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Progressive Rock Interviews

Dominici

Interviewed by Josh Turner
Interview with Charlie Dominici from 2007 
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

I
really like this album quite a bit. Obviously, the singing is tremendous, but the other thing that stands out too is the mixing and the production in general, and the musicianship all around is unbelievable.
Thank you.
MSJ: If there was an option to see this live, I would definitely do it. Is this something you plan on touring with, or doing as some kind of live performance?
Yeah, this is a real band. I just have a little glitch I have to take care of, which is the fact I’ve been living in San Diego, California for the past three years, you know, even though I’m from New York, but the band is all the way over in Italy. So, that’s a little bit of a glitch, but we’re working on it. My wife and I are moving over to Europe in the next few months. We’re trying to get rid of our belongings so that we can make that move, which will better facilitate touring and working with the band, and being an actual band. It’s kind of like a long-distance love affair at this point. We’re going to fix that, and then we are probably going to tour. People keeping ask me if I have any plans to tour. For all intensive purposes, it’s a new act. It’s a debut album, and we’re unknown. Until the album comes out and starts to make some noise, hopefully; it would just be wishful thinking. Nobody’s banging down my door to have me come on tour with them, because nobody really knows. The album is not even out yet.

 

MSJ: I’m not familiar with the names of the people that are in your band. However, it’s obvious they’re very top-notch players. How did you discover these musicians?
Well, that’s exactly how. I discovered them, because they are completely, they are not completely unknown, but they’re unknown in terms of, uh, they’re not like well-known in the prog world or worldwide, but they are known in Italy ‘cause they’ve been playing together for about five years as a band, and they have a singer that isn’t really as serious as they are. That’s what prompted them to look around for an alternative situation as a band, and then they saw my ad, because I had an ad that I was looking for players, and I was getting tons of CD’s from people. Some of them were good players. A lot of them were a little bit living in fantasy land. Most of them actually, but there were a lot of good players, but I couldn’t put a band together from four points all over the world. That’s just too expensive, and then you finally get everybody together, and who knows if they get along, or play together, or work together, or whatever. These guys sent me their CD and their little video that they have, and I just saw that potential. I knew that this would work with them, and obviously the musicianship. It was almost like when I first got the tape from Majesty, from Dream Theater, back in the old days. I saw all this potential. It wasn’t really right there in front of me, but the potential, I could see the potential. So, based on that, I contacted them and we can hardly communicate. They speak Italian and French, and I speak English. None of us really speak the other's language well. So, we had to use an interpreter, and I went there. I flew there and worked with them for a week, and did a three song demo just based on my gut instincts, and I was right. I flew back home again. It’s a 24-hour flying day, and we got their deal. I went back and spent a month. We only spent one month recording and writing all the music.

MSJ: Who are you using as an interpreter?
Oh, it was the uncle of the guitarist and the drummer. They’re brothers, and they’re from Switzerland actually. They’ve just been living there for ten years, and their uncle is a musician also. In fact, he brought them up as musicians. He’s much older than they are, and they were actually side-men for him, and he was in a band that was kind of a semi-famous international band in Europe. Not somebody that you might have heard of, but he speaks English quite well, and he was basically on the phone with me interpreting.
MSJ: What’s the name of the band they had?
That band was called Solid Vision. They still have the band, because obviously, nobody’s going to just put all their eggs in one basket and wait for this album to come out, and see if it does anything. I think the album is going to change everybody’s life a little, and I have a lot of faith in it, but you never know. It’s the music business. I mean, look at the kind of people who are multi-platinum. A lot of these people I see who are multi-platinum acts in this country are like the American Idol rejects.

It’s a joke. I mean, the music business is a joke. People don’t know what’s good. In Prog Music, it’s a little different. We have a different kind of an audience. We have people who know the difference between people who can play and people who can’t play, and thankfully a lot of the reviewers can tell when something is well-written and well-performed, which is a lot different than your average music-business people.

MSJ: Why did you release this under your last name Dominici rather than come up with a band name?
Do you have any idea how hard it is to come up with a band name? I mean, I have been in bands all my life, and we have written songs and done everything with ease, and the biggest stumbling block has always been coming up with a band name.

