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NAS 10 Questions with Gray Dream

Updated: Feb 18

This time, we get to know Gray Dream, AKA Morrie Y (vocalist/guitarist), Arturo de Jongh (guitarist), and Jorge Valera (bassist) based in Barcelona, Spain with a hard rock sound and a diverse array of influences, from Judas Priest to Beetohoven.

The track "The City After Midnight" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.

Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:

1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.

We're from different places. Morrie (the one answering the questions) is from Iran, Arturo is from Cuba, Jorge is from Spain and we all live in Barcelona. We have other jobs unrelated to music, but music is our mutual passion, especially rock and metal which connects us together. However, we try to be experimental and liberal with the kind of music we create and it seems that it stays more in rock rather than metal.

2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?

In the first place, I (Morrie) was drawn to music because my brother used to listen to classical music in the house and my first exposure to an instrument was a tiny toy keyboard when I was 7. This passion grew stronger every now and then until I finally found myself a musician and songwriter as a calling and the only thing that actually makes me happy. Having a lot to express in different art forms, I found music the most satisfying form of expression.

𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?

A big range of musicians and bands. Let´s start with the classical ones: Chopin, Beethoven, Bach, Rachmaninov, Mozart, etc and then later on, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Metallica, Anathema, Eloy, Camel, Omega, Audioslave, and this list goes on!!!!.

4. What are your goals in the music industry?

Well, as the name suggests, industry is supposed to reach mass production or reach a mass consumer, aka the audience in music. I don't think our goal is becoming famous and popular, although we would really enjoy that and it brings back all the energy and effort we've put into our music. But what we try at least to achieve is genuine creativity, loyalty to art for art's sake to a practical extent, and some attention to the audience since they're one of the energy sources that drive us forward, especially the savvy audience who can appreciate the details of the songs.

5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.

Apart from the sources of inspiration that gives birth to an idea on the spot, we sometimes start with lyric writing and try to find the right music for it or the other way around. We try to be as liberal as possible within some sort of unwritten law of a song structure. Of course, you might see the common verse/chorus progression in the arrangement, however, it was never the goal, and in some songs such as Against the Wind and Leave My Brain, this structure can be challenged. Creativity is being true to yourself and avoiding letting lazy ideas cloud your judgment on what you create. It's my opinion of course. Philosophers and artists can write tens of books on what creativity is!

6. What is your all-time favorite song?

Kashmir by Led Zeppelin. Apart from its brilliant structure, harmonies, progression, vocals, you name it, it also has some sort of mystical and metaphysical feeling. Coming from a Persian background which is replete with metaphysical worldviews, this song just feels right and natural to me. And Robert Plant nailed the vocals on oriental pipes if you know what I mean -- called "tahrir" in Persian.

7. What is the best advice you have either given or received in terms of music?

Learn to use a metronome when you practice. The metronome plays a crucial part in teaching your brain discipline. Getting used to using a metronome every time you practice, not only does it help you become a better musician, it even helps you organize your life including making your damn bed every fucking morning!

8. Proudest accomplishment?

As an individual, when I decided that I am a musician. As a band, the fact that we just try to optimize everything, including how we practice, how we write songs, and how we perform in a gig whether there are 1 or 1000 people in the audience.

9. Just for fun! What's been your most embarrassing moment so far?

I cannot speak for Arturo or Jorge in this regard, but the most embarrassing moment that I can say publicly would be when I farted loudly in a class full of students as a teacher (of the English language), and they were too polite to laugh, so I had to say it: "Hey! I'm only human and this happens, and you're human, so you should laugh!" I guess once I admitted it, it stopped being embarrassing!!!

𝟭0. Tell us about your lowest and highest points in music so far.

When I doubted myself, I almost wanted to give up. That's the lowest. And when I believed in my skills realistically and accepted my weaknesses and found a solution to improve them, everything changed and things did get better and better exponentially. That's my highest.

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