Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Violent Dreams is Geoff Register and Tommy Romero
Photo credit Joshua Hoffman
At the Clarion Content we have known Violent Dreams lead man, Geoff Register, for a long time. We are not alone, Register has been part of the Durham music scene since he was a wee lad. He was in the Young People's Performing Company in the day. He was once a tween heartthrob as front man of Sedgewick's Red Nickel. He performed in the legendary Durham band, Sleepsound with Duncan Webster and Joe Hall of Hammer no More the Fingers, along with Durham's Kevin Bacon of the bands, Stephen Coffman, and then in a later configuration with Peter Kimosh of The Beast among others.
Register comes from a musical family. His parents met playing violin at Duke. He has been surrounded by and playing music his whole life. He started with the violin at three. He spent time at Hope Valley Elementary school working with Mrs. Buehler. He played the piano from age seven. He was a trombonist in the high school band and the jazz band. Clearly a man of many talents, Register describes himself as a musical perfectionist.
But then, in the next breath, he cautions your editor that he pales as perfectionist compared to his bandmate, the impeccable drummer, Tommy Romero, who ostensibly makes Geoff seem laid back, like a little kid. Romero has toured nationally opening for Disturbed and working in production collaboration with Chris Manning (Metallica, Santana, Third Eye Blind) and Johnny K (Staind, Sevendust, Disturbed, 3 Doors Down).
Their sound reflects two hardworking, perfectionists playing together. The riffs are tight. The musicianship is tip-top. Asked if they have ever sought out a bassist, Register shrugs. He says his relationship with Romero is so symbiotic and so hardcore that they struggle to find anyone else with the dedication who is on the same page musically.
Register takes voice lessons from local Durham maestra, Joan Wittman of Infuzion1. She has had him in her tutelage for almost five years, largely singing classical Italian Opera. Register says that their lessons transcend genre, his face takes on a certain glow when discussing Wittman. In an almost Aristotelian method, she asks questions and gives feedback to her pupils. She demands they love what they do, or learn from someone else. No kids are being forced to go to her lessons against their will.
Violent Dreams is steeped in technical precision. They always practice to a metronome. How many rock bands can say that? Register says his exacting musical nature came from his family, where integrity and hard work was at the core of what his parents taught him, if you are going to do something, do it well. The guys even take their physical fitness very seriously. Register, from a military background on his mother's side, is competing in the "Tough Mudder" next month in Virginia, a twelve mile, twenty-five obstacle run designed by the British SAS.
Yet Register's huge smiles and big dimples, show the easy going happy-go-lucky side of his personality, is such that, even the legendarily stoic, Foster's Market's P-Diddy gives him a high five and a broad grin during our lunch time interview.
One downside of Register and Romero's perfectionism is this only their third show in three years. This despite practicing nearly every week in underground facility in Garner. These guys don't want to show you anything but their very best. From the music, to the aesthetic, Violent Dreams is first class the whole way.
Catch them, this Thursday, September 20th at The Pinhook. $5/cover doors 9pm. Don't miss the opener, JoLo brings it.
1Interestingly Wittman also gives Joe Hall voice lessons.