’t remember!
Are you still in the band?
No, no. It was a very strange situation. One of the guys in the band is one of my best friends. Their album was coming out last year in June. He got really sick and they were meant to start touring. He had to cancel a lot of shows and the band was waiting for him to get better. He wasn’t. He asked whether I could go and join the band and play for him while he was sick… And I literally joined the band! We’ve kown each other for a long time and I’ve seen him working on the project, so I knew what it was about. So I joined and one week later I was in England playing shows!
It was a good experience. I had never played in a band before. I’d made music and stuff but I had never performed live on shows.
Maybe you’ll join a band in Montreal?
Haha… Yeah maybe I’ll start my own one! Maybe I’ll turn Dreems into a band. I really enjoy djing though. You know what’s really funny? When I toured with the band I realized how much harder they have it than a DJ. I was like whaaat… I’ve toured before as a DJ for a long time, but that was crazy! I couldn’t believe people have to go through this!
So now you understand how lucky you are…
Exactly! I never want to be in a band again!
Okay, let’s go back now. Can you recall your first musical memory?
Well funnily enough my family wasn’t very musical at all. But they encouraged me to do music. When I was 8 I started playing the violin and did that for about 4 or 5 years. Then… My family comes form Scotland and I went to a Scottish school. I joined the school band and started playing the bagpipe!
Haha! So I did that till I was 18 or something… But the first music I ever connected to before even touching an instrument… Well, I used to visit my grandparents house near the beach and my grandfather always used to play the Beach Boys. He used to play music from the balcony down to the beach where we used to play.
That, I guess, is my first memory. But I didn’t get obsessed with music until I was 15 or 16. Then I started really thinking about it as more than a just background thing.
What about your first nightlife experience?
Ha! This is why I’m into music now. When I was about 16 years old I had an older friend. He had just finished school and he was going out a lot, partying all the time… he used to call me and get me to sneak out of home at school nights. I used to climb out my window and go out partying with him until 5 AM in the morning.
Because I was very young and because I used to have school the next day I didn’t really go all the way, I mean, drugs or drinking that much. All I was doing was dancing and listening to the music, a lot of house music in particular. I slowly became quite obsessed. I would often go up and ask the DJ what songs they were playing and I would have my pen and paper and write down the names. Back then, obviously, I could only find a lot of this music on vinyl so I’d save my money and buy the records. Naturally one step lead to the next so I bought one turntable and then another one. And then… I guess I just started mixing music.
I’ve read that you also were a bar and restaurant owner! How did that turn out for you?
That was fun! It was a very interesting experience. It started about 5 years ago. I’d been djing a lot and I had another record label in Australia. A group of friends suggested that we get together and do our own bar because we thought in Sydney there was room to do something that we really liked.
There were about 6 of us, we all put in some money and started building this place. We didn’t really have any idea on how to run a bar and stuff but we had all spent most of our lives inside bars so we thought we should be able to figure it out! So we did that and we opened the bar and it was really successful. After a while we decided to open a restaurant because at the time I was living with a good friend of mine who is a chef. He didn’t really like being in the business and he was just hanging around. We convinced him to actually start cooking food.
It eventually became a full time job. I sort of took on more and more responsibility. The nights got longer, the days got shorter… Haha. It ran its course so after about 4 years I realized I was tired. I ended up spending all of my time there, so…
Yeah, it’s complicated to run a business and enjoy it at the same time!
Do you have some new business ideas in your head planned for the future or are you waiting for life to surprise you?
Sometimes I do think about other projects. At the moment I really, really enjoy making music and I have the energy for it. After doing the bar and the restaurant which was a lot of fun and very different I felt like I had some refreshed energy for the music. I really wanted to go back into that and explore that part of my life as I don’t have so many responsibilities now. I don’t have a family or lots of pets to look after. I can travel and have fun. I figure maybe on the horizon I’ll do something else but I haven’t thought about it yet.
Is it possible to maintain a healthy relationship or a family when you’re flying around the world and spending most of your time in clubs or festivals?
Ammm… I’ve got a lot of friends that do it very, very well. But I have had troubles myself doing in in the past, so… I don’t know! That’s a good question. I would like to try and do it. I would like to see if I could do it successfully once. Because I’ve done it unsuccessfully many times before. It’s a very hard business to be involved in that respect. Sometimes it’s hard to shy away from the constant influence of the party and late nights and everything. You have to have a really good discipline. It’s hard separating your mind when you’re very passionate about something. To turn your brain into business brain from party brain… I can tell you if I succeed! I’ll write a book about it. A guide on how to be successful. How to party and have and relationship!
