Pat Reyes of Dali’s Dilemma
Interviewed in November 1999, by Steve
How long has Dali’s Dilemma been together?
We’ve been together about four years. Only last two have been with the current line-up.
How did the band form?
Matt Guillory (keyboardist) and myself started jamming about 4 years ago and it came to the point where we were going to get a drummer and bass player and have something we could call a band. So we asked my brother Steve (Reyes, bassist) to play bass, he wasn’t doing anything at the time, so he was very interested and we got him going and things were going smooth. The other thing was it was hard to stick with a steady drummer and find a singer we were happy with. So eventually, after 3 years or so and after having hard times with drummers and singers, we asked Mike Varney (president of Shrapnel Records) if he knew any guys and he said “Yeah, I know this guy, Jeremy Colson (drummer), a young kid and a really hot drummer, you guys should check him out.” So we did and we loved him. We thought he was excellent. And so there was still the singer dilemma left. So again we turn to Mike Varney, who said “We got this guy, Matt Bradley (vocalist) here so check him out.” So we bought the album he was on and it was good, we liked it and so we made a demo and you know from there it was history (laughs), we decided to make an album.
I must say its a good album, a great album!
If you had to name some of your influences, and give an overview of the influences of the rest of the band, what would they be?
Some of my influences are Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore. I like Brian May, Allen Holsworth, those type of guys I listened to at an early age.
I noticed a bit of Yngwie style in your playing. I personally love Yngwie.
Yeah, he’s very influential. More ways than just one. A lot of guitar players and keyboard players, as well as Matt Guillory, are into Yngwie as well as my brother Steve. As a band I believe we have a lot of different influences, not just metal and prog metal genre. Along the way we listened to jazz, fusion, a little blues, many different styles, artists, and bands.
How did you get in touch with Peter Morticelli (president of Magna Carta) and the Magna Carta label?
At the time when when Matt, my brother and I started jamming, Matt was already in the process of doing sideman work with Magna Carta. So it wasn’t something where we had to get together and look for a label. We started to develop a professional relationship from that point on, to the point where we were working with them. So it really wasn’t hard at all, we just said here’s a demo of a couple songs we wrote, check it out and let us know if you want to work with us. From there it went pretty smooth.
So was there many songs from the demo that made it on the “Manifesto for Futurism” CD?
Yes actually, “Miracles in Yesteryear” was one of the first songs we put together and demoed out. There are bits and pieces of every song but they got re-arranged to the point where you wouldn’t recognize them.
Your debut album “Manifesto for Futurism” is, in my opinion, one of the best first album I’ve ever heard. Did the album take long to make or does writing come naturally to the band?
We’re the kind of writers where we like to take our time and do a lot of refining. We don’t feel comfortable just whipping out a song and saying OK here’s four songs we’ll throw that on the album. We like to take our time, re-evaluate the song, and determine whether or not this part is going to work or that part is going to work, you know. You can record a demo and two weeks later say, well you know it sounded good at the time but some things could be better. That’s the way we approach it and, to answer your question, it took us a couple of years I think.
Who came up with the name Dali’s Dilemma?
Matt Guillory’s uncle, actually. He suggested that name and we were having a hard time finding a name and we weren’t getting anywhere. One night Matt called and said “My uncle suggested this name, what do you guys think?” It does sound kind of different and kind of had something to do with what we are about. Dali was an underground, cult artist and we are kind of in the same boat. Our music is underground and not accepted by the mainstream. We took a liking to it right away and liked the fact that it was different, nobody else would have it and we were having problems finding a name that nobody else would have. So we thought we’d take it and went with it.
So, Manifesto for Futurism, who’s idea was that?
That was Steve’s idea, I guess he got it from some news drone or something. Again we were looking for a title and the time was coming where we needed to get the name and title, we were already in studio and Magna Carta were bugging us for a name. We wanted a strong name, we wanted a long name like three words and Manifesto for Futurism was perfect. It had a strong name and we’re not futurists but it means to move forward and that’s what we’re about, moving forward and not staying stagnant.
One thing I liked was the artwork on the cover and inside. It was done by Dave McKean who does graphic novels and is known for his work in the Sandman series. Is anyone in the band a fan of his and how did you get him to do the artwork?
Originally we weren’t aware of Dave McKean too much. We were in the studio doing my tracks with James Murphy and Dave McKean had done work for Murphy on some Testament album, I think, yeah. So he (James Murphy) was showing us and saying this guy is awesome and we were like “Wow man! We want this guy too.” So we asked to hook us up and he said “Yeah I’ll give him a call.”
I see his artwork has really taken off. Mullmuzzler used him and so did Dream Theater on the new album.
Magna Carta is starting to use him. I’m glad we did and I’m very fond of the artwork.
James Murphy recorded the guitar, bass, and keyboards on the album. Was he your first choice and did you want him right from the beginning?
Ah, he was doing some work for Shrapnel and Magna Carta at the time. He was the guy that Magna Carta kind of suggested and it worked as far as budget and convenience. He didn’t live too far away. He was able to provide a place to stay and things like that. He wasn’t someone we wanted to work with from the beginning but it came together that way from the suggestion of Magna Carta. He was fun to work with and a cool guy.
How has the response been to the album?
I hear its doing really good and getting good response from Japan and Europe, I’m not sure about South America. I know there has been some good response from the states. I’m not sure how well it is doing in Canada, where your from. Overall I think the response, so far, has been pretty well.
How good is the progressive scene in California?
California? I don’t really hear about too many progressive bands in California. I live in the bay area and there are a few bands such as Zero Hour, which are friends of ours. They’re a pretty good progressive metal band. I know Cairo are from the north bay area. Magellan are from the east bay area. I guess most of the bands I hear about in a prog style are from the bay area.
How would fans of Dali’s Dilemma get in contact with the the band? Is there a web site we can log on to, to get news and updates?
Their actually is. Unfortunately, our domain name got taken, so we
don’t have a domain yet. There is a web site at www.best.com/~dali.
So what is currently happening with the band?
Right now we are in the process of writing another album. The writing process will be going on for another month or so. We hope to finish sometime in the early new year.
So are you touring for the album?
We definitely want to make a valiant effort to get a tour happening. I know we weren’t able to do it for Manifesto although we really wanted to do it, it just couldn’t happen. Magna Carta supports touring but I think it will be all up to connecting with the right people.
Are you or any other band members currently doing any side projects?
Most recently Steve, Jeremy, and myself did some work for Magna Carta on an upcoming project written by Trent Gardner called “The Absolute Man.” The album is based on the life of Leonardo DiVinci. So that should be coming out soon with singers from Magna Carta and others from the same genre. It’s a great album and I enjoyed making it, performing, and
writing guitar parts for it.
How would you describe it musically?
Musically it’s very operatic. Designed for vocals, so the vocal parts will definitely stand out and the shredding type of thing. It’s definitely for vocals. I describe it as sounding like Queen at times, maybe a little like Genesis, like a bit of Yes. It’s great, a really good album.
My last question is what can we expect from Dali’s dilemma in the future?
I think you should expect something a bit more aggressive and heavier than Manifesto. We brought in 7 string guitars and 5 string basses and that part alone will be heavier. The music will be a little heavier and more aggressive. The people who were into the “pop” aspect of Manifesto may not like it as much but there will be lots of hooks and the good things that Manifesto had to offer. I think people will be satisfied.
We’d like to thank Pat for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish him and Dali’s Dilemma lots of success and hopefully we’ll be hearing big things about them very soon.