dream on dreamer hysteria

GET IN THE VAN: DREAM ON DREAMER // Zachary Britt’s Encounter With Russian Border Police & Much More!

Now it’s hard to sum up 11 years of making music in a group. That being said, I’ve only been doing it with Dream On Dreamer for 8 years now.

MORE: PARKWAY DRIVE: Triumph Of The Underdogs // KICK OUT THE JAMS With WAAX REVIEWS: VIOLENT SOHO: Everything Is A-OK // ENTER SHIKARI: Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible // THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER: Verminous // TRIVIUM: What The Dead Men Say // BOSTON MANOR: Glue

They had an absolute ballers run up until I joined so I’m sure there are a lot of stories of highs and lows before I came onto the scene but I’m just gonna speak from what I saw firsthand and got to feel out with the fellas. This sure has been a fucking wild ride …

enter shikari hysteria


1. I jumped onboard during production of the second full length record Loveless and it was a pretty whirlwind beginning. We got added to a For The Fallen Dreams headliner through Europe and UK soon after and I distinctly remember jumping on the plane with 86c in my bank account. That tour was fucking crazy. We played 36 shows (most of which were local size setups) with some real fizzers (I remember HVH playing in their underwear for 2 people in Italy somewhere) but we all stayed on a nightliner and it couldn’t have been more high octane insanity (For The fallen Dreams, Dream On Dreamer, House Vs Hurricane, No Bragging Rights). We also had an Outlaw bikie onboard, Jack, the security detail. CURVEBALL. The whole thing was insane.

2. That tour we got to spend some quality time with one Chris Shaw who would later become the bassist and human wrecking ball of Dreamer. It was pretty funny. He talked a lot and was rambunctious as all hell but shit he is a legend with a heart of gold. I remember one night Chad and Zahra were egging him on and he drank a whole bottle of Gin straight and then started on a bottle of vodka. I remember he looked me dead in the eyes grinning and said ‘I’m fine, I’ll be fine’… Flash forward 1 hour to Callan holding a bin up to his bunk bed all night to drain his stomach. Poor C-Dawg.

vader hysteria

3. Speaking of C-dawg. I think we were playing a headline show for some reason in Switzerland before teeing up with the Breakdown Of Sanity dudes for their run through EU/UK. Anyways, we arrive at this venue and the surrounds are fucking mint. Rolling mountains and the river was just too alluring to walk along after a 36 hour plane trip. Cal and I took a stroll. Climbed a ski slope (no snow at that moment) and then realised that we had to play a show. We started hightailing it back thinking we were semi-late but when we arrived Marcel was flustered AF and holding our guitars at the door saying ‘WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?’ Haha poor dude. We were soooo late. Crowd was waiting patiently and we walked on in our sneakers still from the run haha.

Afterparty vibes were pumping and we kicked it to a bar down the street. Turns out there was a soccer match just ended and a bunch of hooligans roll in. One of them starts with Silverstein merch guy and its on, he smashes a Stein across this guys face and it literally peels back. It was heinous.
[ Zachary Britt ]

4. When A Day To Remember came out for their album tour in 2013 we supported them on the whole run. I fucked up so bad and got a photographer that wasn’t experienced and botched it to put it plainly (not the only time I’ve stitched us up) but the tour was still fun as hell. Best crowds I think we’ve ever played for and damnnnnnn do Neil and Josh smoke some weeeeeed (they did then, who knows now) before going onstage. I am still shook, they play so tight while in the stratosphere …

trivium hysteria

5. Back to Europe for this one. Its not a good story for me but fuck it, its a memory haha. We were on a huge run with Silverstein and we’d finished up a show in Frankfurt. We had a big drive the next day but were visiting Monaco before a show across the French border, how could we be upset about that? Afterparty vibes were pumping and we kicked it to a bar down the street. Turns out there was a soccer match just ended and a bunch of hooligans roll in. One of them starts with Silverstein merch guy and its on, he smashes a Stein across this guys face and it literally peels back. It was heinous. I got caught up in the fight and tried to climb out the bathroom window with too many dudes involved. Couldn’t split and got pinched at the front door by the cops. I was covered in the guys blood from the glass so I looked guilty as fuck. They cuffed me up and took me off to the hold. A lot of the experience is repressed but finally Marcel tracked me down being able to speak German and helped me bail out. Marcel was a trooper. He put up with my shit that night and cleaned up my piss off the cell floor. What a time to be alive. On a lighter note … Monaco WAS SIKKKK

6. Very fond memory for me was doing the In Hearts Wake tour with Being As An Ocean, Endless Heights and Sierra. Still to this day one of the maddest lineups to watch play. I fell in love with all the dudes in BAAO. Connor was still playing drums and his brother was filling in on guitar. Just a lot of good times and good weed that trip. Laughter and late nights getting on it, surrounded by a warm fuzzy feeling … maybe that was the Molly …

This was an illegal border crossing in a blizzard across the Russian state border … Shady fucken shit.
[ Zachary Britt ]

7. On the Silverstein tour aforementioned we were in the Netherlands and I ducked into a stairwell to record a melody idea that had come to me. It was the first voice memo of Don’t Lose Your Heart