We went through this with Dream Theater. I mean, we were pulling our hair out. It took them years to come up with Majesty, and then we couldn’t keep it, because there was a band that had that name, and we were pulling our hair out for like a month and a half trying to come up with a name, and then you get to the point where you start coming up with all these stupid names, and it gets like stupid. So, it was really like my solo project basically. I mean, I’m the one that the record company knows, and we were going to call it Charlie Dominici just like the first. Part One was Charlie Dominici: O3 A Trilogy Part One, and then we were going to call this one Charlie Dominici: O3 A Trilogy Part Two, but I felt such a connection with the band that I wanted the guys in the band to know that they’re not just my side-men, and it’s really a band.

So, you know what, we decided, we talked about it, and then I said, you know, Dominici is a pretty strong name. It sounds powerful. So, let’s just call the band Dominici. Why not?


MSJ: If you’ve got a good name, stick with it.
It’s like Van Halen. They’re brothers who decided to call their band Van Halen. I think this is a similar kind of thing.
MSJ: A lot of times when a band releases a concept album, you’re not even sure if it actually is a concept album, what’s it about, et cetera. This one is fairly intuitive. It’s obvious it’s a concept. Even the sound bytes come in and out at appropriate times. Altogether, it’s cool and cohesive, but I’m wondering if you could go into what it’s about. I’ve got kind of an idea of the story. It sounds as if there’s some sort of criminal and a detective coming after him. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
Yeah, understandably, not too many people are aware of the Part One, let alone have a copy. I only made 5,000 or so copies of that CD on Part One, and I still have half of them. Soon, they’re going to be collector’s items, and everybody’s going to be wanting one, but I still have 2,500 of them here in my warehouse here. nybody who wants one, by the way, can just email me and they can get an autographed one. That information’s on my web site, but anyway, if you haven’t heard Part One, and you don’t really know what’s going on in the story, and haven’t heard any of it, I get a lot of people who ask me, so this O3 thing, are you an environmentalist now?

What it really is, is that O3 is ozone. It’s obviously a chemical symbol, and it’s oxygen that’s been split and then one of the oxygen atoms of O2, you know, the O1 binds with another O2, and it becomes O3, and that’s how ozone is created, and it’s used as a bacteria and a purification catalyst in water that has bacteria, but the problem is that when you introduce it into water, as soon as it comes in contact with other O2 atoms, it starts to break back down into O2. Well, the story is about a radical religious group that’s using a formula for O3 that goes the other way. In other words, when it touches, anything it touches that contains O2, it changes that into O3, and they found this new formula to be able to be made into a weapon of mass destruction.

This radical religious group is not trying to just destroy one country. They believe the whole world and mankind itself is a virus, and a hopeless case, and the only way that they can all reach God is if everyone dies all at once.

So, they’re pretty out there, and this is going on, and what’s happening is the guy being chased by the cop is the recruit that they took from a very young age, which you’ll find out if you listen to Part One. He was taken from his bed at ten years old. “I was barely ten years old, taken from my bed in the dark and the cold. From the other room I heard my mother scream. I wasn’t quite sure if it was real or a dream. They said, listen boy, you’re a solider now. Like it or not, this is how it’s going to be.”

That’s all from the first album, and they took him into the desert and they trained him. Months went by in the desert sea. “Holy men were training me. Pushed like a pawn in some great plan. I see it’s on myself in a foreign land.”

Like what they did, they put him in a foreign land as he got a little older, but they left him there too long. I always had this belief. What would happen if a sleeper cell was left in American for 10, 15 years and started to realize this is a great country to live in? Freedom and capitalism. I can have my own business and buy a car and buy a house, fall in love, have kids, you know, have a white picket fence around my yard.

So, he starts to get that very common love for our lifestyle here in our country, and then he gets the call from the guys. He thinks they’re out of the picture, but they’re not. They’re finally ready to use him, and so now he’s torn. There’s a whole story revolving around what goes down. He gets arrested. They let him go, because the cop was corrupt, and he messed up the evidence, and the cop is after him, and that’s what’s going on in Part Two to the part where towards the end of Part Two, you start to see a little hope, because the police start to believe his story. He starts to tell the police the story, and they start to think, maybe we can get together and get the world to understand that this great danger exists. That’s why the last song is called, “A New Hope,” you know, where there’s a new hope in the world.

