In 2002, rockers The Dreamscapes Project recorded their first live album, “A Lot More Colors in my World,” at Jammin Java. The five-piece band returns to play the Vienna club on Saturday and make some major announcements about the band’s future.
“We have a big show we’re going to announce on the 11th and big news in other areas as well,” said Keith Center, the band’s lead vocalist and acoustic guitar player.
Though Center wouldn’t reveal anything further, the musician did say The Dreamscape Project has always focused on quality over quantity when it comes to their shows.
“We’ve done more larger shows and festivals in the last year or two,” Center said. “We did Jiffy Lube Live with Dave Matthews Band and Maroon 5 this summer and opened for Third Eye Blind two years ago.”
Named Best Musician in Northern Virginia Magazine’s 2010 Best of NOVA Awards, The Dreamscapes Project first formed in 1997 when Center and bassist Jeremy Rodgers started writing music together while they were students at George Mason University. Since then, the band has seen several personnel changes. According to Center, the current incarnation of The Dreamscapes Project has been together for 5 to 7 years.
“We’ve been blessed that we’ve been able to stay together,” Center said.
The Dreamscapes Project has evolved since their days of playing local venues in college.
“In college, we wanted to play as often as possible but could never find places ...” Center said. “There was the drive of wanting to do it and not knowing how.”
As the years passed, The Dreamscapes Project began to make a name for themselves, headlining the 9:30 Club and sharing the bill with bands such as Blues Traveler, OK Go and Good Charlotte, all while remaining an independent band.
Despite the band’s success, performing has never been a full-time gig for the guys of The Dreamscapes Project.
“It’s always been a part-time job, essentially,” Center said. “We’re kind of blessed because we’ve gotten to straddle it more than a lot of people I know. We got to headline the 9:30 Club and still be schlubs who go to work during the week.”
Hardly a schlub, Center works several jobs. A web developer by trade, he is working on an app to help small music venues with booking. He also consults with younger bands trying to get their start and manages a Facebook group for musicians in the Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia area.
“It’s a place for them to talk shop,” Center said of the group, which boasts about 1,100 members. “It’s a place where musicians can ask questions.”
Though he said the members of The Dreamscapes Project once dreamed of making it big, Center said the band had to adjust its expectations as the years went on.
“You keep pushing it off but there’s a part of you that knows as the days go by, the people on the charts that you thought you were going to be on, are younger than you,” Center said. “There’s a piece of you that wishes you could drop everything and tour 24/7 but you have to evaluate ... We kind of had to switch at one point ... to determine what [our] priorities are.”
As members of The Dreamscapes Project started settling down, those priorities shifted from music to family.
“There were marriages and there were adjustments ... but the first time a child entered into the picture, that was when there was the biggest shift,” Center said. “Our cellist Ben [Guy] had his daughter [four years ago] and I would say that was the most drastic change ... As each child comes in, it becomes exponentially different.”
Even Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. show reflects the evolution of The Dreamscapes Project from college students to family men.
“This particular show is earlier; some of our fans can bring their kids,” Center said. “High school kids can come out.”
Ultimately, reaching an audience, however old they may be, remains most important to the guys of The Dreamscapes Project.
“Parents sharing music with their kids or an album getting someone through a breakup, that’s what keeps us going,” Center said.