With a concept and idea dating back to the mid-90s and earlier, the original formation of Domiana took place around 1996 some of the members of The Midnight Dreary after their split-up. Since then the lineup has gone through various changes with the latest consisting of Dredd (vocals, keyboards, programming), William Curry (guitar, keyboard programming, vocals), Ashe (bass, vocals) and Dementia (Keyboards, vocals). Hailing from Salt Lake City they have played many local shows over the years and have a good local following. They will soon start playing other national venues and so will have a chance to pick up more touring and performing experience. With mid-2003 and the local Dark Arts Festival, they soon followed with the first release titled The Sacred Heart. This six-track EP/mini-album features some of their earlier work which will make it a definite collectors item when this band makes it big.|
With influences ranging from Marc Almond to Christian Death, the musical range of styles includes all of these influences and more. Just one listen and youll definitely pick up the dominant gothic style and influences, but youll also hear a touch of New Wave, Dark Ambient, Folk and a touch of Industrial. I think with this combination of genre styles they are able to capitalize on many of the positive aspects and build and bring out their own unique work. With a bright future ahead, Im sure well be able to hear and see more of this up-and-coming group.
Ive seen this group perform live many times locally and they put on a fun and very thematic and theatrical show. With them beginning to make plans to play outside of Utah in the near future, be sure to try and catch them when they come to your area. You can also find selections on Gothic Paradise radio, so check them out.
The Sacred Heart Review
Ive had this mini-album for a while and have been listening to it off and on. Being a local band, Ive been familiar with their music for a while because of live performances. However, having it on CD is something almost entirely different, the sound has matured over the years from their earlier performances and they are getting better at what they do. With this CD were presented with their first recordings, some of their best and giving us a taste of what to hope for in the future. Being self-released, Im sure this album is somewhat hard to get a hold of, but they have a link to buy it from their webpage.
At first glance from the artwork, you might think youre in for a deathrock onslaught of hard-edged goth music. With the first track Hours, the dark and mysterious feeling holds true with samples of what sounds like a Nun reading about the rosary as it fades to dark noise that slowly gives away and blends right into the next track Disgrace. This continues on slightly with these forboding melodies and moody atmospheres as a sort of introduction. Soon after this builds up into a moving track of pleading vocals and anguish-filled soundscapes. If you havent put on your dance shoes by this time, the next track will get you moving as Away does exactly as it implies as it sweeps you away with its catchy New Wave style. The last three tracks gradually bring the mood and tempo down into an abyss of something excellent and hard to describe. Mostly angst-ridden vocals and the moody music to drive it right into the heart of the listener. Fate winds it all down sweetly gliding into the darkness as a finale to this short work.
Overall this is a great introductory work for this group. There are slight, almost unnoticeable production anomolies that could possibly improve. However, the more I listen to this album the more I enjoy it, especially the concept as a whole. Everything flows so well from the mysterious introduction, to the up-beat dance tracks and finally dragging down slowly to the abyssful finale. The bliss that youre left with is wonderful as youre left there longing for just a little bit more of the agony that we all feel sometimes and expressed through beautiful or brooding and thoughtful music and lyrics.
Interview Nov. 14, 2003
I caught Dredd from Domiana for a few minutes to talk a little bit about the past, present and future of their music. Here is what came out of this interview:
GP: Tell me about the name Domiana.
Dredd: Damiana is an herb that supposedly has magical healing properties. We actually spell it differently, its spelled with an a and we use an o adding that kind of fetish feeling to it. I actually heard the word when I was a little 80s kid and I took it from the song Witchcraft by Book of Love. And I just thought it was such a beautiful work that I decided I had to use it someday for something. And it seemed appropriate for the type of music we were trying to make. Its not too specifically Goth, but has that quality that implies something, but not anything too specific.
GP: So how long was the concept born and how did it come about?
Dredd: Well, I thought about for a few years
when I started my first band, The Midnight Dreary quite a few years ago, Domiana was a possibility, but we wanted something a little more spooky. So naturally, when that project fell apart, it was a sort of natural progression to use that name. But with The Midnight Dreary we were very much into that early 90s Death rock. While I love that music, we really wanted to bridge the gap between all of the different music that I like. We have elements of Industrial, New Wave, Synthpop, Cabaret, Goth Rock, Punk and even experimental noise
all the stuff I enjoy listening to. I think all of the great bands do that like Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure they all kind of do that, they dont really stick with one sound.
