The Cult of Dom Keller Interview
Come wallow in the psychedelic shadows…
The Cult of Dom Keller are about to put out their new album ‘Goodbye to the Light‘ on the Fuzz Club label.
I got to ask them a few questions.
How’s the tour going?
Neil: So far so good! So what next? We have 2 more UK dates at Rough Trade East and Rough Trade in Nottingham on the 18th & 19th of July. Then it’s all about Europe! You can get full details of our remaining gigs on our FB page.
Have the new tracks changed much while playing them in front of an audience?
Neil: Sure, we’re more comfortable with the songs now, so they’ve naturally evolved. We tweaked a couple to make them more immediate for the live experience, but also found room to expand on others. It usually takes a couple of gigs to get a feeling for how the set is going down.
What was the writing process for this latest album?
Neil: All but 1 of the songs was developed from a demo or idea put forward by an individual band member. Typically we add / edit ideas over the web before taking them into the studio. I think we had upwards of 30 demos at our disposal. The exception to the rule was, Shambhala. That one was concocted from a ramshackle jam where everyone swapped instruments – I think it’s the only song on the album not recorded to a click track. We used dead time travelling to and from gigs to sift through all the music and choose our favourites. It was important to us that the songs flowed together to create a journey. Believe it or not, this is our first studio recorded album. On previous releases we left a lot of the decision making to other people, so we were eager to take full control this time. I’d doubt we’ll be doing that again in a hurry.
Astrum Argentum is my stand out track on the album, do you each have favourites?
Neil: AA was actually one of the toughest songs to mix. We’d been playing it live for a while before we went into the studio. It was a real ball ache to do it justice on record, so I’m glad you like it. A big thanks to James Aparicio who mixed the album for his patience and wizardry.
As for favourites? I like them all. I can say that now. There have been times where I couldn’t listen to it. Making this album ruined us all many times over, but in ways it also made us a stronger band than we’ve ever been before.
I’ve been reading some comparisons about you and other bands (Sabbath/Acid Mothers Temple/Spacemen 3/The Stooges) does this sort of talk intimidate you at all or do you just see it as writers throwing names around because they don’t know how else to describe you ?
Neil: I wouldn’t say it intimidates us really… we’ve been compared to so many bands over the years. There are elements of lazy journalism involved at times, but I guess we are a hard band to define. The latest one is Goth Psych! We’re being compared to a whole new raft of bands like, Killing Joke and The Sisters of Mercy, but what’s not to dig about that?
Talking of other artists, if each of you had to choose to do one cover version on your next album what would it be?
Neil: I’ve always fancied a stab at Love’s AndMoreAgain.
Ryan: I’d love to do our own version of Skip Spence’s War in Peace.
Al: Gotta be Gut feeling by Devo.
Jason: Definitely Black Juju by the Alice Cooper Group!
Neil: It’s like living in a real life fairy tale.
The new album looks like it will be quite a special package for those that get a copy of the deluxe vinyl, how much input have you had over the decisions made?
Neil: 90% was us. Fuzz Club take a lot of pride in what they do, so they definitely encouraged us to push the boundaries with the cover art and vinyl. There were definitely a few things ticked off our collective bucket list during the process.
Do you find it more creative in the studio or playing live?
Neil: Personally for me it’s the studio.
Who are your favourite contemporary bands?
Neil: Here’s 7 off the top of my head:
The Flaming Lips, The Lumerians, Grinderman, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Tame Impala, The Night Beats, Qujaku.
Favourite venue to play?
Neil: I’d really like to play the main stage at Rock City one day. It’s a local ambition of mine.
Favourite venue you’ve seen someone else play and who was it?
Neil: When Mars Volta curated ATP at Camber Sands. That was a very special weekend. The line up was incredible. Nick Cave last year at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham comes pretty close too. And the Beta Band at Glastonbury 2000. That gig / weekend changed my life forever.
Neil: We never stop writing. We probably have enough material for another album already, but we may put out an EP on 10″ instead. We’ve also been toying with the idea of making a short film. It’s all about time really, or the lack of it.
– Ross Beattie (The Night Tripper)
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