That’s how Part Two ends. I’m not going to tell you what happens in Part Three, because that’s the end of the story, and it’s not out yet.

MSJ: Did you write all the lyrics?
Yeah. I write all these lyrics. This is all my lyric-writing, and I actually even write a lot of the music, but then I bring it to the band, and we hash it out as a band, because obviously, I’m not going to tell a great guitarist like Brian what to play. It’d be like me telling John Petrucci note-for-note what to play. Come on. It’s pretty obvious that I don’t do that, but I basically show them what I have and the ideas I have on choruses and verses and where I think it should go off into a solo, and where I think it should get really heavy-progressive, and where I think it should be simple. You know, something like that, and then we work together and we bounce it off each other we and put it together.We did that whole album in less than a month. I mean, it was just about 30 days. All nine songs were written and recorded. Yeah, it was a marathon, and usually I write the lyrics for the whole album, like I did on the first one in about two or three weeks. I sit at the computer and just bang them out, but I like to wait. I did the first one and then I waited to write the lyrics until just before I went to the band. Now for Part Three, I could write them now, but I like to wait, because I like to feed off of a lot of what’s going on in world news. I draw most of my lyric inspiration from CNN and Yahoo! News and web sites and, you know, just world news.

MSJ: It’s obvious a lot of fans want to get their hands on that first one after they hear this one.
The thing is that first album is actually all-acoustic. Did you know that?
MSJ: Yeah, I actually heard that from Eric Corbin of InsideOut Music.
Yeah, that whole album is acoustic, because I didn’t have a band, and I didn’t want to wait. I just figured, there’s so much material here, I need to. In fact, I started writing and I realized, there is no way this is even going to be a double-album. I’ll be lucky if I can squeeze it into three. So, let me make it a trilogy, and I’ll try to squeeze them into three albums, and if I don’t, it’ll just be an incomplete story at the end of the trilogy, and that will just leave the door open for a fourth album.

MSJ: Will that album be re-released or maybe re-done with your current band?
No chance whatsoever. It’s not being re-released. I refuse to re-press it. I don’t care. It’s a collector’s item. There’s 5,000 copies, and my attitude is people that were there that bought it at first, got it. Anybody who is smart enough to pick it up now, gets it. Anybody who doesn’t have one after the 5,000 copies are gone, doesn’t deserve it.

It’s not even really that they don’t deserve to have one. It’s just that it’s a collector’s item, and you know what, I prefer that the real true fans that were there from the beginning have it, and that’s that.

MSJ: Is there any chance you would do that with the current line-up for some symmetry?
Not the recording, but there’s a good chance that we might kick off one or two or three of the songs into a live show. Very possible, just to maintain a flow with the story and just to add material, but depending on how things go. I don’t know if we’re going to be called to do some opening for some people, in which case we have plenty of material cause an opening act does 20 minutes, 30 minutes tops, but if we should be lucky enough to be asked to headline a show, we would definitely have to take some stuff from the first album and work it into the band, so that we have at least an hour, an hour and a half to play.

MSJ: I’m a fan of the old days of Dream Theater. I’ve checked your stuff out, and now I’m following this stuff now. To me, maybe this isn’t to everybody else; your singing-style has changed a little bit. Would you agree with that?
No. I don’t agree at all. I don’t think that my singing-style has changed. I think that I sang more like myself on my album cause it’s my album. When I was with Dream Theater, I was singing on their album. I mean, that was their band. I had to sing the way they wanted. I had to give them what they wanted for those songs. I was auditioning for a gig, and if I didn’t give them what they wanted, I wouldn’t get the gig, right? So, I basically had to give them what they wanted so that I could get the gig. I did the gig and then, obviously, people think I sounded like Geddy Lee from Rush. Dream Theater was very Rush-influenced. When I came to their rehearsals, all we did was play Rush songs. I figured that’s what they wanted.

