Interview: Dommin

Although they’re seen as the new kids on the block, Dommin, who released their major label debut this year, have been working hard for the last ten years to make an impact and in 2008 all their hard work paid off when they announced that they had signed with Roadrunner Records. Since signing to Roadrunner, the gothic rockers have released a self-titled EP, their second studio album ‘Love Is Gone’ and also seen an incredible rise in their fan base.

Love, heartbreak and self-discovery cover the themes of what this band are about as songwriter and lead vocalist Kristofer Dommin shares and his past is ever present within his passionate performances. The passion that drives this band has already made 2010 a year to remember with their major label debut in stores, creating a fan base throughout the United States, Europe and here in the UK and most recently being asked to open the main stage at this year’s Download Festival on the third and final day.

Now the band is looking to create yet another memorable moment in 2010 with their first notable award as they’re nominated at this year’s Kerrang Awards. The band is up against Framing Hanley, Halestorm, The Swellers and Trash Talk for the award of ‘Best International Newcomer’. You can vote for the band by going to http://awards.kerrang.com/.

With the announcement that Dommin were part of this year’s Kerrang Awards, I was given the chance to submit some questions to the band which Kristofer took some time to answer covering a range of topics.

Dommin have been around for 10 years and for the first 8 years you worked hard as an independent band so how did it feel to have your music appreciated and picked up by such a label as Roadrunner?

Getting interest from Roadrunner was a great sense of validation. After a while, when things aren’t moving or labels walk the other way, you can have moments when you doubt your own intuitions and sense of what is and is not good. So when we got picked up by Roadrunner, I felt good that someone else appreciate what we were doing here.

How big an impact did signing for a label such as Roadrunner make on the band?

If anything, it probably made some in the band take it more seriously. But we’ve been a pretty dedicated bunch. So, I think it just made us more enthusiastic about what we were already doing.

When listening to your music it comes across with a lot of passion and strength. Do the themes covered on the album come from personal experience which fuels that passion?

I don’t really know another way to write songs. Song writing became a valuable thing to me when I was able to do something constructive in very destructive times. It’s easy to be passionate when the songs are honest portrayals of my life experiences.

Although it’s easy to say your lyrical content is universal and could easily be related to by anyone, the band is said to have more of a specific following. Do you wish more people would open up and give your album at least an opportunity to be heard as lyrically it could easily relate to them?

I definitely wish more people would give the entire album a listen. Not only for the lyrical content, but it’s also a pretty diverse album. I think people who may have only heard one or two songs might be pleasantly surprised by what else the album has to offer. Dommin is a band that exercises its creative freedom.

I have read that some of the material on the album can be traced as far back to the days when the band first formed is that true?

Yes, definitely. ‘Without End’ is a song that I recorded for demos back in 2002. This was prior to everyone in Dommin’s current lineup. ‘My Heart, Your Hands’, ‘New’, ‘Tonight’, ‘One Feeling’, are also fairly old songs that pre-date Konstantine and Cameron joining the band.
I’ve been writing songs for a while so it was nice to be able to pick from a good number of songs to make our first impression on the world.

Who influences the band’s sound?

I am influenced by Depeche Mode, Rammstein, Danzig, Type O Negative, KISS, AC/DC as well as the crooners of the 40’s like Frank Sinatra to the early rock of the 50’s like Elvis and Wanda Jackson. I’m also a big fan of Nirvana and The Doors and have a small selection of movie soundtracks that I enjoy listening to. I think it all finds its way into my writing.

Dommin Band Picture

A lot of people compare you to HIM but musically the bands take somewhat of a different direction although lyrically you follow somewhat the same path. What is your take on the comparison?

I think much of the content appears the same as far as the dark introspection of topics like love and loss. But I think it’s the presentation in the type of music and the attitude in which it is expressed is where the differences are discovered.

You have been touring a lot in support of the album which included not one but two appearances at this year’s Download Festival. Firstly how did it feel to be invited to perform at the festival and how was your overall festival experience?

