Dom Fricot’s second album Deserts, the follow up to 2014 debut Sweet Little Fantasy is in many ways an album about death, but not about grief. Set for release on Friday, March 23rd, we caught up with Dom to talk about new single ‘Help is Needed’ and how it fits ino his forthcoming LP.
Some might I’ve come out of sad bastard and am now edging towards blue-eyed soul.
First up, tell us bit about yourself - what first got you into music?
When I was a kid my mom was pretty adamant that we all learn how to play music. So we all had to learn piano to start which I kind of hated to be honest. I think it was the being forced part though because I’d sit at the piano and try to play the theme to Robin Hood Prince of Thieves for hours I just didn’t want to follow the notes or practice what the teacher had given me.
Later it was a slippery slope of singing along to my older sister’s tapes: Wilson Phillips, Milli Vanilli, New Kids, to name a few.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from to form your musical and thematic style?
The two artists that absolutely floored me when I began to songwriter were Radioheadand Tori Amos. I don’t know what I managed to steal from them but they were definitely my first major inspirations.
How would you describe your style?
Some might say I’ve come out of sad bastard and am now edging towards blue-eyed soul.
What drives you to write?
Most often it’s a negative emotion like sadness, anger or frustration. I started writing at a time that I really needed to get emotions out and I think for the most part I’m still using songwriting as therapy or an emotional outlet.
Tell us about your new single ‘Help is Needed’. What’s it about?
‘Help is Needed’ is about how we need to try and help out not only our loved ones and friends but also the people we struggle with helping, no matter how big or small the deed. I think it’s pretty plain to see that there are a lot of messed up things happening in our world right now, always has been, and I personally struggle with ‘what exactly’ I should or could be doing. And I think ‘Help is Needed’ is asking that we start believing that we can make a difference, we just have to start with some action and some love and acceptance.
When did you write it and where did you record it?
I wrote it on my sister’s piano a couple years ago when I’d just arrived from a tour in Europe with Folk Road Show. A hot topic that whole tour was the Syrian Refugee Crisis and i’d just been in Paris days before the attacks at the Bataclan. I recorded it in Vancouver at the Space Studios.
How does it build on your previous releases?
I think the heart on sleeve nature of my songwriting has continued, this album takes a slight stylistic turn with this very focused aesthetic.
‘Help is Needed’ is taken from your album Deserts. What can we expect from it?
&Deserts* has this sort of Post Genesis Peter Gabriel Phil Collins sound. My previous work didn’t go there but I had been playing with very specific instruments and tools before I made the album: my Rhodes keyboard and a loop station which I would make beats and vocal loops with.
You worked with David Vertesi on the record, what did they bring to your work?
Dave is a great producer in that he asked me what exactly what I wanted from the beginning, helped decide with me the big picture for the album and kept focussed on our goals. I think Deserts is my most cohesive work to date, and I think it’s the most relevant and interesting and Dave played a big part in that. He also pushed me to making choices that I was quite uncomfortable with at first but ultimately think are some of the Best parts of the album.
What are your hopes for Deserts?
I think it’s my best work ever and I just really want it to get in the ears of people who I’m really sure would connect with it. I’d also love to be able to tour this album with the full band and string section that would be required to play it live. If I could do it that and have it be financially viable, I don’t think I could be much happier.
When and where can we expect to see you live next?
I’ll be touring across Canada in March starting with shows in Burnstown, Ontario on the 9th and at the Burdock in Toronto on the 10th. Will be playing some dates around BC and Alberta the following weeks as well. Vancouver at the Fox Cabaret on March 30th.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
That’s a tough one. But I think I would have to be a bit cliché and say John Lennon.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
This just came up in conversation with a friend so it’s fresh on the brain. It would be back when I was in highschool and I thought I wasn’t into reading. Every day we’d have 20 minute of ‘sustainer silent reading’ after lunch and I would just borrow a magazine from a friend. Now I just want to tell my younger self “there’s so much great literature and such little time. Take this as a gift”.