What do the industry professionals have to say about Dreamkiller?
Dreamkiller’s New Music Video "Ragnarok"
The Monks House
February 29, 2012
Greensboro, North Carolina band DREAMKILLER has just released their latest video entitled "Ragnarok". "Ragnarok" is off of their concept album entitled "Sleepless Dreams".
This particular track showcases DREAMKILLER at their finest. They draw in a theatrical and a rock-musical influence into their music. They keep their lyrical content as positive as possible for the listener, in which they sing about rising up and overcoming the obstacles of life. I see this band doing very well for themselves in the future as they have won awards and been nominated in the Carolina Music Awards and the Los Angeles Music Awards, and they can boast of an appearance on the Vans Warped Tour.
In conclusion, their musicianship is sleek and the guitars are driven by pure, raw power. Christy Johnson has a very strong voice and her voice boasts of an impressive range. Check out this mindblowing jam below. Please "like" DREAMKILLER here. [http://www.facebook.com/DreamkillerMusic]
Dreamkiller Homecoming show at Somewhere Else
Charlton Wiggins | Triad Live Music
December 20, 2010
For a band to be successful locally it needs to have three things: good musicians, good on-stage persona and good promotion. For a band to be successful on a regional or national level it takes so much more... GREAT musicians, GREAT on-stage persona and GREAT promotion but it also takes ORIGINAL music instead of covers. Friday night at Somewhere Else Tavern I experienced just such a band - Dreamkiller.
Dreamkiller is a four-person rock band based out of Greensboro, NC and fronted by a dynamic singer/songwriter/performer named Christy Johnson. With Erny Galvan on bass, Jim O'Gara on guitar and Paul Salas on the drums this quartet creates a very tight sound that powerfully compliments Christy's vocals and together the group delivered a performance that felt as though it could transport you to a mystical place.
Friday night was the band's homecoming show, having just returned from a trek to California where Christy was honored at the 2010 Los Angeles Music Awards as the National Female Vocal Performer of the Year, an honor to bookend her 2009 Carolina Music Award as the Best Female Rock Artist of the Year. The band as a whole also won the 2009 Carolina Music Award for Rock Band of the Year.
Johnson is a dynamic performer onstage with enormous power behind her vocals while Galvan's background vocals and energized performance on bass provided the necessary elements to make the bands music expand and fill the air instead of just being a wall of music. Couple that with O'Gara's masterful guitar work and Salas' driving the performance on drums and Dreamkiller becomes a solid ensemble capable of headlining bigger venue's.
You can keep up to date with Dreamkiller news on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dreamkillermusic
The Dreamkiller CD Release Party Packed The House!
Abby Lynn Spicer | Founder of Local Bands of The Triad
December 9, 2009
Somewhere Else Tavern was packed Friday night for Dreamkiller’s CD release show as six bands took their turn on stage. Get Up Soldier kicked off the night. The band’s tracks on MySpace are acoustic, but they were plugged in and rockin’ on Friday night. New Age of Radio was up next and issued a challenge to the audience that they were the new age of rock. They’ve recently added two new guitarists to the band and their sound was completely different. If you haven’t heard New Age of Radio in the last month or so, then you need to make it out to a show and hear their new music. Bob. What can I say about the band Bob? Guys with dreadlocks took the stage, the audience pressed forward in anticipation and these guys just rocked out. It was so much fun to experience a live show with Bob. [Update: Bob is now "Superbob"]
When Dreamkiller started setting up I wondered if they would be able to duplicate their music live. They have effects and additions to their music that help create a distinct ambiance. The lead singer said, “Welcome to our world” and they did indeed manage to duplicate their sound live. They have a unique sound and when you hear their songs, you know right away that you are listening to Dreamkiller. By the time The Five L’s took the stage there were so many people packed in the club that I could not even see the band members on stage. So, I went to the front of the club where the owner was video taping the show and watched the band from his TV screen. Last up was Misplaced Aggression. The lead singer announced that they’d only practiced eight times before taking stage Friday night after not playing together for 15 years. Their die hard fans cheered them on as they recaptured their place in local music scene.
Band defies its dream-killer
Yes! Weekly Magazine
August 12, 2009
Christy Johnson, a comic-book character of danger and sexual allure sprung to life, performed with her band Dreamkiller, singing without electric amplification in a corner of the Hot Topic store in Winston-Salem’s Hanes Mall on a recent Thursday afternoon next to a rack of brightly colored blouses.
