The members of Dom may not be making a living off of their music just yet, but in the confines of Manhattan’s EMI offices — where we recently sat down with the band — they’re at least important enough to be treated to two gratis cases of Red Bull (these were immediately spiked with whiskey by Cosmo, the band’s guitarist). The perks should only be getting greater for the Worcester, Mass., band, if their career continues at the same rapid pace: They formed last January, exploded into the blogosphere last April, and were signed to Astralwerks by September.
Astralwerks will be releasing a remastered, remixed version of their Sun Bronzed Greek Gods EP on Feb. 25, and if you didn’t get around to hearing it this past summer, now’s your chance to see what both Gucci Mane (who recently remixed pseudo-patriotic jam “Living in America”) and hipster kids alike have been talking about. Outside of a couple of interjections from Cosmo, the rest of the band (drummer Bobby and bassist/guitarist Erik) just kicked back and let Dom himself do the talking — which was probably for the best, because he seems incapable of telling a mundane anecdote. Here, the guy who once claimed that his mother gave him away because he has red hair expounds upon the Gucci collaboration, their tour with Ratatat, and playing knife games with buzzbands.
So how did that Gucci Mane collaboration come about?
Dom: Let’s just put it this way: a friend of a friend is a friend of a friend. So basically, that friend of a friend of one of his friends got him on the phone, and gave me the phone. I was pretty blitzed, at the time, so I didn’t even believe it. He’s like “you got some fine beats, you need to put me on a track,” and I was like “hell yeah, I hope you’re ready for it.” We ended up connecting with him at a certain point. I was really high and I was kind of nervous, but he’s a really cool dude. He shared his Goose with us.
You guys have had a ridiculous year. You formed last January, and exploded last April. What do you think you’d be doing if DOM hadn’t blown up?
Dom: If this hadn’t happened, I would be in a boarding house somewhere in Massachusetts, scraping my bowl for resin, waking up somewhere around six o’clock, [and] getting ready to go to work at a sushi restaurant. Before, I was kind of a bum, kind of a loser. I don’t have any family, or anything, so I couldn’t really afford to be … happy, I guess [laughs]. But then I connected with Bob, and we started making electronic music. We wrote “Jesus,” and then we got Eric involved. It seemed like people actually gave a shit about the band. We didn’t really see any money or anything, but people started buying us drinks, so life improved significantly after that. Doesn’t take much to please me.
Cosmo: I’d be working my construction job, and probably drinking way too much. I don’t know if people know, or if we should talk about it, but we live in the same house together in the gentle farmlands of Hadley, Mass.
Dom: In the heart of the pioneer valley.
How’d that come about?
Dom: Well pretty much what happened was Bobby and I, we ended up moving into a three-decker in Worcester together. It was a party zone, so the place ended up literally rotting. Honestly, we only went into one room in the house at a certain point, because of how disgusting it was. So we were looking for a living upgrade. Eric was living a ways away from us, and we wanted to bring him [in]. And then we added shredhead over here [gesturing to Cosmo], and just decided, like, “yeah, maybe we’d be more productive if we lived together, we can party together all the time.” It’s a lot of fun, but sometimes it’s kind of a huge mistake, because the party never, ever ends.
Cosmo: People have an open invitation just to stop in.
Dom: Yeah, we live near five major colleges, so it’s just a constant flow of people, always. It’s been pretty exhausting, but a lot of fun.
When will we be hearing some new material from you guys?
Dom: Hopefully soon. If it were up to me, I’d be releasing music every month. But it’s not, so probably May.
Do you have the songs written for the album yet?
Dom: Oh yeah, we already have them written and recorded–and then some. We have tons of music; we write music all the time.
So what’s it like, compared to the stuff on Sun Bronzed Greek Gods?
