airly highly touted by British media publications, dark indie rockers The Domino State spoke to Noted as they prepare their second album, off the back of their well-received 2010 release Uneasy Lies The Crown. The album was a collection of intense, loud and decidedly British indie songs with shoegaze tendencies, and it was no wonder they caught the attention of so many. Three years on – what’s changed? And where do they go next?
Massive crowd, huge space – we were a bit like rabbits caught in the headlights
Noted: Great to be able to speak to you. For the uninitiated, tell us a bit about the formation of the band.
The Domino State: The Domino State sort of fell together – a few of us were in a band called At The Lake together. The bass player of that band moved to Australia, and we had a choice of either calling it a day or trying something else. That’s how The Domino State started. There have been some subsequent personnel changes and additions, departures and arrivals, but we’ve been in a pretty stable line up for three of four years now.
Noted: Your 2010 album ‘Uneasy Lies The Crown’ was highly acclaimed by several UK publications. What are your thoughts on the album as we head to nearly three years since its release?
The Domino State: We’re proud of the album – I think it’s an album in the traditional sense of a set of songs that work together and given each other context. It has a good narrative – a good flow. It is, however, now getting on for three years old and we’ve moved on. We’re not interested in making the same album again, and we’re not going to.
Noted: You seem to have established quite the fanbase in Germany. Is there an element of surrealism having fans from other countries?
The Domino State: Not really – it was really exciting when we were first invited over to Berlin and Hamburg to play our first shows there, but the world is a small place and the people you meet are people who are into music and going to see bands. No one is interested in discussing the fact that we’re from different countries. People just want to hear good music. Germany has been very good to us, and we love going there, and long may that continue.
Noted: You’ve supported Coldplay and toured with M83, but what has been your favourite gig? Is there anywhere you’re dying to play but haven’t had the opportunity to?
The Domino State: Apart from the two things you’ve mentioned, we’ve had some good, fun and chaotic times at festivals. Especially Glastonbury, which is always a big adventure. I think we’d all really like to do more shows in other countries. We’ve had an invite to Portugal that we want to follow up. Scandinavia would be cool. We’d love to get out to Peru, where we’ve had some support. We regularly get people asking us via Facebook when we’re going to come and do a show in their town, city or country – the answer is always ‘when we’re invited’, so nag your local promoter into booking us.
The interaction with fans helps keep us going. It’s a constant reminder that what you’re doing is appreciated
Noted: What was it like to support Coldplay? Were you well received by their fans?
The Domino State: Supporting Coldplay was an amazing, overwhelming experience, and their fans were very hospitable and made us feel very welcome. On a practical level, it was a very interesting insight into what an art it is to handle a show that size. Massive crowd, huge space – we were a bit like rabbits caught in the headlights, but we got through it and we had a great time, and we got a good response. You need to know what you’re doing, though. It’s a skill that Coldplay have become the world masters at.
Noted: How are you coping with the current forms of interaction between bands and their fans, such as the endless forms of social media? Do you find it a help or a hindrance?
The Domino State: The interaction with fans helps keep us going. It’s a constant reminder that what you’re doing is appreciated, which is easy to forget when you’re holed up in the rehearsal room or studio. It’s always great to be able to post a new song on youtube and get immediate feedback (normally positive, which is good).
Noted: With a second album on the way, what are your hopes? Do you think it will receive the same attention as your debut, and have you noticed any development in your writing and recording practices?
We’ve had some good, fun and chaotic times at festivals. Especially Glastonbury, which is always a big adventure.
The Domino State: We hope that it will be a good album, and that people will like it. That’s it, really. The debut got some really good reviews and a lot of support from music sites and bloggers etc, hopefully that will continue. As mentioned above, though, we’re not recording the same album again. With the help of our producer, we’re experimenting with some more electronic elements, which some people who are guitar purists might not be comfortable with, but that’s tough. Listen to something else.
We still get people asking us why we didn’t stick exactly to what we did on our first single, like we missed the memo. The answer is because that would be really, really dull and we would’ve broken up years ago through boredom. If you like the first single, listen to the first single – easy! The new album isn’t finished yet, and we’re not sure how it’s going to end up, but we’re all excited by it. There are more people chipping in at the songwriting stage and we’re being a bit more experimental in places, while still including some good pop songs. It could be awful. We hope it’s great, who knows.