Dogstar (band)

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OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
Years active1991–2002
LabelsZoo Entertainment
Associated acts
Past members

Dogstar was an American alternative rock group active from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. The band found moderate success but garnered significant media attention due to the band's bassist being well-known Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves.

Inception and name origin[edit]

The genesis of Dogstar was a chance encounter between Robert Mailhouse and Keanu Reeves in a supermarket in 1991. Mailhouse was wearing a Detroit Red Wings hockey sweater, and Reeves (an avid hockey fan and a keen player of the sport) asked if Mailhouse needed a goalie. As the two men formed a friendship, they began jamming together, and were joined by Gregg Miller as the original lead guitarist and singer in 1992. Reeves said that one thing led to another in the band's history:

You know, we started in a garage, and then you end up starting to write songs, and then you're like "Let's go out and play them!", and then you're like "Let's go on tour!", and're playing

— Keanu Reeves in an interview with Jimmy Fallon[1]

The band originally called themselves Small Fecal Matter, and then BFS (Big Fucking Shit, or Big Fucking Sound), before settling on Dogstar, after Mailhouse found the name in the book Sexus, written by Henry Miller.[2]

Band history[edit]

1994–1999: Quattro Formaggi, Our Little Visionary and live performances[edit]

Dogstar was joined by Bret Domrose as an additional vocalist and guitarist in 1994. One year later, the band toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Asia, and opened for David Bowie at his 1995 Hollywood Palladium gig,[3] where they covered a song by Pink Floyd, as well as for Bon Jovi on his 1995 These Days - Crossroads Tour in Australia and New Zealand.[4] Miller however left the band at the end of the tour. With Quattro Formaggi, they released their first sound carrier in the form of a four-track EP in 1996, via Zoo Entertainment, and followed this up with their debut album, Our Little Visionary, which was only distributed in Japan, even though Dogstar already had a worldwide fanbase at the time.[5] The band also performed at the Zee Cine Awards in India, the 1996 Zwemdokrock Festival in Lummen, Belgium,[6] and the 1999 Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, Somerset, England.[7]

1999–2002: Happy Ending, breakup and post-Dogstar[edit]

Although the band members had other work commitments, a second album, Happy Ending, followed in 1999, produced by Michael Vail Blum and Richie Zito. Domrose called the music on this record more "pop-aggressive" than the band's earlier work. Their last performance was in October 2002 in Japan,[8] and the band broke up afterwards. Domrose went on to perform as a solo artist, briefly played guitar with the band Berlin and is currently writing music for film and television.[9] Reeves and Mailhouse later performed together in a band called "becky".[10]


The bassist for Dogstar, Keanu Reeves, is better known for his roles in Hollywood films.

Keanu Reeves[edit]

Reeves was the bassist and backing vocalist of Dogstar and one of the two founding members. He is mostly known for his work as an actor in major Hollywood productions. In the end, he left the band to further pursue his acting career and meet his working schedule.

Robert Mailhouse[edit]

Mailhouse was Dogstar's drummer / percussionist and the other of the two founding members. Like Reeves, Mailhouse has an acting career, but mostly for television productions, and has appeared in the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives, as well as the comedy series Seinfeld.

Gregg Miller[edit]

Miller joined Dogstar a year after Mailhouse's and Reeves first encounter as their leading guitarist and vocalist. He participated on the band's 1995 tour before leaving the band.[11]

Bret Domrose[edit]

Domrose joined in 1994 as an additional guitarist and vocalist. After Miller's departure from the band, he took the lead guitar and vocals position.

Appearances and influences[edit]

The band appeared in the 1999 road drama Me and Will, as well as the 2005 comedy-drama Ellie Parker.[12]

Dogstar had several opening acts that went on to become notable, such as Rancid and Weezer (the latter's first gig was opening for Dogstar).[13]






  1. ^ The Letterman chronologicals (July 22, 2017), Keanu Reeves Band " Dogstar " with Jimmy Fallon, retrieved May 10, 2018
  2. ^ Crisafulli, Chuck (August 22, 1996). "A Dogged Journey". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  3. ^ "Old school Keanu cool with David Bowie. Dogstar was the opening act for Bowie @ the Hollywood Palladium, 1995. • r/KeanuBeingAwesome". reddit. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  4. ^ admin_ali (June 28, 2012). "1995-1996: These Days – Crossroad Tour". Bon Jovi Club Italia (in Italian). Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  5. ^ Hilburn, Robert (August 6, 1997). "There's More to Dogstar Than Its Marquee Value". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on September 23, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  6. ^ "Zwemdokrock 1996 Setlists". Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  7. ^ "Live Reviews: The Glastonbury FestivalJune 25-27, 1999". Chart Attack, Richard Beland, June 25-27, 1999.
  8. ^ "keanuvision: Get thee to the DMB-Miho ROCKS!". Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  9. ^ "Welcome". Bret Domrose. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  10. ^ Bonin, Liane (October 17, 2003). "The new band becky = 'Real World' + Keanu". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  11. ^ "Keanu Reeves Gives Dogstar Its Celebrity". tribunedigital-orlandosentinel. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  12. ^ Baumgarten, Marjorie (December 9, 2005). "Ellie Parker". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  13. ^ "30 Noteworthy Facts We Bet You Didn't Know About Weezer". BOOMSbeat. September 15, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2018.

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