Born and raised in Fremantle, singer/songwriter Dom Mariani formed THE STEMS in the summer of 1983. The band debuted alongside the Triffids and the Saints in 1984 with a sound that fused underground 60’s garage rock with post-punk, R&B and classic pop. A succession of independent records all made number one on the Australian alternative charts and along with the Hoodoo Gurus and the Sunnyboys, THE STEMS were one of only a handful of bands that cracked the mainstream charts.
Their 1987 debut album, “At First Sight Violets Are Blue” became one of the best-selling Australian albums of that year despite receiving virtually no commercial airplay in the corporate FM-dominated 80s. Rolling Stone named “At First Sight Violets Are Blue” one of the top 100 releases of all time. It eventually went Gold and still continues to sell strongly today.
After the demise of THE STEMS in 1987, Dom returned in 1990 with THE SOMELOVES. The band’s first and only LP of guitar-driven pop, “Something or Other”, won seven 1990 Western Australian Music (WAMI) Awards. Dom also collected the award for most outstanding songwriter that year.
The promise of THE SOMELOVES was short-lived and contractual problems would not see a new release from Dom for another three years. He returned to live gigging with a new outfit, DM3, which became one of Australia’s greatest exponents of what was dubbed ‘power pop’. DM3’s debut single, the Mariani-penned “Foolish”, was released in April ’93 and took out the most outstanding single at the WAMIs.
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 for its melodic pop hooks, cool vocals and high energy rock’n’roll guitar. It sold well in Australia, Europe and the US, and two Europeans tours followed.
Album number two, “Road To Rome”, was also mixed by Mitch Easter and lauded internationally as one of the best albums for ’96 of its genre. “Rippled Soul”, DM3’s third album, was more diversely structured and well received at home and overseas. DM3 eventually split at the end of ’99.
Fast forward to 2011 and a once-again reunited and reinvigorated DM3 performed at South by South West in Austin, Texas and toured Europe and the east coast. DM3’s best-of record “One Time, Two Times, Three Times More” and a live set “Live at Roskilde” have seen DM3 return to the live scene in 2014.
Dom released his first solo album “Homespun Blues and Greens” in 2004. He continues to tour Europe where he is a popular drawcard, touring with the Stems in 2003 and as a solo artist on the release of his anthology “Popsided Guitar” in 2005.
THE INSTRUMENTAL SIDE
Dom hinted at something more than just a passing interest in instrumental music with The Stonefish “From 20,000 Fathoms”.
With a nod to influences such as the Ventures, the Shadows, Link Wray, Ennio Morricone and Ultra Lounge Sounds, Dom took a left turn from the pop world and found the musical road less travelled headed straight to the beach. He formed THE MAJESTIC KELP and in 2003 released “Underwater Casino”. A second MAJESTIC KELP album, “Music to Chase Cars By”, was released in 2006 and their most recent, “Turn Up the Sun” was released in August 2013 on CD, iTunes and vinyl.
RETURN OF THE STEMS
Reforming in 2003 for a series of reunion tours, THE STEMS went on to release their second album in 20 years: the critically acclaimed “HEADS UP” in 2007. A world tour followed where they played to enthusiastic audiences in the US (including South by South West) and Europe.
Much to their fans’ delight, THE STEMS continue to play sell-out gigs. A new line-up consisting of Ashley Naylor (Even, Paul Kelly) played the 2013 Dig it Up Festival and supported the re-formed Sunnyboys in 2014.
Dom’s involvement in other projects includes THE DOMNICKS, his collaboration with former Clash member Nick Sheppard. The band’s debut album “Super Real” garnered positive reviews.
In 2015 Dom’s hard-rocking psychedelic blues outfit DATURA, a collaboration with former You Am I/ Monarchs guitarist Greg Hitchcock, will release an eagerly awaited new album.