One of the more highly anticipated albums of the year has come just before the New Year. Eleven years have gone by since Gabriel & Dresden– two of the godfathers of trance- have released a full studio album. On December 15th, Gabriel & Dresden returned with their new album The Only Road on Anjunabeats. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit down with the trance legends to talk about the new album, their fans, what inspires them, and much more.
First and foremost, a huge congratulations on the new album, The Only Road! How do you guys feel after the new release?
It’s been amazing so far. We were planning on releasing it on Organized Nature and doing all the back work. Everything kind of changed when Anjunabeats took an interest. And when you get an offer from Anjuna, you gotta say yes. Plus the reaction we’ve been getting from people has been amazing. We took a risk doing that album. So to see the incredible feedback from our fans is an incredible feeling.
In order to fund The Only Road, you had a to start a Kickstarter Campaign asking for 30k and ended up getting over 70k. Can you guys talk about what it meant to you to have so many people donate to the campaign and exceed your initial goal?
It was a big gamble. We actually had a lot of our music industry friends say “what the hell are you doing?” and then everyone saw the reaction from the fans and they said, “oh I guess they do know what they’re doing.” But for us, it was just a shot in the dark and we were blown away by the response. We never imagined we’d reach our goal in less than 48 hours.
What Drove you guys to do the Kickstarter?
Desperation- just being frustrated with the music industry. We spent four months making this album to get this finished. We never had the time to do this, we had to keep touring. And no record label would take a chance on Gabriel & Dresden ten years later. We never wanted to compromise with record labels because we wanted to do our own thing.
Two of my favorite tracks off the album are ‘Waiting For Winter’ and ‘Underwater’. Which tracks are your favorites or most special to you?
Josh: That’s a hard question. We love them all for different reasons and different feelings. They were all our favorite song at some point.
Dave: The one that stuck with me the most was ‘White Walls’. From the moment Josh played it for me, I knew it was special. He was just playing things, and he was like “check out this thing I made,” and he played it for me and I heard that line “believe me I’m coming home” and it just crushed me. I knew that there was something special about it.
It has been eleven years between albums for you guys. How has your approach to making music changed, if at all, from eleven years ago to now?
Josh: Well the funny thing is it’s changed a million ways but for this album, we were like “screw it, let’s just go back to the same way.”
Dave: Yeah like the reason our music was missing that X-factor was because were touring and making music at the same time. On like a Beats Pill and not in a studio on big speakers. Making good music requires you sitting down in a studio and focusing.
You guys had a mini breakup period between 2008-2011, why did you guys split up and what brought you two back together? Was it difficult to recreate the chemistry between you two?
Josh: The thing about music is it’s a relationship and it was time to try different things. We both learned a lot during that time and actually, when we got back together it was easier to work with each other because we became better collaborators.
Dave: But you know what, we hadn’t worked on our relationship yet- the trust- we didn’t build it up. And we didn’t talk about what caused the breakup until about a year and a half ago when we really sat down and talked about and talked about the things that broke us up. Then coincidently a year later we’re leading a Kickstarter.
Josh: And then it was a New Years gig in LA that got us back together. We did it and everyone was like “they’re back” and we just never stopped.
Music is one of the most inspiring things in the world. What types of music or musicians have inspired you?
All sorts of stuff, from rock to ambient to underground techno, to Taylor Swift. We get it from all sorts of places.
The Only Road just got released at the end of 2017, setting you guys up for a busy 2018. What can we expect from Gabriel & Dresden this year in terms of a tour or new music? Also, for Ultra 2018, are you on the ASOT stage?
Josh: We got songs that didn’t make it on the album that’ll probably come out. And yup we are on the ASOT stage.
Dave: It’s not like those songs weren’t as good as the songs on the album. We just didn’t have enough time to finish them. So these songs are just as good as any of the songs on the album. It’s nice to know we got material ready to go.
Are those going to be out on Anjunabeats as well?
Josh: We don’t know. I’d assume so but we can’t say. We’re also working on having visuals for our show.
Dave: As for touring, we want to hit spots we haven’t been to in awhile like Asia, Australia, parts in the U.S. and Europe. We really want to play for the fans that brought us here.
Everybody has those people who influence them or they idolize. If there were three people you guys could eat dinner with, who would they be?
Probably Graham Hancock or Herbie Hancock. I’d love to have dinner with Robert Smith. My third would probably be Joe Rogan.
Being traveling musicians, you’ve been to countless places all over the world. But if there were one place you could visit that you haven’t, where would it be?
Dave: Antarctica, a friend of ours just went there and was posting all these pictures, I was so jealous. I want to go there so badly. And I hate the cold, but there’s something about Antarctica that I’d still go there. I like the penguins.
Josh: For me, it would be one of those megalithic sites. I’ve been dying to go to a place in Turkey. I’m fascinated by earlier civilizations. I’m always interested in ancient structures like in Egypt.
Coming up for Gabriel & Dresden, they’ll be playing alongside Above & Beyond at the LA Convention Center on December 27th. Their new album The Only Road is out now, so make sure to grab a copy.