MSJ: The influence that jumps out on me, there seems to be some common trait between you and Geoff Tate from Queensryche. Would you say he’s an influence?
I don’t blame Geoff Tate for being influenced by me at all. {laughter}
MSJ: Or that, yeah?
I think what it really comes down to is that any time you sing something in a certain of genre or vein, you’re going to be compared to the other people who do that same genre. You could say that, okay, rappers, I mean, you could say this rapper sounds like that rapper. They all sound alike to me. It's all that same kind of, you know, guys yelling out in unison and harmony and metric-rhythm on the lyrics and stuff like that. But, if you dig a little deeper, you’re going to see, if you really listen, you’re going to see, the more you listen, the more you see the individuality of Geoff Tate and me. There’s only similarities, because we’re in the same genre. I mean, I don’t try to sound like Geoff Tate, and I’m sure he doesn’t try to sound like me, and that’s a compliment to me to be compared to him, because I think he’s a fantastic vocalist.

Obviously, he’s a fantastic vocalist. For someone to even say my name in the same breath with Geoff Tate is a tremendous compliment to me. I think he’s incredible.

MSJ: Who would you say were your musical influences if you had to go back towards the beginning of when you got involved in music?
My influences happened all when I was very young. I don’t even listen to a lot of stuff from the past few years purposely, because I don’t want to be influenced. But, my influences for some things can go way back. Back to people like Robert Plant and Peter Gabriel, and Steve Walsh from Kansas, I mean, from back in the seventies. I learned the hard way that you need to find your own voice and the more you listen to other people, the more influenced you become and the more you’re naturally going to lean towards...I think, “I’ll sing this the way so and so would have sung it,” and then you read the reviews and they say, oh, it sounds like so and so. You know, that’s what happens. At least when people say I sound like this or I sound like that, I can honestly say, well, it’s probably coincidental. It’s probably because the same guys who influenced me 30 years ago, influenced him.

I mean, let’s face it; we’re all influenced by somebody.

When people, sometimes I lurk around on the web and look at people’s posts on different message boards, and I see people say stuff about, oh, they heard three bars of my song, oh, it sounds like Dream Theater’s from Train of Thought, “Honor Thy Father.” It’s a rip-off. I had to actually go and get the Train of Thought CD and dust it off and put it in and listen to the song to see what they were talking about.

That’s how little I listen to other people’s music. I listened to it. You know what I noticed?

It’s the same key. That’s where the similarities end. It’s the same key. So, they hear something that’s in the same key and something tells them it’s the same song. So what? My answer to that is, oh yeah, and who does Dream Theater sound like, and who does what they sound like, sound like?

What are they insulting this music? I mean, they invented the chord progression, and they invented the theory of music, and they invented the sound of the guitar? I mean, come on.

We’re all doing progressive rock, all these bands that are being compared to each other, and unless you come out with something that’s so obliviously, blatantly copying somebody else, I think it’s very superficial for somebody to say you sound like this or you sound like that.

MSJ: When did you actually get involved in music?
It was a long time ago. I come from a family where my dad played guitar, and my Uncle Johnny played guitar, and my mom was a singer. My mom was almost a famous singer except she had an ignorant, stubborn Sicilian father who told her she had to stay home and wash the dishes cause we had an uncle that was in the music business, and when my mom was 16, he wanted to take her and make her famous, and my grandfather said, “no.” So, my mom and dad were musically-inclined. I don’t know if it was genetic or just because it was around me. I was playing the guitar by the time I was 12 years old. I’m not going to tell you how long ago that was, but I think they had invented the telephone already, but I’m not sure.
MSJ: How did you decide that you wanted to be a singer? You said you started with guitar. Why not become a guitarist?
Believe it or not, before I started playing guitar, I must have been five or six years old, and there was an old black and white movie on TV. I’ll never forget. It was Larry Park’s The Al Jolson Story. Five or six years old, and I saw this movie about Al Jolson, and I was just so impressed that I was in my backyard pretending I was on a stage singing “Mammy” and “Swanny,” and all this Al Jolson stuff. To this day I can do a really good imitation of him, but that was five years old. That’s what got me interested, believe it or not. Not many people ask me that question so you got an answer there that’s pretty exclusive.
MSJ: Can you share a Spinal Tap moment? Is there anything that just kind of pops out in your mind?
Spinal Tap moments, sure. Every time when I was in Dream Theater when we were backstage. We used to wander around looking for the exit. We used to just mimic that movie. Mike Portnoy is a big movie buff, you know, and they all had great, I don’t know if you know them, if you’ve talked to them, but they all have a really great sense of humor, which is part of why we got along so well, because I’m a natural-born comedian and people tell me I joke around to a fault. When I was younger, I had psychologists and school psychologists tell me that you need to mask your emotions. I was like, “Get bent.” Humor is a natural aphrodisiac, and it’s a healing thing, and it keeps you young. There are people that areyounger than me that look like they’re my grandfather. I think a lot of it has to do with not only diet and exercise, but also just attitude and humor and being funny and liking funny things. But, we used to goof around like that all the time in the band. You know, we’d be backstage and banging into walls with our instruments and pretending to be in Spinal Tap before we’d go out onstage and play for like thousands of people.

