Keanu Reeves dismisses the idea that playing bass in his long-discontinued rock trio, Dogstar, was a passion project he hoped to pursue in the midst of a stellar Hollywood career. “This ain’t the time for it,” he tells Board, his hair falling into his eyes during a Zoom call earlier this week. “It’s something that’s part of my life.”
Although Dogstar hadn’t released an album in two decades – 23 years and four john wick Movies First – Reeves says a proper reunion with his friends Brett Domrose and Rob Melhouse has been on his mind for a while. “I miss playing together, I miss writing together, I miss doing shows together. This is something I have always missed,” he admits. “We got to a point where we weren’t playing anymore, and I missed it… Once we started playing, and it felt good, and was really positive and creative, that’s when it was like, ‘Okay, let’s do this.’
The Dogstar reunion — which has been teased since last July, when their Instagram account announced, “we’re back” — finally comes into focus this weekend, when the trio will perform their first concert together at the Bottlerock Napa Valley concert. takes the stage for the first public performance. Festival on Saturday (May 27). The band will play a medley of old songs from their previous studio album, 1996 our little visionary and 2000s Happy EndingPlus unveil cuts from the upcoming, as-yet-untitled album – which was always part of the plan when the reunion was official.
Reeves says, “I think the three of us just said, ‘Okay, if we’re going to do this, let’s make a record. ‘” Singer-guitarist Domroz says, “We just knew there was ‘X’ amount of time, and we needed to make the most of it. We wanted to make this record, and it happened very quickly.
Reeves, Domrose and Melhouse kept in touch over the years after Dogstar played their last show together in 2002. “We’re getting together sporadically, because we’re all friends,” Melhouse explains. The trio occasionally met in Silver Lake to jam in the rehearsal space of drummer Melhouse’s home, but rarely came up with new song ideas.
During the start of the pandemic in 2020, however, those jam sessions became a bit more focused: home visits turned into shared quarantines, and with travel restricted, the trio were soon “stuck together, like we were at camp, This, and logging in together for eight-hour rehearsal days, says Melhouse. Reeves says, “We played catalog songs, and then we couldn’t help it – we just started writing.” Within two and a half months, the guys had written more songs than they needed for Dogstar’s third studio album.
Timeline and release details of Happy Ending A follow-up has yet to be announced, though the band members are confident that they and producer Dave Trumfio (Wilco, Built to Spill) have discovered a sound that will satisfy new listeners as well as longtime fans. Will do who are waiting for his return. ,[Dave] understood where we were coming from,” says Melhouse, “and worked really well with Brett, layering guitars and lots of different sounds and ambient stuff – things that weren’t just hard rock, these -your-face music, [but] A little more texture.
Dogstar has made private appearances since reuniting, but Saturday’s set at Bottlerock marks their return to the spotlight in years, and at first they expect many more shows. All three say they are too excited to feel nervous. Domroz laughs, “I’m sure I’m going to get more upset as the time gets closer.”
For Reeves, who joined the band as a rising Hollywood star and returned as one of the most consistent leading actors of the century, Dogstar represents a passion that he’s been pursuing in a real way all these years later. Thrilled to be back. “It’s a place I love,” he says, “and a place I tried to preserve.”