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Interview with Charlie Dominici, vocalist of Dominici PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 07 July 2008

By Jill Hughes

USA Progressive Music: What made you come up with the idea of putting together a trilogy of albums?   Charlie Dominici

Charlie Dominici: I was writing this story when I realized it was going to be more than what would fit on one CD so I gave myself 3 CDs to fit it all into. When we got to the final part, I almost had to do a double CD but I managed to squeeze the final part into one CD.

USAProgMusic:  What was your inspiration for the storyline for Part 3 album?

Charlie: Basically the news and current events of the last 20 years or so. It pretty much sums up my view of things as they are and as they might be.

USAProgMusic: Are there any vocal techniques you did on this latest album that you experimented with or haven’t done before?

Charlie: I used a lot of softer singing styles to accentuate the lyrics as well as powering out when the time was right. I had a lot more freedom with my own project than I did with any other bands that I was just a singer for.

USAProgMusic: How did your band line-up come to be? What were you looking for in musicians when you put together your band? 

Charlie: After writing and recording part 1, which is now only available by emailing me for an autographed copy, I wanted to find a band to do the next 2 parts with. I was talking with Mike Portnoy backstage one night and he suggested that I put an ad on the Italian Dreamers fan site. I really didn't want a Dream Theater (DT) cover band but I put the ad up anyway. After receiving many CDs and tapes from some great musicians, I was about to give up because I really wanted a band that was already together and not a DT cover band. Finally I got a package from the band Solid Vision who was located in Sardegna, Italy. I knew right away that they could do what I had envisioned for the last 2 CDs.

USAProgMusic: So it was rumored you were moving to Europe, has this happened or are you still located in the U.S.?

Charlie: I moved from San Diego [California] to Hungary last year to be closer to the band. I lived in Hungary for a year but now I have relocated to my home – New York.  There's no place like home!

USAProgMusic:  How often are you able to get together with your band since you are so widespread?

Charlie: Lately it is not easy to get together with them but I am only a plane ride away and a lot closer than I was when I was living in San Diego. I needed to get back to New York to try and take the band to the next level. I didn't want to get into a rut of playing local shows in small clubs in Europe so I am back in the States to try and get us national attention.

USAProgMusic: How do you think your voice has changed in the past 20 years since you were in Dream Theater?

Charlie: I really don't think my voice has changed much. It might seem that way for someone who has only heard me sing on the When Dream And Day Unite CD but that CD did not represent my voice as it really is. I'm happy to be doing my own project now where I can sing the way I want to.

USAProgMusic: Why do you still publicize yourself as “former vocalist of Dream Theater”? Is this a PR move by the label or do you feel that it is a way for people to identify you? Would you like to get to a point where you can say “frontman for Dominici” and leave out the Dream Theater reference?

Charlie: I would like to be known as the vocalist for Dominici but it seems that the DT reference is omnipresent at least for a while longer. I guess it's better than people saying, Charlie who?

USAProgMusic:  How is your relationship with Dream Theater now?  I noticed you opened for them in Europe last year. How was that experience?

Charlie: We are and always have been like family. I was delighted to open for them last summer and it was a fantastic experience. The crowds seemed to dig the band and we got a lot of attention from that little tour in Europe.

USAProgMusic: What do you think the most important thing is you have learned being in the music industry all of these years?

Charlie: The more things change the more they stay the same. Even though it is very different now in the music business with the advent of the internet and such, things are still the same as far as how hard it is to reach the people. If you are in it for the money, you might as well quit now.

USAProgMusic: Is there any band you would like to sing with (whether together or disbanded)?  Any band(s) you would like to tour with?

Charlie: I have not really thought about singing with anyone else. I'm really happy doing my own project right now. I would tour with any band at this point just to get out there and play in front of as many people as possible!

USAProgMusic: How do you keep your voice strong after all of these years?  What are some of your own personal remedies when your voice is not at its best when you wake up some morning?

Charlie: I don't sing in the morning so it doesn't matter if my voice is not ready. If I did have a gig in the early part of the day, I would just do my usual hour of warm up exercises to loosen everything up. It's just like any sport where you have to stretch and loosen up first. I'm a pretty good tennis player and I know it is a bad idea to play tennis without stretching first. It's the same for singing.

USAProgMusic: What are some of your stretching or warm-up exercises before you go on stage?

Charlie: Basically stretching my body and warming up my voice with some scales and such. With this kind of music it is a lot of singing in the "mask" which enables you to sing high notes with more power. You basically want to loosen up everything so the voice flows off of the throat and into the mask, which is the front of the head.

USAProgMusic:  Will you be touring the U.S. in the near future?

Charlie: I hope so! Tell everyone to play our CDs on the air so we can tour!

USAProgMusic: Anything you’d like to say to your U.S. audience?

Charlie:  Thanks for listening and we hope to see you all soon in concert! 


For more information on Dominici:             

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