Trigger Hippy Proves Chemistry Leads To Success At The Birchmere, 8/17

By Steve Houk Chemistry. It means everything when you’re seeking a winning formula, whether it’s a sports team, a marriage…or a rock band. Doesn’t matter if the players are super talented, th[...]

Dangermuffin Rocks Club Cafe, 8/19

An unlikely trio of two guitars and drums, Dangermuffin from Folly Beach, SC is unquestionably one of the most unique sounding three-pieces touring today. Their ability to blend and bend musical gen[...]

Top Musical Moments From The 2014 Peach Music Festival

Much like last year, the third annual Peach Music Festival was a smashing success. Nestled on the beautiful Montage Mountain, just outside of Scranton, PA, Peach Fest brought top-notch musicians f[...]

The Hidden Joys At Silopanna Music Festival, 8/16

The term music festival can mean different things to different people. For those who make it their business to stay hip to what’s new and what’s hot, many major cities offer a Music Festival Exper[...]

Review: Dark Star Orchestra Shines At Stage AE, 8/8

Having never been privy to seeing the Grateful Dead live in concert, I'm only left with several alternatives. There's nothing wrong with a Phil & Friends performance or an appearance by the [...]



02/12/13Posted in features by Justin Charles


L4LM Exclusive Interview: Rob Compa of Dopapod


Dopapod may seem busy performing concerts on the road for their winter tour and promoting their third studio release, but if you ask them, they’re just hitting their stride.

Dopapod has enjoyed success recently on the road after giving some well-received shows in Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, where they tested out live versions of tracks from their latest studio effort, “Redivider.” The studio tracks were recorded on a scenic, solar-powered farm in the small town of Pomfret, Conn., and they show the huge musical strides the band has made since their second studio album, “Drawn Onward,” which was released less than a year ago. Our own Carey Vanderborg caught up with the electro-soul quartet and spoke with Dopapod guitarist Rob Compa as they prepared to rock their way down South en route to a much-anticipated appearance at the Aura Music & Arts Festival in Live Oak, Florida.

L4LM: Tell us a little bit about how you, Eli, Chuck and Neal came together to form Dopapod.
I think the group officially came together in October 2007 — I wasn’t in it yet. I joined six months later, but it started out just Eli, our keyboardist and a drummer. The drummer was Mike Caruba, who’s no longer with us, he’s in his own band now. And then we just added members a little bit at a time. And so I wasn’t in school, I had dropped out from Berklee a little before that. We were all living in Boston, but most of us were still in school, so at first it was really gradual. We played a couple gigs in Boston where we had, like, four original songs, and the rest of the shit we would just make up. So gradually we built up a repertoire and started writing songs and eventually Mike left and Neil, who was playing percussion with us at the time, took over the drum kit. That led to the quartet lineup that we’ve had for the past few years. And so here we are.

L4LM: For the first two albums, you guys took the conventional route by recording in traditional studios. With “Redivider” you mixed it up and secluded yourselves at a remote location. How was that recording experience different from your previous ones?
Well, I loved it. It was actually one of the most fun, most memorable musical experiences of my life. We did it there because the guy who runs the farm is a great friend of ours and he actually books shows there. Bands play there at the same barn that we recorded at. Actually, some of the first gigs we did were at that barn. Like really early on when we were just a trio – me, Eli and Mike. So he hooked us up, let us stay there and it’s a beautiful place, just incredible. So when you have all day on this plot of land with seriously no distractions, nowhere to go, all you do is just sit on this farm and think about music. So there are no distractions and all you’re doing is creating and a lot of times in the studio it doesn’t feel like that because you’re being charged by the minute and by the hour and so there are things that you might want to try but you can’t because the time is expensive. You know, like sometimes I’ll have plenty of ideas for guitar overdubs I’ve wanted to try, but a lot of them I just didn’t even bother with because of time. So I had to pick the ones that I would be sure would most likely work. But at the barn, I took my time. We all did. I think we had a whole day where I just sat with Luke, our sound and light guy who actually engineered the album for us and produced it. And so I got to try a million things and half of them worked and so it was just a lot of experimentation, like trying harmonies to see if they sound good. So the whole thing was like that. Turning that barn into just a giant toy that we could play with, and if something didn’t work then it wasn’t a big deal because we had time on our hands. I think having time contributed to creativity and if you’re having fun then creativity is easy. If you’re not having fun then it’s kind of like paddling upstream. This wasn’t like that at all. This was sort of like us just cruising along.

L4LM: This is the first album where you guys feature vocals. Where in the creative process did that addition come to mind?
You know, I feel like if you write music the same way for long enough, or if you do anything the same way for long enough, then you get bored and you want to find new things. And, I mean, we’re not going to add another band member anytime soon, I can tell you that. But we can sing. And me and Eli like to sing and it’s like adding a new instrument — it really is. So that was just like a new avenue for us to go down. It wasn’t forced or anything like that. We didn’t do it for the sake of getting a bigger fan base or anything like that, it was just a new way to make music that reinvigorated the creative process.

