Dopapod Interview for ConcertBlogger.com

I recently did an interview with Chuck Jones of Dopapod for ConcertBlogger.com. Here it is.

Dopapod is a progressive groove quartet that is doing some amazing and innovative things. Their sound is as infectious as anything you’ve ever heard. One listen to their 17-minute Gramercy Theater show opener titled Sonic on YouTube, and I guarantee you won’t make it through the whole song without your body moving to the grooves these guys lay down. I was lucky enough to get a chance to speak with Bassist Chuck Jones in advance of their Friday night gig at The Hall at MP in Brooklyn. Here’s a bit of our talk.

ConcertBlogger: Hi there, thanks for taking some time out to talk to us.

Chuck Jones: No problem, I’m actually out running some errands with my girlfriend who’s driving.

CB: We are talking because you’re in the middle of a tour right now, how is that going?

CJ: We actually had the last weekend off with all the days on either side off, so we were able to come home and relax for a bit.

CB: It seems that you’ve been on the road since early September, and you’re not getting done until the end of the year. It must be nice to get some time to get back into a routine at home.

CJ: Yea, I actually look at each little block as it’s own tour. Getting to come home for a weekend is really rejuvenating. I want to be a touring musician, so if I get to come home for five days, and don’t get to play a show that weekend, then I kind of question what I’m doing with my life.

CB: Let’s hope your girlfriend feels the same way about it.

CJ: She’s very supportive, she likes that I’m home, but she understands and knows what she got herself into.

CB: Tell me about the band, how long has it been together, and how did you all meet?

CJ: The band started as a duo in 2007 at Berklee College of Music. It went through numerous lineups with different musicians coming and going. This current lineup has been together for about two years, but just because of everything that has happened I would say that the band has been together since 2009. Our musical personality really became settled in 2009.

CB: How did you come up with the band’s sound and musical direction?

CJ: It really developed naturally based on all of our different influences and likes. Writing wise we’re always open to trying anything, we don’t really have any boundaries as long as we all like it and are able. As long as we like it, we don’t really care if it sounds like us, but we are willing to give it a shot. There are some things that haven’t worked, but there are good ideas in all of them.

CB: How many releases have you had so far?
CJ: We’ve officially released four studio albums, and one live album plus there are a ton of shows on Bandcamp.

CB: So, on this leg of the tour are you supporting the latest album?
CJ: We’re actually touring in support of all our music. All music that was recorded on the album was actually played live previously. We just like the process of going into the studio and making an album. We are able to do things in the studio that we can’t do live, and we are comfortable with that. Some bands are very adamant on not doing anything in the studio that they can’t replicate on stage, but we’re comfortable with how we are live, so we might as well make a studio version that’s different than the concert version.

CB: Where is the band based?
CJ: We are all in the Northeast now, I guess it’s the tri-state area.

CB: I see you have a big show on New Year’s Eve in Worcester Massachusetts is that a tradition for you guys?
CJ: That’s correct. We played that show for the last two years and it’s always us and a couple other bands. It will be three bands this year and that’ll be really fun as they’re all really close friends of ours.

CB: What does the future hold for Dopapod?
CJ: After New Year’s were actually off until April and then will be doing some shows. After that festival season starts in May.

CB: Tell me about your upcoming Brooklyn show. Something happened and it got moved from Irving Plaza to the Hall at MP in Williamsburg?
CJ: Yes it was kind of a last minute thing. There was a really big band, that I’m not allowed to talk about, that needed the space and we came to a and understanding to move for them. ( It has since been revealed that ELO will be playing that night at Irving Plaza.)

CB: Well thanks for the time. I can’t wait to see you soon.
CJ: Thanks a lot!

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Radkey – Studio at Webster Hall – 10/7/2015

Delicious Rock Noise, They are the words plastered on the back of Isaiah Radkey’s signature bass guitar. That is exactly what Radkey delivers. The band is finishing up their first ever North American headlining tour. It will be followed by a whopping 36 hours at home in Kansas City, then it’s off to a string of European dates. I got to meet them a few hours before the show when we took a walk to Union Square.

Radkey-00001

I have to admit, I got a little apprehensive about the show while we walked through the city. The band, Brothers Solomon, Dee, and Isaiah Radkey from St. Joseph, Missouri are friendly and polite, and really, really quiet. This is a marked difference from the stage presence of one of post-punk’s hottest new groups. I was a bit worried that the fire would be missing. I was so wrong. The need to release so much fury in a short set means the guys must save up every last ounce of energy for the show. The show opened with Isaiah calmly approaching the microphone and simply stating ” We’re Radkey, and that’s what the fuck is up” then BAM! A wall of sound struck the audience like a hammer blow. The blows kept coming for the next hour. Mixing in songs from the plethora of material that they have released over the last few years with songs off of the recently released first full-length album “Dark Black Makeup” the set went by too fast for the gathered crowd. This show at the Studio at Webster Hall will be remembered as the last small-venue show in New York that this band will play. They are on a rocket ride to stardom so don’t expect to see them in such an intimate venue again for a long time. Here are my shots.

Blind Melon – 90’s Fest – 9/12/2015

Here are my shots of the great Blind Melon from their 90’s Fest set. They rocked through the raindrops and I was thrilled when celebrity Rock photography Danny Clinch stepped out on stage with them. I got to meet him for a moment backstage and it was one of the coolest photography-related moments I’ve ever had. Click on any photo for a larger version.

Here are my shots of the great Blind Melon from their 90’s Fest set.