Pool Of Thorns began in January, 2009. Domino Del Sol is their hard-rocking, fine looking female lead singer. She is one of the two original members of P.o.T, along with Carlo, the band’s drummer. The other two members of the four-piece, tight-jamming heavy rock band are the bass player, Artemis, and Zach, who plays the lead guitar with lightning -fast skill.
The band plays an eclectic blend of rock with heavy guitar riffs, and many of their lyrics are inspirational and/or politically charged.
Among the band’s influences are Janis Joplin, Evanescence, Rage Against the Machine and–Tool of course. They’ve often been called “The hardest working band in Jers-a-delphia,” the wide area where they’re based.
P.o.T. has toured several other states, though, including New York, Baltimore, South Carolina, Philadelphia, and even Illinois.
Recently, I was honored to have the opportunity of interviewing the members of P.o.T., and that interview follows. I hope you like it, and if you haven’t heard their music yet, check it out! There are two videos below!
Douglas Cobb:Domino, Pool of Thorns (P.O.T.) has been around playing in the Philadephia/New Jersey area since around 2009, right?
Domino: Pool of Thorns started in 2009 and has played from Chicago to Florida and everywhere in between since then.
Douglas Cobb: How did you all come up with the band’s name?
P.o.T.: We asked a Ouija board what our name should be if we were to form a band and that is what came out. Since the acronym was P.o.T. it was an added bonus.
Douglas Cobb: How would you describe your music?
P.o.T.: It’s very diverse, everywhere from rock to heavy metal, to ska and everything in between. If The Beatles had more balls and Janis Joplin was the singer, we’d be somewhere in between that, with the stage show of a 80’s arena power-rock band.
Douglas Cobb: Have you been the lead singer of P.O.T. from the very beginning?
Domino: I am one of the last two remaining members of the original group formed in 2009. The second is Carlo.
Douglas Cobb: This question is for all of the band members. What have been your biggest musical influences?
Domino: Rage Against The Machine, Tool, Karnivool, Silverchair, Kidney Thieves and sooo many others. I listen to a little bit of everything except country.
Artemis: I’d say my biggest musical influence is easily Ed Robbie from Robbie’s Music in north Jersey. He was like a Yoda music teacher for me; he expanded my musical palate, bringing me out of my rock and metal diet and really into jazz, funk, classical, and old Motown.
When I first started out, he introduced me to Alphonso Johnson- one of the best bassists out there that nobody really knows. Not only was he a brilliant player, but he was one of the nicest guys ever and I hope I can inspire kids the way he inspired me back when I was 16. I could offer a laundry list of other bassists I look up to, but a handful include Alex Webster of Cannibal Corpse/ Blotted Science, Geddy Lee of Rush, Mike Watt of The Minutemen, Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols, and the woefully underrated Patrick Dahlheimer of Live.
Outside of bass, I’m a huge fan of Milo Aukerman of The Descendents. He’s a well-educated, self-deprecating nerd like me, but also the awesome frontman of a legendary punk band who’s not afraid to just be himself. The punk band I was in prior to Pool of Thorns used to refer to me as “the Milo of the band” and my stage name was Neal Nerdypants.
Carlo: Psycho Sluts from Saturn, Geriatric Genitalia and Tool.
Zach: Pantera, Pink Floyd, Deftones and Black Sabbath.
Douglas Cobb: P.O.T. is one of the hardest-working bands on the East Coast. I know that you play an average of 1-2 shows per week. which is phenomenal, really, considering also the time you must spend on things like rehearsals, and your lives outside of the band.
I know you played at the Nikstock II Festival on August 9, and that you’ll be playing at the Boxing Match on Sept. 21. Would you please tell our readers how the former went, and how many people, approximately, were there? Also, please mention what the Boxing Match event will be like, and more info about that.
P.o.T. Nikstock is one of many festival’s in the up-state NY area. This particular one we’ve played at for the past three years. The up- state NY crowd is one of the best and very supportive of us traveling from festival to festival just to see us. Depending on which festival we play, crowds range from a 1,000 to 5,000 on average.
P.o.T.: The Boxing Match Date fell through and instead turned into a Soundtrack offer so that should be fun to be a part of.
Douglas Cobb: While Pool of Thorns is, of yet, an unsigned band, you have some albums, right? How many, what are the names of them, and how can anyone interested in buying them get them?
P.o.T.: We are still waiting to run into the right person but we do have a three song demo that is available at our shows and also here
Douglas Cobb: Do you have any interesting anecdotes to tell our readers about what it’s like to perform so many shows, or how some fans/hecklers have behaved?
Domino: One night after a rainy festival show a girl who really liked the show tackled me to the ground in a drunk frenzy, knocked the wind out of me, tried to kiss me and feel me up under a van in the mud. Luckily my Bass player came out of nowhere with a flashlight and shined it in her face saying: “Is everything okay here?” and broke it up. Since then, I’ve had to carry mace to all the shows we do just in case something happens. LOL… People don’t realize it’s not all fun times, sometimes it can get dangerous too.
