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Cult of Dom Keller - Interview

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 30 / 9 / 2016

Cult of Dom Keller - Interview


Anthony Strutt speaks to Nottingham/Leicester psychedelic hybrid the Cult of Dom Keller about their third album, 'Goodbye to the Light' at a gig in Leicester

The Cult of Dom Keller are a nu-psychedelic band that hail from Nottingham and Leicester. Long associated with the local, small psychedelic scene, they consist of Ryan Delgaudio on guitar and vocals, Jason Holt on bass and backing vocals, Neil Marsden on keyboards and vocals and Al Burns on drums. In their ten years together, they have released three albums, 'The Cult of Dom Keller' (2013), 'The Second Bardo'(2014) and this year's 'Goodbye to the Light'. Pennyblackmusic spoke to the Cult of Dom Keller about 'Goodbye to the Light', which has been released on the highly respected Fuzz Club Records, and its making at a gig at The Cookie in Leicester. PB: You have probably been asked this a million times before but who is Dom? JH: It's not a person. It's more like a feeling that we try to get across in the music. It's a name given to the music. There was a 1960’s underground film in Sweden about youth culture called ‘Dom Keller Os Mods’. We liked this film and it is taken from that. PB: When did you first form? RD: Our first gig was in about April 2007. We gigged pretty soon after we formed, and that first gig was only about three songs. I would say late 2006. It's all a bit hazy. PB: Were you all in bands before? RD: Everyone around this table has done there time in bands AB: Ryan was in a band called Terrashima. RD: We did a Peel Session. We did alright, but we were absolutely shit. We were better known for our stage act than the music which was sonic destruction. PB: You are about to release your third album, ‘Goodbye to the Light’. I believe your first two albums sold out instantly on vinyl. Would you say that you have a big following or a cult following? RD: I would say our fans are definitely die hard when we go to Europe. They are not just into the music, but they are into it massively. PB: How would you describe your sound? RD The thing with us is that is always hard to pigeon hole us. What we have heard in reviews over the years is that we are too heavy for one scene, too weird or dark for someone else. We are not poppy enough for this person, but I think a lot of people just think that we are too weird and strange. The thing is we don't sit right down and think, “Let's write a really strange song.” We just sit down and jam and think that is great, and then people say, “You are really psychedelic,” and it is like “We are not trying to be.” It just happens naturally. When we all play together, that's how it sounds. Psychedelic music is like a thought process. It's not like a brand of music to me. To be psychedelic is to play jangling guitars and have a sitar on everything. AB: When we first played the Austin Psych Festival, we were asked what do you think makes something psych, and we said, “If you have a tambourine on it.” PB: And the other illusion is that you have to be out of your head to enjoy it or write/perform it. JH: If you ever try to do that, record it and play it back. It's never generally any good. PB: I believe the first two albums were in coloured vinyl or splattered vinyl? NM: With the first one, its European version was just in black vinyl. There were two versions and the American one was in blue vinyl and in a cardboard sleeve, which was really nice actually. The second one, ‘The Second Bardo’, was meant to be in red and green splattered vinyl. AB: ‘The Second Bardo’ was meant to be coke bottle green and Uxbridge Road, but it didn't quite come out. PB: Does it costs the label lots to do these issues and experiments in colour. When it comes to colours, does the label give you free range? RD: They give us free range, but it can be a bit intimidating to be honest. JH: They sometimes add stuff like maybe an etching, which maybe we haven't asked. We think that it because they think that we might of told them to fuck off, but we would be more than happy with it. PB: Coloured vinyl versus Black? JH: We prefer coloured vinyl whenever possible. We wanted gold on one release but we did research into it and it sounds rubbish. We always try to keep it as audible. We always put a lot of thought into the layout and how it's going to look. The new one is in half white and half transparent white, but we still want it to sound audible because we care about that. We have nearly killed each other over it. PB: Are you all Nottingham based? RD: Neil and I are from Nottingham and the other two are Leicester-based. PB: You’re now on album number #3 which has come pout on the respected psych label Fuzz Club? Who released your first two albums? RD: ‘The Second Bardo’ was on Cardinal Fuzz. It is a fantastic label, which have brought a lot of bands to people's recognition, so hats off to them. Reverberation Society, whom do the Austin Psych Fest, put out our first with Mannequin, which is a Berlin-based label. Mannequin are not a psychedelic label. They do Cold Wave, which is like 80's electro and sort of gothic. Reverberation Society are very selective about what they put out. They have done the Black Angels. I think we are the only European band who have been PN on their label. That first album, 'The Cult of Dom Keller', is basically just our demos. They chased us, got us to play the Austin Psych festival, and said, “We will put your album out.” It was a big push for us. PB: How long did it take to write and record ‘Goodbye to the Light’? RD: It's been a year. We must have done about thirty demos that we all worked on. We played Yellowstock Festival in Belgium and were gigging a lot, and we started to put the demos together in the van. We felt that there was a bit of a theme going on in there. It's like chapters and stories. Some of these demos were as raw as fuck. Some were only thirty seconds long, while others were fully formed and some we changed into something different. We chose twelve of them before booking the studio. A few of them came from jamming so we credited it as a collective, but everything else was taken from an idea, that was brought forward whereas ‘The Second Bardo’ was almost entirely recorded from jams. JH: We wanted it to be a journey. We want you to put it on the first song and take it through to the what the fuck ending. I think we have done that. We wanted a narrative. It's a very dark album and comes from a dark place. PB: Do you have a final message? JH: Don't believe what you read. PB: Thank you.

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Cult of Dom Keller - Interview

Cult of Dom Keller - Interview

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