Somewhere Between the Power Lines and Palm Trees

Somewhere Between the Power Lines and Palm Trees

Ask a member of Dogstar what, exactly, it was that brought them back together after more than two decades of silence, and the answer you’ll get is so simple it borders on profound. “I mean, I missed it,” Keanu Reeves tells Apple Music. “We grew together instead of growing apart.” It’s true. There had been no schism or spectacular breakup in the wake of their second LP—2000’s Happy Ending—just intervening life stuff: acting careers, scheduling conflicts, other projects. In fact, over the last 20-plus years, Reeves’ bass guitar rig has never actually left the alt-rock trio’s original practice space in drummer Rob Mailhouse’s Silver Lake home studio. “There was always part of it there,” Mailhouse says. “We would get together and play a little bit, but we never made a conscious plan to do anything other than just jam.” After reuniting in San Francisco for the premiere of Reeves’ The Matrix Resurrections in December 2021, they sat down for breakfast and did just that. A month later, they were back in Silver Lake, rehearsing and then writing, slipping right back into what guitarist/vocalist Bret Domrose calls “our positions physically and spiritually,” as if they’d never left. “We literally stood in the same spot in Robert’s rehearsal room,” Reeves says. “We went back to the same setup and there was a kind of openness, of, ‘We don’t know how this is going to go, but as long as it’s fun, let’s keep going.’ We had a little more self-awareness and experience, so I think that we shared and listened and collaborated together in a more evolved way than we did in the past.” The result is Somewhere Between the Power Lines and Palm Trees, a set of sunny and often bittersweet rock that moves freely between moody power ballads (“Glimmer”) and cloud-parting anthems (“How the Story Ends”), heartfelt tributes (“Dillon Street”) and unapologetic punk (“Breach”). Recorded over numerous sessions with producer Dave Trumfio (Wilco, Built to Spill, My Morning Jacket), it’s the sound of a band at ease—with themselves and with one another. “I think there was some unfinished business,” Mailhouse says. “Looking back, it maybe wasn’t exactly what you wanted it to be, getting caught up in a decade or caught up in a thing. This time, we just got caught up in ourselves. There wasn’t any outside influence. We just made the record that we’ve wanted to make.” Read on as the band takes us inside a few songs from the album. “Blonde” Keanu Reeves: “It presents the band, right? Drum and bassline and the chorus. It feels like an opening, again.” Rob Mailhouse: “And it’s named after a beer at the Frogtown Brewery: Kinky Blonde. We couldn’t call it ‘Kinky Blonde’ because that would be just weird. So, we just called it ‘Blonde.’ We were looking for titles, and we do that a lot. It just stuck.” “Everything Turns Around” Bret Domrose: “I put a capo on the third fret of the guitar for some unknown reason, and that gave us a tone that just launched into a happy pop song. That one happened fast. We didn’t really spend a lot of time second-guessing that song.” KR: “And we were like, ‘OK, so this is super poppy. How do we Dogstar it?’” RM: “How do we get it off the radio? How do we self-sabotage? It was too easy. It was too good.” “Dillon Street” BD: “That one was about my dad, who was a musician and didn’t quite make it. Everyone loves music and has that song that makes them feel better or gets them through a hard time. That story being told through the companionship of your favorite song and how that’s helping you get through your day, whether it's an athlete getting ready for the big game, or if it's a heartbreak that you're going through or whatever it is, it’s that you, you’re not alone. You don’t have to feel so alone.” “Glimmer” BD: “The fun of making this album was the not judging, pre-judging, thinking too much, or worrying. Like, ‘We already have a slow song. Do we need another slow song?’ I wasn’t thinking about putting any kind of limitations on myself, and I don’t think these guys were either. We just kept writing and recording and writing and recording, and the best ones made it, and the other ones didn’t. And if this was a power ballad, amen.” KR: “It’s quite a power-ballad chorus though, isn’t it? Had to be born, man—what can I tell you? The songs told us what to do. Not to sound totally lame, but they earned their right to be here, and we were just, like, the vessels to bring them to the record.” “Upside” BD: “It’s the saddest happy song you’ll ever hear. It’s revisiting a relationship that ended and then never really quite ended. The people [in the song], they keep in touch and they’re sharing photographs, and they’re sharing their experiences with where they are in the world, and there’s always that what-if thing. There’s hope, too—I like to have hope, to try to keep things open. Even with ‘Glimmer,’ there’s a maybe—a ‘why are you at this guy’s show when you’re supposed to be an ex—what’s going on?’ So, there’s always that little ‘I wonder what’s up’ thing that I try to weave in there.” “Breach” KR: “‘Breach’ is a good closer for the album, for the journey that the album takes you on. And it rings out. Like, there it is.” BD: “If there is a theme or a character in this record, there’s a lot of teasing and a lot of heartbreak. I think ‘Breach’ is that character being like, ‘Fuck this. There you go—what do you get? Then we're done, man’ He’s exhausted, and he’s just now turned into a bit of a bastard. He’s been kind of flip-flopped and jerked around, and so that’s probably where that came from. I think that it has attitude. I think it’s more of a statement. Put an exclamation on this record. It’s done.”

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada