Keanu's Dogstar Finally Hits U.S. Stores
by Robert Mancini
Ten years after forming in Los Angeles and four years after delivering "Our Little Visionary" to foreign shores, Dogstar finally makes its U.S. debut this week with the arrival of "Happy Ending."
Ordinarily, such a development wouldn't attract much attention, but given that the band's bass player is "The Matrix" star and full-blown Hollywood heavyweight Keanu Reeves, Dogstar's arrival has been turning heads.
Reeves first started jamming with drummer and fellow actor Rob Mailhouse some ten years ago, and the duo snagged guitarist/vocalist Bret Domrose shortly thereafter to begin what would be a long trek to U.S. stores.
"It's very exciting," Reeves told MTV News on the eve of the album's release.
While copies of "Our Little Visionary" had found their way to the States as imports, Mailhouse suggests that the band's official U.S. debut is a departure from that effort, noting that "Happy Ending" offers "more textures, more instruments, more melody."
"And a little more range," Reeves added.
Considering that Keanu's day job keeps him in high demand, the notion that Dogstar could gel and develop as a band might come as a surprise. However, Mailhouse explained, "We play together a lot... more than people think. There's a good four or five months of the year where we're all playing. We all live very close to each other, and I have a rehearsal studio in my house. That's probably why we've been together so long, because of those healthy breaks."
"We've also gone on location where Keanu is shooting," Domrose added. "We went to Australia and hung out for a couple of weeks and wrote a couple of songs. We try to squeeze it in anywhere, anyway we can."
"When we jump in, we do it pretty intensely," Reeves noted. "[We'll] rehearse eight hours a day for couple of weeks, and then go on tour... 40 shows in 50 nights."
The band also noted that its time apart is almost as productive as its time together, at least in terms of helping the group develop some perspective on its work.
"After that time off, sometimes when we get back, it's almost like after a fire. Everything's clear, the field is fallow," Reeves explained. "You come back and say, 'Who are we now? Where are we now?' as opposed to playing the same thing."
Ironically, as the band is delivering its U.S. debut, it has a little downtime on the horizon. The group has lined up some promotional appearances this week (including an in-store in New York on Tuesday and a record release party in Hollywood on Friday), but currently has no plans to launch a full-on tour in support of "Happy Ending."
"We're not getting in the bus and going across the States, but hopefully we'll get to play festivals and do some shows in late summer or early fall," Reeves said.