Dom Mariani - Popsided Guitar 1984-2004:
"It was just this instrumental guitar thing I'd always had a passion for," says Dom, noting that as early as the Gostarts he'd flirted with surf-styled instrumentals, among them the song 'Guitar Radiation' which he revived for the Stonefish. Likewise, the Stems had featured a handful of instros in their repertoire, and a similar sonic thread occasionally ran through DM3 as well, most notably a Link Wray-esque Road To Rome outtake called 'Rome'.
So with the demise of DM3, Dom along with drummer Robbie Scorer (who'd earlier played drums on the Someloves album) and bassist/organist Stuart Loasby conspired to create an all-instrumental record under the appropriately surf-y monicker Majestic Kelp. The resulting Underwater Casino bubbled to the surface courtesy Head Records in June of 2003.
Explains Dom, 'Apache' was one of the first songs I learned to play and started my love of instrumental guitar music. I also wanted to break away from the Stems-Someloves-DM3 progression. I had a few tunes before I started jamming with Robbie and Stuart. My original idea was to keep it simple but, as it started to take shape it became a more of soundtracks album, combining a kind of Ventures guitar style with sixties Italian film soundtracks."
Amid his Kelp commitments, however, Dom, ever the multitasker, was already writing new material in a pop/ rock vein. Concurrently, too, the Stems had gotten back together for a national tour in March/April of 2003, and with the renewed chemistry among members deemed very good, the reunion was successful enough to make the Stems an ongoing, if not exactly full-time, concern.
In mid 2003, with a brace of freshly-penned songs in hand, Dom initiated his first "proper" solo album, tapping the talents of a number of Perth and Melbourne musicians for the sessions. Dom and guitarist Jeff Baker subsequently traveled to the States to complete the recording and mixing with Mitch Easter. ("It was good to work with Mitch again. It's been an interesting road with him over the years and I'm glad we've kept in touch -- and that he's been still interested in my music.") Homespun Blues and Greens appeared on Citadel in June of 2004, its seamless blending of classic Mariani-styled powerpop and folkrock – not to mention the horn-driven rock of the title track – earning press kudos on par with DM3 days.
Reflecting upon his own idiosyncratic, sometimes bloody-minded, creative arc, Dom says, "When the DM3 had finished I had no intentions of doing another pop album: 'I'm looking forward to a career in instrumental music!' Well, here I am again, recording another album. of pop tunes."