Dopapod is a band that can’t be restricted by genre classifications. Equal parts electronic, jam, and funk, Dopapod is the band you stumble on at a music festival and miss whatever you were on your way to because you simply can’t stop dancing. After playing an expansive festival schedule, Dopapod is once again hitting the road in support of their new album Never Odd or Even, out November 11, which includes a stop at The Stache on October 19th. Check out the full tour schedule below, along with my interview with drummer Scotty Zwang, in which he talks music festivals, Dopapod’s recording process, and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Hypist: You’ve played a ton of festivals, including Summer Camp, Wakarusa, and our beloved Electric Forest. You guys seem like a band that hangs out at the festivals they perform at. What are some of your favorite festival moments outside of your own performances?
Scotty Zwang: My favorite thing about festival season is getting to hang with a lot of our musician friends, we don’t get to see that often. You also get to meet a bunch of musicians you look up to. It was really cool to hang with The Wood Brothers at Summer Camp this summer. We all look up to them, and have followed their careers for a while. Hearing how much they enjoyed our set, is pretty much one of the coolest things ever.
H: Your live performances are so varied and improvisational, how do you guys decide what actually goes on an album when you record?
SZ: We do improvise a ton in our live shows, but we do still compose and arrange our songs. We have sections that we decide we are going to jam on, and its no different in the studio. Sometimes we stick with the chord changes within the arrangement, other times we switch it up. In the studio though, we don’t have improv sections in every song, like we might have in a live setting. An album is released to showcase a product; in this case, the product is a bunch of songs. We like to have a couple of improvised sections, but we really want people to hear the arrangements on the album. We want people to come to the shows to see us stretch things out and potentially get weird.
H: You were here at The Stache in May, and you’re playing Bell’s in Kalamazoo in November. What is it about West Michigan that keeps you coming back?
SZ: The VanDerKerkoff’s and the beer. You have REALLY good beer. The fans are also pretty awesome
H:You’ve been known to sneak ridiculous covers into your live performances, and last time you were at The Stache you threw Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys into the mix. If you were each a pop star, who would it be?
SZ: I would definitely be Dave Grohl, because he’s my favorite person ever. Eli would be Justin Timberlake, because he is so multitalented. Rob would be Pitbull, because he loves Fireball and Bud Light. And Chuck would be Thomas The Tank Engine, because he told me so.
Be sure to catch Dopapod at The Stache in Grand Rapids on October 19th. Tickets are available at The Intersection box office or online at sectionlive.com
(All photos by Luke Stratton)