What do a grocery store, a diner, and The Matrix Resurrections have in common? They all played a role in the origin story and resurgence of the rock band Dogstar, consisting of Keanu Reeves, Robert Mailhouse, and Bret Domrose.
Dogstar’s journey began in 1991 with an unexpected encounter at a Southern California supermarket, Gelson’s. Keanu Reeves, spotting Robert Mailhouse wearing a Detroit Red Wings jersey, struck up a conversation, which soon led to a friendship based on their shared passion for hockey. As fate would have it, they also happened to live in the same neighborhood.
Their musical journey began when they started jamming together and composing songs, eventually culminating in their debut performances as Dogstar. In the early days, the trio would gather in Reeves’ garage to play their music, but their progress hit a roadblock when Gregg Miller, the original singer and guitarist, encountered an amplifier problem.
To the rescue came Bret Domrose, who had a similar amplifier and a chance connection to Miller from their bartending days in Los Angeles. Little did Domrose know that this encounter would change the course of his life. Reeves and Mailhouse were impressed by Domrose’s guitar skills, and he was quickly invited to join them for a performance at the renowned Los Angeles venue Troubadour. Domrose, initially thinking he’d be a spectator, found himself on stage that night.
This serendipitous meeting set the tone for Dogstar’s fearless and adventurous spirit. They embraced every opportunity that came their way, much like their initial meeting at Gelson’s.
Fast forward to a breakfast meeting in San Francisco after the premiere of The Matrix Resurrections, and the band found their inspiration once again. While Dogstar never officially disbanded, they hadn’t produced new music for over two decades, occasionally playing together in small venues. However, a casual post-Matrix Resurrections discussion about music equipment evolved into a full-blown plan to reunite in Los Angeles and create fresh material.
Their upcoming third album, “Somewhere Between the Power Lines and Palm Trees,” showcases a mature and evolved sound. It’s an album that reflects the trio’s desire to have fun, reconnect, and express their emotions honestly.
Reeves, reflecting on the recording process, highlighted a challenging moment when creating the track “Dillon Street.” His bass playing initially started off simple, but under the studio’s scrutiny, he pushed his boundaries to create a more dynamic bassline. The experience was both intimidating and exciting, with the band cheering him on.
With “Somewhere Between the Power Lines and Palm Trees” set to be released on October 6th, Dogstar is filled with pride for their latest creation. Mailhouse jokingly suggested having the record release party at the same Gelson’s supermarket where their journey began, only to find out they now have a bar!
In the end, Dogstar’s story is one of chance encounters, shared passions, and a deep commitment to their music. As they prepare to reintroduce themselves to the world, their journey comes full circle, with a nod to the grocery store that started it all.