Zach: Playing a lot of shows can be exhausting and it becomes your job to drive, but when you show a crowd your empty beer from the stage and a new one magically shows up or just playing a crowd you’ve amped up chants your band’s name, it reminds you why you, work yourselves ragged. And when a fan steals your shirt and wears it for a week straight, it can get weird…he still wears it a lot from what I hear…..
All I can say is that haters be hatin and don’t listen to what they have to say. Not only that, everybody has a different opinion if what you should sound like so don’t listen and be yourself.
Artemis: At our most recent Philly show (at a bar that used to be a strip club), the men’s room was weirdly designed, with a urinal near the doorway (there was no door as far as I recall), leaving your glory in the line of site of anyone. I had to drain the weasel pretty bad so I just said “fuck it.” While I was peeing, I heard a whoop or two from the ladies’ room across the way and a catcall of “I see some penis!” I was cracking up and all I could think to do was glance over and flash the horns. What’s funny is that more often than not, from the first show I played with the band to the present, these weird-ass bathroom moments always happen to me. Like, people I meet for the first time at shows seem comfortable enough around me from the get-go that starting conversations with me in the bathroom is the most normal thing in the world.(And, sorry, the original “epic moment” story will forever remain my little secret.)
Douglas Cobb: I have a couple of questions now for Zach it, Carlo, and Artemis. I’ve read P.O.T. is a five-member band — I don’t want to leave anyone out — if it is, who’s the fifth member, and what does he/she play?
P.o.T.: We haven’t had a member in a while and are looking for the right person; who ever they might be and what ever instrument they might play; so if you want to try out for us, don’t be shy, you might just end up being the next member.
Douglas Cobb: What types/brands of guitars, bass guitars, and drums do each of you play?
Zach: Dean, Dean, Charvel, Esp, and Dean….I love Deans
Zon Mosaic Standard 5-string, LTD HTB-600 Children of Bodom 4-string with a custom paint job by GuitarGuruLLC and custom fitted with Seymour Duncan soapbars and passive electronics (also by GuitarGuru). I like DR strings; DDTs for the 5 and Hi-Beams for the 4. My pickup of choice is Seymour Duncan. Amp: Gallien-Krueger Fusion 550 head run through two Bergantino 1×12 cabinets. I’m a gear slut so I could geek out over gear all fucking day.
Carlo:Custom Roland V Drums with Tama Hardware.
Domino: Home grown vocal cords here. What guitar strings/bass guitar strings do you prefer using and why?
Zach: Slinky’s of course…regular and super.
Artemis: DRs by a longshot. They’re the best. I’ve tried every string under the sun, and nothing’s better than DRs. I like Hi-Beams for the 4 and DDTs for the 5.
Douglas Cobb: Who does most of the song writing for the group? Is it a joint effort, or do one or two of you write the majority of the songs?
P.o.T: It’s a joint effort really. All of us come up with a solid musical piece as far as the way the song’s going to sound and the beat. Then Domino will come in after a few times of playing it and hum a little soft self-censoring melody then scribble in a notebook for a few practices and then belt out a melody … And the rest is history…
Douglas Cobb: Great answers so far! I just have a couple more questions for you. Are you working on any new songs currently? If so, have you begun playing any of them in any of your concerts?
P.o.T.: We’ve been playing one new song for about 3 or 4 months now at shows that you can catch on YouTube.
Douglas Cobb: Do you have any advice to give to new, upcoming people who are just starting out trying to form their own bands and get gigs?
P.o.T.: Considering we are new ourselves and still striving, I’d say never settle and always try to get to the next level.
Domino: If at first you don’t succeed try try again and practice really does make perfect.
Zach: Keep it real and drink allot and don’t be scared to go 110%.
Artemis: Go to lots of shows, become immersed in the scene, put yourself and your name out there on a personal level. All the musicians I’ve met and formed bands with are people I’ve met at shows. Go to shows, say hi to people, and go with the M.O. of “make one new friend by the end of the evening.”
If you’re at a punk show, you already have something in common with everyone else there (you like the music) so start talking about what bands they’re here to see and all that. Make one new friend and it always snowballs from there, and you end up with connections and shit.
Douglas Cobb: What are some of the songs that are ones that you get asked to play the most, like that are fan favorites?
Domino: Change, Behind The Rose and the new song or “F*ck You” song as we call it. lol … It has a name but since that phrase is part of the chorus, it sorta stuck as it’s nickname.
Zach: Behind the Rose and Free Bird.
Artemis: “Perfectly Imperfect.” That song is affectionately named the “fuck you” song and people love that. One time in North Carolina, someone in the crowd requested we play it again. People also love our renditions of “Don’t You Forget About Me” and “Maneater.” “One More” is a fave too; everyone who listens to the CD wants it, but we rarely play it.
Douglas Cobb: Thanks very much for all of the great answers and for taking the time out of your busy schedules to answer these questions! Pool of Thorns is an awesome rock band, and I strongly urge our readers who are into rock to give you a listen!
Check out the two videos below to hear some of P.O.T.’s music for yourselves!
Written by: Douglas Cobb
“Perfectly Imperfect” by P.o.T.
Tool with Pool of Thorns “Behind the Rose”