Have you ever had a 9 to 5 job?
Me? I don’t know! Not really! Well, I used to work for a fashion label in Australia. It was technically a 9 to 5 job, but my employers were not your average fashion designers. Pretty crazy guys. It made my job very interesting. Some days we started at midday and finished at midnight. Other days I wouldn’t go in. It was a very loose job. Good times.
How did you end up in Multi Culti?
Thomas and I probably have talked about this plan several times in several different moments in several different states of mind. Then one time in last few years I suppose we got together and actually stopped thinking about it and started doing something about it. It was just a discussion about love for a certain type of music and I think also Thomas and I being very good friends for a long time we wanted to work on something together.
When you have a joint energy it’s pretty amazing. It really makes sense. We could have started up a vegetarian taco shack or anything else, not necessarily music, there are lots of things we both enjoy. We just wanted to spend more time together and hang out and combine our brains! It just so happened to end up being music.
I can see a lot of pros being connected to a bigger label like Turbo Recordings. Are there negative sides to it?
I guess maybe you have a little bit of small man syndrome, maybe. You feel like you need to be bigger when that shouldn’t necessarily be a state of mind. Apart from that I can’t see any negative side. I really like it. It’s really comforting to know you have the support of someone or something that is bigger than you. Sometimes when it comes to the bigger fights or the bigger challenges it’s really easy to ask them what can we do there.
How is Multi Culti doing anyway?
It’s good! It used to be harder because we worked by correspondence for a long time. Sydney and Montreal are basically as far apart as you can get. I’d stay up late and Thomas had to be up very early to be on Skype together. Now that I’m here it feels a lot stronger. Everything is starting to fall into places. It was quite slow at the beginning but now it’s easier to link up to more people and make more plans. We have another 7 or 8 releases ready to go over the course of a year. We’re making some really nice clothing merchandise stuff. We’ve just started planning some outdoor parties here in Montreal over the summer. It feels a lot better now. Direct communication is a very good thing. You don’t have to wait 12 hours for a response, things can be done in 5 minutes!
What about your ambition as Dreems? Where do you see yourself in a year?
I don’t know… I’m very realistic. Of course, I have really large ambitions. I believe that what I have and what I have been working on will take me further. But it’s hard to see myself in a years time. It’s hard to say nowadays! Because of the immediacy of music and the way people can get something they want so quickly and then throw it out… I’m not here to play the short game. I understand that it can take 4 or 5 years to really get to where you want to go. So in a year from now I’ll be happy if I’m still in the same position as I am. Making music that’s better than am making now. Still having the positive outlook that I have now, which is I think the most important thing.
I’ve dealt with a lot of people who were younger than me. They have such a pressure to succeed at such a young age nowadays. There’s something quite revered about being young and successful. I don’t believe that. I don’t think you feel the benefits and the rewards like that. You don’t get to feel the beauty of watching something grow if it just explodes suddenly. But that’s just personal opinion!
You’ve mentioned Sydney and Montreal are as far apart as one can get, time-wise. What about vibe-wise? Have you noticed a lot of differences in parties, music consumption and stuff like that? Or everything becomes the same everywhere in the world as soon as the sun goes down?
Haha! Yup, in the end of the day it’s just a dark room with flashing lights… And loud music! Of course there are differences. But, funnily enough, Canadians, for all the different places you can go, are quite similar to Australians. The attitude and the sense of humor… Both are very easy-going!
I have found that Montreal is very musically open-minded. In Australia the market for underground sound is a lot smaller. Whereas here it’s much more accepted. In Australia everyone’s very much into sunshine and happiness, you know, all of the music is very happy and good times and so on. You don’t experience emotional shift of the seasons as much. It’s winter now in Sydney and it was 26 degrees yesterday… It’s not a huge change really. Although summer is really really hot.
In Canada you have really intense juxtaposition between winter, spring, summer and autumn. That can change peoples emotions and affect their way of writing and experiencing music. When it comes to summer here it’s crazy because they’ve all been trapped indoors for 4 or 5 months! Canadians want to rip their clothes off and party!
It’s exactly the same in Lithuania.
Really? Perfect! I’m coming at the right time.
Could you describe what people should look forward to on Friday – in a few words?
Ahaha… I hope anyone can join me on a psychedelic exploration on the dancefloor. I’m the one that doesn’t know what to expect, by the way. So expect the unexpected.
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