Monday, 01 March 2010 03:46 | Written by Captain Morgan
In the music world, there’s always one thing that is consistently en-vogue; being bummed out.
For every “Heal the World” or “Got the Cool” sunshine song out there (Michael Jackson and the Gorillaz respectively) there are plenty of complimentary shadows that often go unheard.
Sure, you’re probably well aware of “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails or “Love will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division, but probably only because they’ve been making the rounds for some time now.
Well, I’m happy to announce that there’s a new rain cloud on the block, in the form of Kristofer Dommin: front-man for the dark-rock outfit Dommin. With the devilish croon of Danzig and the vulnerable lyrics that will make the ladies swoon, Dommin is set to be a main-stay in the rock world for a long time to come.
With their Roadrunner Records backed debut, Love is Gone coming out February 2, I thought it would be high time for you to get to know the man behind the music (even if he is also hanging out in the darkest corner of the room at all times).
College Cliq: So, Kris, what was it that got you into music in the first place?
Dommin: I suppose it’s like any little kid who’s looking up to his idols at the time. Which for me were like Kiss and Metallica. Bands like that. I guess that was the beginning of me wanting to pick up an instrument and play music. It was watching how cool those guys looked and wanting to emulate them.
CC: What were some of your favorite records when you were growing up?
D: Oh geez. Well I remember one of the first tapes I bought, yeah tapes (laughs), was the first Danzig record. I wanna say I was in like, second or third grade. Probably shouldn’t have been buying Danzig records. Anyway, (Metallica's) And Justice for All was a big album for me at the time. This is all when I pretty much got my guitar. Then I started getting into Nirvana, when Bleach came out and Nevermind, before they blew up. To this day I’m still a Nirvana fan, I have all their albums. All kinds of stuff…I’ve got a huge CD collection, I’ve got tons of old records. As far as Kiss records, Dressed to Kill is one of my favorites. Dynasty, Creatures…there’s so many, I wouldn’t know where to stop.
CC: You have such a unique voice. Was it something that you worked on creating or did it just come naturally to you?
D: It kind of came naturally because I’ve been singing for a long time being in other bands. My older brother was the original drummer for the band. When he was in high school he had his own band and I was like his little brother, six years younger. So when he was in high school I was in like fifth grade or something. I would go to his practices and sing and he’d let me jam with him. When I joined my own band I was always the backup singer. And I listen back on that stuff every once in a while, just for laughs, and I pretty much sound the same. I think it’s just how my voice sounds naturally. I’m not really trying to be like anything. It’s nice for me because my voice has a similar tone to a lot of my favorite singers. Like I couldn’t do what Kurt Cobain does. I’d shred my vocal chords. But [my voice] definitely sounds like it’s influenced by Danzig and Elvis and Jim Morrison. And those are the kinds of voices that I actually prefer to listen to. I’m lucky that I don’t hate the sound of my own voice (laughs).
CC: Are there certain sources of inspiration that you always go back to and draw from?
D: When it comes to the songs themselves, every single song is a little Polaroid picture of a moment in time. So it’s really easy when singing those songs to know where I was and what I was feeling. It’s like a little snapshot. It’s easy to get in touch with that when I sing those songs. I don’t purposely try and put myself in a place when I write music. For me, it’s whatever comes naturally. I don’t try to force anything. I don’t want to ever be contrived. Things that I do, I want to make sure that it’s all authentic. There’s times when I’ll write stuff that’s a little more angry or a little more romantic and a little less heartbroken and that’s just because it’s what I’m feeling and that music will find its place on future records. It’s not necessarily that I sit down and say, “OK, let me remember how I was feeling here to find inspiration.” There’s always so much going on in life it’s never lacking in inspiration or emotions or things to tap into.
CC: What can people expect to hear when Love is Gone comes out?
D: They can expect a fairly tasteful record. It’s about everything from broken relationships to a lot of self searching. It’s not a record that’s heartbroken in a sense that it’s depressing. For me, when I listen to it and the feedback that I get from other people that I’m happy to hear, is that people say it’s about a lot of painful stuff. But you don’t come away feeling depressed. You come away feeling empowered and strong. That’s exactly what it’s intended to do. It’s not intended to be a pity fest. It’s intended to talk about tough times, to talk about trying times, but to tell the story from a place of strength and not a place of weakness. That’s definitely something that people will expect when listening.
CC: Other than your album, what else is coming up for Dommin?
