Tipped as one of the bands to watch in 2010 we’ve got a sneaking feeling Dommin will do for Roadrunner Records what Black Stone Cherry did a couple of years back and shift a shedload of records to rock fans the world over.
With a decade of songwriting and gigging under his belt, main man Kristoffer Dommin is no new kid on the block – he’s got the rockstar credentials and the experience to match.
Having blown away UK audiences as the opening act for Lacuna Coil, the LA band return to these shores in March with H.I.M.. Before they do we caught up with Kris. rushonrock: Love Is Gone is the culmination of a 10-year journey for you but is it the Dommin album you always dreamed of?
Kristoffer Dommin: During the past decade I’ve written a lot of music so when it came to figuring out what the first album was going to be I looked at it as the first chapter. I worked out a way to divide the songs and in my own mind I settled on chapter one, chapter two and so on. The next album is going to be the same kind of thing – it’s the music I’ve become known for – but it’s going to tell a different part of my life story.
rushonrock: You preach a message of love being some kind of pain – is there a positive side to Dommin?
KD: I think the pain of love is just one piece of a complex puzzle. People ask me if I walk around thinking real love is lost on me. I think my songs are just snapshots of a life which has been touched by love and not always in a good way. There are songs which I write that are very hopeful too. It’s just a case of figuring out what part of the story to tell first and right now it’s a pretty sad story where Dommin is concerned. There’s a background to everybody’s life story and this is mine. No-one starts with a clean slate where love is concerned. But I’m very hopeful I’ll find love again and I’m a very optimistic person. Yes I’ve had experiences with damaged love but I’m not desperate – yet.
rushonrock: So are you warning against going down the love route?
KD: When it comes to songs on the new record it’s more about identifying the pitfalls. I came from a place where I was trying to be Superman and it was never going to work. Some people just need a break. This record’s all about choosing the wrong people and investing time in people battling demons. You need selflessness to be successful in love and enjoy a good relationship.
rushonrock: Are you up to the job of touring constantly across Europe and the US for foreseeable future?
KD: It’s a tough schedule – I accept that. But depending on where you’re at as a musician and a person it’s a schedule you can manage. We’ve only been in the UK for a week so I can’t really judge how we’re shaping up right now. I haven’t been to mainland Europe before and the travelling is a big challenge which will take some adjusting to. But we’ve been touring solidly in the States for the last year so we’re pretty hardened on the road. We’re definitely ready for whatever this period of our lives throws at us.
rushonrock: What’s your biggest fear?
KD: My biggest issue is my voice. I give it everything every single night and I’ve never put myself under this much pressure before. A lot of professional singers who’ve been doing this a lot longer than me tend to hold back a bit but I haven’t been able to do that so far. I just forget about it when I’m out on stage and for that night I perform like it could be my last. But my voice is fragile and it always has been. For me that’s the biggest obstacle to success. I have to stay healthy and make sure my voice is in shape.
rushonrock: Have the Lacuna Coil and H.I.M. tours offered you the perfect opportunity to break the UK?
KD: We’re super grateful to both of those bands for taking us out on the road. We aim to enjoy the experience. This has been my first time in the UK with the band – I came over before Christmas to do a little PR but that’s it. It’s difficult to experience what a new city or country is really like with such a tight schedule but we did find time to watch Rammstein in Birmingham last week when we realised we had a night off between gigs. That’s the sort of chance we like to take if we can. Once we heard those guys were in town we knew we had to check them out in what was a new environment for us. It was well worth the trip. They never disappoint.
rushonrock: Are you a fan of H.I.M. and are Dommin natural touring buddies for VV and his mates?
KD: We do get compared to H.I.M. a lot and it’s more to do with the subject matter we cover than the music we play. That’s fine I guess. I knew of the band before but it’s only recently I’ve got into their music. I still don’t own any albums by them. My reference points and influences are Depeche Mode, Danzig and Type O Negative.
rushonrock: How do you view the rock landscape right now?
KD: The scene is so saturated right now and there are so many bands out there playing so many shows. There’s nothing wrong with that. Due to the explosion of the internet and social networking sites there’s so much more new music out there and accessible. People are adjusting to the way the music business is heading but live music is where it starts and finishes. People still enjoy a good show and listening to a CD or a download doesn’t do the job like a live gig does.