MSJ: What was the last CD you bought?
That’s tough to answer, because there’s been a lot of guys’ sending me their CD’s. Out of extreme curiosity, I bought Queensryche’s Operation: Mindcrime II, because I’ve had Mindcrime, and I actually bought that CD, because Mike Portnoy told me it was good. I said, if Mike thinks it’s good, it’s probably worth buying.

MSJ: How was it? Did you like it?
It was okay. It didn’t blow me away like the first one did. I mean, we were all pretty knocked out by Operation: Mindcrime. Dream Theater, I don’t know if you know, we recorded When Day and Dream Unite at KJM Victory Studios in Gladman, Pennsylvania, we were coming in, right after Queensryche had left and just finished recording Mindcrime, Operation: Mindcrime One.
MSJ: Oh, really?
We actually a short time later got a hold of a tape. We heard it before it came out, and we found it pretty interesting. We loved it actually. I think that since then Dream Theater has done some touring with Queensryche. From what I hear, their opinions have changed, but again, my own personal opinion; I reserve my own personal opinions for my experiences.
MSJ: What’s the last concert that you attended as a fan?
You mean, besides going to a Dream Theater show, because I’m part of the family?
MSJ: That counts.
But, you want to know an actual concert that I actually bought tickets to or got tickets to because I wanted to see that band?
MSJ: Yeah, have you done that recently?
No, not recently. Definitely not recently. I’ve been so wrapped up since the beginning of 2005. I’ve been working on this trilogy, writing and working on this whole thing, and putting a band together, and recording, you know, back and forth. But, I don’t really remember. It was probably going to be a couple years back. You know, obviously, I went to the Gigantour. But again, because Gigantour was Dream Theater. They’re like my brothers. They leave me backstage passes at the Will Call, but you want to know what I like enough to go and buy a ticket to. I have to go back. I have to go back a number of years, and it’s not even a metal band. It’s not even a progressive band.
It’s probably back five or six years ago, maybe even more, seven or eight years ago, but I think I bought tickets to see The Black Crowes back at Jones Beach.

I like all kinds of music, and there are certain things that appeal to me only because of maybe the way that things were going on in my life when I was hearing that album. You know what I mean? When you hear a certain song, it reminds you of a time that was maybe a happy time or happier times?

MSJ: Right.
I like The Black Crowes, you know, back then. I used to; I actually bought a couple of their CD’s. I was more impressed with their first CD, and that was the last. That was awhile ago. I don’t get a chance. People ask me a lot of things like what CD’s I buy, what bands I go see. You gotta understand. I’m in that business, you know, it’s different than when you’re a fan. I don’t know. You’re working so hard on your music, and you purposely don’t want to be influenced. So, you don’t buy other people’s CD’s, and when it comes to shows, if you have time. Who has time to go to a show? You know, if it’s really convenient and a buddy of mine says come on, we’re going, and I’ve got nothing else that I’m doing, and I can kick two hours out to just go see something, I’ll go no matter who it is.

MSJ: What would you say is your favorite album of all-time?
Favorite album of all-time. That’s such a tough question. There’s so many great albums and to pick one, it almost feels like I’m belittling another. I don’t know if I even have a favorite album of all-time. It would be something from the old days. I would have to say an album like Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd. Or Tommy by The Who. Obviously, I’m into concept albums. I like concept albums.

