How Keanu Reeves’ Mediocre ’90s Rock Band Dogstar Conquered the World4 min read
Keanu sings a tune or two with Dogstar, as bass gamers are normally permitted to do. He handles direct vocals on “Isabelle,” which he tells people is about his friend’s three-12 months-old daughter, and “Round C,” which he tells people is about cheese. Singing onstage feels astounding, he suggests, since it reminds him of the greatest sections of being an actor: “When you can truly feel it, your blood thrills, it is actual physical, your heart is open.” But generally he retains his head down and plays the bass. Domrose likes to say that when he’s onstage with Dogstar he’s often seeking out at a sea of left ears, simply because everyone’s eyes are locked on Keanu as he thumps away at phase suitable.
In 1997, Spin sends the writer Benjamin Weissman to stick to the band on tour. Denied an interview, Weissman documents a “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold”–style produce-all over that lands on the ostensibly perplexing issue of what it is Keanu sees in these doofs he’s sharing a bus with. The response in fact seems pretty obvious: these doofs pay for Keanu the probability to cling out and be a doof as effectively, to consume beer on a bus whilst postponing answering the much larger and more challenging problem of how he’s likely to make a living as an actor if he no extended feels like building motion pictures like Chain Response and no person would like to pay back to see him in Emotion Minnesota.
What the fellas in the band get out of this is noticeable. They are in their thirties and have been kicking close to the leisure industry for a whilst and just one imagines that when the features start out coming in, Keanu just cannot just turn them down unilaterally and forsake business improvement to enjoy by Fugazi regulations just for the reason that he helps make $10 million for each image and does not need the income. So Dogstar excursions before they’ve even produced a file and indicators a deal with the major-label- affiliated Zoo Entertainment, and generally finishes up sending out combined alerts about how severe a band they’re supposed to be. Their debut album, Our Little Visionary, is released only in Japan. It seems a minor like a shop-brand name Foo Fighters and a little like a generic Goo Goo Dolls and a little like any of a thousand other fewer fortuitous postgrunge outfits who managed a hit song or two just before tumbling back into the crab-bucket of the midnineties option-rock scene, other than in its place of a hit one Dogstar experienced Keanu.
This is obviously a double-edged sword for the men in the band who were being not the star of Velocity. They have access to unbelievable possibilities that only a masochist would choose edge of. Mainly because they are Keanu’s band, lots of men and women are keen for them to suck, and this is in particular correct of the massive, blended crowds they perform in front of at rock festivals. They get pelted with fruit at Glastonbury and splattered with mud at Milwaukee Steel Fest, where by they’ve someway been booked as aspect of a lineup that consists of bands like Cannibal Corpse and Deicide, and where they annoy every person by playing a include of “New Minglewood Blues” by the Grateful Useless. Yet another deal with tune in their repertoire is the Carpenters strike “Superstar,” a depressive ballad about a pop singer who abandons the narrator right after a one-night time stand but carries on to haunt her as a voice on the radio. In interviews Keanu denies that there’s any particular motive they determine to record this 1. It is on their next album, Happy Ending, which comes out in 2000. The include is a very simple black-and-white photo of the band standing towards a stone wall Keanu is on the remaining, eyes downcast, however striving to go unnoticed.
Dogstar played their closing US demonstrate in July 2001, in Laughlin, Nevada, and—while it is in some way tough to picture a band this extremely nineties current right after 9/11—played their final display ever in 2002, at the Ebisu Backyard garden Hall in Tokyo. Mailhouse goes on to play drums in a band named Becky the singer is his girlfriend, Authentic World: Seattle alumnus Rebecca Lord, and Keanu performs a tiny bass on their one album, 2006’s Acquire It on the Chin. Years later, when the community-going through section of the Dogstar point is all about, the guys in the band who weren’t Keanu will give interviews stating it was tricky to know if they had been ever actually achieving people today as a band, or if persons would have compensated to stand in a modest club or a big arena and view Keanu do just about anything—card methods, sock puppetry, mime. They will say this as if they did not know what the answer was the complete time.
Excerpt from the new e-book Keanu Reeves: Most Triumphant by Alex Pappademas revealed by Abrams Impression ©2022.