Who is Jordan Dreyer?

When Jordan Dreyer was a high school student in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he was just another teenager who enjoyed writing fiction and poetry. By the time he was just a couple years older, Dreyer was the lead singer of an up-and-coming post-hardcore band: La Dispute.

Dreyer’s passion for writing is evident in the band’s lyrical content. The Syracuse New Times referred to his style as “complex lyrics with gravelly spoken-word punk raps that make you think.” Clearly, this approach to writing lyrics differs vastly from that of modern bands that can be heard on the radio. Dreyer, according to one21music.com, “makes music that is both artistically, technically, and emotionally engaging.” Verona High School Senior Samantha Bass, a fan of the band, would agree; she believes “they’re different because of how powerful their lyrics are.”

“Before all this happened, I did write poetry, and I’ve also attempted short fiction to varying degrees of success in the past, but it was never something that I envisioned doing musically. But music is something I’ve always loved to do, and this is a way that I get to combine two different things that I love, and it’s great that it just kind of happened that way,” said the admired lyricist. He mentions that “it just kind of happened that way”—Dreyer did not anticipate being a musician, but his talent for writing and love for reading somehow endowed him as a highly-respected and widely admired post-hardcore artist.

The inner poet in Dreyer is displayed in his songs. “If you went online and searched the lyrics of any [La Dispute] song, it would read like poetry because most of the songs carry a deeper meaning that is not immediately seen without some thought” said Samantha Bass.

But interesting and meaningful lyrics are not La Dispute’s only way of conveying a message. The musicians’ ability to set a mood or express emotion sets this band apart from others. A great deal of time is spent by the band members writing, collaborating, and perfecting each track. Every individual song has a specific role in the album as a whole, and the overall complexity of their albums can be broken down and studied line by line.

Where does he get this inspiration from? Aside from his own complicated inner tempests and constant keen observations of the world around him, Dreyer cites his surroundings and environment as a key influence in his music.

After hearing just a couple of measures of a La Dispute, it becomes clear to the listener that Dreyer is not as concerned with climbing to the top of the musical hierarchy or reaching the widest audience possible, as many modern musicians are. Admittedly, his lyrics are harsh, his voice is harsh, and the music as a whole is harsh. You eventually begin to not even notice the headache caused by listening to their music via earphones. But this harshness is not without purpose—Dreyer and the rest of the band members are trying to express something.

What is that “something” they are trying to express? Dreyer leaves it up to the listener. When asked what he wanted fans to take away from the album, Dreyer replied, “I don’t know, to be honest. Or, maybe more specifically, I don’t want to say. For the most part, the intention in writing this record was to leave it open-ended so that people could take from it whatever they wanted or needed when they listened. I have my own ideas and I’m sure my band mates do as well, but we really just want people to take from it what they want.”