With Tian Garcia playing an amplified acoustic guitar and Erny Galvan playing a bass, Johnson belted out a passion play of thematically linked songs about protagonist Lyrik and her pursuit of her dream in a futuristic metropolis studded with both adversity and possibility and her nemesis, the Dreamkiller, who tempts, frustrates and traffics in various masks and guises.
Johnson moved her hands in dramatic gesture, dominating the space in her black leather pants, black T-shirt inscribed with the words “rock and roll star,” heavy eyeliner and brown hair highlighted with locks of blond and fuscia.
David Lanning, who was staffing the merch table near the store entrance, remarked that “Christy should be sponsored by Hot Topic. Everything she gets is from here. Everybody asks where she gets it.” Hot Topic is the outfitter of choice for legions of high-school rock kids that identifies with the dangerous, goth side of rock and roll. If you’ve ever seen a kid with a studded belt, impossibly tight-fitting designer jeans or a Darth Vader belt buckle, chances are they purchased it at Hot Topic.
The band finished its first set at about 4:20 and took a break. “It’s hotter than our stage shows,” Galvan remarked. Johnson agreed: “Schweaty.”
It was the third of seven Hot Topic instore performances across the state. They had played Greenville on Monday and Cary on Tuesday. On the following Monday, it was on to Four Seasons Town Centre in Greensboro, then to Durham, Wilmington and Fayetteville. Lanning had been sidelined.
“We had him playing a hand drum at the other performances,” Johnson said. “But they were complaining at GNC. They told us, ‘Don’t play any louder than the recording’ — they were playing our music. I said, ‘I’m talking louder than this recording.’ A lot of people want to bring it down when they play acoustic. I’m totally opposite. I’ve got to do it with a lot of energy. I guess it’s my background in theater.”
Johnson has had this band going in one incarnation or another since 2004 and claims to have had a rotating cast of about 25 players. In January the current lineup started playing together. Johnson has finally found a group of enthusiastic coconspirators willing to flesh out a concept in lyric, sound and set design. In Garcia, a Guatemalan immigrant who serves as musical pastor at Church of His Glory in Greensboro, Johnson has found a fellow songwriter and a producer. She praises all three guys as dedicated musicians and professionals.
Galvan is originally from California, and remarked that he came to North Carolina “running from the law.” “What?” Johnson said. “This is all news to us.” Apparently, the meeting through Myspace was as fortuitous for Galvan as it was for Johnson.
“I played in a lot of cover bands,” Galvan said. “I was getting tired of that. It’s been a blast playing with these guys. I was actually thinking of moving back to California before I found them.” The band’s first CD, Sleepless Dreams, has been pressed and mastered, although the band has yet to choose a date to hold a release party. They recently played a wellreceived set at the Vans Warped tour stop in Virginia Beach. Johnson and her fellow band members are feeling positive about their prospects, having been nominated Best Rock Band for the Just Not Famous Enough showcase in Greensboro and in two categories in the upcoming Carolina Music Awards showcase in Raleigh.
The album is studded with monologues interspersed between songs. One in particular expresses the outlook of Lyrik. “I always believed in destiny, but now I’m clouded in confusion,” Johnson intones. “If I’m wrong about you, how can I trust that I’m on the right path and that my dreams aren’t the same silly joke? What am I doing? Why is it that every time I feel I’m about to get there it’s always a step away? Am I trying to grasp the wind? Am I trying to walk on fire and not get burned? This is the crossroads of life I’ve chosen… but now what path should I take?” Johnson reflected after her in-store performance at Hanes Mall: “Because of my music and theater base, I was always interested in doing this. It’s a lot of fun to get to play different characters. There are narratives between the songs. I get to fuse music with acting — the two things I love the most.”
Dreamkiller performs with the Tiffany Shea Band at Somewhere Else Tavern, at 5713 W. Friendly Ave. in Greensboro, on Aug. 21, and at Rush Fitness Complex- Brassfield in Greensboro on Aug. 22.
Interview with DREAMKILLER
Johnny Price | Freelance Writer
February 16, 2009
Strong, assertive women have found their way into the pages or music royalty. Throughout the years we have had such icons as Billie Holliday, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Pat Benatar, Madonna and so many more that I cannot list them all. All of these women had several things in common, but they all had a strong work ethics and the drive to succeed. I recently met a woman who wants to follow in their footsteps. Her name is Christy Johnson and she fronts the band Dreamkiller.
Christy's resume reads like an entry into Who's who! She graduated from UNCG with both an MA and BA. She was Miss Jr. Greensboro in 2003. She has several big screen credits including Tobe Hooper's Mortuary and Leatherheads, among others. Her small screen credits include MTV's Road To The VMAs and MTV Making The Video Madina Lake and more. She is definitely a versatile woman who is very headstrong about being a success in the music industry. I had a chance to talk to her after a recent show in Greensboro,NC at the Greene Street Club.