D: So much. We just shot a video for “My Heart, Your Hands.” It’s just starting to air certain places. I don’t think it’s on any US stations, but it’s going to be on Canadian Much Music. It’s just starting to get picked up. We leave for a two tours in Europe with Lacuna Coil and HIM. Then we come back and we tour with HIM in the spring. So we have a US tour coming up all over the country. But before we leave, we’re doing another video shoot for the song “Tonight.” I think that’s the lead song that Roadrunner wants to forge ahead with. So I’m sure we’ll be seeing that video within the next couple of weeks. Just lots of touring. You can see we’re pretty much always going to be on the road from now throughout the next year.
CC: Are you guys playing in Southern California?
D: We are. I know it’s the end of April. I know the 21st is the House of Blues in Anaheim, the 23rd is the Wiltern show in LA, and I think the 24th is the Vegas show, so I’m guessing the 25th is the show in San Diego.
CC: Why should people listen to Love is Gone?
D: I think that they should give us a chance like they would give anything a chance. You should always be open to hearing new things, but rather than tell people what I have to say about it, as a witness to my own music, doesn’t hold much value in my opinion. So, I’d refer to what other people are saying which is that this is really refreshing music that is long overdue. It’s definitely very emotional and gives people chills and taps into something special. I think if people are open to that experience they should give it a listen. Captain Morgan can be found spouting off about all his musical tastes on his blog at http://www.mental-pirate.blogspot.com.
(500) Days of Summer Soundtrack
Monday, 01 March 2010 03:45 | Written by Kristen Fogle
(500) Days of Summer Soundtrack Hits All The Right Notes!
If you haven’t yet made it to this summer’s smash hit (500) Days of Summer, you’re missing out…but the real jewel just may be in their soundtrack.
A deluxe edition of the soundtrack to Fox Searchlight Pictures’ hit anti-romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer will be made available exclusively on iTunes beginning July 28th. This digital-only version features three new tracks that were sung by the actors in the film: the Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazelwood classic “Sugar Town,” sung by Zooey Deschanel, and The Pixies’ “Here Comes Your Man,” which is sung by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
(500) Days of Summer (Music from the Motion Picture) climbed to No. 1 on the iTunes Soundtrack chart and No. 6 on the iTunes album overall chart thanks to its quirky mix of “just-under-the-radar” bands like the Temper Trap and the Doves, alongside nostalgic powerhouses like the Smiths and Simon & Garfunkel,” as Billboard magazine described it. Other critics have weighed in with the New York Observer calling it “an infectious nostalgia-baiting soundtrack with the Smiths, Belle and Sebastian, and Regina Spektor,” Elle calling it “irresistible,” and People dubbing it their soundtrack of the week.
(500) Days of Summer is the feature film directorial debut from Marc Webb, a noted music video director who has lensed clips for such artists as Regina Spektor, My Chemical Romance, Weezer, and Green Day. The film had its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and is now playing in select theaters.
The track-listing for the Original Soundtrack to (500) Days of Summer is as follows:
1. A Story of Boy Meets Girl - Mychael Danna and Rob Simonsen
2. Us - Regina Spektor
3. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths
4. Bad Kids - Black Lips
5. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want - The Smiths
6. There Goes The Fear - Doves
7. You Make My Dreams - Hall & Oates
8. Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
9. Quelqu'un M'a Dit - Carla Bruni
10. Mushaboom - Feist
11. Hero - Regina Spektor
12. Bookends - Simon & Garfunkel
13. Vagabond - Wolfmother
14. She's Got You High - Mumm-Ra
15. Here Comes Your Man - Meaghan Smith
16. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want - She & Him
ITUNES EXCLUSIVE DIGITAL VERSION:
17. “Here Comes Your Man” - Joseph Gordon-Levitt (karaoke w/ dialog from the film intro)
18. “Sugartown” - Zooey Deschanel (karaoke version)
19. “At Last” - Kevin Michael
Indie Artist: Andy Grammer Interview
Monday, 01 March 2010 03:44 | Written by Sophia Recalde
A recent graduate of Cal State Northridge (2007), Andy Grammer utilized his experience in the music industry program to help pave the way for his fast rising career as a solo artist. This young talent has already shared the stage with Augustana, Emerson Drive, Josh Kelley, Tyrone Wells, and Jason Reeves on college campuses and music festivals. Last summer, Grammer joined the Chevy Fuel Solutions Tour and performed on the Chevy stage. Colbie Caillat, John Mayer, One Republic, and Jessica Simpson were some of the headliners. Andy Grammer’s charm and talent as a singer/songwriter has caused heads to turn everywhere he goes, and has placed him on the right path in the music world.
CLIQ: How did the music industry studies program help you decide what part of the entertainment industry you wanted to be involved in?
C: What did you do after graduation?
C: How long did the tour go and where did you go?
C: From there what have you been doing now?
C: And are you under a label?
Check him out at Myspace.com/Andygrammer and also find him on Facebook or Twitter under Andy Grammer.