BETWEEN THE LINER NOTES
Dreampilots: "God Can Always Restore"
By Hannah Goodwyn
With rave reviews heralding their arrival to the U.S. Christian music scene, Dreampilots are off to a great start with Comedown. Their radio single (of the same title) debuted at #28 on the Billboard Christian Rock Chart.
This Norwegian-based band is new to us, but Dreampilots have already enjoyed some success in their native country. Now, they are bringing their multi-layered message and stylized rock sound to the States (Check out CBNmusic.com's review of Comedown).
Before Dreampilots formed, Gulleiv Wee, the band's bass player, rocked for years as a founding member of the platinum-selling pop band The September When. Inge Engelsvold, the keyboard player, is a known name in Norway's music scene. Dreampilots' drummer Karl Oluf Wennerberg also is the drummer for the multi-platinum group a-ha.
Dreampilots and Their Faith
In an interview with CBNmusic.com, Gulleiv Wee and Dreampilots' lead singer Oddi Nessa shared about how they both experienced faith when they were younger. However, as Gulleiv grew older, he decided to leave the church.
"I wanted to play rock music, but the church didn't accept rock music. So, I kind of went out of church, finding new friends that could play my kind of music," Gulleiv says. "I left the church and left a relationship with God behind. Then, suddenly, [my former] band was playing and broke big-time in Norway; so I became a rock star and we sold like 300,000 records."
The quick success and fame hit Gulleiv hard. His faith was lacking, but that changed when he realized he needed to make some changes in his life.
"It all led towards kind of a nervous breakdown for me because of too much of everything," he says. "Then, I recognized that the reason I had this breakdown was because I left God, and I took control over my life instead of letting Him have control. I kept playing in the band, but I started more and more to feel like I was in the wrong place. I wanted to quit, but I needed the courage to do so -- because as a musician and as a bass player, I was like on the top, the best gig ever in Norway, and I needed the courage to say no to that. In a way, it's almost like suicide, career suicide.
But, then I read in the Bible, this verse: Revelation 3:8, "I see you have little strength, but you have not denied My name. And I have put before you an open door that nobody can shut." I felt that I could go through this door."
How Dreampilots Got Together
Before that revelation, Gulleiv was already starting to give his life back to God. He went back to church, and that's where he met Oddi and Inge (the keyboard player).
"Then, we started this worship band. One month after I quit my other band, we were at this place having this outreach, and suddenly the Spirit just fell on us and the crowd when we played," Gulleiv recalls. "I felt like God kind of looked at me and said, 'Don't worry. You did the right thing. I have plans for you' ... just kind of approved what I did. And the funny thing is, that verse that I got one month before, that was actually printed on a big banner over the stage."
It was all definitely a different experience compared to what Gulleiv knew as a rock star.
"What happened there was that people were lifting their hands and really worshipping. But they weren't worshipping the band, as I was used to, being a pop star," Gulleiv says. "They were worshipping God. So it was actually us and the crowd, we were one, in a way, in our worship to God."
"We've experienced it many times when we play, how God uses us," Oddi says. "What really we feel that unites this band is we are involved in other secular projects and working for other artists, but our faith unites us in a different way. And we can pray. We can share our hearts. And it's so powerful."
Dreampilots Talk about Comedown
Asking an artist which song is their favorite, is a tricky question because they're all significant. But, Oddi isn't slow to claim his favorite off the band's new album, Comedown.
"It's one track that's called 'Walking Through Walls'," Oddi says. "Like Gulleiv talked about, we grew up in church. When I sing this song, it's like I sing to my brothers and sisters in the church, that we want to search for the freedom of being who we are and that God wants us to be who we are and then walk through the walls of our own limitations."
The title track, "Comedown", is one that stands out to Gulleiv.
"The songs are actually about...it's about the world and the stupid things we do. I don't know if they're stupid. But we're so proud, and pride keeps us actually from God's heart, in a way," Gulleiv says. "And it's about the brokenness you feel. Like for me, when I had this breakdown, then I came to my senses.
"The prodigal son, when he came to his senses, then there was hope for him," Gulleiv says. "And so it's a record about brokenness and hurt and pain. But, it's also a record about how no matter how bad it gets, God can always restore."
Hannah Goodwyn serves as the Family and Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles, visit Hannah's bio page.
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Highlights: "Keep My Soul", "Comedown", "Throw Myself"
Rock 'n' roll snuck across U.S. borders with a Norwegian swagger. Dreampilots' under-the-radar release, Comedown, struts the fine line between in-your-face, throwback rock and an accessibly layered production style. Most of the tracks feel like a fresh footprint on familiar soil. Scandinavian innovation meets Brit-rock familiarity, and sparks fly through the earbuds like an audible aurora borealis. U2 sonically haunts the album's guitars with especially edge-y ghosts appearing on "Comedown". Another surprising influence is the special sauce of Snow Patrol-ish songwriting that tenderizes "Throw Myself". Future headline: "Dreampilots Make Rock 'n' Roll Fans Dream Again" - rob vischer
add'l interview tidbits
"I was a fan. I was a hang-around."
- Frontman Oddi Nessa says
to admire Gulleiv's talent
"It's about coming down from a very important self-focused life and facing the demands of reality, keeping your feet on the ground. God wants us not to do drugs to get away from all our problems. The thing is to stay in the real world,"
- Oddi Nessa says as he explains
the lyrics to "Comedown"