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With a concept and idea dating back to the mid-90’s 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 collector’s 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 you’ll definitely pick up the dominant gothic style and influences, but you’ll 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, I’m sure we’ll be able to hear and see more of this up-and-coming group.

I’ve 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

I’ve had this mini-album for a while and have been listening to it off and on.  Being a local band, I’ve 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 we’re 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, I’m 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 you’re 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 haven’t 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 it’s 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 you’re left with is wonderful as you’re 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.

Rating: 3.5/5

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, it’s 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 80’s 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.  It’s 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 90’s 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 don’t really stick with one sound.

GP: That’s 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 it’s 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 it’s a good introduction to Domiana?

Dredd: Yes, I think it’s a good place to start.

GP: Would you say it’s like a “best of” so far?

Dredd: No, we actually have a ton of material, it’s just a question of getting it recorded.  What’s 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 wouldn’t say it’s our best material.  I’m looking forward to the future.  I like to do things thematically, the way the fit together.  It’s probably a side effect of DJing, you like to have everything flow.  So future releases will need to fit well, it won’t really matter when the songs were wrote.

GP: Since you brought up DJing, you’ve 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 wouldn’t have normally.  Lately I’ve even found a kind of EBM influence creeping in… and I don’t necessarily like that, but it’s there.  Actually, I’ve found things that I like about it and I just kind of add to that.  And since I don’t exclusively write the music, it’s definitely a collaborative effort.

GP: Let’s 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 80’s era and that kind of New Wave, Punk and Old-school music.  Bill moreso than I have, because he doesn’t 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 she’s 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 we’re writing lyrics and imagery, it’s very collaborative and we flow very well off of each other.  Particularly Dementia, Ashe and I while we’re writing lyrics we really play off of each other and so it’s a very good collaboration, so I’m 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.  We’ve 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 haven’t really played outside of Salt Lake and it looks like we’re going to.  We’re just trying to make our push outside Salt Lake City.  It looks like we’re doing at least one show with Redemption and Tragic Black, but I would like to see it turn into a little tour, but I don’t know if that’s 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 don’t 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 don’t feel that it really showcases all of what we do.  I would really actually like to record another demo, that’s more representative of our whole style.  So no, I haven’t actually been pursuing any labels with this release.  But I do feel good about where we’re going, it’s been a struggle and it can only get better.

GP: Well good, we’ll 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 you’ll be able to get some good acceptance?

Dredd: I think we can.  That’s something else we would like to bridge, because the scene is so fragmented and scattered.  I don’t think it’s 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 we’re 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.


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