MSJ: Who’s your favorite band?
I don’t have one favorite band. I like so many different kinds of music. I mean, I’ll go listen to speed metal and heavy metal and progressive netal. Then I’ll go to a Rolling Stones concert. Actually, I was at a Rolling Stones, actually the last concert, I didn’t buy the tickets, but a friend of mine actually bought me a plane ticket to go to the opening show in Boston from San Diego, and I went to the opening show of The Rolling Stones and the Black-Eyed Peas opened up for them.I gotta tell you, when I saw the Black-Eyed Peas play live, that girl blew my mind. She was doing somersaults with the mike in her hand while she was singing. I couldn’t believe it. I was really impressed.

You just made me remember. That was the last concert I went to. It was The Rolling Stones opening their tour, The Bigger Bang tour at Fenway Stadium. It was a friend of mine who bought me the ticket and the plane ticket. So, of course, I took him out to dinner.

MSJ: What would you say is your favorite TV Series?
It’s definitely not “The Simpsons.” My favorite TV series is “The Shield.” I love “The Shield.” That is like my favorite. The Shield is my favorite. If Michael Chiklis reads this article or whatever, I want him to send me an email, because he is my all-time-favorite actor these days for like the past couple years. I think that guy is the s**t.

I would love to hang out with him. I always tell my wife, if we ever had a dinner where I can invite like five or six of my favorite people, the people that would be at that table would be Michael Chiklis, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jeremey Shockey from the Giants and a couple others. Harrison Ford. There might be one or two others that I can’t think of right now, because it’s too early in the morning and I just got up. But, you know what, Michael Chiklis. If everybody else couldn’t make it, Michael Chiklis would have to be one of them.

MSJ: Did you see that Fantastic Four movie?
Oh yeah, he played The Thing. If you’ve never seen “The Shield,” you’ve gotta check out “The Shield.” Some years ago, he was “The Commish,” you know, when he was younger, when he had hair, and now he’s shaving his head bald. He was cool and everything, but like this, “The Shield” show blows me away. I have all of the DVD’s, and I’m waiting for the Season Five to come out. When it comes to movies, my favorite all-time has always been “Scarface" with Al Pacino, of course.  

MSJ: Did you see "Carlito’s Way?"
Well, of course. He couldn’t get the Scarface character out of his head. He couldn’t play Carlito without being Tony Montana. Did you notice that?
MSJ: Yeah, I noticed that.
He could not get Tony Montana out of his blood, and if you talk to Al Pacino, that’s his favorite movie, too - from what I hear.
MSJ: Would you say “The Shield” influenced this album, with the cop and all?
There’s a little bit of that rogue cop thing going on, but, no “The Shield” hasn’t influenced this. I get a lot of ideas from many different areas, from film and from some things like “The Shield.” A little bit of Chiklis’ Vic Mackey character. There’s a little bit of the detective where he’s like a good guy inside, but he knows that he’s got to bend the rules; otherwise, he can’t do his job right, and because we all know it’s the good guys that finish last, and this is like the creed in this country. unfortunately, possibly even the world. But, there’s a detective in the story whose chasing after my terrorist guy, and when he starts to learn more about the detective, you find out that he’s not quite as straight as an arrow, and he’s also got his own personal demons like alcoholism and wife-beating or whatever else, typical stuff, you know. But really, it’s because I want my story and my characters to be true to life, and nobody in life is perfect, and that’s a big thing about what causes a lot of these problems in the world. It’s because people are given a role. Politicians, law enforcement are given a role of authority when they’re not quite as squeaky clean as you might want them to be, and that’s what causes a lot of the turmoil. So, yeah, I used a little bit of my perception of Vic Mackey as played by Michael Chiklis, you know, for the detective character, but not a lot, just a little.

MSJ: Do you have a favorite book?
Myths and Mysticisms by Joseph Campbell. I’m into existential philosophy and stuff like that, Carl Young and Joseph Campell and stuff like that. I also read all of those Carlos Castaneda’s Journey to Islam and Separate Reality. Through the years, I’ve always read things that had to do with existentialism and philosophy and history too. I’m a big history buff
MSJ: Do you have any pets?
Yeah, we have two cats.
MSJ: You’re a cat person then?
I’m a cat person. I’m a dog person. I’m a gorilla person. I’m a horse person.
MSJ: You have a gorilla?
I wish I had a gorilla. Monkeys, you know, dogs, horses, cats, I mean, some people are like cat people and they hate dogs, or they are dog people and they hate cats. To me, I love all animals. I mean, I prefer animals to humans if you want to know the truth.