GP: Thats great and you can tell that on your first album which is something I was going to ask you about, but you already answered that.
Dredd: Yeah, the songs on The Sacred Heart are really the first songs we wrote and its just taken a while to get them recorded. But that represents like a very specific time, so all of the songs sort of have that feeling of this period, or they all reflect that period in my life.
GP: So would you say its a good introduction to Domiana?
Dredd: Yes, I think its a good place to start.
GP: Would you say its like a best of so far?
Dredd: No, we actually have a ton of material, its just a question of getting it recorded. Whats out now represents just a beginning. And I do think that one of our best songs is on that album, our song Away. But I wouldnt say its our best material. Im looking forward to the future. I like to do things thematically, the way the fit together. Its probably a side effect of DJing, you like to have everything flow. So future releases will need to fit well, it wont really matter when the songs were wrote.
GP: Since you brought up DJing, youve been a DJ now for quite a few years
Dredd: Yes, 11 years now total, about 9 years in May consecutively of at least once per week, sometimes five times a week.
GP: OK, so my question related to that
I know you personally and I know that Christian Death is a big influence for you. You can tell in the artwork and some of the songs and stuff like that. But do you think that being a DJ has helped you tap into the variety of genres and use those? Or do you think no matter what you would still be writing the same music you do today?
Dredd: Well, being a DJ has had a definite influence on me, especially in a club like thist where we have to address so many styles. I find things influencing me that they probably wouldnt have normally. Lately Ive even found a kind of EBM influence creeping in
and I dont necessarily like that, but its there. Actually, Ive found things that I like about it and I just kind of add to that. And since I dont exclusively write the music, its definitely a collaborative effort.
GP: Lets talk about that for a minute then, tell me about the members and how they all contribute. I know the lineup has changed a bit, so maybe talk about the current lineup.
Dredd: Yes, the lineup has changed a bit over the years. The current lineup is myself, Ashe, Dementia and William Curry. I suppose that Bill and my backgrounds are kind of similar, we both came out of the 80s era and that kind of New Wave, Punk and Old-school music. Bill moreso than I have, because he doesnt really go clubbing anymore, so he really has that same viewpoint. Where I have kind of a mish-mash between the old and the new. Dementia comes from a very punk rock background, she was in a band in Minneapolis, a very good death punk band called The Cadavers and shes a punk rock girl
a very glamorous punk rock girl. Ashe is a youngin so he comes from the latest influence of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson. So we kind of have the whole spectrum. While primarily Bill and I write the music, while others have input and ideas. While were writing lyrics and imagery, its very collaborative and we flow very well off of each other. Particularly Dementia, Ashe and I while were writing lyrics we really play off of each other and so its a very good collaboration, so Im very happy with it. I started Domiana in 1996 and with Dementia now, she joined last year when she moved here, and she really rounds it out. Weve had a few people come and go, we had Jeremiah from Redemption and we had Brian Warren and now we have our latest with the four of us and so I feel good about our future.
GP: So tell me about that future, what do you see happening over the next 6 months and then further.
Dredd: Well, we havent really played outside of Salt Lake and it looks like were going to. Were just trying to make our push outside Salt Lake City. It looks like were doing at least one show with Redemption and Tragic Black, but I would like to see it turn into a little tour, but I dont know if thats going to happen.
GP: Have you been contacting any labels for new releases or a re-release of your first work?
Dredd: With The Sacred Heart I dont really want to use that as a demo, while it does work well as an album or an EP, but not really as a demo.because I dont feel that it really showcases all of what we do. I would really actually like to record another demo, thats more representative of our whole style. So no, I havent actually been pursuing any labels with this release. But I do feel good about where were going, its been a struggle and it can only get better.
GP: Well good, well hope to hear something positive over the next little while. Do you think the scene is at a point with the technology and other things, that the youll be able to get some good acceptance?
Dredd: I think we can. Thats something else we would like to bridge, because the scene is so fragmented and scattered. I dont think its possible for any band to hit everyone, everywhere, you would be stretching yourself too thin. But I think we can appeal to various different tastes as far as genres go. I mean were definitely a goth? band, but there are a number of other influences there. And it?s not really so much trying to appeal to the fans of that genre, but because I am a fan of these genres and I want to incorporate these elements. I hope that we can appeal to lots of different elements of this fragmented scene.
GP: OK, we?ll definitely hope for the best. Thanks again for your time.