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|Written by Innika La Fontaine|
|Monday, 05 October 2009 07:30|
Domenica, Canada's next babe-fronted hard rock export, are out to prove the sex appeal of grungy guitar riffs and soaring vocals.
The Winnipeg four-piece - consisting of Bekkie Friesen (vocals, guitar), Joshua Bedry (guitar, backing vocals), Steve Hrycyshyn (drums) and Kurtis Wittmier (bass, backing vocals) - have mixed metalcore with hook-filled rock & pop to produce a unique sound that they have successfully toured across Canada, as well as internationally.
Recently, the Manitoban's have achieved high rotation on Canadian commercial rock stations, helped in part, no doubt, by the high profile assistance of Matt Sorum and Marcos Curiel lending their hands in the recording process.
On the eve an October 6 performance in Ottawa, and fresh off the back of the September release of their debut album The Luxury, Friesen spoke with (Cult)ure about the band's past, future, and all that happens in between.
Tell me about your beginnings in Winnipeg.
We've basically been around for five and a half years now, and when we got together we had all known each other from playing in bands, or working together, or school. We started by playing some Battle of the Bands back in the day. When we did quite well, the venues started throwing us a few bones. We started forming a fan base, and for the last three years we have been touring all of the places we can, whenever we can. It's really taken off for us from there.
Has your sound evolved over time?
We started off playing heavy rock, and I think we always will. We have definitely evolved in that now we are starting to infuse a little bit more of a pop element to make the music sound more twisted. I can see us evolving more over time.
What is it about you enjoy about heavy rock?
We just like the aggression of the music, and twisting it up with a bitter-sweetness, so that there is that pop hook in a really rabid, grunge-metal riff.
Putting the album together, you had quite a few reputable individuals to lend a hand. Tell me about the recording process for The Luxury.
Recording took us a really long time. We started off doing a demo with Ryan Friesen, who is a popular Canadian rock producer and has quite a roster. That went really well, and we got airplay with that. Over the years, we just kept writing. Marcus Curiel from POD heard one of our songs called "I Love My Gun" and wanted to get on board. Then Matt Sorum [Guns'n'Roses, Velvet Revolver] came into the picture through mutual acquaintances, and he offered his studio to us for a good price in Hollywood. We figured, "Why not?" A lot of people worked on this record with us. Tom Baker [Nine Inch Nails, Billy Talent] mastered it in Los Angeles, and he is exceptional at what he does. Long story short, it took about three years, but we finally got it done.
The culture of hard rock is very pervasive and uniting.
How does recording in Matt Sorum's studio in Los Angeles compare to playing in a garage in your backyard?
For starters, the Velvet Revolver's guitar rack was sitting there in the studio, and Josh was recording with one of Slash's guitars, which was really cool. They just had all of their stuff lying around, like Duff McKagen's [Guns'n'Roses, Velvet Revolver] pedals on the floor. It reminds you that success in rock music is real and that you just have to keep pushing.
You're on the road right now. How has that been going for you?
This time around it has been really great. We've toured three times already since March 2009. We have no complaints. We've seen a lot of familiar faces, and a lot of fresh ones. It's really encouraging to be on the road and have so much support from people that take time out of their life to come and see you.
Is there something that you want to give fans, and something that you want to get out of fans at your shows?
There's nothing in particular that we want to get out of the audience. We just want to make sure that the people who come to see us get everything that they expected to get. We will all hang out with them, take pictures, and get to know them. That's what touring is about: to extend your transnational friendships.
You've played shows around the world. Are international concerts different than playing in Canada?
We've been to London and Berlin, and we are going to out to Japan, because we've just had our record released there. It's not really different [playing international shows], because the culture of hard rock is very pervasive and uniting. Language is different, and cultures across countries are different, but the hard music culture itself is one uniting thing.
What's next for Domenica?
Our next move is going to be pushing our release in Asia. We are going to be travelling over there soon. We have a release in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland happening in November, so we are going to touring over there to push our album. We have a music video for "Above Me", but we have to make another one for "What Goes Around", and start writing for another album, as well as touring. There is a lot to do, but it is all stuff that we love. We just love this lifestyle. We love meeting people, hanging out, and performing. We get such a rush out of it. Being on the road is not for everybody, but it is definitely for us, and we just want to keep doing this, so that we can make a living out of it, and see where we can end up. It's an exciting adventure for us.
Domenica plays Ottawa's Café Dekcuf on Tuesday, October 6. For more info visit: