Kids always get asked what they want to be when they grow up. That question can inspire all kinds of unrealistic fantasies, Diva Dompe’s vision was clear. “I would always put down ‘rock star,’” she says, speaking over Skype from her home in Los Angeles. “Growing up, it seemed like a super normal job that you could have.”
The rock star career path seemed commonplace simply because she’s been surrounded by rock stars her entire life. Dompe is the daughter of Kevin Haskins, the original drummer for glam goth icons Bauhaus and founding member of the more pop-oriented Love and Rockets, the trio that scored a Top 10 hit in the US with the infectious 1989 single “So Alive.” Growing up in LA in the years after that big hit while her father’s band fell under the guidance of uber-producer Rick Rubin, she grew up accustomed to seeing the rock lifestyle play out before her.
While she’s been in bands throughout her life—including Blackblack, a gently psychedelic trio with her sister Lola and Phantom Planet frontman Alex Greenwald—Dompe has directed most of her energy toward the healing arts and reiki. She also leads guided meditations for clients and records them, with her original ambient music, for a monthly show for the streaming radio station Dublab. But these days, she’s getting a full taste of that rock star dream, joining her father and his longtime collaborator Daniel Ash in the group Poptone.
It’s an unashamedly nostalgic trip for Haskins and Ash, to bask in the legacy of the work they’ve done together in Love and Rockets and their experimental pop trio Tones on Tail, best known for the ’80s dance club mainstay “Go!” The small complication with their plan was that those groups had different bass players: Haskins’ brother David J and Glenn Campling, respectively. Rather than forcing one of those men to play music they had no part in creating and keeping the hype of a big reunion tour to a minimum, they brought in a neutral party to fill the role.
In some ways, it’s the ideal gig for Dompe. Poptone’s tour schedule is a considerate one, with the live dates broken up into long weekends so she can be home as much as possible to care for her young daughter. And she doesn’t have to worry about crafting new material or making the bass lines her own.
“I’ve been trying to keep it pretty simple and straightforward,” Dompe says.
And how does it feel to be stepping into her uncle’s shoes for at least part of each evening?
“He gave me his blessing,” she says. “I got a lot of his DNA after all. Really, I think it gives it a nice continuity, I’ve grown up with the songs and they all feel really close to home. It’s nice for me to be in that place.”