Dom: Well Sun Bronzed Greek Gods, I don’t know if I’m completely proud of it. There are certain songs on it that we all really enjoy, like “Jesus” and “Bochicha,” but it [was] more like “people are actually paying attention to the band, so we need to write more songs.” We wrote seven songs within a period of like three months, and released them one after another. So they really don’t make too much sense together. It’s actually hillarious, because I feel like the one that people paid most attention to, “Living in America,” was kind of an afterthought. It was just something I made in Fruity Loops. I think Eric was really the one that was like “yeah, we should write lyrics.” We stayed up that night and wrote and recorded lyrics. With that one, I didn’t want to disappoint too many people who were probably looking for something like that, so we all decided we would do a couple electronic songs. I think [Sun Bronzed Greek Gods] wasn’t really conceptualized, whereas this one, we’ve had more time to think. We just wanna make something that’s fun to party to on acid. Like, acid-pop.
I saw you guys put out a Craigslist ad for an older lady to hang out with. How’d that go?
Dom: We do dumb shit like that all the time. We’ve actually calmed down with stuff like that. It’s just a joke, but when the press catches wind they make it a big deal. It’s really just about being hilarious. We do stupid stuff like that in the classifieds — meeting people, getting involved in community activities and stuff.
What about that “party line”? [I was referring to the number that Dom lists on their website and on the inside of their EP. He explicitly asked for it to be included in this piece, so: 502-922-6DOM.]
Dom: Oh my goodness, yeah. That was the greatest idea I’ve ever had, like, ever. We were whipping around in the back of a friend’s Mini Cooper convertible, coming off of acid, and I just came up with the idea: “I have a Google Voice number, we should start sexting people right now!” So I tweeted about it, and lines went crazy. I couldn’t even believe it. I was like “Oh, my goodness, this many people actually give a fucking shit?” After that, I switched over to another Google voice number with DOM at the end of it. I forwarded it to my actual phone, because I’m just so bored all the time. If people need relationship advice, or people just want to chat, or they actually give a shit about the band. It’s just the most fun thing ever, and it actually makes me feel like I’m not a worthless piece of shit sometimes.
How was the tour with Ratatat?
Dom: I learned what not to do the hard way, and it was great.
What shouldn’t you do?
Dom: [Laughs] I won’t get in to too many details. There were certain days where I’d wake up and be like “Wait a second, where the fuck am I?” And then become afraid and be like “where is everybody,” and be in a completely different fucking city. Minneapolis was really frightening one time, because I woke up, and I was completely wasted, and I popped a triple-stack of this yellow-ass ecstasy some kid gave me.
In the morning?
Dom: Yeah, 9:00am. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. And then I decided to go off and explore this city that I’ve never seen, and I got lost. I was rolling so freakin’ hard I couldn’t even read the crossroads. I was blowing up everyone else’s phones but they were still asleep–I had to threaten people and say, like, “I’m leaving the band, I found a new life for myself, I’m taking off.” Eventually the tour manager was like “where are you” and I was like “God I don’t know.” I found a Target and I was like “I’m at Target!” Somehow we reconnected, and I was like “that’s never happening again.” It’s like being a little kid in the store, and you leave your mama to go play with the toys, and you’re playing with the toys, and then you say “Wait a second, I want to go back” — and then panic sets in, and you’re like, shit, “I don’t know where I am!”
How’d that collaboration with Cults come about?
We got booked for a show at Vassar College–which, by the way, is the coolest fucking college on the planet–and we went there not knowing what the hell was going on. We’d just played basement shows and parties and stuff [at that point]. When we got there, we saw all these big buzzbands were playing–Screaming Females, Twin Sister, Cults, Washed Out. [Cults] and Twin Sister seemed to be the chillest out of everybody. Everybody else was either too chillwave or something, they got a hipster boner up their ass. I just knew right away that they were down, because we went to their room and they introduced me to a game that they like to play called “Avoid the Knife.” Which consists of, pretty much, you stand on the opposite end of the table from somebody and you throw a knife at them, and you have to avoid it, and you just do that back and forth. So I was like, these kids know how to party, these kids are really cool, I like them. After that we just starting hanging out more often, they had us by their spot. We had a friendship.
Any big goals or ambitions for the next year?
Cosmo: Pay bills.
Dom: I don’t give a shit about bills. All I care about is continuing what happened last year. I don’t wanna be like any of those loser buzzbands that just fizzle out. I want to continue to write music. I want to continue my friendship with these dudes. And, if it’s in the cards, do major collaborations with other big pop and hip-hop artists.