THE STEMS epitomized 80’s indie rock, giving it a wider currency. They are one of only a handful of bands (among them the Hoodoo Gurus and The Sunnyboys) that cracked the mainstream charts with an indie approach in the 80s.
Making their debut in March 1984 playing alongside The Triffids and The Saints, THE STEMS released a series of independent records on Sydney’s Citadel Records. Each release made it to number one on the Australian alternative charts. But it was their 1987 debut album, “AT FIRST SIGHT VIOLETS ARE BLUE” that received national and international acclaim. It became one of the best-selling Australian albums of that year despite an almost total lack of commercial airplay in the corporate FM dominated 80’s. Rolling Stone named “AT FIRST SIGHT VIOLETS ARE BLUE” one of the top 100 releases of all time. It eventually went Gold and still continues to sell strongly today.
Appearances on Countdown, magazine covers, sold out shows – the world seemed at THE STEMS’ feet. However due to the pressures of non-stop touring and the usual “personality differences” THE STEMS mysteriously imploded on the eve of a massive European tour in late 1987, sealing the legend for all time.
Rising from the ashes of their 1980’s breakup, THE STEMS reformed in 1997 to perform a reunion show in their beloved hometown of Perth to an enthusiastic response. It is fair to say they were all surprised – even amazed - how popular they still were. They toured Australia, Europe and the USA including an incredible one-off show at the invitation of Bruce Springsteen’s guitarist (and Sopranos, Lillehammer TV star) Little Steven, who lists himself as one of THE STEMS’ biggest fans. At this show they shared the stage with The Stooges, Bo Diddley, Big Star, Nancy Sinatra..., and 60’s underground bands The Chocolate Watchband, The Pretty Things, Creation and the Electric Prunes who were an influence on their sound in their early days.
Things seemed to gain momentum. At the urging of Little Steven and a host of others the band made plans to record an album of new material ultimately titled “HEADS UP” – released on Shock Records in late 2007. Recorded in Perth on all analogue equipment and mixed in Cincinnati by producer John Curley (White Stripes, Afghan Wigs, Greenhornes and Ronnie Spector) the album was released to rave reviews and sold solidly around the world.
On the release of “HEADS UP” in late 2007, THE STEMS were invited on the “CLASH OF THE TITANS” tour with Radio Birdman and the Hoodoo Gurus.
Successful tours of Australia, Europe, Japan and Austin Texas’s SOUTH BY SOUTH WEST Festival soon followed to much acclaim. The band went off the road again in 2009 before reforming with a new line-up in 2013.
BiographyBorn and raised in Fremantle, singer/songwriter Dom Mariani formed THE STEMS in the summer of 1983. The band debuted alongside the Triffids and the Saints in 1984 with a sound that fused underground 60’s garage rock with post-punk, R&B and classic pop. A succession of independent records all made number one on the Australian alternative charts and along with the Hoodoo Gurus and the Sunnyboys, THE STEMS were one of only a handful of bands that cracked the mainstream charts.Their 1987 debut album, “At First Sight Violets Are Blue” became one of the best-selling Australian albums of that year despite receiving virtually no commercial airplay in the corporate FM-dominated 80s. Rolling Stone named “At First Sight Violets Are Blue” one of the top 100 releases of all time. It eventually went Gold and still continues to sell strongly today.
After the demise of THE STEMS in 1987, Dom returned in 1990 with THE SOMELOVES. The band’s first and only LP of guitar-driven pop, “Something or Other”, won seven 1990 Western Australian Music (WAMI) Awards. Dom also collected the award for most outstanding songwriter that year.
The promise of THE SOMELOVES was short-lived and contractual problems would not see a new release from Dom for another three years. He returned to live gigging with a new outfit, DM3, which became one of Australia’s greatest exponents of what was dubbed ‘power pop’. DM3’s debut single, the Mariani-penned “Foolish”, was released in April ’93 and took out the most outstanding single at the WAMIs.
DM3’s first LP “One Time Two Times Three Red Light” (1993), mixed by legendary American producer Mitch Easter (REM, PAVEMENT, SON VOLT, LETS ACTIVE, VELVET CRUSH), received widespread critical acclaim for its melodic pop hooks, cool vocals and high energy rock’n’roll guitar. It sold well in Australia, Europe and the US, and two Europeans tours followed.
Album number two, “Road To Rome”, was also mixed by Mitch Easter and lauded internationally as one of the best albums for ’96 of its genre. “Rippled Soul”, DM3’s third album, was more diversely structured and well received at home and overseas. DM3 eventually split at the end of ’99.
Fast forward to 2011 and a once-again reunited and reinvigorated DM3 performed at South by South West in Austin, Texas and toured Europe and the east coast. DM3’s best-of record “One Time, Two Times, Three Times More” and a live set “Live at Roskilde” have seen DM3 return to the live scene in 2014. Dom released his first solo album “Homespun Blues and Greens” in 2004. He continues to tour Europe where he is a popular drawcard, touring with the Stems in 2003 and as a solo artist on the release of his anthology “Popsided Guitar” in 2005.( Taken from the Dom Mariani Homepage)
Further projects are The Majestic Kelp ( Instrumental soundtracks that combine a love of surf guitar sounds, western themes, blues, exotica, and psychedelic fuzztones) and now he's working with Datura4, a psychedelic R'n'R band.
You will enjoy The Stems...and play it loud :-)
SB1 Flac 1 You need both links! Flac 2