Monday, August 15, 2011

Dom - Talk to the Beard (interview)

Dom released a new EP titled Family Of Love on August 9th via Astralwerks. We caught up with Dom back in New York after a quick trip to play Montreal. Here's what he had to say about the new EP, doing his own mix, and hamsters versus rhinos.

TE - You recorded 'Family Of Love' in a "proper studio" with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Bjork), what was it like working with him?

D - Nicolas was great. We're all sort of new at this so, when we recorded the old EP we really didn't now what we were doing. Just seeing somebody who has so much experience and so much wisdom, it was just great. He taught us so much about recording. He has all these interesting methods of actually getting sound. We did a lot of analogue as well as digital stuff. It was just really cool and a learning experience. It was a lot of fun. I think Nicolas is "The Man."
TE - I understand you're also working on a new EP already. How far along are you with that?

D - Well, 'Family Of Love' was supposed to be released a while back but it just got delayed for a bit. We've been writing ever since and demoing stuff out so we might have a double album by the time May comes around next year and we can actually release music again.
TE - Will you be working with Nicolas again on that one?

D - I'm not sure. I know I'd like to mix it myself. We really weren't given the option to mix it with Astralwerks but Modular Records, when they heard it, they suggested that I mix it. I took a week to mix it. They're putting out an alternate mix, my mix, of 'Family Of Love.'
I think this next time around we might just do the same thing. We might just work with a producer, it would be great to work with Nicolas again but, with someone and mix it ourselves.
TE - Now you said a double album, you've only done EPs up to this point but this would be a proper full length?

D - Yeah, I think, just because of how long it's been, I feel like people would feel cheated if we didn't come out with a lot of music. It will be at the very least two EPs.
TE - Given your latest studio experience, do you have a favourite piece of gear?

D - Probably the echo-reverb. There is just so much cool stuff that we did with that thing, it was a lot of fun to use. It has a lot of different capabilities.
TE - I'm going to put you on the spot here, if you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring three albums, what would they be?

D - I'm consulting with my bandmates on this one.
Slowdive's - 'Souvlaki'
Stone Roses' - 'The Stone Roses'
King Tuff - 'Was Dead'
TE - Do you have any plans to come to Vancouver?

D - Oh I hope so. I love Vancouver. Vancouver is, like, the coolest place. We all love it. Every time we go there it has just been a great time. The first time we went up was with Ratatat and we got to play a bigger venue. We didn't know what to expect the next couple of times, playing some place smaller, but it was just awesome. The people are awesome, the food was awesome, everything. It was just great.
(Horn honking!)

TE - Here's kind of a weird one for you, would you rather be a giant hamster or a tiny rhino?

D - Giant hamster for sure.The tiny rhino, you know the rest of the rhinos would be like "yeah." You'd be inadequate. You know? But, as a giant hamster you would sort of rule the hamster world and nobody could do shit about it.
TE - Now you've got a pretty crazy salad, would you rather be completely covered in hair or completely bald?

D - Completely bald probably. I've already got enough hair. I don't know, I'm thinking of cutting it so… Bald is more arrow dynamic and smoother. I'd be like, at least twenty percent faster.
TE - I've been really digging the 'Family Of Love' EP

D - Right on. Did you get my mix or did you get the Astralwerks mix?
TE - I've just got the Astralwerks mix. Is your mix available now as well?

D - Not officially but it got leaked so it was all over the internet until it got taken down left and right. It kind of sucks because it's like "Oh, it got leaked" but at the same time I was excited about it. They're my mixes and I want people to hear them. It's just unfortunate that it's taken so long to actually get them out there but they will be out there.
TE - Due to the leak has there been much feedback on your mixes, have you heard?

D - Yeah, I've heard a lot about it actually. A lot of people have been really psyched on my mixes because the other ones are a bit too clean. Nothing quite sits right. It's just more radio friendly I guess is the politically correct way of putting it. It doesn't sound like us. It doesn't have texture, it doesn't have personality or dynamic. It's just, guitar. Vocals. You know?
TE - So your mixes are more raw?

D - No, no, no, no. Ours is more coagulated. Ours has a lot more effects. It's still very audible it's just, if we didn't have a third party chiming in on what the mixes should sound like, then, I feel like (our mixes), that's what Nicolas and I would have come up with in the studio.
TE - Tell me about how the track "Some Boys" off of 'Family Of Love' came to be? Who wrote the lyrics?

D - My friend Emma was over at my house one day and she was just fiddling around on some keyboards. I thought it was great. She has a better insight, obviously, into the female character, the female heart. I felt like it was a perspective I didn't have. I thought it was sweet, as simple as it was, I felt like it held a bit of gravity so I figured why not share it with the world. I thought it was a cute song and to do something with it and to sing on the record and she did. She was a really good sport about it. I hope she's as happy with it as we are. I think it's a good song. 
She's not a musician really but I would encourage her to do more after this. I think she has a sweet voice and I thought she was coming from a very sincere place when she was writing that. I think that's most important when you're a musical artist, to be sincere.
We don't play it live because we play everything else and we're excited about some of the new stuff I've been writing and we're going to continue forward.
TE - And continue forward you have, your writing gets stronger and more adventurous all the time. "Telephone", "Family Of Love", "Damn", and "Happy Birthday" are all very well crafted gems and I'm stoked to hear your mix of the EP when it's available. Thanks for taking the time for us today and hopefully we'll catch you in Vancouver soon.

D - Ok, sweet. Thank-you so much man.

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