I could drive by a guy lying in the street, but if there’s an animal, I’ve got to stop. What can I tell you? I’m being honest.

Eventually, I’ll have a farm. My wife is the same way. We own property in Hungary, which is where she’s from, and we’re trying to relocate to Europe. I tell my wife (she always wants to do something for her own business) and I told her, why don’t you build a farm for animals that are homeless or hurt, or nobody wants them or whatever, and just let them live there, and you can enjoy them and they can have a good life. That’s the kind of thing that we will probably wind up doing, you know.

And sometimes when I see (I watch a lot of news) the human drama that unfolds with people, I look at it and I shake my head. It annoys me. Sometimes it disgusts me. But, what makes me jump up out of my seat and get active and get involved is when I see animals being mistreated or neglected. That just fires me up. That fires me up. That could make me go to Washington and march, you know what I mean. That’s just like to me that’s the ultimate sin.

They’re so pure, and all they have in them is love, and that’s so instinctive, and so, okay, some of them are mean. You know, mountain lions attack people in California. I actually applaud that. I mean, it’s their land. It belongs to the mountain lions. It doesn’t belong to these people.

MSJ: Where are you at on the third album? Is that already underway at this point?
Nah, I could sit down right now and bang out all the lyrics in the next week or two, but I’m not going to do that, because I want to keep my finger on the pulse and watch what’s going on in the world and continue to draw inspiration for my story. I have a number of alternative endings that I’m playing with, just like the world has a couple of alternative endings that they’re playing with, and I’m kind of keeping my story. I’m keeping that door open, because I want my story to keep and remain relevant to the reality that is our day-to-day experience with what’s going on in world events. I am aware that a lot of people don’t even know what’s going on in the world, and a lot of people don’t want to know what’s going on in the world. In my opinion, obviously, I’m not a politician. I’m a musician. I’m a singer. We made an album that’s great to listen to, and it’s entertaining and it’s cool and it’s crunch and it’s metal and it’s progressive, and that could be enough for some people, and that’s okay. For the people who want to dig a little deeper and listen to the lyrics, at least they don’t have to listen to “ooh, baby, baby,” you know, “I love you baby.” There’s something there. There’s something else they can sink their teeth into. So, I think it’s the best of both worlds.
MSJ: What has been your biggest fan experience?
It was meeting Shamu the Orca at SeaWorld. That’s my biggest idol out there.
MSJ: What would you say is the worst thing about being a musician? You seem to enjoy being a musician. If there is anything, what would you say is the worst thing about being a musician?
Uh, it’s a labor of love, and if you’re not ready to starve and suffer and not have things for many years and spend all your food money on guitar strings and stuff like that... You know, it’s tough, man, but I think the worst thing about it is that the rewards are few and far between. There’s a lot of people out there that are great, and they end up selling their instrument and getting a job, and putting on a tie, because there just isn’t enough appreciation for the great ones or they don’t get enough breaks.
MSJ: On one of your upcoming albums would you do a track that was an epic, or something of an epic length?
Uh, I don’t know. That’s a good question. I mean, I’m so wrapped up in this trilogy right now, that people ask me what are you going to do after this. I have no idea. I mean, maybe, I don’t know, I might, who knows what I’m going to do after this. I might have to get a job at a car dealership. I don’t know. I’m just wrapped up in what we are doing now, and I’m concentrating on getting each part of the plan in the process and getting it done, and getting it done right, and the writing, and the recording, and hopefully touring. So, I don’t know. I think that after this trilogy is over; we are probably going to create albums that are like normal albums with a group. A handful of songs that are more than likely not related to each other. That kind of thing.

MSJ: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans at this time?
I always like to say to the fans, really thank you for listening and for supporting my band and me for all these years and believing in me. I don’t know, with the exception of a few that like to cut me up and trash-talk me, that’s okay as long as they’re talking about me and keeping my name out there. For the ones who dug When Day and Dream Unite, and who liked this album and who appreciated and buy it or at least spread it around, I want to say thanks. Be sure to check out www.dominici.com in case anybody wants to pick up that first CD cause I got to get them out of my garage.
 
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