Sunday, June 05, 2011

Interview - Dopefight

All the guys from the blog were out in force last night to catch Dopefight tearing up Birmingham. We caught up with Ant, Pull and Owen to discuss their UK tour, Rick James and why they're marketing their music to people with ADHD...




[Jay] - Guys, thanks for catching up with us. Welcome to Birmingham. Home of Black Sabbath, Napalm Death and UB40.
[Ant] - [laughs] It's great to be here.
[Pull] - Yeah, we've not actually played round here before. It makes a change coming up north.


[J] - I've Got to start by saying congrats on the album 'Buds', its been getting really excellent reviews all over the net. How have you found the response yourselves?
[A] - Its been amazing. We've had a lot responses to it from the States, Germany and Finland, we've been shipping out merch all over the world. We're Slightly merch greedy really. We like to keep bringing out new shirt designs. Its something not a lot of bands do, but it also just keeps people interested.
[Owen] - And the thing is as well its not that expensive as a mark up to do it in big batches. I mean, why should we wait for a label to come along and do that and then they'll take most of the fucking cut.
[A] -Yeah we really like to keep the whole DIY ethos.
[O] - The whole point of the Big Cartel site is to fund this really. Pay for petrol, pay for rehearsal space, pay for the studio etc.
[A] - At the end of the day being in a band cost money and time and if you don't have that theres not fucking band so we need to make some money. As long as we're not out of pocket its cool.


[J] - All in all you've got to be pretty chuffed, what with everything being self funded and produced?
[A] - Yeah. We got approached by a couple of labels but they just totally fucked us over. That was after the demo we got interest, then the split ep (with Dead Existence) we did ourselves. Then after that we were just like lets just do it all ourselves.


[J] - So how long have you guys been together now?
[O] - 2 years, 1 month.
[Pull] - Haha, he's been counting man!


[Andy] - Thats either - 'Oh, this is the best thing ever' or 'Oh no, not another fucking day!'
[P] - [laughs] The prison sentence continues.


[J] - So you're wrapping up your UK tour now. How's it been?
[A] - Well tomorrow's the last day really. Last week was mainly with Hang The Bastard and this week with Dead ExistenceWe're back down in Camden playing an all dayer. Its going to be awesome the lines up's amazing. 


[J] - Actually entirely off the back of you guys we checked out Hang The Bastard... Really good stuff!
[A] - Yeah they're awesome. They're more involved in a slightly different scene to us, they're a bit more of a hardcore band. So some of the shows we played with them were a bit… well, some of the crowds were fairly tough. A lot of 'chin strokers'.
[P] - You don't get a lot of cross over really.
[A] - It was cool that there was a nice mix of people. They were fucking good gigs but you know, not particularly comfortable.


[J] - It's always uneasy when you come up against an audience expecting something different.
[A] - Yeah it's difficult, but I suppose that sort of thing kinda needs to happen a bit more.


[Andy] - How did you find it affected your performance?
[O] - We just do the same thing we always do, fuck em' if they don't like it.
[P] - That was the crazy thing about the Hang The Bastard shows. There were all these crazy kids windmilling to us, on all the really doomy bits, and it was just like 'really?'
[A] - It was quite weird watching these kids trying to like beat down dance when we're playing slow.


[J] - Were they at least doing it in time?
[A] - Haha, no of course not. That would have been amazing though.
[P] - I think theres one set dance move they do and i don't think it really matters whats playing. You cant really modify it at all.


[Andy] - Other than that how's the tour life been treating you guys? Crashing on peoples floors or just sleeping rough?
[A] - Mostly random  peoples floors. We just turn up - 'Who's house is this? Dunno'. Wake up in the morning - 'Who's house is this? Dunno. Bye!'
[P] - I think we've been pretty lucky where theres been not situations where we've had to sleep in an alley way or anything yet.


[J] - Where have been your best shows?
[A] - I think our best shows have always been in london so far. London's just where we always kind of feel at home and we usually have the best reception. We've played quite a few shows there and they've just got better and better. We're really pleased with it.


[J] - So whats next for you guys? You mentioned being approached by record labels. Is that something you're going to completely try and avoid?
[A] - Not completely. There's a little bit of interest at the moment we're just waiting on finalising some things. Obviously we're not going to say anything just yet. But regardless of that situation we've got some cool records coming out. A split with Trippy Wicked and then we should be doing a split with The Fucking Wrath coming out in a couple of months on Hell Comes Home Records. So yeah, theres a few things in the pipeline.


[J] - Anything in the way of a full length album?
[O] - Yeah, but thats not going to be until next year. Then when we do that we want to hold back to have a really good producer to work with rather than just go at it. The next one has to make Buds look absolutely fucking shit. There's so many bands that have that second album syndrome. The first albums great and the second one is just dire.
[A] - And now theres been, thankfully and amazingly, such a great response from the album. The hype's going to be there. So we're just going to take our time with the next album. We'll throw out another EP and a couple of splits just to tide things over and keep ourselves going. Then come next year we're gonna get on the new material.


[J] - Who would you like to produce it?
[A] - Kurt Ballou would be awesome.
[O] - Or Alex Newport would be wicked… Or Dr Dre!
[P] - Oh that would be a loud album man! He's production's loud as fuck.
[A] - But we'll just see how it goes. If everything comes to plan there should be some really exciting things happening.


[J] - Its a completely cliche question, but who are your biggest influences?
[O] - RICK JAMES!
[A] -Yeah, we love Rick James. But before this we all mainly played in punk bands so theres a wide array of influences there. Thats why Dopefight is the way it is. Its not really doom or anything. You've probably noticed the songs aren't that long and they change all the time. We just don't have the patience to write 10 minute songs with the same fucking riff, going on and on and on.


[J] - Well Buds when you look at it, theres like 13 tracks including the hidden one. - Pretty unconventional for a band of the genre. It makes a refreshing change really.
[A] - Well yeah, we're just punks playing doom really. Its doom for people with no patience. Or doom for kids with ADHD. Thats how i'd describe it.


[J]- Well I think i got the tag line for the interview right there!
[All] - [laugh]


[Andy] - So how does your writing process work?
[A] - Its basically either of these two write a riff, play a beat to it, leads to another riff. To write an actual song is really natural to us.
[O] -Then we'll spend like an hour doing it and getting into it then just be like nah that's the biggest pile of shit and just scrap it. Theres a lot of songs on Buds that were like that and then the penny dropped, and something clicked.
[A] - I think for the next album thats where we're going to be different. We'll be a bit more militant and a bit more strict about quality control. If we don't like something we'll just chuck it out rather that just going 'yeah thats fine'.
[O] - If you think about it too much then it just fucks up.
[A] - Yeah, if it becomes a real challenge and a chore then theres not fucking point.
[P] - Sometimes we can be writing a song and it just goes on and on and on and we just end up cutting it out because if it doesn't feel right now its not going to feel right on stage.


[J] - Talking about being on stage, who would you really like to play with?
[O] - The Sword.
[A] - Bongzilla if they ever got back together.
[P] - Oh yeah definitely!
[O] - Actually, in an ideal world, Nail Bomb.
[A] - Well we're playing with Eyehategod and Church Of Misery coming up at the bed of the month, but thats just a one off show in Bristol. But we're playing in Kingston the same fucking day! But yeah, we've got some good showing coming up.

~

Check out our review of Buds here.


For photo's of the gig itself, just click on the picture at the top or head over to our Facebook page.



~ Jay