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Dream Aria

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Donald Stagg of Dream Aria from 2006

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 5 at

Can you catch the readers up on the history of the band?
First I would like to thanks Music Street Journal for the review on our CD In the Wake and also for the opportunity to do this interview. Dream Aria started just over two years ago when I got together with Ann Burstyn (singer, lyricist), I was already working with Garry Grey (Drummer,producer) putting down the tracks and was over half way through recording In the Wake when I found Ann's ad on the net (singer for hire). We got together in the studio and it all seem to click , I was very impressed with Ann's ability to sing all types of music from opera to hard rock and everything in-between, as well as how she was able to write lyrics on the spot. The big difference with Dream Aria to a lot of other bands is, we started in the recording studio and then went live instead of doing the live thing first and then recording.
MSJ: I know artists hate to have their art described or pigeonholed (and your music is harder than most to pin down), but how would YOU describe it?
World/rock/opera/classical/pop/prog rock/ambient........I am sure I am missing something! let the reader fill in the rest.
MSJ: What are your musical influences, both personally and as a band?
Personally for sure it would be Peter Gabriel and early Genesis as well as other prog rockers and classical, I know Garry has a very similar taste as I do he grew up listening to the same music.
MSJ: Are there musicians out there with whom you would like to work in the future?
Ann just did a live duet with Glenn Hughes which you can see at her myspace. Glenn Hughes is Ann's favorite singer and recording artist so she lived out her dream a couple of weeks ago. As for me, I guess it would be Peter Gabriel. I admire all his work.
MSJ: Do you think that downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians? It's been said by the major labels that it's essentially the heart of all the problems they are having in terms of lower sales - would you agree?
I would think it would help indie bands like myself that do not have a label and depend on the internet and word of mouth but, yes, I would agree it might hurt the large labels in sales.
MSJ: What's ahead for Dream Aria? Touring, more recording?
We do play live now and have done two shows and are in the process of putting more shows together (very difficult without managers and agents). With recording we have four new songs done and one of them ("Anne Bonny") will be on a CD called Pirates Tales with other bands including ELP , the cd will come with a comic book so you can read about the different pirates as you listen to the songs. CypherArts/Clearlight 888 records will be putting out this CD by the end of the year, I have been sent some of the artwork and it is very impressive.

We would like to release a new CD early in the new year and we would love to tour North America and Europe, that would be our goal.

MSJ: Where did the name Dream Aria originate?
Ann came up with the name and we all agree that it fits the music and the image of the band.
MSJ: What have you been listening to lately?
I listen to a lot of classical music, film tracks. Also I like Enigma and a lot of the old prog bands Yes, Genesis ,ELP etc.
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
I know I am stuck in the 70s. Last couple of concerts were Musical Box (Great Genesis cover band) and Peter Gabriel.
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
It just happened to us and it's too fresh to talk about it. Some day we will have a good laugh!
MSJ: Finally, are there any closing thoughts you'd like to get out there?
Just a thanks again to Music Street Journal and also to invite all the readers to visit our web site at and to drop in and say, "hi" on myspace.
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