Mon 15th Apr 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
It’s fitting that a rock band should meet at Donington, the site long-hallowed as the home of heavy music. The majority of South Wales’ Dream State – guitarist Aled Rhys Evans, bassist Danny Rayer and drummer Jamie Lee – met at Download Festival in 2012, bonding over a shared love of Alexisonfire, Marmozets and A Day to Remember. Drummer Jamie had known vocalist CJ Gilpin at college, and upon her finishing a course in Commercial Music at university, the drummer contacted her about coming to try out.
“And the fun started there,” recalls CJ of the audition in the garage of Aled’s parents’ house in 2014. “And I got to crowdsurf at our first gig – what more can you ask for?!” Guitarist Rhys Wilcox completed the line-up a year ago; a year in which they signed to UNFD, played Reading & Leeds Festivals, nailed their first headline tour and built a vocal fanbase worldwide.
All this was kicked off by Recovery’s opening track White Lies, initially released in March 2017. “Aled was very excited about what he’d been writing and invited me to collaborate with him on it,” remembers CJ. This first foray into the pair writing together quickly bore fruit, with White Lies taking shape through what CJ describes as Aled’s unsurpassed work ethic and her own desire to tell this particular story. “I was in a moody state of mind, but he dragged me to listen to it, and when I did it changed my mood completely. I could hear it was special.”
“It made people start to care about Dream State,” notes Aled.
Recovery deals with the different stages of her “issues with addiction and being “[her] own worst enemy” as well as the mental health implications of it – topics she’s more comfortable discussing through music than in interviews. Recovery can actually be viewed as a concept EP, given that its five songs chronologically deal with an ongoing situation that CJ says “makes every day a bit of a battle.”