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Hardly Doomed: Doctor Doom Orchestra breaks up, but it’s not the end

article by by John Powell

It’s a cold, late summer night, and Pete Doom and Andrea Tavares settle into the car where Bob Marley plays quietly on the stereo. They’ve just gone on stage with their friends, the WonderMics. The bill was originally The WonderMics opening for Doctor Doom Orchestra, in which Pete and Andrea were singers, but DDO never hit the stage because they recently disbanded after several years of hard touring and two records. Still, Pete and Andrea came up to do what they do best.

“It’s amazing to see a three-piece band that can put such a groove down and hang with it,” Pete says of the WonderMics. “It was a pleasure for us to come out and join them. Andrea and I are used to a lot of sound on stage, so to come do this- a lot of the time when we do something like this I think we surprise people because they don’t realize the different elements we can add.”

On stage, sunglasses and a fitted cap notoriously hide Pete’s face. Backstage, he is one of the most positive and grateful humans making music. Andrea is the same, but Pete’s counterpart, a quieter listener while Pete has many gears spinning. Both are huge fans of music. It’s no wonder that after DDO disbanded these two stuck together. While Pete is a double-time rapper, Andrea is a soulful belter, yet they both have positive energies about them, and shared love for reggae, soul, and hip hop.

While the breakup seemed tough, it didn’t sound wounding, and Pete and Andrea are eager to share the shaken hands among old bandmates, and the enthusiasm for a new project, likeminded and simplified. Pete felt DDO was too much sound, too many influences at once. There were elements of DDO he promises to continue.

Pete Doom | Doctor Doom Orchestra

It must feel good to do your thing and not have to fit in.

Pete Doom: We really enjoy the element of multiple people being highlighted. I don’t think anyone saw Andrea coming up and singing an Amy Winehouse song. You close your eyes and, “What am I listening to? Is this a recording?” [Laughs] Where’d this girl come from? It’s great to come out and finesse some stuff.

Are you playing with the WonderMics more?

Andrea Tavares: We’d like to. We’re talking about it.

Pete: Anytime that Tres [Myers] is in the crowd I pull him up and get him to do something. When we join up we call it the SuperMics- the WonderMics with the DDO singers. It’s a fun side thing. We can come up here and not throw away a show. For the people coming out wanting to see DDO, we hope that fulfilled something. That’s ultimately what we want to do, make good music for people to rock to.

You’ve gotten new people together for this project.

Andrea: New bass, guitar, drums, and us. We’re going with the same elements, but stick more to the reggae, funk, hip hop, and soul- allow more space.

Pete: The rock will be there, but lighter. We enjoy the heavier rock to an extent, but [DDO] traveled too much in that direction.

The newest DDO album, Thieves and Robots, is really heavy.

Andrea: Really, really heavy.

Pete: When we’d play a three-show weekend, it was like at the end of the weekend we were sick, our voices were gone.

Andrea: It’s competing with rock music.

Pete: She’ll, a lot of the time, say, “I can’t sing that high.” Well, you can. We need a dynamic where the band can say, “Andrea’s going really high now and we need to showcase her ability to do that.” Sometimes, DDO was rapid fire, energy, boom. At times, that’s great, but you need to contrast that with a mellowness that feels natural, rather than a mellowness that’s forced. We were afraid to stay mellow sometimes.


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