Written by Monica Ng
This post is dedicated to Lauren (IG: @neon_dreams_lover), who I met through Instagram because of our shared love of Neon Dreams. I don’t know Lauren personally, but I could tell by her posts that her life is profoundly affected by Neon Dreams’ music and her interaction with them. Plus she reminds me of a younger version of myself.
Get in touch with Neon Dreams
Love at first concert
If you have been following my other posts, you would know that I only discovered Neon Dreams in October, 2019, after I saw their name listed as one of Tyler Shaw’s opening acts. When I searched for their music on YouTube the night before the concert, I started dancing the moment the smooth and catchy rhythm of About You played.
Long story short, Neon Dreams played at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. I enjoyed their performance so much that immediately following the concert, I bought their album, Sweet Dreams Till Sunbeams. I was really lucky to have a chance to meet Neon Dreams’ dynamic duo in person at the Meet and Greet following the show. I told Frank and Adrian that they have a new HUGE fan. I just had to see them again as I was hooked. For the first time ever, I bought tickets to a concert for the opening/supporting act and not the main performer. Sadly, the Strumbellas concert was cancelled due to a health issue of one of their members. Neon Dreams and Frank Kadillac have already inspired a couple of my blog posts (Dreamin’ of Neon Dreams and Pure Happiness) which are posted on my site. If you are curious about the meaning behind their vibrant orange and white logo, you can read about it on Neon Dreams’ Instagram account and Facebook page.
About Neon Dreams
Canadian talent alert! Neon Dreams is made up of Frank Kadillac (Vocalist and Ukulele player) and Adrian Morris on drums and guitar. Frank and Adrian are from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Neon Dreams released their album, Sweet Dreams Till Sunbeams in 2019 and was touring in Canada and the United States up to the time the Coronavirus (now known as COVID-19) began its spread across the world. Neon Dreams is currently working on a new album, which will include the three songs they released this year, Turn Back Now, Walk Away and most recently released – Sick of Feeling Useless. Did you know that Neon Dreams was also nominated for the 2020 Juno Awards?! Also, the super-creative guys created their own stop motion video for Sick of Feeling Useless (see YouTube video below the interview).
Me: Frank, you rock. Adrian, you rock. I have nothing more to say. Just kidding! I always have more to say.
Frank, you command the stage with your constant movement and jumping off speakers – and of course, your vocals are incredible. Adrian, I am totally mesmerized by your drumming. You are the most amazing drummer I have ever seen perform.
You guys make it look so easy performing on stage – a true indication of the hard work and dedication that goes into your music and performances. How much time would you estimate that you put into the preparation for your concerts? And how do you handle the stress of touring?
Frank/Adrian: Since we were kids we’ve dreamed of being on stage, played in so many bands and watched so many YouTube videos of our favourite acts crush it live… I feel like we have been preparing for each show since grade 10 haha. To this day I’m watching Linkin Park at Rock am Ring on YouTube hoping that one day we can do that!
Me: Frank, I read on your Instagram post that you have to do a lot of cardio to maintain your energy on stage. What else do you do to keep in shape both physically and mentally?
Frank: Reading self help books to get different perspectives of life usually helps my mental health a lot. Before doing this I was a wreck… I don’t know why “reading books” was an uncool thing to do when I was growing up. After reading the books I’ve read, I gained this knowledge I can never forget that just adds to my armour.
Me: Frank, I can totally appreciate your comments about reading books. I didn’t go out much as a kid and spent my time with my nose in a book. My love of reading lives on. You can visit a whole other world through a book.
Adrian, I ask you the same question – how do you keep in shape both physically and mentally? Also, I saw from your posts that you are a movie buff. What are your top 3 favourite movies of all time?
Adrian: I find it pretty hard to keep up with working out when we’re on the road (although moving all the gear counts right?!), but when I’m home I make sure to run and hit the gym as much as I can. I try to run 5 km every other day or so. Mentally I try to explore and enjoy everywhere we go as much as possible even if that’s just taking a walk in the town or city we’re in or checking out some locally fave spots. I’m usually the one on the road trying to find all the good food spots.
Top 3 movies!
- Lord of The Rings Trilogy
- Entire Star Wars Collection
- Tarintino Films
I couldn’t just pick three so I went with collections.
Me: It’s great you work to stay in shape. About food – I totally get you – I love food too! Adrian, your drumming is crazy amazing. I mentioned to you before that I tried to do your drumming move where you effortlessly cross your arms over to hit the cymbals. I admit that I was struggling! Frank mentioned somewhere that when he was initially looking for a drummer you were able to play his songs immediately. When we were chatting at the Meet and Greet, you talked about your talent for playing many instruments. It’s obvious to me that music is in your blood. How long have you been drumming and playing guitar? And what other instruments do you play?
Adrian: I’ve been playing drums since I was about 13! I started off on piano before that. I didn’t have a lot of friends that took music as seriously as I did so I had learn as many instruments as I could, so I could record demos on my own without having to rely on anyone else. But then I met Frank!
Me: Adrian, it’s really interesting that you learned how to play instruments so as not to rely on anyone. You have such a gift. Wish I had musical talent.
I know you guys must be disappointed that your tours are postponed for now because of the pandemic, but it’s amazing that you guys have been going live on Instagram during this time. It’s so kind of you to chat with the world and share your music. What are your thoughts about how the pandemic has changed the world?
Adrian: We try to find the positive or upsides to every situation no matter how hard or blindsiding it may be. We’re actually really excited to have this time to work on our new music and live show. It’s like a video game, you can’t make it to the next level without training your skills first.
Me: I am really excited about your new album. What are you thinking about for a theme for your album?
Frank/Adrian: All I can say is that its going to feel like the soundtrack to a coming of age movie from early 2000s!
