Watch: KEANU REEVES's Rock Band DOGSTAR Plays First Live Show In More Than Two Decades
May 28, 2023
Keanu Reeves's 1990s and early 2000s grunge band DOGSTAR played its first concert following a two-decade-long hiatus on Saturday (May 27) at the BottleRock music festival in Napa Valley, California. Reeves and his bandmates — singer-guitarist Bret Domrose and drummer Rob Mailhouse — debuted new music from their forthcoming album, including a song called "Glimmer".
Fan-filmed video of the concert can be seen below.
DOGSTAR, which hadn't performed live since October 2002, announced its return on Instagram last summer and has been posting regular updates on the progress of its recording sessions.
Regarding DOGSTAR's plans for a new album, Reeves told Billboard ahead of the BottleRock show: "I think all three of us just said, 'Well, if we're going to do this, let's make a record.'" Domrose added: "We just knew that there was 'X' amount of time, and we needed to make the most of it. We just locked on as wanting to make this record, and it happened pretty quickly."
DOGSTAR's upcoming LP was helmed by producer Dave Trumfio (WILCO, BUILT TO SPILL). "[Dave] understood where we were coming from," said Mailhouse, "and worked really well with Bret, layering guitars and doing lots of different sounds and ambient things — things that weren't just hard rock, in-your-face music, [but] a little more textural."
DOGSTAR's next release will be the band's first collection of new music since its 2000 sophomore effort "Happy Ending".
In a recent Instagram post, Reeves and his DOGSTAR bandmates confirmed that they will begin making some of its new music available this summer.
"Thank you everyone for the kind comments. We are overjoyed to see such a response," the band wrote. "Honestly, didn't expect this. It makes us want to play out even more.
"We will be rolling out some new music this summer, followed by some gigs. As soon as it's all figured out we will let everyone know immediately. So much to do, but rest assured, we are on it and have assembled a fantastic team that are helping us. We are also going to make a music video to support our first tune. That's all I can say now.
"Can't wait to share our new music with everyone. It's the most satisfying and meaningful batch of songs we've ever done. Thanks again for being so patient with us. We truly have the best, most loyal fans!"
Reeves co-founded DOGSTAR in 1991, and the band subsequently released two albums, toured with BON JOVI and opened a show for David Bowie. Keanu handled bass and backing vocals for DOGSTAR, but eventually his increasing fame made it difficult to find time for the project, and the band broke up in 2002. He later played in the spinoff group BECKY with DOGSTAR drummer, co-founder and actor Robert Mailhouse, but he left that band after just a year.
In a 2019 interview with GQ, Reeves shared a fond memory from when DOGSTAR was inexplicably booked at the 1992 Milwaukee Metal Fest, alongside acts like AGNOSTIC FRONT, CANNIBAL CORPSE, OBITUARY and DEICIDE.
"We played Milwaukee Metal Fest. Got killed. I think we played close to [New York hardcore punk legends] MURPHY'S LAW. Imagine," Reeves told GQ. "So we played a GRATEFUL DEAD cover, at Milwaukee Metal Fest. We were, like, 'They hate us. What are we doing here? What can we do? Let's do THE GRATEFUL DEAD cover…They were just like, Fuck you, you suck. I had the biggest grin on my face, man."
Can’t think of better way to return back on stage. What a beautiful day spent with the lovely people at BottleRock.
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