How was the band formed? We formed the band under a different name, to participate on a high school contest, playing covers only. We ended up winning and we thought we had something nice going on. The feedback was pretty cool and we decided that we should continue.
Can you tell about your band?
Formed in 2008 in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil, Daydream XI is a band with no self imposed boundaries. Mixing elements of Progressive Rock and Hard Rock with influences of Power Metal and Heavy Metal, the Brazilian quartet that is Tiago Masseti (vocal and guitars), Marcelo Pereira (guitars), Tomás Gonzaga (bass) and Bruno Giordano (drums) stands as one of the most promising names in Progressive Metal in Brazil.
The first release was Humanity’s Prologue (2009), a four-song EP produced by Renato Osorio (Hibria), and it took the band to play in various different cities across the state alongside other local bands. It lead them to gather a faithful audience and the band was praised as the big new name in the local scene. During the Humanity’s Prologue tour the band have played with some major acts like fellow Brazilians from Angra, the first Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno and the North American Prog Metal band Symphony X.
In 2014 Daydream XI was invited by the legendary drummer Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, The Winery Dogs, Ex- Dream Theater) to perform on the first edition of Progressive Nation at Sea Cruise alongside some of the leading names in progressive music in the world like: Transatlantic, Devin Townsend Project, Pain Of Salvation, Animals As Leaders, Anathema, Jon Anderson, King's X and many others.
The first full-length album, entitled The Grand Disguise (2014) was produced by world-renowned sound engineer Jens Bogren, who has worked with artists such as Opeth, Katatonia, James LaBrie, Soilwork, Pain Of Salvation, Symphony X and other. The album was mixed and mastered at Fascination Street, in Orëbro, Sweden, and it’s being praised as one of the most ambicious projects in Brazilian metal, showcasing a wide array of musical genres, inspired perfomances and a title track with more than twenty minutes of lenght.
The band’s main influences are Symphony X, Dream Theater, Opeth, Pain Of Salvation, Evergrey, Blind Guardian, Iron Maiden, Metallica, DIO, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and many others inside and out of Heavy Metal.
Daydream XI is supported by local instrument factory Ledur since 2009. It is also supported by Digitech, Sonar Drumsticks, Fuhrmann Pedals, 13 Custom Tattoo Studio, Juran Peluqueria and the prhotographer Tiago Schmidt.
Where are all band members from?/Who does what in the band? Tiago Masseti is from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. He is lead singer and guitarist. Marcelo Pereira is from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and is guitarist. Tomás Gonzaga is from São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and is bassist. Bruno Giordano is from São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and is drummer.
What was the ambitions of the band when you started? We started just to participate on a high school festival. We did not expect too much from it. When we won the whole thing we started to dream a little and eventually things got bigger and bigger.
Could you explain your music to someone that haven't heard you? Daydream XI is Prog Metal. I would say that we are four-cross between Dream Theater, Symphony X, Pain Of Salvation and Opeth. With some flavours of the more traditional stuff, like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Those are like the influences that are part of the DNA of every member, and the band as a whole. But individually we have very different influences, which makes room for a lot of experimentation. Ultimately we are a band with no self-imposed boundaries. We do whatever we feel like doing. If it feels and sounds right, if it’s not forced, we are going for it. The Prog Metal label allows us to have that freedom.
Where was your first gig? The band’s first gig was in Porto Alegre at a place called Croco. The festival was called Da Vinci in Concert. That was the one we won. The first gig under the name Daydream XI was at Garagem Hermética, also in Porto Alegre, in a festival called Hot As Hell.
Where was the latest gig? At Progressive Nation at Sea. A cruise from Miami through the Bahamas in five days of Prog music alongside some of our main idols!
Who writes your songs?/Who writes the music who writes lyrics? The debut album has two songs written by Cássio, the former guitarist and three songs by myself (Tiago). All other songs are a collaboration between me and Marcelo. The lyrics were all written by me. Today I am writing almost everything and letting the other members do their job in turning the things I create into something awesome.
