Dream Feed - Denver Band - Earth Day Single

Interview with Dream Feed – New Single Debuts on Earth Day

Many people remember Miguel Dakota from America’s Got Talent. But did you know he formed his current band around that same time – and they have been playing together ever since? Dream Feed consists of Dakota (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Ryan Wagner (Lead Guitar, Vocals), Will Gaines (Bass) and Brian Nolan (Drums). I was able to interview Miguel (while both being social distance, or course) last week in anticipation of the band’s release of their new single “Touch The Flame” today, for Earth Day.

We chatted about how our brave new world has changed plans, but how there are some silver linings, and what the new song is all about. Check out the lyric video below and listen to the song on all the streams. Hooray local music! Can’t wait to get out to shows again (someday) and see Dream Feed live.

Dream Feed – Touch The Flame – Lyric Video

Link to song (all platforms):

Interview with Miguel Dakota of Dream Feed


Aimee:
First of all, how are you doing?

Miguel:
I’m doing well.

Aimee:
It’s a crazy time, right?

Miguel:
Yeah, very much so.

Aimee:
Let’s talk about Dream Feed. You obviously had solo success on America’s Got Talent, but from what I read, this band was formed either around the same time or very close to afterwards – how did it evolve after that situation?

Miguel:
Yeah. So Ryan Wagner, my lead guitarist, songwriter and vocals as well, we had met in high school. Both him and Brian Nolan and I all went to the same high school but they were a year ahead of me. And we didn’t really hang out too much but I had seen them play. But in college they were going to CSU and I was going up there right before America’s Got Talent to jam with some friends up there and met Ryan again. And he moved back to Monument and we started playing together – that was around winter of 2013, 2014 and then I had auditioned for the show right around that time too. So it all was happening at once. And then we started playing and writing with Brian as well and were doing a three piece thing for a while. And yeah, this was as the show was happening all at the same time.

And then afterwards, we got a bassist and started doing more shows. That was under Miguel Dakota mostly. We released an album, Love and Freedom, under Miguel Dakota. And then shortly after that it was Miguel Dakota and the Difference. And then in spring of 2018 we really wanted to start making it about the band and felt that we had really ridden that wave of America’s Got Talent as much as we could. We had all moved up here in fall 2015 to spring of 2016, so it all trickled up here.

Aimee:
And when you say up here, you mean you’re in Denver now or?

Miguel:
To Denver. Yeah. We grew up in Monument and then we all moved up to Denver in 2015.

Aimee:
That was interesting because I think I didn’t really understand that the guys that had been playing with you before are the same people that are in Dream Feed now.

Miguel:
Yeah. The only different player is our bassist, Will Gaines, who we met in, I want to say, 2017. It might’ve been 2016. But I was doing – when Brick the pizza bar wine spot was open on Colfax – I was doing a residency there. So I was playing every other Wednesday or Thursday and he came in one night and we met and we were in transition with bassist and trying to figure it out. And so he jumped in on a set with us where it was like an open thing so we could be more loose with it. He’s just a phenomenal bassist. His dad was a standup jazz bassist. It’s really incredible. So we all meshed really well and he became our primary bassist and he’s in the band now.

Aimee:
That’s great. And obviously everybody’s in limbo and touched by what’s going on with the pandemic and things that. But I saw that you guys were planning to go out on tour with Float Like A Buffalo, is that right?

Miguel:
Yeah. So right before all this went down … We were supposed to go down to SXSW – we went down there last year and played a bunch of the unofficial showcases and had a great time. It’s just such an awesome time down there in Austin. So we were supposed to do that with Float Like A Buffalo and then our label mate, Oli McCracken, who is also on Third & James with us. We were all going to caravan down to South Bay and then come back up. We decided pretty early on once the news broke about everything that we weren’t going, sadly.

Aimee:
Yeah. It’s wild how things change every single day on terms of the scope and stuff.

Miguel:
Yeah, we ended up just doing two shows down in Southwest Colorado, Del Norte and Cortez, and then came home.

Aimee:
And so I know there’s more to talk about in terms of the music that you’re releasing, but are you guys able to do any remote practicing or is everything just on hold right now?

Miguel:
Right now it’s pretty on hold. I mean, we’re still in communication a bunch, with everything going on and… We have been in the studio this whole winter time, so we have a lot or a good amount of music that we’re working on and mixing and in that process with. So there’s still a lot of communication going on in that respect. But it’s a lot of contact in terms of logistical things with the band and figuring stuff out like that, but not a lot of rehearsing or practicing virtually yet.

Aimee:
Sure. Well, and I guess I didn’t quite realize where you were, so that makes sense. I know you’ve got a single coming out on Earth Day and I want to hear about that. So this makes sense that you’re in a lucky place that you recorded a bunch of music and then you can work on that right now and then get things ready to go. So, talk about the new song!