8. On a couple of our European tours we would finish up in Russia. That place is so wild and extraordinary. I can’t really pin it down to one thing. I fell in love with it right away. It’s big and exciting and it keeps you on your toes. On our second trip there we had a late train to catch from Moscow to St.Petersburg with a pretty inexperienced promoter. We had a fuckload of merch in the back of the truck that needed to make the train which departed at 12:15am … we started loading at 12am. Then a blizzard hit. Balls to the wall snow and powder hitting the platform and all the gear. Marcel and I quickly converse through scarves and I give him my passport to head to the conductor and explain the situation. Everyone else was loading the gear onto the carriage. I needed to go back for the last 4 boxes. That was too much to lose. 12:12 … I sprinted back and tried to carry three boxes. Few slips but I really thought I was gonna make it then TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTT TOOOT. Train starts taking off. I drop a box but try run for it but its fucking gone. It hits me. I have no passport. I have nothing. I start running for cover and to retrieve the merch out of the snow and bump into Nicholas our young tour manger. He has jumped off the moving train to help me out. He is in a panicked situation though because he too has no passport. ‘We are gonna have to cross the border illegally’ he says to me. I was up for it. I knew we had no other choice really and the show was a big one the next night. It’d be a financial disaster to miss it. We started looking for an illegal porter. All the shady spots on the side streets of Moscow City you would normally avoid where now what we searched out. Eventually we found a shifty guy tweaked out with seven bandanas wrapped around his head. He was our driver apparently. We walked out to a coaster bus in the heavy snow and the door slid open. You can imagine the occupants. This was an illegal border crossing in a blizzard across the Russian state border … Shady fucken shit. I zoned into the snowfall outside and told Nicholas to just listen to music and chill. We almost crashed a few times on the black ice and eventually after 3 hours drive and 17 packs of cigarettes we stopped. The doors opened and the motley crew. From the van piss bolted into the snow laden forest. The police had stopped the van. Nicholas and I jumped to run on instinct but I stopped in realisation. I couldn’t run into the Russian forest without anything?? WTF AM I DOING? We gave ourselves up to the police force and headed into an outpost on the border. After the long task of explanations we eventually got an English speaking officer and I told a story with photos in my wallet and a tattered tour pass. The rest is history. We were escorted back to the venue once the truth was decided on and I made the show. Fucken hell …

enter shikari hysteria

9. The ninth story is from our last ever European run and ends in Russia also. We were in Milan for a few shows before we would hit Croatia, Prague etc on the way to the Russian run of the tour. Disaster struck at our show (these were pretty trying times in Italy with crazy immigration stress from the war) and our van was broken into near the venue. They ransacked everything and got MacBooks, Musical equipment, Passports and Cash from everyone. Luckily Callan and I had our passports with us but Dylan, Marcel and Chris hadn’t been so lucky. We were pinned. We couldn’t move without everyones passports so the next few shows were cancelled. Shittttt. Holed up in a hotel in Milan wasn’t the worst thing that could be happening but we had shit to worry about … how were we gonna tour Russia? The temporary passports and visas didn’t turn out in time and the decision was made that Callan and I would tour alone … acoustically. Yes you heard right … one of the biggest metal music kingdoms on earth was going to be privy to an acoustic tour in loo of their favourite heavy band. It was an interesting position to be in. Chris ended up scoring a visa so came with us and got heaps of weird hickeys on his neck LOL. But yeh it was an odd trip. I cannot speak higher for the Russian crowds and fans up there though. You were so kind to us and we spent countless hours chatting and we were showed around cities with groups of epic people. I’ll never forget it.

10. Last but not least, this story comes to you from Cesena, Italy. When we pulled up in the camper that day it was the first we’d seen of the sun in weeks. The weather was STUNNING. Tumbling out of the door we all threw on shorts and sneakers to seize the day. I saw a mountain peak in the distance and drunk from the suns rays (and the 43 drinks on the previous evening) I proclaimed ‘I’m going to climb that mountain!’ Cal and Dyl were keen. We left Marcel and Chris to hit the Gym and we were on the road. I think it was around 10am at this point. We took a banana, 1200ml of water and two mandarins. It was late autumn in Italy. WHAT THE FUCK WERE WE THINKING. It wasn’t even 2:30 before we hit the base of the mountain. This all being said, it was a fucking magical hike. We saw old houses and explored abandoned fruit farms and mansions. Saw donkeys and goats. Cal had a snake scare and we walked past a steel gazed local with a sawn-off shotgun in his grip. The mountain was an epic climb. Hunger started to set in and we rationed the mandarins one slice an hour or some shit haha. For some reason alarm bells didn’t go off when we passed hikers in full head to toe snow gear. We just kept climbing in our shorts, shirts off, our bodies overheated from the climb. Then we hit the peak and our breaths were taken away. So incredible … LY COLD. HOLY FUCK. It was 5:30pm and the sun set. The temperature was plummeting to freezing quickly. Our joints and limbs started to seize up. Our clothes wet from sweat already we were in some real trouble. At the point of starting to look for a cave and start a fire, a lone mountain trekker spotted us and approached. His English was perfect and he opened his pack to remove a few windbreakers for us. He motioned to hurry and we started to move down the hillside on his guidance to special spot halfway down where he’d parked a car in the crook of the hillside. He drove us back to the venue and wished us well. That guy saved our lives that day. Nuts. We went and got pizza and pasta. It was the best food has ever tasted …

Purchase & Stream Dream On Dreamer’s final album What if I Told You It Doesn’t Get Any Better here.

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