Tue, 02 Feb 2010 07:26:36
Love don't live where Dommin is…
The Los Angeles melodic hard rock band are the 21st century's answer to Type O Negative—minus the 25-minute songs. In fact, Dommin take a classic goth rock style and add a hint of modern refinement, making for a sound that's both perversely catchy and painfully poignant. Their Roadrunner Records debut, Love Is Gone, definitely speaks to those who have had their hearts broken once, twice and (especially) more than three times. This is the perfect music to bleed to…
Frontman Kristofer Dommin sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about the departure of love, taking cues from The Dark Knight and what's on his summer reading list.
If you were to compare this record to a movie or a combination of movies what would you compare it to?
That's tough! I have certain designers that I like to work with, but typically I'm creating the band's aesthetic myself . I'm also usually doing a poor job of it, because I'm not great at Photoshop or anything like that. I usually give the visuals to a buddy of mine and he makes them good. A lot of times, that's because I haven't seen exactly what it is that I want. Someone could name off the more typical examples to answer the question—the Tim Burton films and those kinds of things. That's definitely more odd world and creepy though. When it comes to the work I'm creating, I like to be very iconic. Even though the imagery isn't the same, Love Is Gone still has the same feel as The Dark Knight or Batman. That's probably what I'd liken the music to the most.
You utilize that epic imagery, but you're dealing with very personal and human emotions and issues.
Yeah, that's what I'm saying. It's hard for me to pinpoint any visual motion picture that I could say, "Yeah, I'm doing something similar to this film." Nothing really comes to my mind. When I see movie trailers for movies something like The Dark Knight, they give me the feeling of being filled with childlike wonderment. That's what I try to create with our aesthetic as well.
It happens with that combination of powerful hooks and dark music.
The sonic elements definitely work as a team with the visual aesthetic that I'm doing. It's not something visual by itself. Music is the priority.
Where do your stories come from?
Just real life experience…I don't really know any other way to write, to be honest. I could sit down with a guitar and make some song about something very mundane and unordinary, but those aren't the things that drive my passion so much. It's more about the interpersonal relationships that we have and the things we all tend to care about the most. It's when those things that I care about the most are threatened, damaged, go through trying times or are challenged, that I'm inspired to make music. I think that's where it all comes from.
What's the story behind "Remember?"
That's interesting! There are quite a few stories that can go along with that song actually. When it was written, I had just met the producers I worked with on the album, Dirty Icon. It was the summer of 2005, and I had just come out of a relationship that was built on a lot of deceit, and it just wasn't real. It was like a fantasy in some ways. I'd come out of it really disappointed in the girl obviously, but I felt like all of the hopes and dreams that I'd had during that relationship were not lost and I still held them. It was funny because at the same time my producer Lucas was going through something similar. Our situations really helped us bond together. Lucas came to the studio playing this little guitar riff. I told him, "Stop! Give me that little guitar lick you're doing and let me take it home." I came into the studio the next day and showed him what I made. I basically had the song "Remember" when I came back in. The song came from this real disappointed place, but it's a disappointed place that didn't necessarily kill my hopes and dreams for what a good relationship or love should be. When it came time to do the album, we'd had the song for a few years. I'd always wanted to put it on an album that had more romantic sensibilities and not so much a heartbroken and painful album like what we have here. However, we thought it was a very good way to end Love Is Gone. I definitely don't want the album to come across as a pity fest like, "I'm still heartbroken! Poor me!" It should come across as inspiration or rather a cause for strength. Going through tragedy, coming out stronger and reinforcing all of the things in life that you want—you're not letting all of these experiences tear you down and get the better of you. I thought it was a very beautiful way to have all of this heartbroken stuff and then at the end of the album say, "Do you remember what it feels like to fall in love?" It's still a good thing. Even though the album title is Love is Gone, that's not a statement of my being. It's not a way that I live my life thinking, "Oh my God, love is gone." That song is a moment in time like much of the other songs. It's a snapshot of a time in my life. It also represents the majority of the songs on the album very well, and it's also my favorite song. To say there's still hope and goodness at the end of the record offsets that. Love is still what makes life worth living and dying for. That's the punctuation at the end of the record, and it's a good note to leave on.
It's definitely a fitting climax to the record.
Musically, it keeps the door open to show that we can do a very cinematic, orchestral song. Don't be surprised if there's more of that. Now, it's not unexpected.
Do you typically read a lot?
I don't read a lot and I'm embarrassed to say [Laughs]. My entire family loves to read. Once I got out of college, I never wanted to touch a book again [Laughs]. I come from a family that appreciates literature. My mom was an English teacher. I think that influenced and helped me a lot. It helped me to challenge myself to say things in interesting ways, with the right meter or choosing the right consonants that roll off the tongue. If I do read, I'm usually reading biographies because I find people's life stories really interesting. I read Slash's autobiography. I read the biography on Dean Martin that was written by his daughter. Right now I'm getting into Benjamin Franklin's autobiography. My tastes range!
Check out Rick Florino's new novel Dolor available now for FREE here…