Miguel:
Yeah, the new song. We got back in the studio, I want to say, in late fall of last year and have been in since then. We’ll go in two to three times a week to Third & James and Matt Legge is our engineer/producer and he’s great, fantastic. One of our favorite engineers that we’ve ever worked with. He’s originally from Nashville and moved out here a year or so ago.

Aimee:
That’s a twist. Most people move from Denver to Nashville.

Miguel:
Yeah. (laughs). He’s really awesome and we’ve gotten to do a lot more experimentation in the studio. This song specifically really came out of that. Ryan and I were in late one night with Matt, and we just started messing around with different things, different guitar licks and different percussive stuff and creating loops with guitar case slamming and just some weird auxiliary percussion and stuff and created this kind of… It at first was like a real rootsy boot stomping Americana style song. But we wanted it to have more of us in it and a more modern feel as well. It’s just this cross section between the modern elements of tone and sound that we can produce nowadays with that roots feel.

A lot of it was just one take guitar, too. Ryan and I played through it together and he was playing slide on his acoustic and I was doing the main riff and some rhythm. There’s muted piano string stuff in there and then I did a pass on the vocals just to have, just because we were feeling, I was like, “All right, I’ll just do a pass.” And without any writing, just improving melodies and words and everything and the feeling of the song, it has this eerie feel to it already. And so that brought out lyrics that were in that way of, I guess, spirituality but in a very anticipatory I guess way and a little bit of anxiety coming out –

Aimee:
Like you knew the world was going to do.

Miguel:
Yeah, it was weird. I was talking to someone else about this song. And it’s funny, I think a lot of artists and musicians and painters and poets and whatever, a lot of our job is to pay attention. And because of that, I think sometimes our minds and our subconscious is more open than we know. So, when you just improv or you just do things in the art world without thinking really hard about it, it’s almost like you’re pulling from this common conscious or from another side. Sometimes it turns out to be like that where it seems almost prophetic or something that. It’s interesting.

Aimee:
That’s wild. And then the other thing that’s interesting to me, again in relation to what’s going on in the world, it’s interesting how everybody is turning to music and film and TV and all these arts for I guess help or relief during this time.

Miguel:
Yeah, solace.

Aimee:
Yeah, exactly. I don’t know, I guess I’m just a person who’s always valued the arts so I just think it’s hopefully people will remember that down the road that how important it is. That’s just my opinion. And you’re going to release the song on Earth Day. Is there any significance to that for you?

Miguel:
I just think a lot of it is, I mean the text of the song has very apocalyptic feeling and come from the end results of us not doing our part in the world. One of our main purposes as human beings is to be relational with other humans and also the world around us. And when we don’t do that well, it doesn’t end well. And when we stop paying attention, we start to basically create our own doom. There’s a lot of that in the song. There’s one line that’s, “You can’t see the signs looking at a screen.” And that is a lot of the premise of the song is just we get so distracted. And this pandemic is a perfect example of how, when we have to take a step back, we become more aware.

Aimee:
Right.

Miguel:
All of a sudden we have to sit down and we have to relax and be quiet for a minute and then we start to realize, “Oh, what was causing it was some of the anxiety and stress were things that I wasn’t paying attention to, that I was just doing because I thought that that was where I was supposed to be headed.”

Aimee:
Well, I like the song a lot. I’ve listened to it and I think it’s great. I hope everybody else likes it as well.

Miguel:
Thank you.

Aimee:
I think it’s a little too early to obviously make a ton of plans, but what in your best case scenario for what we know now, what are you guys thinking for the year? Do you hope to tour? What’s next?

Miguel:
Yeah, it’s hard because we did have so much planned for this summer obviously, and that’s hard to say what will come at this point. We had a lot of shows booked through the summer and playing different outdoor festivals and things like that and we don’t know at this point. I feel like everyone else in that we’re taking it a day at a time, but trying to figure out how we can maintain what we were doing before in some way.

Aimee:
And I saw you on the Rocky Mountain Virtual Music Fest and thought you were great. And so, I think that’s a great way to… Can you talk about that experience of playing online?

Miguel:
Yeah, that was awesome. It’s really cool when you can have a group of people get together and then have other people that maybe are better at promotion and things like that running the events. It helps get more people involved I feel like when there’s someone hosting and creating a space for the artists and musicians to highlight rather than just everyone being independent on their own. That was great to be a part of because it was a cool, diverse lineup and you got to hear a lot of different Denver and Colorado artists.

Aimee:
Yeah, I really liked it. I mean, obviously I’ve been working with them so I’m a little biased, but I liked the focus on local.

Miguel:
Yeah, it was great and it was really fun. I was at home and my wife and daughter were in the room and so that was really cool basically to get to play with people, to do a concert with, but have my family there at the same time.

Aimee:
I think there’s some silver linings that are coming out of all of this that are finding some good things for people to connect in different ways.

Miguel:
Yeah, definitely.

Dream Feed - Denver Band - Earth Day Single

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