"It seems like I have always been performing. My mom put me in all types of pageants at an early age. I remember trying out for my first play in the sixth grade. I actually got the lead part in it and it was Heidi. We had a band before this called the Arrival and it was more punk influenced. We actually released one cd. I then reformed the band under our new name Dreamkiller and I would say that our sound is more alternative/rock now," said Christy.
Finding the right pieces to the puzzle can be hard when forming a band. Finding the right chemistry and individuals with the same dedication can be hard, but it looks like things are falling into place. The band played its' first show since 2006 and its first with the new lineup at the Greene Street club in Greensboro, NC in late January. The band, consisting of David Lanning on drums, Erny Galvan on bass and Tian Garcia on guitar, performed a very tight set that night. It was really hard to tell that it was there first show live together.
Christy is every bit the flamboyant front person with her flashing and sexy outfits, but don't judge the book by its cover. This girl has some serious chops and has a vision in mind for this band. "Dreamkiller actually has a concept line with characters and a storyline. Kind of a throw back to rock opera. We have alot of ideas in store and hopefully it would all come to light on our new cd which we hope will be this year. We have one song already recorded called "RAGNAROK" which was used for the Superpower documentary."
I had a chance to catch both the show at the Greene Street Club and their headlining spot at the 2009 Winterfest on 02-14 at the Somewhere Else Tavern in Greensboro. The band is a very tight and cohesive unit. Tian is a beast on lead guitar and his harmonizing abilities bring a great element to the band. Although Tian appears to be a little subdued on stage, his guitar work screams volumes. Erny seems to like to cut up with the crowd more and his pounding bass lines combined with David's bashing of the skins seems to have molded into a powerful unit.
The band plans plenty of live shows planned for the future around North Carolina and into Virginia. It may take a little time for the average fan to pick up on the concept line of story and its main characters, but if you just want to rock out to some great rock/alternative music Dreamkiller is well worth the ticket price. I enjoyed the show so much that I actually felt undercharged. Check them out, you won't be disappointed.
Christy Johnson's dreams still very much alive
Ryan Snyder | Yes! Weekly Magazine
January 28, 2009
The last two years have been more than a little frustrating for the multi-talented Christy Johnson.
Persistent personnel changes have kept her pet project, conceptual rock outfit Dreamkiller (www. myspace.com/dreamkillermusic), in a near-constant state of flux. Driven by a profound love for musical theater, the singer, model and actress has worked tirelessly to both pull together a group of musicians with a common creative goal and see her musical aspiration at last realized.
“It’s so difficult to find musicians around here who are both talented and dedicated,” Johnson said. “Not only that, but people who are trying to put in the work to make it and aren’t just out to make money right away.” It’s no secret that much of the Triad music community favors the quick buck earned by performing in cover bands that bars, restaurants and some clubs favor on their calendars, which certainly presents a challenge for progenitors of original music in finding accompaniment. But for a band focused entirely around a singular narrative concept like Dreamkiller, it becomes an even tougher row to hoe. Johnson has at last found a group of artists on the same musical wavelength, however, and Johnson says that she hasn’t been as excited about playing music in quite a while as she is now. “It’s everything I’ve been looking for since the very beginning,” Johnson stated. “It’s long overdue and we’ve been working our butts off to make it crisp and tight.”
Johnson found current Dreamkiller guitarist Tian Garcia through MySpace after he moved to the area from Guatemala in August.
Johnson called Garcia an accomplished multiinstrumentalist with over 20 years of musical experience. He started playing in church, but soon moved into playing with songwriters on various record labels while in Mexico.
“I love many styles of music,” Garcia said. “But I definitely have a passion for rock and roll music.” “Tian and I write really well together and we pretty much have a consensus on what kind of music we want it to sound like,” added Johnson. “It’s very accessible rock-alternative with a little bit of a progressive edge.” So what exactly is Dreamkiller all about? Johnson further describes it as a concept band with a three-part harmony of Johnson, Garcia and bassist Ernie Galvan and very colorful lyrics that are heavy hitting at times, but also possessing a softer side. The narrative that drives the band revolves around three main characters: Lyric, the heroine trying to juggle the pursuit of her dreams, while finding love; Theone, Lyric’s primary love interest; and the Dreamkiller, the bedeviling foil who thrusts herself between Lyric and Theone, while personifying everything that is an obstacle in life. Johnson plans for the storyline to spill over into other albums, while being the focal point of the band’s live shows.
