Phil Allocco and Sean Carmody, friends since high school, have been in many bands together, but none had the right tenets. And then came Dogma.
Firm believers in full-tilt rock with powerfully stark lyrics, the New York-bases quartet makes its big-label debur Feb.11 with "feeding the future", the first release on Def Jams new rock imprint King Recordings (distributed by Mercury).
Dogma's doctrine is simple: honest, straightforward rock, with an emphasis on melodicism and Tool-like aggression.
"We finally have all the right people, " says Carmody, who plays bass. "Before, there just wan't any chemistry in those other bands. But now, we're all on the same page and have the same philosphy and approach.
"We're playing things we want to hear. We're not trying to fit a mold,"
It all began to jell when Carmody and lead singer-guitarist Phil Allocco brought in longtime friend, drummer Dave Femia, and recruited guitarist Randy Dzliezak through an ad in the Village Voice. From the start Allocco said, they knew they had finally found the right mix.
"We didn't really have a vision for this band, " Allocoo said. "Iguess our philosophy is hard to put into words, but I know we wanted to have fun making music and we didn't want to get bogged down in the other stuff. We figures the rest would happn in due time."
That time came when King Recordings head Scott Koenig heard Dogma's demo tape and was impressed enough to make them Def Jam's first rock signng since Rick Rubin's days there.
"they're not a grunge band, they're not a post-grunge band, they're not an alternative band, they're not a punk band," Koenig said. "They're a Œ90's hard-rock band, anad they're not pretending to be anything else but a band with great songs, period.
"Obviously, they have elements of older influences. They're mainly into the older stuff, like The Who, Zeppelin and U2. And to me they're doing it in a fresh Œ90s style; they're not doing it so retro and bluesy, I was looking for what the future of rock is going to be, and I think these guys are the future."
The group was paired with producer Steve Thompson (Metalllica, Guns n' Roses, Butthole Surfers) and recorded at New York's Bearsville Studio last winter. The album contains, among other things, sound bites from Allocco's vast movie collection. The first single is the opening track, "Cancer."
There are different genres withing hard music, Koenig said, and he things Dogma will help fill a void. "Right now, MTV's trying to shove down everyone's throat Prodigy, hard techno, " he said. "There's no hard rock they're trying to champion. Hopefully, it will be this."
"feeding the future," Allocco said, is a bold statement.
"It's an observation, more about how every generation has things they think they're enlightened about," he said. "But really they wind up feeding off on the fears, superstitions and taboos."
By Gerry Galipault
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