By Diana Garrido
We can all agree that Keanu Reeves seems like perfect man. But if there were a bit of doubt on that stand, let’s just add one more trait to his flawless existence: he’s also a great musician.
There’s a band called Dogstar and their stunning bass player is none other than Keanu Reeves. Though it’s no secret that Reeves loves music almost as much as he loves acting, many people were not aware of this side of his life. He was a member of this grunge band for many years until they broke apart due to the member’s busy schedules, especially Keanu’s.
The band was a project Reeves was very committed to, even more than acting at some point in his life. The band was formed by four members only: Keanu on the bass, Robert Mailhouse (once an aspiring actor as well) on the drums, and Greg Miller on the guitar and as lead voice (and, a couple of years later, Bret Domrose also on the guitar).
Dogstar seemed like an alternative project for the trio since most of them had jobs; Keanu, for example, had already been featured in some movies. However, the underground music scene, in which the band took part, soon began to pay them more and more attention to the point of being compared to emblematic bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Dogstar declared these bands were very influential in their sound, though they didn’t aspire, nor thought, to be as good as them since the band wasn’t a priority project in the first place. Despite that, they managed to gather a huge fanbase and performed in important platforms like MTV.
Though it all started in 1991, it wasn’t until 1994 when their music actually became popular all over the US. Their sudden success was such that many grunge bands were trying to collaborate with them without knowing that one of its members was already a Hollywood star. In 1995, they joined David Bowie as their opening band during his tour through the US and Asia. Afterward, they were approached by Bon Jovi who invited them to play with him during his New Zealand and Australia tour. Imagine how shocking it was for Bowie and Bon Jovi to realize that Keanu was part of the band that they ended asking pictures and autographs. Not even Reeves could believe that these legends were asking them for them.
Eventually, whenever Dogstar played, people would recognize the actor. This would spread the word drawing the attention of more and more people in order to listen to their music, and to see their favorite Hollywood star. But this created some tensions in the band and their love for music. Keanu’s fame seemed more like an obstacle than a perk, so the band questioned the direction of the project. Soon after, Dogstar faced more and more individual responsibilities, so the band found it hard to make of Dogstar a priority.
Regardless of that, they still found time to give a few shows and they even performed along with Rancid and Weezer. Dogstar released two albums: Our Little Visionary in 1996 and a second one in 2000 called Happy Ending, which seemed to be a prediction since the band split two years after, having a last show in Japan. Though it’s sad for a band to dissolve, in this case, things were as peaceful and friendly as their relationship was. Later on, Domrose released his own solo project, and his ex-bandmates gave him all their support to make it work. On the other hand, Keanu and Mailhouse joined another musical project called Becky which once in a while gives shows a few shows here and there, though nothing as formal as they used to do with Dogstar.
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards
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