“If rock ‘n’ roll, blues, pop and soul decided to have an orgy and then produced a love child, it would be called Domin8trx,” laughs Ethan Aaron, describing the music of Domin8trx. “That may sound funny, but we draw from many influences. It’s more about what sounds good and feels good, rather then what genre a song is classified by. One day I might decide to pull out a bluegrass song and if it clicks, it clicks. If not, on to the next idea.”
Indeed, their just released debut CD, Carousel, starts with the title track, which could be from a ‘50s doo-wop song with harmonies crafted to form a single voice. Then a rock riff hits you as “Love Web” kicks in, and from there on out the album takes you on a ride through rock, funk, blues, new wave, and progressive rock, to the torch song based closer, “Prayer.”
In spite of the diverse styles, the album still manages to have a cohesive feel, anchored by Dominique Scott’s souring vocals. “Dom is a powerhouse singer, so sometimes we cater to his voice as a starting point,” says Ethan. “Other times, we will come up with a wacky theme or idea, like the song ‘iLove.’ We wrote ‘iLove’ because people are obsessed with their phones. We wanted to take it one step further and write about actually being in love with your phone.”
Dominique is also the principle songwriter, but his collaboration with Ethan is an important part of the band. The group was a bigger unit when they first started out, as well as during their stay in New York, when they were playing at clubs such as The Red Lion, Sullivan Hall, and the National Underground. They actually first got together while they were students at Syracuse University. “After an incredibly successful series of sold out shows in college, we decided to all move to New York and pursue this full-time,” recalls Dominique. “We had great chemistry together, and our shows were really audience interactive so we thought we could totally get New York into it. It was originally Ethan on lead guitar, Dave Bucci on drums, Joe Nasty on bass, and myself. Joe decided to get married and bailed on us last minute, so the three of us moved to the city without a bass player. We soon picked up Evan Hammer, bassist of a band called Big Mosey. Despite my band’s wishes to have me stay on keys, I wanted to clown around with the audience and felt caged in behind my piano, so we hired a killer progressive synth guy, David Shimel. The five of us played for most of my stay in New York. Dave Bucci quit the business shortly thereafter because he hated New York City, and we began playing with hired guns.”
It was then that Dom made use of his music theatre training from college and landed the lead in the Rock Of Ages touring company. “Right now I’m promoting the album through the tour, which is incredible,” he explains. “I get about 100 times the exposure through Rock Of Ages than I would have gotten busting my ass playing bars in NYC. I play for thousands a night and sign copies of the album after the show. I even signed a couple pairs of boobs and a pregnant woman’s belly in L.A. three weeks ago. So the exposure is wonderful. I mean, it’s not like random girls were throwing their boobs at me to sign in New York!”
Ethan adds, “When Dom has time off from the tour, we will be back out playing as many shows as we can.” And Dom also plans on putting things back together when he gets back from the tour. “Right now the band members are a little loose, and it’s hard for me to lock people down being on the road. So on the album it’s really just Ethan and I. But as soon as I can stay in one place long enough, I hope to fix that with some more permanent guys,” he says.
Dom grew up exposed to a lot of styles of music, from what he calls his “rock star dad,” who brought out the classic rock, blues and British invasion music, and growing up in Miami exposed him to Latin and reggae. Adding in his musical theatre, piano studies covering jazz and classical, and his finding progressive metal, country, and soul, he pretty much has it covered.
The name of the band is obviously a twist on his own, but really was a case where they needed a moniker for their first live show. “Because I was the lead singer, our drummer thought it would be clever as hell to call our act Domin8trx,” remembers Dom. “I hated it, but everyone else laughed their asses off and that’s kind of how that happened.”
Dom wants to keep the eclectic mix of genres, and even bring back the glory days of rock concerts. “Most people these days are either great musicians but poor showmen, or they’re great with a crowd but make shitty music,” he says. “Music is important, but if you don’t know how to put on a show, I’d rather just listen to a CD. Back in the day, rock shows were filled with raw, infectious energy that left people screaming for hours. Eventually, I want to create a whole new form of entertainment in the music world; something that can combine all different types of art forms and technologies but is still inspired by the types of shows put on by the iconic ‘rock stars’ of the past century. Energetic, musically impressive, honest shows with a sense of spectacle and improvisation.”
You can get more information about Domin8trx at domscott.com, facebook.com/domscottrocks, or facebook.com/domin8trx. The new CD, Carousel, is available through iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.