Guitar August 1997

Dogma - A Breed Apart

The New York based hard rock quartet Dogma said they chose their band name with tongues planted firmly in cheek. "If you express the opinion that you shouldn't have a Dogma, then you are still creating one'" says singer-guitarist Phil Allocco elliptically.

Signed to King recordings, a Def Jam subsidiary, Dogma is the first rock band to work with this seminal rap label; yet the band doesn't consider the pairing unusual. "Rap was an alterntative to the mainstream, just like rock was [in it early days]", notes Allocco. "They bothe began in the streets."

If street life is the culture of dissatisfaction, Dogma's music certainly knows from rage. Songs like "Cancer" and "Held my Tongue" are heavy both musically and philisophically. "I'm not doing it to be preachy, " says Allocco an amiable Brooklynite. "I just put so much of my life into my songs. They're like a diary of how my mind works."

Dogma recorded its debut "Feeding the Future" at the legendary Bearsville Studio in upstate New York, where says Allocco, guitarist Randy Dzielack "found a love for Les Paul's" --Allocco's guitar of choice. A Gibson explorer loyalist until his conversion, Dzielack now owns a honeyburst and a 1960 goldtop. The Les Paul's Dzieloack points out "have a lot more beef, and you can get a lot more sounds than the explorer."

As Dogma's newest member Dzielack joins bassist Sean Carmody and drummer Dave Femia both of whom have been playing with Allocco for years. The guitarist came to the band after answering an ad in the Village Voice that comically promised label interest, gigs, "Blah, blah, blah."

"We hit it of right awa" says Allocco, who plays a Fender tele deluxe 74 and a 12-string Stratocaster. "He played me a tape of his stuff, and it sounded like it could've been on the same album as mine." And lo these many monthes later, whoops-there it is.

By James Sullivan

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