We spend five minutes with Cell Mate’s very own Dom Old to talk about drink, drugs and one man bands.
Dom! Hi! It’s been a while! Now I know that you know that I know the answer to this, but for those that don’t know you – Who the hell are you?
My names Dom Old and I’m the one man band behind Cell Mate.
Yes you are! And what exactly have you been up to?
I’d been playing in a band called Atlanta Young since my early teens and always loved it. Unfortunately, everyone grew up and work and university had to take priority over our love for playing together. I always wanted to keep playing music regardless and taking huge inspiration from early Foo Fighters and Dinosaur Pile-Up albums, where everything was recorded by one musician, was something I found really intriguing. So for this project, I wanted to write songs with that similar raw feel those grungy/alt-rock albums which I wasn’t able to capture in the previous bands records. Having the creative freedom of doing everything on my own was very beneficial and I’m very happy with the way the songs have turned out.
Listen to Cell Mate’s Dead in the Water below
Nice! So you’ve recently just posted out the song “Dead in the Water”, but what’s the song about?
I’d had the music wrote and recorded for Dead in the Water long before I had any lyrics. I wanted to write them in the spur of the moment and ended up writing the lyrics in the vocal booth about 20 minutes before I sang them. The lyrics are this kind of cultural commentary looking at people who live for nothing more than simply going out and getting drunk every single weekend. I wrote about the things you see when surrounded by these people and situations you’ll find them in. They work all week to get to a point where they can go out to get smashed and just repeat it over and over, with aim of getting with a boy or girl, getting high etc. and how the actions these people make could cause them, and those they interact with, problems.
I hope this doesn’t make me seem like a boring bastard. I do like a drink as well, so maybe I’m wrong to judge. Sorry guys.
Not at all! Social commentary is well needed. You’re basically like a more hairy version of Paul Weller. So, what inspired you to write it?
Writing about what I knew about was the easiest thing for me when I put myself under the pressure of having to write the lyrics on the spot. I think the fact that I’d been out in Newcastle the night before helped me decide what to write about and seeing the way people would interact once they’d had a drink was interesting to say the least. Whether it’s funny or violent or unnerving, there’s always something to see, especially if you’re the only sober one in the room.
“I think the fact that I’d been out in Newcastle the night before helped me decide what to write about”
So yeah, I pretty much wrote about what I’d saw. A really innocent looking girl also asked me for drugs that night as well which is where the chorus lines (‘she shakes like an addict until she gets some/she smiles like a good girl but really she’s bad to the bone) came from. I was pretty shocked so that interaction stuck out in my mind and I knew I wanted to at least reference that in the song.
Ha! Yep, I’ve been there. Newcastle is always an interesting night out. So what’s next for Cell Mate?
I’m hoping to get back into the studio and record another couple of tracks to eventually release a full EP. The producer of the songs I’ve already recorded, James Haselhurst owns an amazing studio in Newcastle, The Grain Studios and I’m hoping I didn’t wear him down too much with me being a perfectionist. So if he’ll have me back, there should be some new music coming by the end of the year. I’m also thinking about starting to showcase these songs live. I’m currently based in Manchester, so if anyone is in or around that area who likes the song and want to get in touch, please do!