L4LM: So Dopapod is on a pretty lengthy tour, and one of the stops is Aura. What kind of fulfillment do you guys get when you do festivals as opposed to your own shows.
I think the first thing that comes to mind is the hang. At this point in touring, you know, we’re just around each other all the time and we play for people, but mostly we just hang out with each other and every band is like that. But festivals are cool because everyone is on their respective tours and we all intersect for this one weekend and we get to have this huge and hang. We get to sit in with each other’s bands and party backstage and have a great time. Then we split ways and then a couple weeks later maybe there’s some other festival where all the bands that we’re friends with are backstage and we’re hanging out again. So that for me is a cool part along with the fact that you get to play for people who normally might not have gone out of their way to see you play. Like, they might not have paid the $10 to see you at a club, so you could get ahold of fans that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. And that’s a great thing, you need that.

L4LM: You guys are pretty well versed in the festival circuit. Are there any festivals in particular that you’re most looking forward to?
Well Aura, obviously, even though it’s not the summertime, is definitely exciting. But otherwise, it’s a little early for festival announcements now. But I know that Catskill Chill is one that’s always a great time so I’m definitely looking forward to that and Gathering of the Vibes was super cool as well. That was probably the most exciting one for last summer, but as of now it’s probably too early to say what festivals we’re even doing. It’s a little early on in the booking process.

You can catch Dopapod in New York City next week at the Highline Ballroom (Feb. 21) where they’ll team up with Kung Fu for a great night of music. Tickets are available at Highline Ballroom’s website. You can also catch the band at a variety of festivals this summer including Aura Music Festival!


Related


Comments



Ray LaMontagne Has Meltdown Over Talking Fans, Refuses to Continue Until They Leave

Things got a little awkward for the sold-out crowd at a Ray LaMontagne concert at Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Wednesday night. In the middle of his set, Ray LaMontagne called [...]

Drug Dealer Charged With Electric Zoo 2013 Death

It has been almost a year since Olivia Rotundo and Jeffrey Russ (pictured above) tragically passed away during Electric Zoo 2013, but DEA agents have finally found and charged the drug dealer responsi [...]

The Hudson Project Cancels Last Day As Weather Conditions Deteriorate, People Are Still Stranded

It has been almost 24 hours since The Hudson Project announced that it was evacuating its venue and campgrounds and festival attendees are still stuck trying to get out of the area.  Around 4:00pm [...]

Someone Broke Into The Grammys, Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Glastonbury... and He's Making A Movie

Marcus Haney describes his documentary No Camera's Allowed as "a love letter written to these festivals." This twenty-something year old began his journey after sneaking into Coachella, and has ne [...]

The Muddy Truth About The Hudson Project

Many of you have heard horror stories regarding this past weekend’s inaugural Hudson Project music festival at Winston Farm in Saugerties, NY. Whether discussing awful security execution, bad weathe [...]

Top Musical Moments From The 2014 Peach Music Festival

Much like last year, the third annual Peach Music Festival was a smashing success. Nestled on the beautiful Montage Mountain, just outside of Scranton, PA, Peach Fest brought top-notch musicians f [...]

Phish Randall's Island Night 3: Never Miss A Sunday Show

The old adage always rings true: never miss a Sunday show. Despite the fear of rain, Phish phans flocked to Randall's Island for the third night of the band's three show run. After rocking the first [...]

Phish Merriweather Night 2: Tweezerfest

As soon as we saw the megaphone in Trey’s hand, we knew we were in for something special. Actually, let me back up. As soon as I walked into Jason’s Deli for lunch, hours before the show, and hear [...]

10 Magnificent Things You Will Only Find Inside Electric Forest!

Electric Forest is a music and arts festival like no other. With unimaginable production and things to stimulate all senses, one might find it hard to put this festival into words. These are just a fe [...]

We Want The Funk! L4LM's Top 10 Current Funk Acts

From New Orleans to New York to the festival circuit and beyond, funk music has exploded tremendously on the music scene, and with very good reason. Whether you Live for Live Music or simply enjoy ge [...]

10 Things You Didn't Know About Jesus From Lettuce

Erick “Jesus” Coomes is a man of many talents. You may know him as the highly skilled bassist of acclaimed funk outfit Lettuce, or for his lovable goofball antics on and off stage. However, there [...]

The Highest Paid DJs And What They Are Actually Doing On Stage

Forbes released their yearly list of the world's highest-paid DJs in 2014, or "Electronic Cash Kings" as they like to call them. As you could imagine, the numbers are exorbitant. Some of these guys [...]


Help out Live For Live Music as a writer, photographer, or as a member of our street team for the chance to win awesome perks!