"Dommin is the sound of the brokenhearted," explains Kristofer Dommin, frontman for the Los Angeles four-piece that puts a fresh spin on familiar pain. On their Roadrunner Records debut, Love Is Gone, due out February 15, Dommin offer dark introspection, delving into complex relationships, damaged psyches, and much more.
At the centre of their haunting, gothic-tinged rock is the enigmatic Kristofer Dommin, who croons about poisonous love; exorcising agony through a wall of distortion. Kristofer, also the band’s guitarist and principal songwriter, sums up the band's message thus: "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."
Bassist Billy James offers a direct take on the band's uniquely layered sound though, 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." The result? A brooding, compelling record; chock-full of quirky riffs and hooks, both glorious and melancholic; a masterpiece of tragedy and the bittersweet.
Dommin's songs are 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 highlights "My Heart, Your Hands," the song's keyboard embrace gives way to slashingly raw riffs that 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 sprawling melody and intimate vocals, preceded by the first of three interludes on the record. The intricacies Dommin weave into their songs is especially evident in the twisted Doors-like "Dark Holiday" while "'Without End" explores the decay surrounding an unhealthy, obsessive love. The album’s second interlude leads into the absorbing “Closure” which begins with a beautiful guitar line before cranking up the rock and bursting into a huge chorus guaranteed to have fans singing every word. Kristofer cites the title track "Love is Gone" as his favourite 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."
Kristofer finds influence and inspiration outside of the norm and in 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."
Dommin act 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."