Me: Can’t wait! I am curious how you guys co-ordinate to work on your album with Frank living in Arizona?
Frank: I don’t live there – just there from time to time between seasons! Me and Adrian are always together.
Me: Awww…you guys are the sweetest! Based on your fans’ posts on Instagram and your own posts, you guys really have a way of connecting with people. You mentioned that people tell you their own personal stories about their lives and how your music may have changed things for them. Frank, you have shared your deepest secrets about your life with the world. Your message is constantly one of staying positive and love. What is the message that you would like to share here?
Frank: I told this once in an interview because I can only express things that are deep with people that seem like they care but I feel like you do. I tried to harm myself and it didn’t really work thankfully, but before that I had an ex share with me a book – she said I was gonna need it someday (she was very spiritual) and of course the book was right there when my darkest night came around. It taught me how to meditate and find my purpose. Over thinkers like me that don’t have a purpose can get lost in a fog of thoughts that lead to one thing “why am I here?” but I found my purpose through meditation. I’m just here to help people find their true selves. I used to try and be person that helps people one on one and fix problems they bring to me but I was bad at that and realized I have the power of music, so I’m just building this sanctuary for all the misfit toys that were lost like me.
Me: Frank, I really appreciate you sharing something so personal with me and your fans. I know you have been through a lot growing up, and I am happy that you have found your “path”. Your story is very inspirational.
Adrian, what is your vision for the music that Neon Dreams produces?
Adrian: It has to feel good when played live! We have so many genre influences and we incorporate all of them into our music but the one thing about all the artists we love in all these different genres is their music ALWAYS feels massive in a live show and makes the crowd move.
Me: Do you guys have any tips for people who want to pursue a career as a musician?
Frank: Listen to people that live the life and have the career you’re working towards.
Me: “I had a dream, you were a red lush maple leaf, losing its identity…I wish there was a little flood, a little flood just to carry you…” (Lyrics from About You). Those are probably one of my favourite lyrics so far. I spent a long time learning the lyrics and belting out the song with my then five-year-old. He is one of your big fans too. We had About You on auto-repeat for about two months straight. What I love about your music is the vibe and energy. Your songs are upbeat compared to other sad songs out there. I also like that some of your songs begin with a certain rhythm then changes in the middle to a different style at together – like your song, If Not Now, When?
What is/are your favourite song(s) on your album, Sweet Dreams Till Sunbeams?
Frank: Sweet Dreams till Sunbeams and Life Without Fantasies!
Adrian: If Not Now, When? We Were Kings and About You.
Me: Adrian, those are my favourites as well. Frank, I like Life Without Fantasies too. When I am out hiking, I think how amazing a place is and fantasize about all sorts of things. I think of your lyrics, “what is life without fantasies” and it’s true – life is nothing without some fantasies. Fantasies keep us going. You have no idea how many times I have sung, About You, in the forest – usually when I am alone lol. Thinking about your red lush maple leaf! I just did a whistle version video!
I believe that the type of music someone listens gives a lot of insight into that person. Most of my favourites are Canadian – you guys, Matthew Good, Moist/David Usher, Ria Mae and Craig Stickland. Who are your top 3 favourite musicians?
Frank: Funny you say that. That’s what I say all the time. When someone tells me their favourite song I know instantly who they could possibly be. If I was rating it off of which artist I can listen to every single song and love, it would be Linkin Park, Coldplay and The Fray.
Adrian: I feel through music instrumentally first then lyrically usually. I need to feel emotion through what’s going on through the instruments. Blink 182, Sum 41 are the only artists I probably know their entire discography and I return to the most. Bring Me The Horizon’s album AMO ignited a whole new sense of inspiration for me.
Me: On a topic unrelated to music (directly at least): I love tattoos. I currently have three of my own. One of them says, “This Thing Called Life”, which is the title of my personal blog site. It represents my journey through life and its ups and downs, and my love of writing. I notice that you guys have a lot of interesting tattoos, so here’s a more personal question that I hope you don’t mind answering. What is the symbol of one of your tattoos and the meaning behind it/reason why you got it?
Frank: I have 3 hearts on my hand from the game Zelda. Only one half of one heart is filled in to remind me when I’m at my lowest I’m still alive I still have a heart beat and the game is not finished yet.
Adrian: I’m Algonquin of Pikwakanagan and I have my tribes emblem tattooed on my arm. My grandmother was forced into residential schooling in the 1950’s and after that some of my family hid our indigenous blood. I can understand why that may be. But it’s important for me to show proudly who I am.
Me: Very cool Adrian. Great story behind your tattoo. Your arm tattoos are beautiful. Frank, after you returned this interview to me, I wrote back to you about how I got chills reading about the symbolism behind your hearts. I can relate to how you feel when you are down to just one ‘life’ in video games – same thing for real life.
It’s been great learning more about both of you. I have been wanting to chat with you guys for a while. When you agreed to do this interview, I had to sit and think long and hard about the questions that I wanted to ask you. There’s just something magical about you guys and trying to capture the essence is not an easy feat. Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview. It means so much to me and probably your fans out there. I am really looking forward to hearing new music from you guys and seeing you in concert again. Also, your friend, Alex Gayoso (IG: @alexgayoso_) has done some amazing videos for you guys! I enjoy all of your videos. Everyone out there – check out Neon Dreams’ music. They rock!
Is there anything else you would like to share with your fans?
Frank: Look out for each other this is your family you guys built this – we just provide the music.
Adrian: Take care of each other, meet each other, become friends with each other because like Frank said – you guys created this and we’re a community together.
Check out the cool stop motion video for Sick of Feeling Useless:
A few of my favourite Neon Dreams tunes
In this thing called life, really “connecting” with others is a truly an amazing experience.