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TCOIlargeWho the f*%k is Dominic Cifarelli? Well lets take a little travel through time. In 1997 guitarist Dominic and bassist Jeff Feldman started a band that would turn into Pulse Ultra. Pulse Ultra then got signed to Atlantic Records in 2000 (thanks in part to Taproot guitarist Mike DeWolf) and released their amazing debut album Headspace in 2002. The album was an ‘underground’ hit and captured a small following of fans but buzz was spreading over the technical progressive-rock style of the songwriting. The songs were complex in composition but accessible to fans of any rock genre. Headspace caught the attention of many guitar ‘virtuoso’ critics and in the same year Dominic was featured alongside John Mayer, Derek Trucks, and Joe Bonamassa on the cover of ‘Guitar One magazine – 10 Players You Must Know’ (see photo at bottom.) Then tragically, Pulse Ultra disbanded in 2004 due to personal differences.


Still pulsing with musical energy, Dominic started his own project The Chronicles of Israfel, and for the next 3 years wrote and recorded the album Starborn: Tome I which was released in 2007.  Israfel, is a fictional character of Dominic’s own imagination said to be influenced by ‘violent Japanese anime movies’. The album follows the character as he searches for a place of belonging and the self-discovery of his own superiority. The music is metal/progressive rock influenced by bands like Dream Theater, Meshuggah, Devin Townsend, that showcase Dominic’s precise technical guitar prowess.


In June 2008, The Chronicles of Israfel was the put on hiatus as Dominic became the bass player/backing vocalist for Daron Malakian’s (System Of A Down) band Scars On Broadway. Never one to slow down, during that time he then fronted a Lucifer-rock-punk band called Curious Case and released an EP in 2010 and album in 2012.


And now we’re here… finishing up the final tracks on the highly anticipated return of The Chronicles of Israfel! You can catch many of the recording sessions on the T.C.O.I. youtube channel.


Here are some tentative track titles from the upcoming new album A Trillion Lights: Tome II

Colors of The Energy Construct
Remember The Night
Spirit Carousel
Hatred In My Heart
The Violet Empress (Last Love)
Cognitive Dissonance
A Trillion Lights


I got a great opportunity to interview Dominic and I thank him for taking the time. Here goes:


You’ve been quite busy with other projects. It’s been 6 years since Tome I. Were there any influences or ideas that come from working with your other projects/bands (Scars on Broadway, Curious Case) that came into play when you recorded these songs?


D: Scars was a huge influence on my writing. I wanted to make sure the new TCOI songs would go off harder live too. I also realized that a simpler guitar setup just sounds so much better, and is less to stress about. Curious Case gave me a rougher, more organic feel. It loosened me up quite a bit. Singing in CC was also a huge reason why I was able to eventually start singing with Scars. Everything worked together to get me where I am ready for TCOI today.


What artist(s) had the biggest influence on you when you started playing guitar?


D: I was obsessed with Dimebag, Steve Vai, Nuno Bettencourt and Van Halen. I got a healthy dose of guys like Django Reinhardt and Joe Pass when I studied Jazz in College. Bands I grew up on were Metallica, Pantera, Testament, a lot of metal. Prince was huge for me too. I loved Nirvana and Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and STP.


What do you visualize when you make new TCoI songs? What would the album be like if it were made into a feature film?


D: It wouldn’t be the same for a film. I think it would be modded and there would probably be some different arrangements of some songs to fit certain scenes or whatnot. I just jam on guitar and I keep the riffs or vocal chorus parts I like. Some songs take a few minutes to finish and some take years. That’s a cliche but totally true in this situation for me.


What does the title “A Trillion Lights” mean to you?


D: It’s just that moment of massive realization. The undeniable heavenly “Holy FUCK” moment you know? LOL


How would ‘Tome II’ compare to the first disc?


D: I play so much heavier now. At the same time I got into so much light, lush ethereal music too. My songwriting improved and I’m also singing on it now. Gonna be a trip for people the first time they hear this one I think.


Looking back, would you have done anything different on Tome I?


D: Yes. I most definitely was not prepared enough the first time. I didn’t have anything to record demos on, so the songs weren’t totally finished. This time around I had a clearer idea of the overall complete tracks etc. And most of the guitar parts were taken from the first few takes. That was fun.


Do you hope for major success with TCoI? Or does the smaller underground following of fans appeal more to you?


D: I would love for this to become a really busy band.


You’ve been in the music business/bands since (1997 correct?) and have accomplished a lot. What’s your ideal ‘immaculate experience’? At what point would you think that it couldn’t get any better?


D: I’ve had some pretty ridiculous experiences. But the thing that would make me really happy would be to be able to consistently tour and make a good living with TCOI.


Do you think/hope TCoI will go on tour at some point?


D: I pray everyday for it man.


What do you hope people take away from this album? (emotionally or musically)


D: I actually did get pretty emotionally exposed on this one. It’s such a personal record, but I’m pretty sure there’s some stuff people can relate to. Musically, I feel more confident with my playing, and songwriting. I have never been this content with the music, melodies and lyrics.


What career field do you think you would be in if you weren’t a musician? What are your other passions besides music?


D: Not much man. I wanted to be a pro freestyle BMX rider when I was a kid & I loved soccer. Now I wish I could just travel all the time.


If you were to piece together a supergroup – who would you pick for vocals, guitar, bass, drums. (Alive or dead)

D: It would be a cast of characters man. Of the more well known musicians I like, it would probably look something like this on stage.
– Tony Royster Jr. on Drums
– Stuart Zender on Bass
– I wanna play guitar! LOL
– Vocals would be shared by David Bowie, Peter Gabriel & Chino Moreno.



Thanks so much for the interview Dominic! And for the rest of you, keep your ears open, the storm is coming.


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