Dylan Menzie starts every episode of his podcast with the same question: “What do you dream?”
Menzie explains why he asks this: it’s a very broad opening question and a good way to get an idea of who he’s interviewing.
“They could talk about their worst nightmares right off the top or something they’re very passionate about in their dreams. . . you never really know, and that’s kind of why I start it that way.” He adds, “This podcast is called Lost in Dreams, so let’s start it out talking about dreams.”
Menzie, a singer/songwriter based in Prince Edward Island, began The Lost in Dreams Podcast back in late August 2020. He’d released an album of the same name in May and like countless other musicians, knew he’d have to get creative when it came to promoting it in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I thought, ‘Well OK I can’t tour anymore because of COVID, so what am I going to do to promote this release?’ And I thought a podcast would be a really interesting way to promote a record and also talk about other people at the same time,” he says.
Menzie hosts the podcast alongside bassist Joce Reyome. Together the pair interviews artists, musicians, photographers, writers and actors from all over Atlantic Canada.
“I wanted to have a very diverse group of artists from many different disciplines,” Menzie explains. “So I’m talking to photographers but I’m also talking to songwriters and painters and comedians. I wanted it to be all over the map just to get a lot of different perspectives on what art is and what dreams are.”
On the experience of hosting such a podcast Reyome says, “It’s kind of opened my eyes a little bit more to how [structured] conversations can still be creative, and still have that fluidity and inspiration.”
Each episode includes a different guest and so far the first three interviewees were actor Jonathan Torrens, television writer Cheryl Wagner and photographer Patricia Bourque. Menzie and Reyome began recording episodes back in June, when social distancing guidelines on P.E.I. were beginning to loosen up, meaning if they spoke to artists from the island, they could have the conversations in person.
A musical background
Menzie, who was a full-time musician prior to the pandemic, has been singing and writing songs for as long as he can remember. He recalls playing music with his brothers growing up, and eventually went on to writing and performing his own songs.
“I did some ceilidhs around Prince Edward Island, grew up doing that kind of circuit, with old Irish jigs and reels and things. . . I’ve been playing music my entire life really, and I play about 10 or 12 different instruments now,” he says.
His style is, in his words, a mix of indie, pop and Americana.
Reyome, who also works as a full-time musician, grew up in Massachusetts and attended Holland College on Prince Edward Island. They originally studied vocal performance, but began picking up the bass initially just to fill in on graded ensemble pieces in their classes. They met Menzie through mutual friends and eventually began playing bass in Menzie’s band.
“I thankfully have been able to work on my chops in live performance settings, and now I’m primarily bassist and that’s pretty cool,” they say.
Creating the podcast
After Menzie came up with the idea for The Lost in Dreams Podcast, he asked Reyome if they would like to co-host.
“We had this great rapport and their laugh is just so infectious. I asked them to be the co-host because I wanted that warm bright energy of Joce in the room,” Menzie says with a laugh.
Then, Menzie came up with a list of artists to interview. He explains each interview is usually about an hour and a half long. The structure of the interviews is loose. After his regular first question, he lets the conversation flow from there.
While Menzie originally started the podcast as a way to promote his album, he says he would like to continue with it and expand to interviewing artists from all over not just Atlantic Canada.
When asked what he dreams of, Menzie says, “When I dream, it’s usually very fantastical. I usually wake up having thought to myself, ‘I don’t know where that came from, but I had a good time.’” He adds he has a lot of flying dreams, which he enjoys.
Reyome says they dream every night.
“Usually it involves my close circle of friends and we’re just on some sort of wacky adventure. I love it and I love dreaming.”