Interview with Cthulhu Dreamt
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My (Reed Reimer) folks raised me on music. My mom listened to 50’s bubblegum music, and my dad was heavily into classic rock: Floyd, Zeppelin, Kansas, Rainbow. I think my love for music exploded when I listened to Rust In Peace (Megadeth) and …And Justice For All (Metallica). From there it was easy to just go down the rabbit hole and spend the rest of my days there.
If I weren’t doing music, I’d be working on the railroad in some capacity (which I do for my day job anyways) or have a job in Urban Planning.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When not creating, most of my time is spent with my family, whether that’s doing stuff with my kids or watching movies or shows. There’s always something in those things that might influence me, whether it’s a lyric, musical idea, or even an overall concept for a project. It’s easy to find inspiration when I’m not even really looking for it.
How long has your band been around?
Cthulhu Dreamt started in a few months into the Covid lockdown. I think I wrote my first riff for the project in April or May of 2020. Once I had it in my head to do this, I invited my friends Jeremy Myslinski (Moon & Snow, The Coming Darkness) and Ben Larson to contribute to the project as well. Jake Myslinski (The Coming Darkness) joined the project shortly after, and then my buddy Nathan Berntson came aboard in July to dust off his engineering chops.
For Liminality, our second album, we picked up another friend of mine, Chris Durston, as a contributor for composition and writing. He’ll also be working on a pretty major contribution to the world of Cthulhu Dreamt for the future as well (cue mysterious music here).
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Cthulhu Dreamt is a concept project, which means we’re not really limited by people’s availability or schedule. Myself, Ben, and Nate are based out of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Jake is in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Chris is from the UK. We all come from different walks of life with unique abilities and influences, which for me is massively cool. I love creating with all of these people because of how their personal insights drive me to be more creative and work harder.
As for the scene here in Minnesota… it’s bonkers. We’ve got so much great music being made here. Also, the fact that the Twin Cities is a large enough population to get most tours large and small contributes to the fact that there’s no lack of good stuff happening here.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Cthulhu Dreamt is based in a Cthulhu mythos and we wanted it to be associated with that somehow. So we took our cue from Lovecraft’s phrase, “In His House at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming,” and shortened it to our name.
The reason the project is based in a Cthulhu mythos is because I love horror, and Cthulhu is a magnificent proxy for the subject matter, loss and depression (because of the loss of my daughter Ripley), which inspired the project.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Because the project so far has been concept-based, we haven’t played any shows yet. However, this is something we’ve discussed, and logistics aside, it’s definitely something we’d like to do.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Currently, the world is our oyster. I think one of our dreams is to play at a venue in each of our hometowns.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
If it ever worked to play with the bands that inspire us, that’d be pretty magical indeed: Gojira, Mastodon, Opeth, Rivers of Nihil, Igorrr, to name just a few.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
My advice would be to have fun. The likelihood of it becoming a career is relatively low, so you may as well enjoy whatever ride this thing is going to be!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Practice you idiot!
I’m not great at practicing, and as a result I’ve never conditioned my muscles to move quickly and can’t play a ton of the music that I love. If I could play tech death, I would, but I can’t, so I’m relegated to just enjoying it.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“A Broken Heart Feeds Two” is one of the tracks that is quite meaningful to me because it’s basically a love letter to my daughter’s memory.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
The songs I love to play are the ones that have a vibe that make me feel the groove: Devoid, Broken Heart…, A Thing With Wings are a few.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
The process usually starts with a riff that I or any one of us creates. Once I have that, I spend a few days working through that and start arranging a song around that riff. Once the skeleton of the track is completed I’ll start refining the composition and adding elements to fill it out a bit more, or connect the pieces together so that it sounds cohesive. After the instrumentals are done, I’ll generally listen to it on repeat for a few days and feel the rhythm of the song to let that guide how the lyrics might sit. Once I start getting the rhythm of how the vocals will be, I’ll start writing the lyrics to fit that.
Telling a story is the driving force behind all my creative efforts and Cthulhu Dreamt is one of the best examples of that, especially with what’s to come with the project.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
The main subject matter that Cthulhu Dreamt revolves around are dealing with issues of loss, depression, fear, and being out of control. Alongside that, we tell a story about the world of Cthulhu Dreamt, and how the universe revolves around this event happening where Cthulhu and other Star Spawn are brought into our world and bring destruction. This event is an analogy for the things in our lives that we don’t necessarily have control over, and oftentimes find ourselves suffering from, and how we attempt to deal and keep living life.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
I think any time there’s more than one person involved in a project there will be disagreements. Talking through these things can help, and where possible, it’s nice to begin with a clear understanding of how things will be.
It’s tough to think about making something creative and fun into a business arrangement, but that may be the best sometimes to reduce future friction.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’ve got some major stuff coming up! August 5th sees the first single (“TRACE Amounts of Death”) from an upcoming EP called Precursor which will come out within the next few months.
Precursor will essentially launch the run-up into the announcement of our Kickstarter for the Cthulhu Dreamt TTRPG we’re doing in association with Action Fiction, which includes a game based in the universe of Cthulhu Dreamt, a novel, and a sprawling Original Soundtrack we’re creating for the gameplay. To stay up to date with that and other announcements, be sure to follow us on our socials: