18 Feb


To the casual observer, it may seem slightly unusual to reflect on the amount of attention The Cult of Dom Keller has brought upon themselves in a short period of time. Since being named the Revolt of the Apes “Band of the Week,” appropriately, on Halloween, 2010, this cabal of interstellar instigators has made numerous live appearances to great applause, released (and sold-out of) an initial run of two independently produced EP’s, and been asked to make the trip stateside for their first U.S. appearance at Austin Psych Fest 4.

Unusual? Perhaps. But there is little “usual” about the approach The Cult of Dom Keller, and they have two EP’s (and more on the way) to prove it.. As far the casual observers, when it comes to The Cult of Dom Keller, there are none. Listening to this band is an all-or-nothing proposition; you’re either in or you’re out. We are most assuredly in, and we have the ringing ears to prove it.

The entire band considered our questions, and were kind enough to give us a peek under the floorboards, for a more complete view into their cult.

One of the more traditional ways to begin a band interview is to ask about the origin of the band’s name – and although we would assert that a traditional approach doesn’t fit in with much about The Cult of Dom Keller, we have to ask … who is Dom Keller? What is the significance of the name? How did you decide on this unusual moniker?

Cult of Dom Keller began life as a jam band in the basement of an old cathedral. It was fucking freezing, damp and the electrics kept going, but it was a free space. Before rehearsals we were listening to some records and “Pebbles Volume 3: Acid Gallery” was spinning on the record player and then that track “Dom Keller Os Mods” comes on. It’s dirty and sexy and then we found out that “Dom Keller” means “Cathedral Cellar” and it made sense. The dark reverberated sounds we were making in the cathedral cellar had been named. Here was born The Cult of Dom Keller.


There seems to be something almost ritualistic about the music of The Cult of Dom Keller: a strange, occultist view take on a segment of psychedelic rock – with references to goat skin dreams and burning skies. Are we right to pick up on an almost “Hammer Horror”-esque influence on the band? Where do you think this influence stems from? What effect does it have on the music you create?

We wanted to create a psychedelic world that would draw you in, join our wold and then consume you. As a band, we have a range of influences from artists such as Henry Fuselito and Man Ray to English occultist Alistair Crowley, to writers such as William Burroughs, to insane minds such as Charles Manson. Books and mysticism are a big influence … “The Malleus Maleficarum,” “Goetia and The Book of Abramelin,” gnosticism, hermeticism, Luciferianism, Satanism, Thelema, and Neopaganism … Psychedelics, death and the unknown …
the sounds we create are an amalgamation of all these fascinations that create our lysergic, fucked up view of the world we live in.

How did The Cult come to be? Have the members played in other bands, either with shared members or separately? What was your personal desire for the music to sound like when you first set forth with this band?

All of us had been in various bands and knew each other in some form or another. The band came about as a reaction to the monotony of the music scene around us. We were having a David Lynch night and during “Lost Highway,” we decided we wanted to fuck things up. We couldn’t climb into the TV and escape down the lost highway, so we decided to form a band.

I’ve become somewhat obsessed with “EP2” – which is not to slag the magnificence of “EP1.” But “EP2” is just such a damn-near perfect, ugly 22-minutes and 11-seconds, one that reveals itself with new details of beauty and weirdness with every spin. What are the differences between the two EP’s, from your perspective?

The first EP was a series of jammed out ideas and we wanted to produce something that was a stream of consciousness, a collection of ideas and songs that represented what we were doing right at the moment. A psychedelic trip. By EP2 we were evolving as a band and our sound was careening off in all directions. The ideas we were demoing were now forming into these songs that we had only heard before in our heads and now had been released.

What bands have you been listening to lately?

It’s all about the blues … Son House, Blind Willie McTell, Robert Johnston, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, Skip James, Lightnin’ Hopkins, etc. You can’t beat regular love ins with The Doors, 13th Floor Elevators and CAN, as they have a spirit and sound that cannot be repeated. Skip Spence’s “Oar” is an album that’s been on continuous play at the moment, along with “Half Machine Lip Moves” by Chrome.Modern bands – really dig Spindrift and Indian Jewelry at the moment.

What is your hope for the Cult of Dom Keller live experience to be? Do you consider yourselves to be a true “live band” at this point, or have gigs not been plentiful enough yet to sharpen your vision of the live show? What is the most surprisingly moving band that you have ever witnessed live and why?

Early on in our band life we had the fortune to play with bands such as The Warlocks, Spectrum and Asteroid No.4, just as we were evolving. In the last year we have grown with confidence and in status and we have full belief in our music and live performance.

How did you first hear about Austin Psych Fest? Are there any bands in particular that you are excited to have the opportunity to share the stage with? Have you been to the states before, personally?

This is our first time ever in the states for all of us. We first heard of Austin Psych Fest a few years ago when bands like The Black Angels were starting to get some recognition over here in the UK. As the psychedelic scene is rather quiet in the UK, it was exciting to read about such an event where this genre of music is celebrated. The fact that Roky Erikson is going to be playing is good enough for us!!! Too many other great bands to mention/looking forward to.


The vocals on EP1 and EP2 are mostly buried in the mix by design, giving a haunting, “buried alive” quality to the voice. Only occasionally can we make out specific lines or refrains – like the line “lift me up / drag me down” in “Worlds.” What can you tell us about the lyrics of the band, without dispelling any mystery?

Between the sounds – between the sounds in your head – you will hear voices whispering the answers you seek.

Texas garage rock scholar Doug Hanners once described the 13th Floor Elevators as “acidized country boys playing psychedelic Buddy Holly riffs, a mixture that couldn’t happen anywhere else.” What is the make-up of The Cult of Dom Keller that, similarly, could not happen anywhere else?

Psychotropic spacemen playing black acid blues.

What’s next for The Cult of Dom Keller?

Keep gigging. Keep creating music. EP3 is out this spring. Recording THE ALBUM this summer. Find a record label to call home. Spread the love.

The Cult of Dom Keller


4 Responses to “THE CULT OF DOM KELLER”

  1. Nikita February 18, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    intriguing read by a band making intriguing sounds
    love this band, thank you

  2. Gemini February 22, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    Love this
    Fascinating read and fantastic music
    Roll on psyche fest
    Album on vinyl please


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