Catching up with the world of Dom

American boy
By BARRY THOMPSON  |  May 11, 2012

main_Dom_480
IT'S SO SEXY Now a resident of Brooklyn, Dom longs for his old Worcester neighborhood: "I really do miss being surrounded by filth," he says.

In many respects, the much-ballyhooed demise of the so-called "rock star" is a real thing. For the most part, nobody's looking to anyone from the current crop of celebrity pop artists to be a "voice of their generation." Much like last year, a cursory glance at the big-ticketers swooping into the Comcast Center this summer — Dave Matthews, Linkin Park, Iron Maiden — suggests that no one's gotten famous for playing rock music since the Bush 2.0 years. Spin even declared Marilyn Manson the last rock star in 2007, which was kind of ominous considering his "Antichrist" persona.

But pundits decrying these phenomena all begin with the fundamental presumption that rock music is macrocosmically significant, and therefore, rock stars are "important," if not necessarily famous. Contemporary indie-rock luminaries who present themselves as down to earth, well-adjusted professionals in interviews, such logic follows, are operating under the same principle. For them, the stakes are too high to risk making asses of themselves.

But what if rock and roll isn't, and never was, "important," and rock stardom can be mutually exclusive of notoriety? If so, Dom is keeping the rock-star dream alive, albeit incidentally, by reveling in it. Sure, he's only "famous" to people who assume everyone knows what Pitchfork is. But Dom, whose eponymous psych-pop ensemble hits the Brighton Music Hall Friday, exudes aw-shucks charisma and unapologetic excess, and never tells reporters his last name. He also happens to be a pop musician. These things make him a rock star. Let's be grateful for that. Under different circumstances, dude would've made an outstanding cult leader.

The 24-year-old former Worcester vagabond arose from total anonymity to global indie-sphere illustriousness with 2010's low-fi treasure Sun Bronzed Greek Gods and sealed the deal with a more polished/better-funded EP in 2011, Family of Love. Recently, he spaced on our interview, then called me back the following afternoon, nursing a doozy of a hangover.

Hair-of-the-dogging himself back to reality during the next hour, he covered virtually every topic of potential interest imaginable: his relationship with his manager ("The last text I received from him was, 'Are you okay?' "), homesickness for Worcester ("I really do miss being surrounded by filth"), and the advantages of the Brooklynian existence he's lived for the past year ("It makes things a helluva lot easier, as far as paperwork is concerned. Plus, I get shit fucked every night of the week for free").

Dom also notes his struggles with assholery. "I've made a lot mistakes over the past two years, just like any other point in my life," he says. "It was a result of bridging the gap from when people don't give you any credit, to the next day when they give you too much. That'll fuck with anybody's head." We also discuss his performing while tripping balls at the Sydney Opera House, chewing out Cate Blanchett, and the time his label encouraged him to seek therapy after he sent them a seven-part horror porn he shot in a photo booth.

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