Welsh rock lads “Dopamine” have been working their arses off around the UK and Europe for the better part of 4 years.
Armed with a new record and a tour with Funeral For A Friend, Dopamine are ready to show Australian audiences what they can do.
Vocalist/Guitarist Neill Starr was kind enough to answer these questions for us.
Interview w/ Neill Starr (Vocals)
By Cameron Chambers
Name, what you do in the band
and your drink of choice?
Neil Starr, singer/guitar and
my drink of choice is larger.
Dopamine is something of an
unknown entity down here in Australia so can you tell us a bit about
We’re 4 guys making melodic rock and roll music. We love performing
live and put on an energetic show.
You guys have a pretty epic
sound – who were some of the band’s earliest influences
– musical or otherwise?
Nirvana, Silverchair, Pearl Jam,
Rage Against The Machine, Stevie Wonder and Prince.
Your first EP was produced
by Stuart Richardson from the Lostprophets
– how did that working relationship come about?
Stuart is a friend of mine and he was an engineer before he became a
world famous rock star. We just used to go and hang out at the studio
he worked at so it made sense to record it with him.
Do you think getting the “seal
of approval” from a member of such an established band helped get
the Dopamine name out there?
No, I don’t think it really did much for us. Lostprophets weren’t
established back then like they are today. I guess if we did it with
him now it would definitely have a bigger impact.
You guys have played in excess
of 200 shows in the last 2 years, yet you’ve managed to release 6 records/EP’s
since your inception. You must be fairly prolific song writers?
Song writing is part of who I am. I don’t find it difficult to do.
D don’t have to think about doing it. I just pick up a guitar and
9 times out of 10 I get some inspiration and write something. You also
get time on the road to mess around with acoustic guitars so some stuff
comes from that
Taking into account your recorded
output, what do you personally enjoy more
– releasing records or playing live?
Definitely playing live. That’s what we all enjoy most. Winning crowds
over and meeting new friends on the road… it’s the reason we are
in the band. We do enjoy recording but live is most important.
Dopamine has some fairly impressive
notches on your belt for such an independent band
– how did you score the live to air session on Kerrang Radio?
We were lucky enough to have a feature article in Kerrang and we just
got approach to do the live session. I guess it’s word of mouth 🙂
I’ve read some of your reviews
from the UK press and a lot of people are singing your band’s praises
man. How would you describe Dopamine’s music
to someone who’s never heard you before?
A melodic rock and roll emotional
It’s like being kissed by a
bouncer and punched by a stripper.
Local label DSTAR records recently signed you guys
– were you on the lookout for an Australian label or did they approach
We were approached by them way before we got offered the “Funeral”
tour, but we decided not to release anything until the time was right.
As soon as we got offered the “Funeral” tour DSTAR flew to London
and we met up and secured the plans for the release.
It seemed to make sense. DSTAR
are a down to earth label just like we are down to earth guys – no bullshit
– what you see is what you get. We all got on really well and we are
stoked to be releasing through them and touring Australia.
Dopamine have been added to
the huge Funeral For A Friend/Bayside tour that’s hitting Australia
in September. That’s a pretty amazing way to introduce yourselves to
It couldn’t have worked out better for us if we tried ! 2 amazing
bands! “Funeral” are good friends of ours too and we are in debt
to them for this opportunity for life
And you have some of your own
headline shows booked as well?
That’s gonna be unreal! A totally different kind of show. On our own
shows we want people to come and hang out with us, we want to speak
to people and make friends. At the “Funeral”/Bayside shows it will
be difficult to keep it personal because of the size of the venues.
What can we expect from a Dopamine
Plenty of energy, hopefully crowd participation. Basically a really
fun 30mins for us and the crowd!
On our own shows we will be more
personal and also have more dynamics in the set by introducing a couple
of slower songs to the set. With the support shows we will be keeping
it flat out rock for 30 mins 🙂
If you could put together your
dream tour, who would play and why?
Foo Fighters coz Dave Grohl is a legend.
Lostprophets coz they are our
favourite band that we have toured with.
and Dopamine 🙂 (for obvious reasons)
Which member of Dopamine has
the worst tour habits?
Ryan doesn’t flush the toilet… that pisses me off! Nothing worse
than going into the bathroom after he has taken a leak… It stinks!
Top 3 records for 2007 (so
Number 1 is defo “Young Modern” by Silverchair!
Number 2 Funeral For A Friend
“Tales Don’t Tell Themselves”.
Number 3, Midasuno “Songs
In The Key Of Fuck”
Anything parting words?
See you in a few weeks and make sure you come to a show and say hi and
For more info on Dopamine head