Thursday, 18 February 2010 14:14
Dominic Maresco, aka Dom, is the drummer and one of the vocalists of the reggae/ska band The Supervillains. The band will be performing at Common Grounds on Friday February 19. In this interview Dom tells us a little about touring, weed and their missing trumpet player.
By MacKensie Gibson; Images from the Supervillains MySpace page
What bands have influenced you and your music style?
A lot of reggae, a lot of punk rock, people, artists, Suicide Machines, NOFX. You know, a lot of reggae, Bob Marley. Right now I’m really into some Elvis Costello, the English Beat, Madness, just like weird 80’s ska rock, I don’t know what you would call that. New wave?
I really like your version of “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” by Billy Joel, are you all fans?
Me, in particular, when I was growing up I listened to the radio in the car. That would be the kind of songs I would hear sitting in the car with my folks. Later in life when I could download music, I came across the song and Billy Joel’s one of the best songwriters around. You know the “yak yak yak” part is really fun for the crowd.
How did you decide on “The Supervillains” as your band name?
You know a lot of people ask me that, and I don’t really have an answer for them. When we started practicing together, it just kind of popped out. We were sitting around one day. I wish we would’ve called ourselves like “Awesome” or something. “Come out and see Awesome tonight!” No, “Rad Awesome.” You know if I had a time machine.
What’s your favorite thing about touring?
Coming home (laughs) yea, that’s my favorite part. Touring is crazy. It’s fun but you know you miss home, you miss your family, you miss your own bed, taking a shower when you want to. I love my dog, I miss my dog a lot. Yeah, coming home. That’s my answer.
Do you have any pre-concert traditions to get you pumped up?
We like to drink a lot, and we like to smoke. I like to smoke a cigarette on the way. That’s my thing. I like to think about the crowd, think about who I’m gonna play for. Get myself pumped up. We like to roll the dice sometimes. Sometimes we’ll start that NBA game for Xbox, we would start a game and get the first quarter done 10 minutes before the show then put it on pause. If I’m 10 points up I go on stage feelin’ good.
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened at one of your concerts?
Matter of fact, in Gainesville two or three times ago, I told the crowd that I would give them a free shirt if they came on stage and let our merch(andise) guy spit in his mouth, and one guy came up and did. I mean SPIT in his mouth. It was brutal. The crowd went nuts. It was pretty funny.
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
That’s a good question. I could be so many good things. I could be a bird or something, maybe a fish. A fish, definitely a fish. I don’t know what I would be. How about those people that open and close the drawbridges? A drawbridge operator or a tugboat captain maybe. You know what I mean, if you’re a bird you don’t have to buy plane tickets. You wanna go to the Caribbean? You just fly.
Your first album came out around 2000, how and when did you all first get together?
It came out in maybe ‘97 or ‘98. You can’t really find that record, “self-titled.” There’s no real record name. I really want to map out how all that happened. We have five full-length albums at this point and we’re working on another one now. We’re about to start recording for it in April.
I read that your trumpet player, Cardo, left the band, what’s it like playing without him?
Yeah he died…
Nah, I’m just kidding. It happened like six months ago. It’s gone on for a while you know. Usually when people ask, we say he died so they feel bad for asking. He went back to school. We’re still really close, we still love him. I mean what can you do? You just keep on truckin’. We probably won’t find another trumpet player. If we add anything it’ll probably be a piano player.
You have songs featuring Slightly Stoopid’s Kyle MacDonald and Jack Ruby JR. Do all reggae/ska bands hang out together or does it get competitive?
There’s no competition, it’s all love. I mean we’re all friends. Last night I was with Fishbone and the English Beat and that’s why I’m so hung over. I’m like hugging, hugging, hugging, hugging.
In your song “Crippy Weed” you make your stance on legalizing weed pretty clear. Have you all had bad experiences with the police in the past?
We were driving from San Diego to Arizona, you can see Mexico easy. It’s like right there. The whole interstate has checkpoints. They put a dog in the bus; it smelled, got hair everywhere. They pulled us over and told us what the dog was trained to look for and they didn’t find anything, but they said next time they will. We’re like whatever. We had to get rid of all our California stuff before we left because we had a lot of chronic, that was sad. We had to smoke Mexican dirt weed instead. I shouldn’t say Mexican, it’s actually Arizona dirt weed but it’s the same thing.
What are some of your favorite songs to perform at concerts and why?
Anything I sing. I like to perform. I like to sing. I like the drums and all that, but I like to sing more. “Movin’ out” is fun. I like to sing “Resin” ‘cause the crowd gets into that and I like to sing “Little Girl, Little Girl” ‘cause it’s difficult to sing. Yea, pretty much the songs that I sing. Not slow reggae tracks.
The Supervillains will be performing Friday February 19 at Common Grounds with Boss Lady & the Company, The Crazy Carls and Blue. Doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10.