Presenting Domby, His Music, and His Band PoJar. Express Interview with Stanislav Dombov

It is… music time again! Time to present the music of some of my old friends, talented Bulgarian musicians. Not to deviate from our tall connection, my first guest on the blog is a 6’3″ tall musician who played in the first band I ever wrote about. Who else could be more appropriate for a first guest on this blog! No one, but

Domby and PoJar (поЖар)

His full name is Stanislav Dombov. Tall, handsome, intelligent and talented. Music is his life. One of those musicians you can have an interesting conversation with. Not just about music. Just read on for our interview below.

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I met him in the early nineties when we were students at the same university in Bulgaria. He was the bass player of a student jazz-fusion band called Post Scriptum. Since then, he has done a fair bit of travelling, played with a number of bands – and had fun while doing this.

It is difficult to keep a band together and make a living from this nowadays, especially in a small country such as Bulgaria. This is one of the reasons why Domby is also a travelling musician (‘troubadour’). He plays solo gigs as a singer with his acoustic guitar at cruising ships and bars. Which he enjoys a lot. For the past four years, he has been mainly in Copenhagen where he plays with a circle of musicians from all over the world. They tend to play in duos, without having rehearsed together – which results in improvised, fun, live music. ‘I owe a lot to this, so to speak, school of music. It forms what I am nowadays’, says Domby.

Currently based in his home country, Bulgaria, he plays with a band called PoJar. Which means ‘Fire’.

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(C)2013 {Nikolaj Apov}, all rights reserved

You can find them here:

Some of their catchiest tunes are ‘PoJar’ (sung in Bulgarian) and ‘Drunken Baby’ (sung in English). This is not a ‘standard’ band – with a constant (fixed) line-up. This is more of an open group of friends-musicians who play together. Perhaps this flexibility is what contributes to the feel-good mood oozing from their music. What they do is cool rock music, deeply based in blues, rhythm and blues, soul and funk. Perfect for live jamming – which is what they do very well.

For quick facts about the band – please scroll down to the bottom of this article.

Express Interview with Domby

– Would you say you are a happy person?
– Yes, I am happy. I am still a musician. This is what I do for living. Music is my life. I play live what I like, I write my own songs, I travel.
– What else makes you happy?
– Happiness is a road, and I have been on this road since I was a teenager who dreamed of playing and becoming a musician. There is love, too.
I recently started building my own house in the Rhodope mountains, which is where I was born and grew up. Closer to Earth, closer to nature, away from the plastic world and all those ‘E’ food additives.
I grow my own vineyard. This has been a tradition in our region for thousands of years. We drink our home-made, real rakiya (Bulgarian brandy) and wine. My father and brother teach me how to do this. I have a husky and love walking the woods with her.
I am interested in the history of my home town, Perushtitsa. Every inch of my town and its surrounding is history. Thracian worship places, tombs, ancient graves, preserved ruins of early Christian basilica from 5th – 6th century, ruins from the Perushtitsa fortress… This is a very special place and I am happy that I have returned here. I keep in touch with old and new friends, local musicians, we play together and have fun. I rediscover my relationship with my family, my parents, my brother and sister, my nieces and my nephews…
– If you could meet one famous musician over a few beers, who would that be?
– That would have to be Keith Richards. He is the live history of rock’n’roll.
– Have you got any dreams that still haven’t come true?
– Of course I do. But life still goes on…

– If you weren’t a musician, what else would you have been doing?

– I don’t know. I am interested in paintings and wood carving. This is what I do sometimes. I recently took interest in agriculture and bee keeping. My grandfather used to do this; I grew up to the smell of wax and honey. I would love to be a stained glass artist one day, and a smith maybe… Who knows, one day, when the time is right! Interesting person to talk to, isn’t he!

Domby’s Previous Bands:

  • Isolir Band. He played bass for this band based in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, in the mid 90’s. Other band members were: guitar player Dilyan Obretenov (Dikata), vocalist Assen Belyakov, drummer Nevyan Duynov (Slona, which translates as the Elephant) – his former co-player from Post Scriptum. Nevyan was later on replaced by Joro ‘The Beatles’.
  • Blues Traffic – together with Porto, Aram Tateosian (also see Groovy and Smashed Can – below), and his current drummer Kolio Tabakov who still plays for Blues Traffic as his main band.
  • Power trio Zmei (on bass and vocals) – together with guitarist Boyan Christov and drummer Rossen Nedelvhev. They recorded a double album  in Bulgarian, which, unfortunately, never got published.
  • Acoustic trio – together with violinist Lyuba and Alen (contrabass)
  • He played on bass and contrabass together with the legendary Vasko Krapkata and Krassi Tabakov.
  • Groovy – together with Lyuba and Aram Tateosian (around 2000). Some of their tracks were aired by the radio stations in Plovdiv.
  • Smashed Can (based in London) – together with Aram Tateosian. They recorded an acoustic album available to stream here.
  • Lately, he has been playing as a duo with Pavel Popov (Pavkata Hipara) – a blues rock guitarist who played with in a band called Double Cloud (“Двоен облак”).  Lyuba was then their bassist.
In Blues Traffic, he replaced Aram (their bass player) who moved to London at the time. Their second guitarist was Krassi Tabakov – nowadays playing with the legendary Vasko Krapkata and Poduene Blues Band (“Подуене Блус Бенд”).

Some Quick Facts About PoJar

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They are gradually putting together material for their album. Up to present, they have recorded eight tracks, and will be working on mixing and mastering in due time.

Current line-up: Domby (vocal, guitar, lyrics), Domenico Fornari (Bass), Kolio Tabakov (drums) and Christo Hamliev (keyboards).

Where they come from:

  • Domenico Fornari – originally from Turin, Italy, he is now settled in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. He is the bass player of a band called Sha Sha.
  • Kolio Tabakov – used to play for Blues Traffic (together with Domby) for a number of years. Previously played in a few thrash metal bands (one of them was Crater), as well as Bobo, Tosho & Tabakov (“Бобо, Тошо и Табаков”). He now plays in Small Tragedies (“Малки трагедии”).
  • Christo Hamliev – plays keyboards for Herman’s Woolf Band. He is a guest musician at PoJar’s gigs when he is not composing theatre music. Last year he got the prestigious award ‘Asceer’ (“Аскеер”) for his music.

Guest musicians on their records:

  • Cvari (Цвъри – also from Sha Sha) who has played for some famous Bulgarian rock bands: Impulse, Accent, Poduene Blues Band.
  • Rouslan Grudev (Rocco) – guitar player and vocalist of a band called High Ball.

Musical influences: Rolling Stones, Jimmi Hendrix, The Beatles, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, James Brown, The Kinks, Faces, Tom Waits, Otis Redding, The Meters, Sly & The Family Stone, Ike & Tina..

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