Who has the best since of humor in the band? Bruno, for sure. He is one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met.
What's good/bad with the band?/What genre do you feel you are? What’s good? Well…I feel that the sound is very genuine, even though you can easily point out the different influences. The main thing about Daydream XI is that we are very honest in what we are doing. There are so many good things in my opinion, but I am TOTALLY biased. I can’t answer that question without sounding a little arrogant. The bad thing is that we lack the structure to do what we do best. We are still a small band and we have to do everything pretty much by ourselves. It is a very tough industry. We are definitely Prog Metal.
Why did you pick that particular style?/What are your songs about? We never actually picked that style. It kinda of picked us. When we started to write our own songs we were listening to a lot of Prog Metal stuff and things turned out to be a little more complex, with long instrumental sections and atmospheres. With time people started to call us a Prog Metal banda and it felt right. It fits, because it is a style that gives you a great excuse to do whatever the hell you feel like doing! Our songs vary from very epic themes, like heaven and hell, good and evil type of thing, to technology and societal issues. But mainly, we talk about things that are relevant for us at the time. We try not to think too much and just feel it.
Do you write your own material or mainly covers? We write our own.
Have you made any albums?/If yes what are they? We have an EP called Humanity’s Prologue (2009) and we are about to release our first full length album called The Grand Disguise (2014)
Do you have any clips on YouTube? We have a live performance video for the song Watch Me Rise, off the upcoming debut album. It is the video that got us into Progressive Nation at Sea.
How old are you?/What got you started in music? Tiago, Marcelo and Tomás are 25. Bruno is 27. All of us had a very early contact with music in our houses. Coincidentally our fathers are all very musical and had some pretty good influences to share with us. We always had amazing support from our families.
At what age did you start playing? Marcelo started at 13 years old, Tomás at 7, Bruno at 11 and Tiago at 9.
How old were you guys when you first stood on stage? Me and Bruno were 16. Marcelo and Tomás were 15.
What year was the band started? 2005 under the old name. 2008 Daydream XI actually started.
Best/Worst gig you've played? The best is definitely Progressive Nation at Sea. The worst was in a club called Pop Cult. It was a few days after the gig with Symphony X, for 2000 people. In Pop Cult we played at 3 AM for like 5 guys and a girl. It was pretty bad.
What places will you be playing in in the imidate future? We have nothing scheduled by now, since we are in the middle of the preparation for the release of the album. But there are some negotiations going on.
Where have you played from then till now? Mainly local clubs in Porto Alegre and the cities nearby. And then Progressive Nation at Sea.
Witch band is the best you´ve seen? I think that is impossible to answer with only one name. But naming a few I would say Devin Townsend, Animals As Leaders, Symphony X, Dream Theater (when they still had Mike Portnoy on the drums), Pain Of Salvation and Opeth. Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney stand as some of the best I’ve seen so far. A band that really surprised us a lot was The Dear Hunter. When we entered the venue on Progressive Nation at Sea we actually thought the show hadn’t started yet and there was some song playing. But it was actually the band, on stage, performing in a flawless way.
Have you had any bigger tours from start to now? No.
How big crowds do you usually play for? It varies a lot. We have played as supporting acts for, 1000, 2000 people and in festivals like Progresssive Nation at Sea for a lot more. But we also have made some small gigs.
What are the plans for the rest of the year? Release the album, supported by some great material of video and merchandise and start touring.
Where do you usually play? Mainly local clubs in Porto Alegre and the cities nearby. And then Progressive Nation at Sea.
How do you get psyched up for a gig? The other guys usually talk a lot and get really pumped up with adrenaline before we enter the stage. I don’t like to speak a lot before the show. I need to stay quiet, and go inside my head for maybe half an hour before.
