Justin Cota, member of Gloomsday, Deep Sea Thunder Beast and Bosswitch, has started another new project: Dream Burglar. The band’s first show takes place on Sunday, Feb. 5 at Whistle Stop with Polish, and also features drummer Josh Rudiger (The Cardielles) and bassist Lia Dearborn (Mittens). Cota, who balances several other musical projects, said that he didn’t start working on Dream Burglar with any particular objective in mind, just that he wanted to do something on his own, rather than as a proper band.
“I didn’t know what this project would be at first,” Cota says in an interview at Coffee and Tea Collective in North Park. “I continually write music all the time. I have ideas, and then I record the ideas. And whether anything comes from it or not, I’ll still have that.”
Dream Burglar didn’t stay a solo project for long, however. Once Cota began playing some of his demo recordings for friends of his, they expressed interest in performing the songs live. And though that wasn’t originally the intent, working with some new collaborators ended up making it more fun.
“I didn’t mean to start a new band,” he says. “Some friends in other bands asked about it. And it wasn’t really meant to be a performing project. But the last couple months we’ve been workshopping songs, and I’m really excited about it.”
Cota describes Dream Burglar’s music as being influenced by post-punk, and mentions Wire’s Pink Flag as a major source of inspiration. The name, however, coincides with the current political climate. He says he wrote most of the band’s songs before the presidential election, but now feels a certain pull toward addressing social issues in his music.
“Things have just gotten really dark,” he says. “I was compelled to write lyrics of substance. I can’t just write frivolous lyrics while this is happening. It feels like everything that we’ve worked toward over the last eight to 10 years has been stolen.”