Hotbands LIVE ICQ Interview with Emilio Emilio

Emilio Dominguez logo.gif (9372 bytes)

Emilio Dominguez
Emilio Dominguez

Emilio Emilio - Denver Colorado
By Hotbands Editor - Pat Ferris

Emilio Dominguez...Denver Colorado's multi instrumentalist,   better known to his fans as Emilio Emilio, first contacted me in April of this year.  His booking agent/manager mentioned that he had a big following in Texas which is where Hotbands was based in the beginning before coming to Seattle.  I finally got the opportunity to download some of his songs on both MP3 and Real-Audio, and was excited about interviewing him for our eZine.

His music struck me as modern blues with a latin groove (due to the heavy percussion), but something that was not only interesting, but very original as well as cool.

Through a very challenging encounter of getting him live on ICQ, I was finally able to get down what his message was for the readers....

<Hotbands> I read some of the information on your bio and from gathering from you, it seems you have been in biz most of your life. Tell me a little bit about how you started off.

<Emilio> My Mom and Dad gifted me a 12 string guitar when I was 12 .  I played with them doing Chicano civil rights movement music, and they both played. My father sang , and my mom plays piano and wrote.  I met Tommy Bolin that year and he gave me my first taste of heavy guitar.

<Hotbands> Who is Tommy?

<Emilio> Tommy played with a band called Zephyr, as well as with The James Gang, Deep Purple, Billy Cobham, Alphonse Gill. He’s dead, but his music is still going at

<Hotbands> cool...I'll do some research as I put this page together today.

<Hotbands> Your website is pretty cool. I think you should consider getting your site linked with as many music sites as possible. is a good source to get your music heard, as well as and some of the other ones out there. Just make sure that you aren't signing your rights away on anything.  You mentioned in your bio that your music is popular in Texas. Do you think it is because of your ethnic background and common acceptance of the blues/Latin sound in Texas?

<Emilio> I think it is because my guitar tone is a lot like Stevie Ray... I met him at Red Rocks amphitheater in Colorado the year he died and he gave me a 2 hour lesson/interview which changed my life and the way I approach guitar.

<Hotbands> I'm sure that the people that are reading this are dying to know what it is that was so influential. Do you think you can put it into words and summarize what Stevie said to you?

<Emilio> Yeah he told me he was playing out of 7 amps to begin with and he used monster sized strings gauge 13, 15, 19, 28, 38 and 58 and he tuned down a half-step.

<Hotbands>  What did that do...give a bigger sound?

<Emilio> Yes the entire guitar was tuned down 1/2 step and gave it a much bigger sound, and the 7 amps created a chorusing effect which blew me away.

<Hotbands> You mentioned that you opened for Dick Dale 5 did you land that gig, and what other giants have you opened for....??

<Emilio> I met Dick in Petaluma ca. at a concert and fell in love with his music.   We spoke that evening until 5am .
He said that he would be doing shows in Denver and Texas and we hooked up through the venues here. We are both a portion of Lebanese in culture.

<Hotbands> I am as well! Ferris is Lebanese!

<Emilio> Right on!

<Hotbands> Was Dick Dayle a big influence on your style as well?...

<Emilio> I also opened for Robin Trower, Ronnie Montrose and Jeff Healey. Dick is a great influence because he did not sell out to the major music corps and neither will I.

<Hotbands> How many years has he been around? It seems he gained recent interest by his music in Pulp Fiction.

<Emilio> In the 60s he sold out the LA forum. When he was 19, when they couldn’t get his guitar tone recorded correctly. He walked away, then Tarrentino brought him back in Pulp Fiction

<Hotbands> How many records do you have out? What are the titles and when were they released?


  • Beyond and Back Vol 1 1994
  • Texas Tone - 1996
  • Beyond and Back Vol 2 - 1998
  • Cultura - 1998
  • Emilio Emilio Live - 1999

<Hotbands> Do you have a steady band, or are you always rotating the hottest musicians like Miles Davis did?

<Emilio> I like to keep it fresh, although my nephew Jeff Andrews who was on the first album has rejoined with me, and a new drummer named Phil Bassist has been kickin' ass as of recent...

<Hotbands> A Drummer named Bassist?

<Emilio> Yeah...he plays a Gretsch drum set with 3 snare drums.

<Hotbands> So do you normally operate as a 3-piece? I saw in the photos that you are on

<Emilio> It depends on the show, but that’s my favorite way although I have been known to use a 6 piece horn section with a B-3 player and congas.

<Hotbands> You may not have known, but Hotbands was started in Texas, and I have mucho contacts in the music biz down there. If you are passing through as a 3-piece, you may want to get together with some of these other giants to do some jamming. If you get to Dallas, there is a GREAT band called Mark Austin's Mystical Horn Band that is an 11-piece band...all really excellent musicians, and I'm sure getting the chance to jam with others of your caliber must be a gas.

