The Broken Dreams Club provides needed support to local musicians

Photo of members of the Broken Dreams Club.Member of the Broken Dreams Club. Photo provided by the Broken Dreams Club

A group of Winnipeg musicians have formed a collaborative dubbed the Broken Dreams Club to offer support in networking and recording their music.

Eighteen-year-old Lino D’Ottavio, the co-founder of the Broken Dreams Club, records and mixes music in his basement alongside other young local artists, such as Sam Singer and Anton Danylko, who play in bands featured in the collective.

“I think it started partly as a joke when me and Sam [Singer] were recording The Sam Singer LP and I said ‘maybe I should start a record label,’” D’Ottavio said.

“We both laughed and then I realized a record label required managing and effort so I figured I’d take a pointer from the Elephant 6 Recording Company and just have a free-to-join collective of me, hopefully producing cool hip people’s music, and having it all somewhat affiliated with everyone else. It’s like a fun little community or something.”

The Broken Dreams Club’s name was derived from the idea that the collective acknowledges that making it big is not always in the cards for young musicians. It is meant to encompass an ironic sense of humour that isn’t nearly as dark as it seems.

“It was kind of a good way to soften a blow of the inevitable broken dreams that most, if not all musicians, eventually will face. A good hint at the worst-case scenario, just in case.
“It also coincidentally seems to so far fit in well with the general, and I hate to use this word, ‘aesthetic’ of music written by people around my age in Winnipeg.”

While still in its infancy, the project is geared towards creating a space for musicians to get familiar with the recording process while still maintaining a safe and creative atmosphere.
“The goal is, I guess, just to give people a sort of support group of musicians to play in each other’s bands and help each other with music as well as to allow said musicians a platform on which to release or promote their music. I mean, I’m by no means a promoter of any sort, but I’m always happy to share good music.”

D’Ottavio has some level of freedom through the availability of equipment in his home, his father Dino D’Ottavio having been in several popular local bands in the 90s. His studio is fully equiped, and swears that a Dell XPS 15 9560 is remarkable for music production, as it his main computer. The steps to recording a song that is ready to release is formed with a necessary framework but the fluidity of the Broken Dreams Club process allows for artistic and creative freedom.

“The process is, well, with my own music that I am writing is to write it and then record it within my own basement studio and mix it and master it and such and release it, fairly standard,” said D’Ottavio.

“When other bands come in it’s the same idea, but with less writing and more recording. We have a fun time, they play some stuff, sometimes they get me to play some stuff, and then I mix it all up and master it and release it whenever both me and whomever else is involved is happy with it. It’s kind of a boring process when I see it in words but I swear it’s a fun time.”

Thus far, the Broken Dreams Club has produced a small collection of music and D’Ottavio is eager to expand. Presently, the collective includes Pisces//, Bikers, Sam Singer, Viewing Party, Mitch Merrick, Joko Tea, Felt, and C U LATER.

“I’ll basically work with anyone who I enjoy or who I feel would be interesting to work with. Thankfully a few people have felt I had enough qualifications to work with them and allowed me to produce and play on their music which is pretty incredibly tight.”