For some musicians, winning a talent search or singing competition can launch a career. Sadly, not every band knows how to capitalize off of those victories. Ian Ash of Waukesha's Ian And The Dream said, "You can't just go for every junk opportunity out there you have to go with the ones that resonate with you."
Ash does know how to pick contests that work for his band. Ian And The Dream which consists of Ash (Guitar, keyboards, Lead Vocals), Chivo (Bass, Backing Vocals) and Brian Farvour (Drums) competed in Bodog’s Battle of the Bands and were named "Best Milwaukee Band," landing them performances in front of large Chicago crowds at the Metro and House of Blues.
Ash also won the title "Top Singer" at Waukesha County Fair, earning him an opening performance with the Beach Boys. He said that opening up for the Beach Boys was "Awesome. It was really neat getting praised by Bruce Johnston. He complimented my vocal performance, but to be able to get exposed to that many more people was important." Lucky for Ash, the band has continued to demonstrate a dedication to their craft after these competitions.
Ash realizes that promoting his band and his music is a constant battle. The band isn't where he wants it to be right now, but he has reached some of his goals and realizes that he has many more to achieve. When asked if he was happy with where he was today he said "I'm a happy person and I'm happy to be doing what I love. Am I satisfied yet with my career? So far yes, but in the long term if I were to drop dead tonight absolutely not."
Ian And The Dream constantly play thoughout Wisconsin. From being regulars at The Milwaukee Ale House and playing Summerfest the last three years to singing the National Anthem at a Lakeshore Chinooks game and being a regular part of the Waukesha music scene, Ian And The Dream show no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
Sometimes musicians get so wrapped up in where their next Milwaukee gig is that they forget about how important it is to attract a larger fan base and play bars or festivals in Waukesha. Ian And The Dream successfully bounce back and forth between the two cities.
Their next gig is at the Freeman Friday Night Live. It hosts great entertainment, artists, food and drinks every friday from June to October. Over the past decade it has helped rejuvenate the social scene of downtown Waukesha and helped give bands a place to reach new fans. Something that Ian And The Dream have been able to capture the last four years. Ash said, "It's just kind of celebrating Waukesha's guitar town history because Les Paul was born there and is buried right down the road from my house."
Ian And The Dream's first EP was dominated by catchy guitar riffs and solos. The second EP, "Saturn Of Stars" which I compare to an early Maroon 5 sound is more piano based. Ash said, "We decided this time around to take a little different direction still having the guitars in there of course, but letting the piano take over a little more and letting the guitar be a little more background accompaniment. I like the Maroon 5 comparison though because they're an inspiration for sure."
You can see Ian And The Dream perform songs from both EP's this Friday at Freeman Friday Night Live at 6:30pm. For more information go to www.waukeshafreemanfridaynightlive.com.
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