“I’ve been working on it since 2004 and I’ve always wanted Dreamkiller to be that but no one I was working with before really understood it,” Johnson said. “They’d say, ‘Oh maybe the next album,’ but I want it to be a concept band and not a concept album.”
The band debuted in its current incarnation on Friday at Greene Street Club in Greensboro and Johnson said she was thrilled with the result, especially since it was Dreamkiller’s first live performance since 2006. “We just wanted to storm on, impress everyone and really make a name for ourselves right away,” she stated.
That wasn’t a problem for Johnson, who boasts a heavy musical theater background and appearances in movies like Leatherheads and Tobe Hooper’s Mortuary, along with numerous commercials. She says that being on stage has become second nature for her and actually where she feels most at home. The band is currently working on its first album release, expected to drop sometime in 2009. The first single, “Ragnarok,” has already been produced and has been picked up as a part of the soundtrack for Superpower, a controversial take on US foreign policy and world affairs. Dreamkiller’s next show will be a headlining spot at the Somewhere Else Tavern’s Winterfest on Valentine’s Day.
This uniquely powerful band is getting geared up for a summer tour that will take them to Canada, and back again. With their blend of high energy punk and rip-your-face-off guitar riffs, the remaining members of the band formerly known as "The Arrival" have truly arrived.
The original band, which was formed only a year ago, consisted of Christy Johnson (Lead Vocals), Donnie Neas (Guitar/Vocals), Steve Lucas (Bass), and Billy Thompson (Drums). Their debut show together was performed after only eleven (yes, eleven!) days after they began crafting songs together. With influences ranging from Pat Benatar, to NOFX, to The Smashing Pumpkins, it's little wonder that this band created music that defied genres.
Their first studio album, "Just Another Freak In The Freak Kingdom," was dedicated to the founding father of Gonzo journalism, the late Hunter S. Thompson. New music in hand, they immediately set out on tour to support the record.
Much has happened since that tour. "Dreamkiller" is currently searching for a new bassist and drummer to complete their line-up. With no shortage of booked gigs for the summer of 2006 and another full-length studio album on the way, this band deserves your attention. Support your local scene!
Dreamkiller LIVE Show Review
Rock Rage Radio of The Carolinas
June 13, 2014
I RECENTLY HAD THE PLEASURE, of catching an all-acoustic set of songs performed by Christy Johnson and Tian Garcia, the songwriting force behind the Greensboro, NC band, DREAMKILLER. Playing to a good sized crowd, in an intimate setting @ Ziggy's Rock Bar in Winston Salem, they performed all their classic DREAMKILLER hits, and broke out with some brand new music, such as "Absolution" off their upcoming EP. Christy's amazing spot on vocals, combined with Tian's harmonies and blazing guitar work, proved once again, why this multi-award winning band is one of the Carolina's favorites. Both are currently nominated and hope to win, in this year's 2014 Carolina Music Awards. Christy Johnson is nominated for Female Rock Vocalist of the Year, and Tian Garcia is nominated for Producer of the Year. They are both certainly worthy, and have got my vote~
Music and Concert Promoter, and Manager, Rock Rage Radio The Carolina's
Scene Stealers - Dreamkiller
Patricia Jones | Sceneazine, Vol. 3, Issue 4
Nov 14, 2014
“Bringing in the sharpness comes the vocals of Christy Johnson and Dreamkiller. Having shared the stage with numerous mainstream artists both in their hometown of Greensboro, NC and beyond, Dreamkiller are no strangers to beating the pavement. Describing their sound as melodic/theatrical rock, their sound is a refreshing blend of bright notes and sharp edges that seems to reminiscent of artists like Pat Benatar, The Donnas and Green Day. Johnson's vocal dynamics hit the mark in both highs and lows, exemplifying her incredible range, even on the grittier side of vocals. These guys are always on the prowl for their show and never seem to miss the chance to their shot, so you should have plenty of chances to catch them live.”
DREAMKILLER ROCKS IT HARD
May 23, 2015
“There are bands that rock, and there are bands that ROCK! Dreamkiller, falls into the later category without a doubt! I was instantly taken into their world the moment my ears were treated to "Love vs. Dreams". You close your eyes and let the music begin to play...the sound is smooth, the bass hypnotic, and then comes the crescendo that is Christy Johnson's voice and you're falling! Falling into an abyss of delicious vocals, mixed with some of the hottest guitar licks ever composed! The sound is solid, and as you let the song take you away, you know this is a band that has their sh#$ together!”