DOMINICI.COM

DOMINICI Forums => DOMINICI => Topic started by: VFS on March 25, 2008, 01:05:02 PM



Title: i enjoyed this interview with charlie from 2001, thought you might too
Post by: VFS on March 25, 2008, 01:05:02 PM
http://www.ytsejam.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=37

Quote
Interviews: Charlie Dominici
Posted on Monday, November 25 @ 18:50:11 CST
Topic: Interviews
Charlie Dominici (ex-Dream Theater vocalist)
as interviewed by John Kotzian


March 22, 2001 In 1989, a new band from New York emerged on the scene creating a small buzz in the music community. Many described their music as "Rush meets Metallica", due in part to the heavy, palm-muted guitar riffs offset by clean, multi-octave vocals. The band was Dream Theater and the vocalist on their debut album was Charlie Dominici.

I had a chance to interview Charlie via email. I wanted to ask him questions that would shed some light on his career before Dream Theater all the way through the time of his departure, while trying to get a glimpse of the man, not the celebrity. His answers paint a portrait of a man with a sense of humor, as well as, a sense of honesty.

Most of Ytsejam.com's readers know of you through the band Dream Theater, but you were also in the band Franke and the Knockouts which had a top ten hit. Tell us a little about that experience.

Actually, we had a few hits-"Sweetheart" and "Without You" were the biggest. Our drummer (Tico Torres) was secretly working on a side project with this unknown kid named Jon Bon Jovi at the time. It was a blast being on tour with a band that was pretty big-we were like the Beatles in a couple of midwest states(Ohio,Texas,etc.) The overall experience was not very satisfying musically since it was just another "project" to me, not really my own "thing"- if you know what I mean.

How did you go from being in Franke and the Knockouts, to becoming the lead singer for Majesty?

I read an ad in a local Long Island Music paper. Something about the way it was worded struck me. I remember I kept post-poning the audition due to my working schedule, and I ran into John Myung( I recognized him from the promo pack photo the manager gave me)in a music store called Focus Music in Long island. I walked up to him unannounced and sang a little of "Another Won" to him and he just gave me one of those classic JM(Whats up with this guy) looks..ha ha.Eventually I auditioned for the band. I remember a point when they were about to say something like "ok..what's your phone number,never mind-we'll call you" and I asked to see a lyric sheet that they had no melodies written for. It was "The Killing Hand". I sang my interpretation of that song and a few weeks later Mike told me I was in the band.

What was your first impression of Majesty's style of music?

Well, Being a musician myself I immediately knew the deal. It was not the stuff I was into at the time, But I knew it was amazing stuff.  I was really glad they chose me.They knew I was older than they were, but I think they liked the fact that I was knowledgeable in music theory also-being that they were all music schooled and all that.

You were with Majesty when they were forced to change their name, can you tell us a little about the how the name Dream Theater came about?

I'm sure most of the DT fans have heard the story, so I wont bore you all with a redundant tale. We were at an impasse about the new name when Mike's dad left a message on Mike's answering machine about a movie theater in California named "The Dream Theater" We all pretty much instantly agreed it was the name of the band.

How did the deal with Mechanic Records for "When Dream and Day Unite?" come about and how did everyone react to it?

Chuck Lenehan! It was all his fault! Damn dat Crumsukker! He he...Seriously though, Chuck brought us to the attention of Steve Sinclair of MCA Mechanic Records-the rest was history. We were pretty happy,not surprisingly enough,to be signed and recording an album on a major label. It wasn't until later that we found the deal was a rip-off (unusual in the music biz,huh?)


What was the writing process like for Dream Theater's "When Dream and Day Unite" and who had the most input into the creation process?

Actually the most input came from a neighbor's dog named "SAM'. That, and some faint signals from far out in space.The songs were all kind of almost complete when I joined the band but we re-wrote most of it. I wrote most of the melodies and I contributed enough to the music end so as to be credited as co-writer on the album. As for the most input, we contributed pretty much equally,I thought.

What was your favorite track off the album and which was your favorite to perform live?

My favorite was and still is "Killing Hand". Not my favorite to do live, however. That song is a BITCH to sing live,especially when you have literally no monitors on stage, and you keep opening your mouth but nothing comes out-(to quote "Spanky McFarland").The early shows were loud on stage, and we were usually playing in a club like "Sundance" on L.I. where the monitors were pretty much nonexistent. My favorite song to sing live,believe it or not, was always "To Live Forever". I felt close to that song-John and I were experiencing a similar struggle of conscience over the world in general, and what one small person can really ever do about it. I was sponsoring some kids in africa at the time,hence the line "I'd offer some change for a photograph-but will it only stay the same".

In the days following the release of  "When Dream and Day Unite" what was the bands attitude toward Mechanic Records?

We were pretty disappointed in a lot of things. Especially the decision by MCA not to release a video or send us to Japan(both of which we were promised at the time).This was also the beginning of my loss of interest in things which contributed to the eventual disintegration of my involvement in general.

What were the Live performances like?

Like...like...taking a bath in a tub of Jell-O. um..like..like..eating a "Peppermint Pattie". Seriously-they were always fun, and always a challenge for me. Those songs are not easy to sing,for me anyway.Maybe I should wear tighter underwear. I don't really have the high range that you might think. It's all an Illusion done with smoke and mirrors.

