AX: Where did the concept of palindromes originate and how does this idea correlate with the music you produce?
DP: We’ve always had a fascination with symmetry. People typically don’t realize it, but many aspects of our everyday lives are in fact symmetrical. In our music there is a lot of use of tritone, which is a concept that splits scales in half, it is commonly referred to as the symmetric note. It’s very important to have this duality present in our sounds as well as this balance in our lives, we enjoy representing this in our music.
AX: The technical jazz as well as heavy trance style you have is extraordinarily unique, what sort of confluence between sound and form does each member bring to the table?
DP: We have a broad range of influences. Eli the keyboardist has a funk and classical jazz background growing up with Herbie Hancock, Soulive, Modeski, Martin and Wood. Rob on the other hand has always dug jam bands and from a guitar player perspective can really relate to The Band, Phish and Bob Dylan. The bassist, Chuck is huge into Primus and Rage Against the Machine, anything heavy. Whereas Scott the percussionist was a ska and punk kind of kid, fast beats and driving rhythms. In total, I guess what really gives us this diversity is the fact that we don’t all share the same taste. Everything would be hunky dory if we had, but wouldn’t that make music really boring if we all had the same likes and dislikes? This is the beauty of the art and it’s craftsmanship.
AX: With the last album, Redivider, dropping almost 2 years ago, what’s in the works? Perhaps another live album?
DP: We’re actually heading into the studio this month to create our fourth album together. It always seems to work out that we’re recording during the spring months. Typically we have toured fall and winter then laid down tracks before heading into the festival season full of momentum in addition to new tunes to test out. We actually expect this next one to take a little longer than our previous three because there’s so much we want to put on there. We’re not going to give away too much, let’s just say this next one will be stacked. As far as a live release goes, we have put out several shows in a multi-track format that you can download on our website: http://dopapod.com/
AX: What’s a major source of inspiration to tour so rigorously?
DP: It’s what you have to do to get to the next level. Maybe if we were writing pop songs we could sit around sipping cappuccinos in New York City waiting for an A & R rep to sign us to a major record deal… Then again, what’s a record deal? Do those even exist anymore? If somebody wants your music they’re going to find a way to get it, the record industry is dead and we like it that way. These days you must play shows to earn fans and get yourself on the map, there’s no easy way around it. This is what we wanted, 200 days out of the year we ride the yellow highway lines, whenever we’re not on the road we don’t know what to do with ourselves. It’s such a natural feeling for us.
AX: Your music has a presence in the EDM, transformational in addition jamster scenes, why do you believe it’s able to cross these boundaries?
DP: It’s funny you mention that, because from a compositional standpoint we create everything live. Though have been pegged as electronic before we never use pre-made drum beats or programs. However people perceive it makes no difference to us so long as our audience is digging it, that’s what really matters to us. Being able to explore different grooves is our forte and it really traces back to our different influences, we all find solace in these separate entities then are able to bring something to the table and create our own unique sound.
AX: You guys have really come to the forefront of the music and art festival world over the past year or so. How does Dopapod make the jump to trans-national touring?
DP: I’d like to say there is, but really there isn’t an overall master plan. We hope for the best and try to bring it each night. At the end of the day if you try to please everybody than it won’t work out. You can always follow what’s popular at the time or what have you, but if you don’t put all of your feeling and soul into it than you’re not really making music. We want to give our crowds something awesome to take home with them, to impart your art if you will.
AX: Finally, How do you feel about Spotify? Helpful or hurtful? Strengths and weaknesses?
DP: It would be hard to say we don’t love it; we use it all the time. Long ago we gave up on making money from our albums. Never again will that industry come back. Radiohead and Pretty Lights really set the standard for giving away their tunes for free online and after that everyone gave up on it. If people want to pay for it than they will and we say more power to them. Nobody plays music because the money is good; we’re not in it to get rich- though some money would be nice. That’s not what it’s about, for us it’s all for the sake of living and enjoying a life that you can only lead once. Sure, come to a show, buy a t-shirt and enjoy the live performance, but please have our music for free. It is because of these people that our professions still exist. We owe it all to you.
- Adam Epstein