As we reviewed the storming Domenica’s debut album ‘The Luxury’ in the magazine, we thought we’d catch up and find out all about them, and give you lucky readers an insight into what makes this band tick.
Who are you and what do you do?
Bekki Friesen – Songwriter/rhythm guitarist/vocals
Joshua Bedry – Lead guitarist
Kurtis Wittmier – Bass
Steve Hrycyshyn – Drums
How did you get started?
Bekki: Domenica started in the summer of 2004. I’d been trying to put together a band for a long time but was having trouble finding the right mix of people. I was interning at a recording studio at the time, and someone who worked there told me they’d ‘assemble’ the right people for the project. We all met for the at a pub, kind of like a blind date, but when we all saw each other we actually all knew each other. Steve and I went to school together for many years as kids, and Steve and Kurtis knew each other through a music school they had worked at. Josh was dating a close friend of mine at the time he joined the band, so he was already in the family. We started collaborating on song arrangements immediately, and before we knew it we were out touring and building the track listing for our first CD.
What have you got going on at the moment?
Bekki: We’ve got a lot of touring to do outside of North America and some more music videos to organize. Lots of fun stuff. Then we’ve got to start arranging the songs for album number two so we can get into the studio before summer’s over.
Favourite music and why?
Bekki: I like darker/more aggressive undertones with quirky/obscure bits and major hooks. System of a Down and Radiohead are my favourite bands. I also like the more recent Silverchair stuff a lot. On the pop side, Mother Mother’s O My Heart is my favourite new CD – highly recommended to quirky/weird pop lovers
Josh: I’m into anything progressive, whether its rock, metal, hip hop or punk rock.
Steve: That one’s tough because I can listen to hard rock one day and jazz the next one.
Favourite book and why?
Bekki: ‘This is Your Brain on Music’ by Daniel Levitin.
Josh: ‘Milk It’ by Jim DeRogatis.
Kurtis: ‘Breakfast of Champions’ by Kurt Vonnegut.
Steve: The comics in the Saturday paper..
Favourite film and why?
Bekki: Anchorman, it’s a ‘dumb comedy’ classic. Also, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas is just so great. It’s exceptionally well done.
Kurtis: Children of Men. It is intense and unpredictable (unless you read the book first), has a cool premise.
Steve: Bruce Almighty, beautiful.
Best experience in the business?
Bekki: The tours we’ve been doing lately have resulted in a lot of new friends, both from bands and the people who come out to the show. We’re pretty much in the process of building a transnational network of friends and when you can go to any city, play a rock show, and meet up with people you’ve come to know and have a great time, that’s my favourite part about this band. Best ‘experiences’ of the business. Although writing songs with Marcos (P.O.D) and getting to track them in Matt Sorum’s private Hollywood studio has definitely been a highlight for us so far.
Steve: The best experience is just meeting new friends everywhere and when you come back to that city they are there and ready to rock out with you.
Why should soundscape readers care?
Bekki: Its hard to make people care if they haven’t actually seen what we do first hand. Our capacity to rock a live stage is often largely underestimated in a lot of places, but being the underdogs in that sense leaves more room to completely blow people away, so it works to our advantage a lot.
Steve: Well the first part is we aren’t just a typical band showing up and hiding in the dressing room or backstage. We’re upfront supporting the other bands and hanging out with our friends/fans. Whether it’s borrowing our equipment cause there’s just won’t work or rocking out up front. I guess the biggest thing is that we are so grateful just having them there and to support us.
Tell our readers an interesting fact about your band?
Josh: I lived on a recording studio couch for 2 months to save up money for touring.
Kurtis: Though we appear hard, mysterious, and dangerous… we are really gentle, sensitive and caring people who adore cats.
Bekki: …I prefer dogs!
Who are your role models/idols?
Bekki:Tracy Bonham & Tina Fey.
Josh: Mike Patton.
Steve: Buddy Rich.
Hardest thing about the current business?
Bekki: It’s all hard, but it’s a game of persistence and resiliency. We never expected things to be easy for us, or assumed we’d get special treatment along the way. We’re doing this because we love to and we take the rest with a grain of salt!
Kurtis: Trying to stay afloat financially and keeping a job so you have a source of income every time you get home from touring.
Steve: Yeah, trying to have enough cash flow to keep you going. And of course trying to stay healthy on the road. Sickness is a major downfall in performance and of course with everyone in close quarters in the van.