The unofficial Dream Theater  "Frequently Asked Questions"  web site [maintained by Pat Griffin] states that at the end of your career with Dream Theater you were "fired because he didn't have DT's progressive plans on his agenda, and he had always been weak in a live setting." Do you have any comments about this?

Really? I thought they said it was because I didn't have Progresso Clams in my appendix. Damn it! I'm getting those reading glasses!

Do have harbor any hard feelings?

About what? Life is a journey. It is with the sparks of conflict that we are affected most heavily. That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Never Moon a Werewolf!  Don't cook bacon Naked! Damn, I'm on a roll here!

Since your dismissal, have you been in contact with any of the members of Dream Theater? And if so, what was it like?

My dismissal? What is this the army or something?  Yea, I got an honorable discharge, and a few nocturnal ones as well. Don't you know we are all friends? I don't hold it against them for moving on without me,and they don't hold it against me for playing a part in their start. It's all part of a larger picture. These trivial things like what we gain and what we lose in the process must be kept in the proper perspective. Can you dig it?

When you're writing new music, how do you start? Do you have an idea and work off that or just sit down and jam something out?

It's always different. Sometimes I have input to someone else's idea-sometimes I write lyrics and try to put music to them that evokes the right images-sometimes when we touch, the honesty's too much.

Do you have any rituals or warm-ups you go through before performing live?

Yes! OOOHH YES! Big time warm ups. In the car on the way to a gig I do all sorts of scales and nasal sounds and funny noises and stuff. Once I was pulled over by a cop and almost got put into a mental institution! He asked if anyone had been drinking or was carrying drugs and I'm in the driver seat going "mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi". It was bad.
Plus, there's the rituals with the chicken blood and eye of newt .....we won't get into that.


As far as vocalists go, who are your influences?

Steve Walsch, Tony Bennett and Alfalfa the crooner. Especially Alfalfa. I had the hots for Darla as well. Hey! Believe it or not,my biggest influence was when I was a little kid and I saw an old movie about Al Jolson. I was immediately hooked on the performing thing. Everything after that was just the learning process,you know?  Vocalists impress me only if they make me feel something.

Can you give us your thoughts on the following vocalists:

Geddy Lee (RUSH):       He sings high
 Steve Perry (Journey):   He sings higher
 Geoff Tate (Queensryche):  He sings highest
 John Arch (ex-Fates Warning):  Owes me twenty bucks
 Ray Alder (Fates Warning):  Kinda cute- Marc Anthony is cuter, though.
 Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden): Cut his hair-still a legend.
 James LaBrie (Dream Theater):  Who? (j/k) Bastard stole my job!

 

Are you working on any projects at the moment? And when can we expect to hear them?

Oh boy! I am working on what will prove to be my favorite! I won't spill the beans ,but I am very excited about it. You'll see!

Anything you'd like to say to the fans?

BOO!   Did I scare ya?

[This] was a cool interview. Not the usual BS I get asked all the time. By the way, about the question concerning my opinion of those vocalists you mentioned,for the record I have the utmost respect for each and every one of them.I prefer some over the others, but I wont tell you which ones.This is my disclaimer.If you chose to read any of this,you do so at your own risk and the writer assumes no responsibility for whatever mental confusion may arise from doing so.

Now go home and get your F**king shine box!

CD


Ytsejam.com would like to thank Charlie for taking the time to do this interview.
You can visit Charlie's website at http://www.dominici.com

 :metal :hat


Title: Re: i enjoyed this interview with charlie from 2001, thought you might too
Post by: charliedominici on March 27, 2008, 12:48:22 AM
Interview in Hungary last Friday!
(http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm121/cdominici/CDinHungary.jpg)

Hmmmmm....good question,let's see....why did  I leave "Dream Theater"

Just kidding! This guy was one of the first people that didn't ask that redundant question!
He is one of our forum members,by the way, and also contributed many of the latest "live" pics from the Budapest June,07 show I recently posted. Very cool guy!

 :headbang


Title: Re: i enjoyed this interview with charlie from 2001, thought you might too
Post by: charliedominici on March 27, 2008, 01:28:18 AM
(http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm121/cdominici/DSCF0005.jpg)

"Who Knows What Evil Lurks In The Minds Of Men" !!!   METTTTTAAAAAALLL!!!!

 :yarr


Title: Re: i enjoyed this interview with charlie from 2001, thought you might too
Post by: VFS on March 27, 2008, 03:47:57 AM
That picture almost looks like it'd be awesome photoshop fodder :hat :metal


Title: Re: i enjoyed this interview with charlie from 2001, thought you might too
Post by: Matt Gillis on March 27, 2008, 04:24:41 PM
Those are awesome photos, your looking great Charlie!

It just surprises me that the people behind you are so oblivious that they will all be engulfed by a blast of metal so heavy that their insides will implode into non-existance!  :metal


Title: Re: i enjoyed this interview with charlie from 2001, thought you might too
Post by: charliedominici on March 27, 2008, 09:55:38 PM
Those are awesome photos, your looking great Charlie!

It just surprises me that the people behind you are so oblivious that they will all be engulfed by a blast of metal so heavy that their insides will implode into non-existance!  :metal

"BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMM"
 ;D