The Dream Masons
Gig Seeker Pro

The Dream Masons

Cleveland, OH | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Cleveland, OH | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Rock Indie




"Band of the Week: The Dream Masons"

Meet the Band: Eric Hellinger (guitar), Annastacia (vocals), Austin Harpel (drummer), Phillip Martin (bass)

A RANDOM MEETING: The Dream Masons began a couple of years ago as Hello Violet, a band that came together around singer Annastacia. She says she "knew of" guitarist Eric Hellinger from other musicians, then heard him play at Mohawk Studios in Huron where she was recording her "folk-y" solo project. "I met all the guys in the band at studios," says Annastacia. "We were all working on other projects, but it was a meant-to-be type of thing. We came together first as musicians and then had to learn to be friends. We've finally gotten there."

THE NAME CHANGE: The band had played around town, and even cut an album, as Hello Violet, when Annastacia met a touring musician who told her about an up-and-coming band named Hey Violet. "I want to be gone and done with Hello Violet, but I know that is our foundation," she says. "I disliked being compared to this other band and didn't want people to be confused by that. Right after that conversation [about Hey Violet], I called the guys and told them we had to figure something out." Dream Masons were born.

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: A few months ago, the band released the bluesy single "Another Great Day," a song that commences with a bit of whistling before the sultry vocals kick in. The band's "Coastin'" will be out in a few weeks. Dream Masons recorded at Broadwaves Studio in Lorain County. "I love the warmth and creativity of the tracking and I love the fact that Luke Theall, who runs Broadwaves, says what you need to know and just doesn't tell you to record." The upcoming release show at Mahall's serves as a celebration of the release of "Coastin'" and the release of a music video for "All or Nothing." "We decided to drop a bomb and release both at the same time," says Annastacia. "For the music video, we set things on fire. I was hosed down multiple times. We filmed at a 200-year-old church and out on Lake Erie for two hours." The band has recorded another single that will be out before the year's end and has enough songs for a full-length. It's also continuing to explore its unique approximation of the blues. "Eric is a diehard blues fan," says Annastacia, "but for me, I have a soft Disney Princess voice. I can only sing certain things. If I calm down and speak slowly, I can coax out a fuller richer tone."

WHERE YOU HEAR THEM: and - Cleveland Scene Magazine

"Band you need to see at Waterloo Arts Festival"

Indie act The Dream Masons create slinky blues-folk with a bite, offering up punchy, old school No Doubt moments. On their latest single, “Another Great Day,” the four-piece creates an undeniably catchy track that’s as dreamy as their name implies, but still full of plenty of attitude. - Nikki Delamotte

"Band of the Week (under former name "Hello Violet")"

MEET THE BAND: Eric Hellinger (guitar), Annastacia (vocals), Austin Harpel (drums), Phillip Martin (bassist)

THIS TIME IT'S SERIOUS: The band came together about a year ago as singer Annastacia, who says she "knew of" guitarist Eric Hellinger from other musicians, heard the guy playing at Mohawk Studios in Huron where she was recoding her "folk-y" solo project. "I thought it couldn't be the Eric, but it was," she says. "In a creepy twist of fate way, I met the other guys in a studio as well." Prior to forming Hello Violet, Annastacia had only sung in high school bands that she says weren't very serious. "We had more pizza practice than practice practice," she says, explaining that practice would regularly get short and turn into a pizza party.

A VARIETY OF INFLUENCES: Annastacia says band members didn't get together as a group of friends as much as a group of musicians. "We all have different backgrounds," she says. "We come from all different places. I know Pink Floyd was initially a big inspiration, but we went in a bluesier direction. I have a love of R&B slow jams and Eric is the blues fan. We were working on one song, and Eric said he could pick a fight with the blues any night, so the blues aspect wouldn't be there but for his bitching guitar."

AN AUSPICIOUS DEBUT: The songs on the band's new EP, All or Nothing, emerged from a jam session. "When we first started playing together, Eric and I just wanted to schedule a jam," says Annastacia. "As a vocalist, it's an interesting experience. I had prepared lyrics from this big book, and he had a compilation of riffs. We decided which lyrics evoke the best emotion from those riffs. We would strip a song down and change the lyrics out. We wrote the first four songs quickly and thought we were hot shit." The other songs took a little longer to compose.

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: Songs such as "Trigger Happy " feature intricate guitar riffs and fluttering vocals (think Cranberries); on the other hand, the title track simmers with intensity as Annastacia drops the f-bomb. "To be quite frank, it's about suicide in general," she says when asked about the title track. "I'm a woman and for women in the music industry, the pressure is on. I thought I could be in the industry for ten or 12 years, but you start to realize that it's all or nothing. It's about desperation and giving everything and nobody cares. There's not enough rope to tie the anchor to the boat." Annastacia says the band has written a handful of new songs it hopes to record in February. "The new songs are darker," she says. "We have chosen to stick to the blues. Some of it sounds like [acclaimed singer-songwriter] Josh Ritter, and we've written a lot of story songs too." - Cleveland Scene Magazine

"The Dream Masons "Hello Violet" EP Review"

From tracks like the upbeat and funky “Casual” to the brooding blues riffs of “All or Nothing,” Hello Violet has put together an EP of their best songs to date. The band has created a fissure in the monolithic spectrum of musical genera, and within this crevice they have built a home of musical exploration. The songs are easily accessible to the casual listener but also intricate enough to have fans coming back for multiple enjoyable listens of the same track. One highlight of the EP is the guitar work. The amped up electric sound combines easy listening smooth rhythmic chord progressions with a complex labyrinth of rock and roll riffs. The unique mixture of guitar styles appeals to all fans of musical creativity. Another highlight of this EP is the sultry yet serene vocals. The emotion in the vocal melodies becomes palpable when combined with the vocalist’s unique intonations and choice of inflection.  She shows off her vocal range in a way that spotlights a polished, gentle and powerful melodist. With the catchiness of the choruses it is almost easy to forget the depth and relatability of the lyrics, which include many personal and universal themes often hidden behind allegory. Overall this EP is an accomplishment of unique artistic expression from a band that has a luminous future.  - Matthew Chonko


Hello Violet - EP (released 2016)

Another Great Day - Single (released 2017)

Coastin' - Single (released 2017)

Ways - Single (released 2017)

Lilly of the Valley - Single (released 2020)



Like a dream itself, a combination of restlessness, imagination, and luck repeatedly brought Annastacia Monroe and Eric Hellinger together. With a little coaxing from the universe, the pair answered the call and wrote their first EP, featuring smash hit All or Nothing, an overnight success. 

What follows is a dreamy melding of blues inspired pop-rock with a magic wands dose of psychedelia. Annastacia pairs cautionary tales and moralistic fables with melodies that seem to have a tentacular reach, touching the highest highs and lowest lows of her wide vocal range. Hellingers talents are just as varied and enlighten listeners as he strikes each song with either ferocious intensity or a sunny framptonesque lilt that seems to flirt with the melody itself. Combining his sunny youth with Annastacias lonely dream-saturated childhood, you have the foundation of the Dream Masons.

Band Members