What are your goals with your music? We just want to make music that feels and sound relevant to people. We want to create things that have an artistic value and depth, and not just pure entertainment. We want to inspire people in whatever way we can, while fulfilling our own creative needs. Ultimately we wish to have the possibility to make a real income from it and be able to work in the best possible way.
When did you decide to go all in for the music? I think that decision took different moments for every band member. Being invited by one of our biggest idols to partake on the biggest Progressive music festival in the planet was the turning point for the band as a whole. But we all still have other jobs and need other income sources. It is a tough industry, as I said before.
Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern? It depends. Old bands like Deep Purple and Black Sabbath inspire me to do things in more simple ways, to feel more, to express easier. On the other hand, new bands like Animals As Leaders and Periphery inspire me to challenge myself more, performancewise.
What are your sources of inspiration? Pretty much everything I hear, watch, eat or drink that is well done and beautiful in some way. I’ve written songs when I was feeling lost and hopeless and I’ve written songs when I saw a video infographic about a computer virus. But personal experiences and relationships are the things that most inspire me lately.
What's the first step when making a new song? It also depends. We’ve started songs from a previous riff that Marcelo had, sometimes I have some piece of melody in my head that we develop into a whole song. I often dream about themes, riffs and melodies. More than once, I’ve woken up with songs ready, from start to finish in my head.
How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums? I believe that is something that is not even worth thinking about anymore. Music is and will be for sharing. The bands have to focus on creating different experiences, with material that offer more than just the music. And playing live must be a top priority.
What would be your dreams for the band? We just want to make music that feels and sound relevant to people. We want to create things that have an artistic value and depth, and not just pure entertainment. We want to inspire people in whatever way we can, while fulfilling our own creative needs. Ultimately we wish to have the possibility to make a real income from it and be able to work in the best possible way.
Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to? Marcelo listens to a lot of classic rock, like The Beatles, Kansas and Pink Floyd, and he’s also really into bands like Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Tomás listens to a lot of some funky virtuosity things like Dirty Loops and Jamiroquai and some pop rock stuff like Paramore, and some pop like Phill Collins and Justin Timberlake. Bruno listens to a lot of old school funk, like Tower Of Power. I listen to a lot of pop like Jessie J, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and all those new divas. I like lots of black American music, especially because of the singing. I’m a big fan of Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston and all those great singers. In general, I don’t limit myself too much. If it’s well played, well sung and it has something interesting, the genre really doesn’t matter to me.
What do you hold most dear? Daydream XI.
What would be your greatest fears for the future? Wow, that is a DEEP, HEAVY question. I could go on for hours, but I’m gonna keep it simple. You know that answer about the goals with music and dreams for the future? The greatest fear would be for that not to happen.
When you are on stage, what do you fear most then? Marcelo gets really frightened about the equipment. If something is not right he get very affected by it. When I am on stage I don’t fear, at all. I fear when my voice is not at its best, but that is a fear before I get on stage. When it happens, it makes me mad, but not frightened.
Have you been part of any other projects?/Have you been in any other bands? I sang on two other metal bands: Liberty and Magician. I also created a project called Metal For Haiti, joining forces with other local musicians to raise funds for the victim of the earthquake in 2010. I also have a solo project on the making for years now. One day maybe I’ll have the time to finish it. Marcelo has a Foo Fighters cover band and he was the guitar player for Street Flash, a local rock cover band. He has sung and played in a lot of bands for the latest years also. Bruno is part of Soulfunk, a cover band that plays funk and soul music from the 70’s and 80’s. He was also in a rock n’ roll band called Maçã de Pedra for a few years. Bruno was also involved in playing drums for various projects. Tomás is dedicated only to Daydream XI and Daydream XI alone. He was invited many times for joining other bands and other projects in the latest years but never really got the time. He played on the Metal For Haiti project as well.
What do you work with outside of the band and the music? I am a freelance designer and a vocal coach. I also wrote a book that is still unpublished and I am starting to work with producing other bands. Marcelo is a fulltime musician now, giving guitar lessons at a music school and playing as a freelance guitarist. Tomás is a law student and works in an office during the day. He also gives bass lessons. Bruno is a freelance drummer and drum teacher and also works as a computer technician.
