BWW Interview: Dom Kelly of A Fragile Tomorrow Talks New Solo Album
Dom Kelly grew up around music. As part of the group, A Fragile Tomorrow, Dom along with brothers Sean, Brendan and friend Shaun Rhodes, Dom has travelled all over the world performing and entertaining. From the time he was 11 years old, Dom enjoyed the opportunity to make music with his band. With many challenges and obstacles to overcome early in their lives, A Fragile Tomorrow has been a source of strength for the family. Dom Kelly decided it was time to try to make some music on his own and his first solo album entitled "Everything is Just Enough" will be released on April 7, 2017. BWW caught up with Dom recently as he shared his thoughts and insights on his first album.
Tell us more about "Everything is Just Enough" and what made you decide to create a solo album.
I've always thought that I wanted to do something on my own but I never really had the courage to do it. I always knew that Sean, my brother, would do something on his own. He is actually working on a solo album the Mpress is going to release and it's really amazing as well. It's another level. It's pretty incredible. I can go on about that. My record; I always knew I would do one one day but I just had to wait until I built up the courage. I have to say it's kinda easy to sit behind a drum kit and even though I sing lead vocals on a lot of songs, I think I hid behind the kit a little bit. But, I always wanted to something on my own. I just didn't have the confidence. In probably 2013, I was with Rachel Sage doing vocals on her solo and we were fooling around on the piano and I started singing the song. She was like, "You should do something on your own." And I was like, "Yeah, sure." I always had that thought on my mind but she encouraged me. This last year was incredibly challenging in a lot of respects. The week that my girlfriend and I broke up; it was a really tough break up because I thought I was gonna marry her and so I was feeling really down. I knew we were going to break up. It was inevitable and I just woke up one day and I thought I need to go into the studio and I need to do something for myself right now. I felt like I just needed to find my creativity. Last year was so hard. We did a tour in March with K's Choice, which was awesome and then our mom was being admitted to hospice around that time. I think I just lost my desire to be creative for a few months. Then waking up, I was like, "Yeah, I gotta do it." So I got Brendan and we went into the studio that day and started making the record that very day. It was like I woke up and decided to do it although I had thought about it for a while. I really decided. I meditate every morning so I got a little bit of clarity. I thought, "Alright, time to do it."
One of the songs that I enjoyed the most was, "I'll Whisper in Your Ear." I'm guessing that was about your mother.
It is. I had a conversation with my mom probably about a year ago. She was diagnosed with cancer first in 2009 and she was cancer free for a while then 2011, it came back at Stage 4. So, she's been Stage 4 since 2011. We've been dealing with this for that long. Last year it took a very quick turn and she was really on her death bed and at one point, it must have been February or March of last year, I was in the hospital with her and she had been coughing up blood. I took her to the ER and it was just me and her. We started a conversation about everything and we were crying. She hugged me and she said to me, "I'll whisper in your ear." I will not ever forget her saying that. And so I say Thank you, God. Today, she is still here right now but I guess I kept it in my mind when I started writing, I started thinking about what do I believe happens after we die and I really don't know what I believe but I definitely have a belief in something greater than myself. I just remember her saying that and thought, "What would I say to her on her deathbed? What's everything I want to say to her?" So that song is my letter to her. I wrote the second verse of the song with Sean in mind. I knew I wanted Sean to do a duet with him knowing he would sing it and that verse specifically for him. Brendan kind of came in on the last chorus and did a third part harmony. It wound up being from the three of us to our mom. It wound up in the studio coming together. Mark Bryan from Hootie and the Blowfish played mandolin on that song. That was a cool addition. That was a really tough song to write but I think it came out great.
Another song that stuck out a lot was "Great Anyway." We all know that's about Trump. Tell us more about that song.
I actually wrote that the day after the election. That was the last song I wrote. I was going to have eight songs on the album and then actually Meredith from Mpress records posted something on Facebook and it was a call to artists to use their voices now that Donald Trump was elected. When she wrote that I thought, "Wow, I need to use my voice." I was driving and I just wrote that song while I was driving.
I like how it's subtle but gets to the point at the same time.
What are some of your favorites from the album?
That's a really tough question. I think (one of) my favorites is "12." We were working on a song. It was mostly just me and Brendan in the studio together the entire time. He was getting ready to track the guitar on a different song and I asked him to play something so I could get a level and he played that little riff in that song and I was like, "What is that?" and he said, "I don't know I just wrote it recently. I never did anything with it." We wrote the music to that song and as we wrote the music, the melody just came to me. The very next day I had lyrics and I had wanted to write a song about 12 steps of recovery for a long time and it never really happened. Then, it just came out of me. I think that song to me is my favorite. It just reflects 12 steps recovery is pretty much most of my whole life so I think that song is so deeply personal to me. Brendan described it like the Decemberists meets the Byrds and so I would say it's like my glory to God song but totally camouflaged like minor keys. Even the words aren't totally obvious that that's what it's about. It's a song of gratitude. So to me, I think that song is special to me. Then having Emily from Indigo Girls sing on it was just the icing on the cake because she is amazing and she loved the song.
Will you be touring with the album?
Yes. I haven't announced a lot of the dates. I'm still confirming.
Dom Kelly's new album, "Everything is Just Enough" is available April 7, 2017. Pre-order here: