Latest release: Love is Gone (Roadrunner)
The past twelve months have been astonishing for LA band Dommin, releasing second albumLove is Gone and being nominated as Best New Band and Best New International Artist at both of Kerrang! and Metal Hammer awards. In Australia this week to play the Soundwave Festival and shows with Rob Zombie and Murderdolls, Cameron Edney caught up with vocalist Kristofer Dommin and reported thusly:
Q: Hey Kris, thanks chatting with us today. It’s not too long now before you will be here in Australia for the Soundwave Festivals. You must be thrilled to be heading down here finally?
A: We are very excited; we’ve never been to Australia. We’ve never been there to play or to visit; we’re equally excited to play the shows but also to see the sights, meet the people and see what Australia’s all about.
Q: Kristofer, will you be putting much time aside to check out the other bands? If so, who?
A: We’re going to enjoy it as much as any fan coming to the show. We’re looking forward to seeing a lot of the bands. For example, Primus are one of the bands that I’ve always wanted to see live but never had the chance to see. We’re friends with the guys in 30 Seconds to Mars and it’s always good to see them. I’ve always wanted to see Queens of the Stone Age. Rob Zombie was a band I seen back in 1997-98 when they toured with Korn. Seeing them again is going to be very cool. Rob Zombie is definitely a very theatrical performer. I’m curious to see if he’s going to have his whole stage set up!
Q: Considering this is your first trip to Australia, besides the shows, what are most looking forward to checking out? Do you guys have any plans to stay on and see the sights?
A: Actually, we do have something planned into our trip which is happening at the end of all the festivals. We will be spending some time at the Great Barrier Reef cause you don’t know when you’re going to return. What I’ve done is reach out to our fans in the different cities in Australia, asking them what we should have to eat whilst we’re there and what we have to see whilst we’re there. That’s how I come across the best things; even when touring in the States. I would tweet to our fans or write a thing on our Facebook asking what we should check out. Hopefully I’ll get a lot more feedback from people in Australia telling me where I should go and what I should see.
Q: Kris, for the people heading to Soundwave that don’t really know too much about Dommin but are interested in checking you out, how would you describe the band live?
A: I’m never sitting in the audience of course when it’s happening, so I just repeat what I get told and I think it’s always interesting to get the fans’ perspective. People are saying it’s moody, very atmospheric, it’s the kind of show that has moments that will give you chills and make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. That’s what I always go for as someone who plays music, to move people. It’s always a little different in the festival environment ’cause we’re used to playing in the small clubs where we can control the light, create the mood and really draw you in. With the festival I think we’re playing at about two in the afternoon. It’s always a little weird for us to play in the day time but we’re going to try to create the same kind of vibe that we would in a small club on the festival stage.
Q: It was recently announced that you would be playing a sideshow in Melbourne with Rob Zombie, Murderdolls and Monster Magnet and you’ll also be doing a show in Sydney with Murderdolls and Monster Magnet. Do you have anything special planned for those shows that we won’t get to witness at the festival appearances?
A: Probably just a little bit different in our attire, in what we wear. I’m guessing if it’s going to be really hot during the day then we will be dressed a little differently, we’ll probably have the ability to decorate the stage a little bit more, create an environment and atmosphere inside the club where you can control what you see and what you don’t see. Those to me are a little more exciting .Obviously we’re a lot closer to the fans as well, where at the festivals you have that distance between the barricade and the fans. It’s going to be a different vibe between the festival and club shows.
Q: You have been fortunate to share the stage with many great artists. Whilst on the road who’s given you the best touring advice and what was it?
A: You know what… when it comes to bands that we’ve toured with we haven’t really gotten a lot of advice from our peers. It’s been kind of interesting. As a new band on a lot of these tours I’ve always just tried to not to step on anyone’s toes and pretty much be invisible. We’re on these tours as the opening band and I know that we’re there to support the main act. My whole thing is get out of the way… most people are coming here to see these guys, it’s not about us, were just going to open the show and warm them up for what most people are paying to see. We really try to know our place and be humble about it. We’ve really gained a lot of respect from the bands we’ve toured with and a lot of the crew that work with these bands. It’s been really good. We’ve had a lot of time to hone our craft and to learn the proper etiquette before we even got on a lot of these tours so we were well prepared.
