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Stage Buzz: Dope at Concord Hall

| September 29, 2016


Dope, Tuesday, Oct 4, Concord Music Hall

Industrial metal underdogs, Dope, have been delivering their melodic brand of rage for nearly 20 years. The band emerged in 1997 when Ministry was already well-established, Nine Inch Nails were immensely popular, and White Zombie was hitting their stride. While there were plenty of innovative bands in the genre who were already doing their own thing, Dope quietly-yet-defiantly stood on its own.

“I think what set us apart is that we were one of the few bands that had that really aggressive industrial edge like Coal Chamber and Ministry, but we also were able to successfully incorporate a lot of melody,” Edsel Dope said. “I feel we were kind of in the mix where we did it all, and to this day I still feel the same way. We’ve always kept the industrial influences, and the melody has always been there. But we have acoustic songs and then we have “Die Motherfucker Die” songs. I feel that Dope’s sound has always reflected multiple emotions and therefore the sound of the band is very wide because of that.”

After taking a well-deserved break a few years ago, Edsel has resumed the band and is reunited with its classic lineup for its sixth full-length album and first in seven years, Blood Money, Part 1.

“The first five albums were back to back, and it was non stop touring for the band,” Edsel said. “There was never a break. It was pedal to the metal from day one. I just reached a point where I needed to step away and take a break. I didn’t intend for it to take as long as it did. Quite honesty, I realized I needed to grow up a little bit, too. Doing this for a living can stunt your growth in some ways. Because all of this music that’s written in that span of time was an important part of my life, so for me to title these bodies of work any differently doesn’t make sense to me. There was so much material written in that time and with Part 2, and whatever follows after that, at least from the songs that were written in that time frame will all fall under the Blood Money banner.”

Although Blood Money, Part 1 hasn’t officially been released yet, Blood Money, Part 2 is already in progress, according to Edsel. “It’s definitely in the works,” he said. “If I was writing a bunch of new songs tomorrow, I would consider it under a different title,” he said. “But there were so many songs written for Blood Money. Whether or not the majority of those get finished or not, you just never know. But I think we’re easily talking about a two-part album, or maybe a third, depending on how many tracks end up on each album.”

With the current musical business model these days, a lot of bands have been entertaining the notion of abandoning the standard cycle of recording full albums, as Edsel is also considering this option. “I’m flirting with the model of trying to abandon the full-length album process in order to be more active,” he said. “It’s a longer cycle and I feel like our society is built on more instant gratification these days. I think a better model for the future would be a six-song EP and a music video and a tour every year. So that every year you have something to promote and for people to look forward to. It just seems like a far more refined model than the dinosaur model we continue to follow.”

Originally based in New York, Edsel took up residency in the Windy City for 13 years until recently relocating to California. However, he considers Chicago to be his second home. Edsel has never graced the stage at the Concord Music Hall, but he’s super psyched to be taking his Die MFer Die 15th reunion tour here. “It’s actually a really cool room, it’s a big room,” he said. “I was a little intimidated by it because the last time we played Chicago we packed the Double Door, that’s quite smaller. I would tell fans to expect the best of Dope, we’re going to bring it hard. I think the Concord will be a great show and it’ll be great to reconnect with our Chicago crowd.”

– Kelley Simms

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