FLYER Q&A: Fayetteville’s White Mansion ready to do big things

Courtesy photo

If you’re not already into White Mansion, get into them now.

The band’s thick and lived-in sound is instantly gripping, and nuanced enough to require further listening. Their live set is sweeping and intense – hopefully you saw their killer opening sets for Magic Sword, and BRONCHO at George’s.

They are a band I’m quick to mention anytime someone asks about local bands. They’re one of my current favorites – not only for their music, but for their extra work with promotion and bringing touring bands to Fayetteville. The band put together their next show at George’s Majestic Lounge on Thursday, June 20, bringing out The Secret Post from Tulsa, and Kudzu from Springfield to join.

I asked vocalist Dusty Domino some questions about the band – here goes…

Who: White Mansion / The Secret Post / Kudzu
When: 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20
Where: George’s Majestic Lounge
Cost: $8 + fees at
More: See the Facebook event

Give us a brief history of the band.
Travis Keymer started White Mansion as a solo project a few years ago and released the album “Lonesome.” That album became the seeds for where we are now. Travis wanted to see what it would be like to flesh out some of the songs with a full band and recruited some old and new friends to work on the project. Lyrics were written for demos and the group started rehearsing in the back of an abandoned Dollar General. The best damn reverb on the planet was in that place. We have come a long way in the last two years. We’ve played a lot of really fantastic live shows with some great bands, local and national touring acts. We signed a record deal and are on the verge of our debut album. The lineup has essentially remained the same since the beginning – Travis Keymer, Andy Wade, Dusty Domino, Eli Barrett with Seth Hudspeth joining on Bass before last Christmas.

What non-musical factors brought you together as a band?
Hard to say because music is what binds us together but for the most part everybody was friends before starting to play music together. Good beer is non-musical and we like that, but beer often leads to music, so not sure if that counts.

It counts. Is there a local beer responsible for getting White Mansion together?

Oh yeah. Any IPA from Fossil Cove or the Birch Avenue Blonde.

What have you been writing about lately?
Love, death, disillusionment, finding your place. The songs on the album reflect all those emotions. A lot of heartache and longing.

What was the last book or film that influenced a lyric or song?
Speaking only for myself, I am really influenced by the futurist JG Ballard. Especially the trilogy of short novels, “Crash,” “High Rise” and “Concrete Island.” They seem to influence my general aesthetic for lyrics.

You’ve played with a lot of great touring bands. Which one sticks out the most as a growing experience?
I would have to say the first touring band we played with, Magic Sword. We prepared so much for that show and we did have a great show. But watching how comfortable they were on stage. They have an air of mystery because they are masked, very dramatic and commanding. Something we aspire to be. Pretty awesome that we are now playing the same stage at George’s as a headlining act. It’s a fantastic feeling and are so grateful to be where we are at in such a short time.

Can W|M agree on one desert island disc? What are you listening to if stranded for eternity?
Everybody in the band has very eclectic tastes. This is cheating I know, but we couldn’t decide. So we will each pick one and go to separate parts of the island to listen…
Dusty – Depeche Mode “Black Celebration”
Andy – Nine Inch Nails “The Fragile”
Travis – Radiohead “Amnesiac”
Eli – Art Farmer “Crawl Space”
Seth – Boris “Heavy Rocks”

Is there a new record coming out anytime soon? Anything you can share about that?
We are really excited that our first full length album will be coming out in the next few months. It will be released on Cold Transmission, a record label out of Frankfurt, Germany. They have a great reputation in Europe and we have enjoyed working with them. Digital and CD, digipacks will be the initial release and vinyl to come later. The album was recorded at East Hall Studios with Chris Moore. The songs are sounding amazing. We have put our heart and soul in there. We couldn’t be happier and hope that people will enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed making it.

What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
The album and its release is our main priority. Videos for individual tracks, single releases with remixes, and lots of shows. So we will be busy.

You’ve got a few Arkansas shows coming soon. When can we see them?
On June 14th we are at the Eureka Springs Auditorium with Barbarians of Tomorrow.
On June 20th we are at George’s with The Secret Post and Kudzu. Fayetteville people don’t miss this one. The Post and Kudzu are fantastic.
On June 29th we are recording a live in-studio performance for Fayetteville Public TV.
On July 12th we are at Vino’s in Little Rock with Illusionaut.
And on July 13th we are playing the outdoor stage at Rebel Kettle Brewery in Little Rock.
We have a few more announcements coming soon as well.

What other Fayetteville bands do you recommend? Who are you looking forward to sharing a stage with?
Fayetteville has so many great bands right now. We’d be happy to play with any of the many talented groups in town. The scene is really creative and thriving. To anybody reading this, get out and support local music!

Fayetteville has a fantastic scene and you won’t be disappointed.