Edsel Dope - Vocals/Guitars/Programming
Virus - Guitars/Keys
Brix - Bass
Racci "Sketchy" Shay - Drums / Samples
Dope wants "to open up people's eyes both with [their] outlook on the world and [their] music," according to lead singer Edsel Dope.
They believe in absolute and complete freedom of all expression and action. According to the band, this uncensored freedom will eliminate incarceration for victimless crimes, as they affect no one but those who choose to participate. Specifically, Dope supports the decriminalization and legalization of all drugs, just like cigarettes and alcohol.
"You regulate it, tax it, and put a rest to the useless, multimillion?dollar war on drugs as well as the insane amount of money we spend on prisons. That's a lot of money that could be spent on a hell of a lot better things," says keyboardist Simon Dope.
This will reduce both the crime rate and the overwhelming cost of needlessly jailing thousands of nonviolent offenders in an environment that breeds violence more than rehabilitation.
As Edsel puts it, "You take a non-violent kid caught with a pocket full of drugs and throw him in prison and watch him learn to become violent. How does this better our society?" Simon adds "Our prisons are overcrowded already. With a drop in the prison population there'll be more space for the people who belong in prison, like rapists and child molesters so they aren't back on the streets due to overcrowding."
Along with these concerns, the Dope philosophy pretty much boils down to freedom. The Declaration of Independence granted us each life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As Simon puts it, "Who the hell is some guy in DC to decide what my pursuit of happiness should be? What if it involves getting high in my own home? As long as I'm not intruding on anyone else's freedom who cares? These people need to worry a little more about themselves and less about what I'm doing in my own fucking home."
In 1996, the Dope brothers were at work in New York City writing songs when they came across guitarist Sloane Jentry, 25, from North Philadelphia. Sloane had become bored with the Philadelphia scene, where he would often turn to drugs and alcohol for entertainment, and decided to search for something better in New York City. The three hit it off instantly and Dope had its first member.
With the addition of Sloane, the Dope brothers were on their way to forming their band. However, they were still in need of a bassist and drummer. While attending a Jack Off Jill Show at the 1997 CMJ Music Fest, Edsel was introduced to a young guitarist named Tripp Eisen, 26, by his friend Scott Petusky (ex-Marilyn Manson guitarist Daisy Berkowitz). Tripp grew up in Detroit and later moved to New Jersey, where he was currently heading several Goth/Industrial bands. Edsel was immediately impressed with Tripp without even hearing him play. Since Dope already had a guitarist, they came up with the idea to try and get Tripp to play bass. Needless to say, Dope now has it's bassist.
The only spot left to fill was percussions. Since Edsel wanted to do vocals, Dope needed someone else on the drums for live shows. Tripp had a good friend named Preston Nash who had been playing with Tripp in another band. Preston was introduced to the rest of Dope, and was soon asked to join the band as a live drummer.
In 1998 Dope began distributing a demo tape that said they were being produced by Zim Zum of Marilyn Manson. (Although Zimmy ended up never actually producing anything for Dope, it did get them more publicity than they would have gotten otherwise). Dope also began playing live shows in New York City. As of now they have played 8 shows, all in the city (there was one scheduled to be played in Connecticut but it was cancelled) and have built up a devoted fan base. They have also been checked out by stars like Johnny Kelly of Type O Negative, who attended their May 17 show. In late 1998 they were signed to Flip Records, the home of bands like Limp Bizkit and Cold. They also worked out a distribution deal with Epic Records, and were featured in magazines such as High Times, Guitar, and Outburn, and received airplay from stations like New Jersey's WSOU (89.5 FM).
Dope's debut album was finished in Spring 1999, and is set to be released in late July, and be followed by their first tour. The album was produced by Edsel Dope & John Travis (who has worked with Biohazard, Monster Magnet, Videodrone, Kid Rock, Gravity Kills, etc.), was enginered by Edsel and John Travis and mixed by Edsel with 3 different people: John Travis, Jay Baumgardener (who also did Coal Chamber's 1st album and is in the process of mixing the new Coal Chamb?r record) and a guy by the name of Blumpy who works under Ben Gross, who did the Filter albums. A new 3 song sampler tape that contains the unmastered album versions of Sick, Fuck Tha Police and the demo version of Spine for You was released in spring and was distributed across the country through Flip and Epic records street teams.
In June 1999 Dope announced their tour supporting ORGY!!!! Look for them to be getting a LOT of exposure. The tour starts in Boston on July 17 and will continue until the end of July. Afterwards Dope will join the Fear Factory/Static-X tour. Tour dates can be found on my tour dates page. The album release date keeps getting pushed back but it is currently set for August.
On July 9 1999 Dope played their last New York City club show before starting their big tours. The show was a press showcase, held at the Elbow Room, and unfortunately lasted only about 35 minutes. According to other people it was pretty good, although my friends and I found it somewhat disappointing.
Dope's debut album, Felons and Revolutionaries, was finally officially released on September 14th (though there were various promo copies floating around before that). The first few were printed with the song Fuck tha Police listed, but the rest were printed without that song listed on the back. Both versions of the CD, however, are exactly the same.
Dope's tour with Orgy was very successful in winning them many new fans. They then toured with Fear Factory/Static-X, and then Coal Chamber/Slipknot. They were featured in plenty of mainstream magazines and their reputation has continued to grow. They did a live "webcast" of their performance and an interview for the UBL in mid-November 1999. In the interview Dope discussed their early club shows, including their first show ever, at the Elbow Room in March 1998, and the fact that they were never really part of the New York City club scene (except for the one show they played, January 1st 1999, with Uranium 235 and Vampire Love Dolls).
Dope's reputation is continuing to grow as they tour with more and more mainstream acts
posted by edseldope.com