I don’t think any of us really understood the size of the festival or the magnitude of its reach. The experience was great for us. Though, it was probably not the ideal way to discover the band, we still appreciated the opportunity and really had a great time. I hope we are invited back.

You had two sets, an acoustic set on the Saturday followed by your electric on the Sunday. Had you previously worked on acoustic versions of your material prior to being asked to perform?

Yes. In the days when we were first showcasing our music for labels, management and other industry folks, we performed quite frequently as an acoustic duet because it showcased the songs and my voice without all the bells and whistles of a high energy rock performance.

Your second set was of course your electric set but being that this was your first appearance and to be opening the main stage, did you feel at all nervous?

Surprisingly, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I might be. I was more just self-conscious about being on the big screens on the side of the stage. Having a 30 foot high image of my face is quite horrifying.

Are you planning your own UK or European headlining tour or do you think you will be back supporting another band in the near future?

I haven’t discussed any of those plans at this point, but I sure hope that’s in the future. It seems we’re really appreciated in the UK so that’s definitely a place we want to return to as soon as possible.

Could you describe a typical Dommin performance for us?

Beautiful and dangerous…my heart on a platter, decorated by red roses and silhouettes with a rock attitude.

Although you shared the stage with many legendary names at Download and you have toured with Lacuna Coil and HIM, who would you love to tour with?

I think there a number of bands that we could tour with that would offer fans a memorable night. 30 Seconds To Mars, AFI, Rammstein, Depeche Mode…those would all be great tours for us.

One of the biggest upcoming events for the band is being part of the Kerrang Awards. You are among the nominees for this year’s for ‘Best International Newcomer’. How does it feel to be among the nominees?

It feels great that we have fans that are so dedicated and so proud of us that they feel compelled to give back to us and spend their time campaigning for world Dommination.

Have you been able to check out any of the bands you are up against (Framing Hanley, Halestorm, The Swellers and Trash Talk)?

Yes, I have! We are honored to be nominated in the same category with some great bands.

If you were to win, would this be the band’s first award and what would it mean to you knowing it was real fans voting for you?

We’ve won some local awards for regional Los Angeles press but the Kerrang award would be the most notable. Even without wining, I’m humbled by our fans efforts. I feel very unworthy.

I was looking to find out a little more detail about each member but there is very little about each of you and more so just the band. This is something I also noticed a few fans commenting on that they don’t feel as if they know many details about the members of the band they love. Could you give us some details about each member?

On the contrary, we become fairly close with a lot of our fans. Though it isn’t displayed just yet, it’s probably content we’ll be putting on our site pretty soon. So I don’t write a novel here, I’ll just say our ages range from early to late 20’s, most of us are from the Los Angeles area. Cameron is our weird foodie; he likes to try new and exotic things. The rest of us are pretty simple when it comes to our tastes. We appreciate a good pizza, burgers, grilled chicken and a good steak. Konstantine is a cheese lover. I’m not a big chocolate fan so when it comes to sweets, I prefer rich foods and vanilla flavors. I love all kinds of berries as well. I hope that holds them over for now. I’ll give you our bank account numbers in the next interview.

What’s next for the band, will you continue to tour heavily in support of the album or do you feel there is more to give to your fans and would like to release some new material in the near future?

I don’t think touring for ‘Love Is Gone’ is wrapping up just yet. I’m sure we’ll be doing a lot more. I know we are hitting Australia in early 2011. And whenever the time is right, we have a lot of material ready to go.

     

About Michael

Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

One Response to “Interview: Dommin”

  1. CafeeDomminNutt 12/07/2011 at 10:44 am

    :D loved reading this, The Domminites are still shocked Dommin didn’t win the Kerrang awards. I was really shocked by who did (much preferred all the other nominees. A year and a half nearly this UK Domminite has been a fan, and over here we can’t wait for these wonderful gentlemen to come back. As for knowing about them, hahaha I like a mystery ;D, Wouldn’t it be boring to know their every detail. Dommin have made such an impact already, World Dommination will be theirs one day.