What would you do if there was no music? I would make music.
How important are your fans? They are the single most important thing in the world for us. Without them we could not be doing what we do.
What's the funniest/most memorable thing a fan has done for you? A big fan of ours “allowed” Marcelo to…how can I put this? To be with his ex girlfriend.
How often do you rehearse? Four times a week.
Where do you rehearse? We rent a place, divided with two other bands.
Name 2 of your own songs you like at the moment? The Grand Disguise and Keeping The Dream Alive
What do you feel is the best live band you've seen? I think that is impossible to answer with only one name. But naming a few I would say Devin Townsend, Animals As Leaders, Symphony X, Dream Theater (when they still had Mike Portnoy on the drums), Pain Of Salvation and Opeth. Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney stand as some of the best I’ve seen so far. A band that really surprised us a lot was The Dear Hunter. When we entered the venue on Progressive Nation at Sea we actually thought the show hadn’t started yet and there was some song playing. But it was actually the band, on stage, performing in a flawless way.
What drives a band that isn't all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing?
We just want to make music that feels and sound relevant to people. We want to create things that have an artistic value and depth, and not just pure entertainment. We want to inspire people in whatever way we can, while fulfilling our own creative needs. Music is a necessity for us, not a desire.
Do you have any webpages? www.daydreamxi.com
Any pearls of wisdom for all other bands out there? Bumblefoot from Guns N’ Roses talked to us a lot on the first day of the cruise, when we stumbled upon him on the artists private dinning. He gave us a lot of advice on handling your own music and making things that you believe. Basically he told us not to care so much about what labels and the industry requests, but to believe in our own artistic views.
Describe your show, visually and musically Daydream XI is more about the performance itself. The songs are very dense, in terms of arrangements and perfomance, so the playing and singing itself is a lot to pay attention. We still did not have the opportunity to make thing more visual and have bigger production, but we plans for it.
How do you view the musicindurty of today? I think it’s getting tougher and tougher everyday. I still don’t think anyone has come up with a real solution for the industry and the ways to make money with music. But I think it is a transition period, even though it’s lasting pretty long. People are just trying to survive.
What advice would you like to give other bands? Learn your craft with everything you got. Be the best singer and best player you can possibly be. But never forget, that feeling and honesty are as important as technique, even more, actually. Do what your heart tells you to do, musically. And try to surround yourself with people that you can rely on and that support and believe as much as you do. Don’t be afraid of changing and growing.
What are the biggest obstacles for a band? The industry as a whole feel like a big obstacle right now.
What is best/Worst with playing the clubs? The best is the direct connection with the fans. In a small club you can see everyone’s faces, really understand how your message is coming through those people. You also get the chance to hug and thank everyone after the show. The worst is the equipment and the payment.
Tell us about upcomming gigs and why we should be at them? We still have no dates firmed, but we are planning a release concert for the album and we might have some touring going on. If you want to see a band playing some good, honest Prog Metal with a lot of sentiment, strength and variation, go check out us live!
How would you describe your sound in one sentence “You guys were fucking loud! Man!” – Tony MacAlpine
What was one of the most quarrelsome times for you in the band? The time when both guitarist were about to leave the band. Fortunately we lost just one and we could keep on dreaming! But we actually faced a possible end.
Whats your Pre-show ritual? We just warm up a little, all together, drink a lot of water and try to stay connected. I am the only one who doesn’t like much interaction before the show.
Do you have anything to add? Just wanna thank Robex for the great interview! Always good to be able to speak of the most human side of being in a band and not just answering about what’s the next gig! Thanks to everyone for the support. You guys are great. For those of you who still don’t know Daydream XI, check out our Facebook page, our Twitter, Soundcloud, Youtube and all. Stay connected because have big things coming in the future! Hopefully we get to see all you guys on the road.