Emerging from the port city of Fremantle in Western Australia, Songwriter and guitarist Dom Mariani is a rock and roll stylist whose career has been an impressive one in achievement and creatively.
Recorded 18 albums over a 35+ year career to date with various bands and projects – he has travelled a songwriting road that has taken many twists and turns and has never wavered from excellence. He is also a West Australian Hall of Fame inductee.
Dom Mariani is best known for forming one of Australia’s most loved and respected bands of the mid to late 80’s THE STEMS. From their formation in the early summer of late 1983 to the end of 1987 THE STEMS with Dom at the helm as singer, songwriter and lead guitarist steadily infiltrated Australian radio, press and alternative charts, winning the hearts of critics and a legion of loyal fans. A succession of classic singles and a chart-topping LP “At First Sight-Violets are Blue” stirred interest as far a field as Europe and the US. But foremost it was his ability to write great songs and the bands electric live shows that made them stand out from the rest. The album would go on to achieve gold status selling over 35,000 copies.
After the demise of the THE STEMS Dom would return in 1990 with the THE SOMELOVES, a studio collaboration with friend Darryl Mather (Lime Spiders, Orange Humble Band) who’s first and only LP of guitar driven pop “Something or Other”, is considered as a minor pop masterpiece by critics and fans alike. The album went on to win seven “WAMI’s” (Western Australian Music Industry Awards) in 1990, with Dom also collecting the most outstanding songwriter award.
However, the promise of THE SOMELOVES was short lived and contractual problems would not see a new release from Dom for another 3 years. A return to live gigging during this time would play a big part in Dom’s resurgence in the music scene in the 90’s. Having finally secured a release from his record deal at the end of ‘92, the beginning of ‘93 would see the start of a new era for Dom and his new band DM3 as one Australia’s greatest exponents of guitar driven pop (referred to by aficionados as Power Pop). The debut single “FOOLISH” was released in April ’93 and heralded his return with another loud, tight, electric rock‘n‘roll outfit. The song would also take out the most outstanding single of that year at the WAMI awards and would also see Dom being inducted into the Western Australian Music Hall of Fame (WAM).
DM3’s first LP “ONE TIME TWO TIMES THREE RED LIGHT” (1993) mixed by legendary American producer MITCH EASTER (REM, PAVEMENT, SON VOLT, LETS ACTIVE, VELVET CRUSH) received widespread critical acclaim and sold throughout Australia, Europe and the US and was followed by European tours in ‘94 and ’95.
It would be another 3 years before DM3 were to release their second LP “ROAD TO ROME” (also mixed by Mitch Easter). Praised by critics of guitar driven pop in Australia, Europe and the US as one of the best albums for ’96 of it’s genre. Their fusion of melodic pop hooks, cool vocals and high energy rock’n’roll guitar earned them high praise and many new fans. In the same year they embarked on another successful European tour playing to packed houses across Spain, France and Scandinavia.
1998 would see the release of “RIPPLED SOUL”, the 3rd album from DM3. A more diversely structured album, the album was also well received by fans and critics alike in Australia, in Europe and the US.
DM3 would eventually split in at end of ’99 after touring Spain, France and Germany to return briefly for a short tour of Italy in March of 2001.
He released his first solo album “HOMESPUN BLUES AND GREENS” in 2004.
A reformation of THE STEMS would see the band release the critically acclaimed second album “HEADS UP” album in 2007 and tour the globe in 2008 to enthusiastic audiences playing concerts in the US (including the SXSW Festival in Austin Texas), United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Scandinavia.
The Stems continue to tour Australia, Japan and Europe on the back of reissues of their two seminal albums. In November 2018 THE STEMS were inducted into the West Australian Music Hall of Fame (WAM).
THE INSTRUMENTAL SIDE
Dom has been a long-time fan and dabbler of instrumental music, and during his career has hinted at something more than just a passing interest in the 1986 release by THE STONEFISH EP “FROM 20,000 FATHOMS”.
This brings us to THE MAJESTIC KELP.
An idea that had been around for some time finally came to life with the release of the album UNDERWATER CASINO in 2003. Having stockpiled a bag of tunes for what Dom had envisaged would be a simple surf guitar record, the jam sessions would take on a deeper and more diverse instrumental direction. With a nod to classic surf guitar influences, instrumental soundtracks and exotica, Dom would take a left turn from the guitar pop world.
The band would go on to release another three albums, “MUSIC TO CHASE CARS BY” (2006), “TURN UP THE SUN” (2013) and the critically acclaimed “HI SEAS” (2018).