Keanu Reeves takes to musical stage -- with Dogstar
by Paul Vercammen
HOLLYWOOD, California (CNN) -- Actor Keanu Reeves is embarking on yet another excellent adventure -- with a rock band called Dogstar.
The actor-turned-rocker plays bass with the trio, which wants to create an identity of its own rather than be known simply as Keanu Reeves' band.
Reeves, known for his roles in such films as "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" and "Speed," is enjoying his diversion from screen acting.
Reeves says he likes the live aspects of playing music to audiences.
Dogstar also includes singer-songwriter-guitarist Bret Domrose and Rob Mailhouse on drums.
Sitting next to each other for a CNN interview, the three band members proudly showed a CD cover design of a big yellow sunflower.
"They just gave us this today, It's sort of what the album cover is going to look like," the band members said, chiming in on each other's words.
Dogstar's debut full-length CD "Little Visionary" is due out in September. A four-song disc, "Quartro Fromaggi," is out now.
"If you like Radiohead, Tom Petty and REM you might like Dogstar," said Domrose.
"That's a pretty bold thing to say," said Mailhouse.
"OK, I'll say that our record goes in that section of the store," laughed Domrose.
Reeves draws more attention to the band
With a well-known Hollywood actor in the trio, Dogstar has received more attention than most fledgling bands. It's also received more scrutiny from critics.
"It's not like we're trying to cure prostate cancer," said Mailhouse.
Dogstar members say some critics don't pay attention to their live performances and just focus on Reeves.
"It's like they are going 'I can't hear you,'" said Reeves.
"You wonder if they actually showed up. They don't mention any song title. They don't mention how we played individually, they just say 'everyone actually came to see Keanu,'" said Domrose.
But critics aren't the only ones paying attention to the band. The fans who go to see the group perform are enthusiastic. Some hold up signs asking Reeves to marry them, while others wait around for autographs from the movie star.
"People were actually having fun. They were screaming really loud when Keanu took the stage," said Mailhouse.
Reeves, however, says he's not abandoning the stage over the screen. Suggestions that he dropped out of "Speed II" to jam with Dogstar aren't true, the actor says.
"It was a personal choice," said Reeves.
Reeves concedes planning a tour with two careers is difficult because neither industry offers any guarantees.
"The music and the acting are both fickle, so you never know. Sometimes you can count on something in the future, or you have something planned or sometimes you don't. Sometimes things you plan for fall through," said Reeves.
For now, Reeves' plan is to keep reading lines for film and laying down bass lines for Dogstar.