Violent Dreams, Thursday

No dear readers, we are not wishing you violent dreams this Thursday evening, we are rather reminding you that Durham, NC, rockers, Violent Dreams, will be at The Pinhook, Thursday night at 9pm, along with the fabulous Clarion Content model, Joe Hall and his solo project Jolo.

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.

Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

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