<Emilio> Lets go to Texas its starting to get cold here!

<Hotbands> I'll be down there again for a week around the end of November, beginning of December.  I'll make sure you promo info gets passed on my friend Richard Cagle from Montrose Records and AMG.

<Emilio> Lets book a tour.

<Hotbands> I'll have Richard talk with you about that. Right now my main focus is getting our internet alliances put together so we can move forward in the direction necessary to get our company rolling.

<Hotbands> One of the things that readers are interested in, How would you classify and identify your style of music Blues, Rock, Country, Latin?

<Emilio> Funky Latin Bluesy Rock, or Jimi and Stevie at Carlos’ house

<Hotbands> I think that gets the point across even better! You've been at it a number of years...what plans do you have of putting on a larger tour, or are you thinking more of spending time in the studios?

<Emilio> We ar definitely getting on the road

<Hotbands> You miss the road?

<Emilio> Too much

<Hotbands> Why?

<Emilio> I feel stagnate hanging in the same town too long even if it is home the audiences are stronger in Texas and other Southern States....really everywhere you have a newer audience that hasn’t had the “Emilio Experience” yet, the response is stronger

<Hotbands> What would you classify that as being?

<Emilio> A full-on drum assault with funky drum and bass...we counted 36 pieces of percussion in our recent set-up. Not too many people have this kind of exhilaration with’s visual healing and intricate beats.

<Hotbands> Right now, the MP3 craze is catching like a grass fire all around the world. It's getting music heard by artists that wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell in yesterday's world of music distribution. How do you see this affecting you? As a musician, are you more worried that the money will be gone, or do you feel that the greater potential for exposure levels the playing field and allows the LISTENERS to separate the wheat from the chaff?

<Emilio> First of all, I’m not in it for the money. I want the world to hear this music and when I do make a lot of money from this, I’m going to share it with the needy. I’m not signing away my rights to any of my music...

<Hotbands> In other words, you are saying it’s more important to be heard and make people happy with your music than it is to make a lot of money in your profession?

<Emilio> Yes...and I think greed really sours the music as you can tell by the radio and artists who are in it for the dough.

<Hotbands> There are lots of bands that aren’t really that good, but are marketed by the record industry because they are MARKETABLE and can turn a profit. In my opinion, the internet allows the audience to determine what is popular rather than what is advertised. As the world demand for music increases, the music industry will shift from selling music to selling the band they used to in the 60’s with records that had posters, clips of hair from Paul McCartney, etc...the muse will become a “loss leader” to create the interest for the market. Either way, the music industry will be forced to change, and although still being money driven, the difference will be mainly felt by the artists and the audience who will be the deciding factor of what is popular rather than what is set up to promote from a perspective of what is marketable

<Emilio> Amen said a mouthful!

<Hotbands> I think about this stuff all of the time. The whole reason I set up in the first place is because I saw a lot of GREAT bands that never made it, while others that had 1-hit wonders, were making a big splash. I majored in economics at the University of Washington, and through understanding that time and resources were commodities, I realized that what was market driven was not necessarily what the public wanted, but what was simple to produce, cost effective and could be marketed and sold for a high profit margin....not necessarily what the public demanded or what was best for the consumers....look at the fast-food industry if you don’t believe me!

<Emilio> I believe you, and we also serve up a tasty healthy sonic driven feast!

<Hotbands> What would offer as one of the last bit of advice you can offer struggling newbies, what would you suggest they do?


  1. work for yourself,
  2. don’t sell yourself and your music to a 40 hr. week gig
  3. be true to your music ,
  4. and S.R.V. told me to "PLAY ON"

<Hotbands> Also, I read about Clinton seeing you at a party. I'd like to tell me a little about that?

<Emilio> On Halloween 1994 Clinton' s advanced teem came to a small but quaint gig and witnessed Emilio, after doing so invited us to play the last campaign rally before he was elected, they paid us too, it was the earliest gig we ever played 5am till 8am and they almost did a full body cavity search before the show, but people knew us and we were not a risk, so we got out of that!!

<Hotbands> Why do you have one side of your mustache shaved, and the other side very long?

My Grandmothers are Arapaho and Comanche tribe , and my Grandfathers are Lebanese and Spanish I pay tribute to my heritage in the way and give thanks for true diversity.

<Hotbands> That's about sums up my list of Q's. Do you anything you want to add to this interview

<Emilio> yeah...bring about 10 friends to our show on sat. you can stay with us we have lots of chili, beans and rice as well as drums

<Hotbands> I’ll post that on the interview on the site, and you may have a lot of people coming by for chili..!!

Thanks for the interview Emilio

<Emilio> Thanks from both of us for making it happen and having the patience to get us on ICQ


You can find out more about where Emilio is playing by visiting his website at