"Dommin is the sound of the brokenhearted," explains Kristofer Dommin, frontman for the Los Angeles quartet that puts a very fresh spin on a very familiar pain. Dommin are inviting everyone to join them in the dark introspection that goes hand in hand with heartbreak. On their Roadrunner Records debut, Love Is Gone, due out in spring 2009, Dommin delves into complex relationships, damaged psyches and much more.
At the center of their haunting, gothic-tinged rock is the enigmatic Kristofer Dommin, who croons about poisonous love, exorcising agony through a wall of distortion and a jagged sonic sieve. Kristofer, also the band’s guitarist and principal songwriter, sums up the band's message best, "It's about finding love, losing love and personal reflection - universal themes that transcend genre distinctions. The emotional element is more defining than how much keyboards, guitars or drums we have in a song." It is also Kristofer's unique and compelling voice that drives the power and passion of every word he sings.
Bassist Billy James offers a direct take on the band's uniquely layered sound, saying "It's alternative, dark, romantic rock that has a lot of heavy guitars, keyboards and passion behind the lyrics and music. Kris is a very intense person and his lyrics reflect a lot of his personality. He's using his experiences, his voice and our influences to make something really special."
Kristofer continues, "The majority of the music concerns love and relationships. These things have been around as long as people have. We all roughly feel the same things and go through the same things. We all go through tough times. We all recover. We all move on. And then we all go through these things again. That cycle is a large part of the human condition. We learn about ourselves in the process and about others. We're not all that different.
"It's whatever really moves me," Kristofer says about his lyrical approach. “A song for me is never complete until I'm able look back and make sense of things. So, in some ways, I feel like a storyteller. Everyone responds to life's challenges differently. Some people go out and run a mile. Some people paint. I write music."
The origins of Dommin can be traced back to 2000, when Kristofer formed the band in San Dimas, just outside of Los Angeles. He added Billy James to the fold as keyboardist two years later and the band's line-up began to take shape as James eventually switched to bass when the pair found Konstantine in 2006. Dommin's vision was becoming fully realized. By this time, Kristofer had already written many of the songs that would comprise Love Is Gone. The last ingredient in Dommin's sonic stew came in the form of drummer Cameron Morris, who joined in 2007.
Dommin's songs are like individual epics, each showing off the band's broad range of emotional depth and ability to cycle through several moods, tempos and musical styles with considerable deftness. In the soaring opener and one of the album's many highlights "My Heart, Your Hands," the song's epic keyboard embrace gives way to raw, powerful riffs which slash away at the listener and serve as the bed to an unforgettable chorus and a somber message. "I Still Lost" traverses even darker territory. Kristofer opens up about the song's subject matter, saying "It's a very defeated and humble song about feeling like no matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried, it just wasn't going to work the way I wanted. Regardless of all my efforts, I lost. So that's what I said to myself, I still lost. I tried this. I still lost. I did that. I still lost. It was a statement that defined that moment in my life."
"Tonight" bleeds with sprawling, melodic touches and is driven by Kristofer's intimate vocals. The intricate web and sonic soundscape Dommin designs on its songs is quite evident in the twisted Doors-like "Dark Holiday" while "'Without End" is a "romantic song, but it's about a very unhealthy, obsessive love." Kristofer cites the title track "Love is Gone" as his favorite song on the record, since "it defines the basis of all the songs on the album. It's a very tortured, painful album in the sense that even the songs that seem like a positive spin on love, at its source, involve a very noxious kind of love."
finds influence and inspiration outside of the norm and in an unexpected places - from crooners of the ‘40s and ‘50s to film scores. "I'm into everything from the Cinderella Man score to The Transformers soundtrack. Anything that sounds really moving and epic appeals to me. People fail to recognize how much the music in a movie is affecting their mood and experience. I've always paid close attention to it and having the keyboards in Dommin is virtually like having an orchestra at our fingertips."
Ultimately, Dommin's music is truly for everybody. Given the relatable lyrics, it's easy to see why disaffected youth, the lovelorn or even the average Jane or Joe will be magnetically attracted to Love Is Gone. Dommin speaks on a topic that affects us all and the music acts as a unifying force for those who flock to music when life knocks them down. "We make music for anyone who is feeling what the average person feels in a day," concludes Kristofer. "The words and music are there for those misunderstood people who need to know that there is someone out there who feels the same."
Welcome to the end of love and the beginning of Dommin.Live at Irving Plaza, NYC Check out the live shots of Dommin performing LIVE at Irving Plaza in New York City. Pictures taken by Lilly Riden. Dommin performing LIVE at Irving Plaza in New York City. Pictures taken by Lilly Riden. Kris Dommin Dommin performing LIVE at Irving Plaza in New York City. Pictures taken by Lilly Riden. Cameron and Kris Dommin performing LIVE at Irving Plaza in New York City. Pictures taken by Lilly Riden. Konstantine Dommin performing LIVE at Irving Plaza in New York City. Pictures taken by Lilly Riden. Billy James Dommin performing LIVE at Irving Plaza in New York City. Pictures taken by Lilly Riden. Cameron Morris Dommin performing LIVE at Irving Plaza in New York City. Pictures taken by Lilly Riden. Kris Dommin Dommin performing LIVE at Irving Plaza in New York City. Pictures taken by Lilly Riden. Kris Dommin