Q: Kris, I wanted to talk a little to you about writing and recording also… Last year you released Love is Gone, an album that’s still getting talked about twelve months on. Looking back over the recording process, is there anything you would have changed?
A: That’s tough to say, I think it’s probably still too close to it’s release to look back on. I may look back in five years from now and see things through a different light but as of right now I think it’s a really special album. I think it’s one that only with time will it come more appreciated. I wouldn’t change anything as of right now.
Q: Take us through the writing process for the band. Every band has their way of collaborating. Did you guys hold writing sessions; does it come down to a few jam sessions? Was it as easy as a few jam sessions or how does the process work for you?
A: With Dommin, primarily I do most of the writing; so what usually happens is I record the songs here at my house and then I send the songs off to the guys and they learn parts. Then we come together as a band to practice and rehearse, to play live and then everybody starts to add their own flavour and little special pieces here and there throughout the song, and that’s how most of it goes. Occasionally we write stuff as a band, get into a room together and start fooling around and seeing what comes out and what sounds cool!
Q: Have you started penning ideas for the next album or are you still riding high on the success of this one?
A: I’ve been trying to extend the life of this album as much as possible that was one of the reasons for doing the videos that we’ve been doing recently. We’re doing two videos on our own with no label support, ’cause we wanted to expose more of the songs. A lot of times when you do a video for a song it gives the song a lot more exposure than it would have otherwise and I thought there were a couple more songs on the record that needed that extra exposure before we moved on to another album. We have been demoing songs for the next album and we should be going in to record it within the next six months.
Q: We’ve hit the part of the interview where our readers get to find out more about the real you… what was the first concert you ever attended and how much of an impact did that have on you musically?
A: The first concert I ever attended was in 1992-93. Geez I must have been eleven years old… and it was Danzig, Sacred Reich and the Genitorturers. I went to the show and it was scary, man. I’m this little kid and everybody seemed huge and especially at a Danzig concert. Danzig works out and a lot of his fans are huge I thought I was going to get killed [laughs]. My first concert experience was quite nervewracking in the beginning, but once the show started it was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen. It was back when Danzig had the big skull on the stage and Chuck Biscuits would drum on top of the skull! It really opened my eyes to the show experience and at that time helped me see the possibilities for performance.
Q: Who have you been surprised to learn is a fan of your work?
A: It’s kind of funny, almost all the bands that we’ve gone on tour with, after being on the road and being forced to hear our songs every night [laughs], we’ve made fans out of almost every band that we’ve been on tour with, which is flattering. The guys from We Are the Fallen, who were formerly in Evanescence, are big fans. When we would play a show in LA they’d come out to see us.
Q: Just before we wrap it up… What other immediate plans are in place for the band?
A: When we come back we’ll be gearing up for the next record, seeing if we can write and out do any of the songs we already have. I have a list of about twenty tracks that I’m looking at for the next album and we’ll probably come back and hit the writing really hard for the next couple of months. Then out of those songs that we have we’ll start to narrow it down and work out what we want to record for the next album!
Q: Kris, thanks again for your time today, it’s been a pleasure. I look forward to seeing you at Soundwave very soon. Do you have any last words for our readers?
A: I hope that people go and check us out, there is a big Soundwave greeting contest going on at the moment on the Soundwave website, so I hope people go check that out and vote for us. Besides that, I look forward to going to Australia and meeting the people, I’ve heard nothing but the kindest and most wonderful things about the people from Australia, so I’m really looking forward to experiencing that for myself. After you see our set feel free to come up and approach us and say hello. We’d love to meet everybody.