Dopapod Interview at The Big Up

032-DSC_3294Back at one of my first Bear Creek music festival’s my friends highly encouraged me to go see this band called Dopapod. Little did I know at the time how insanely good Dopapod is at creating funky story lines of beautifully crafted compositions which are as goofily jammy as they are serious.
I knew from the moment I first heard their tunes that I had to keep up with these guys over the years, I always had a feeling that these guys talent and attitude would make them huge.

For this interview we met up with Rob, Chuck and Neal (Eli was running a little late) to get down to some serious stuff: Chuck almost dying the night before The Big Up, Dopadosio, Bear Creek and what Dopapod would look like if the band were a singular woman.

P. Sunkel: So you guys were just telling me Chuck almost died last night?

Chuck: Ok, so last night I was at my house. I was also stoked, I had gone out and bought a nice steak, and I bought some weird heirloom vegetables, they were different colored carrots. They were pretty cool. Cooked this whole steak, it was perfect…

Rob: It looked really good.

Chuck: It was really good. But my first bite, I took it and it was just a little too chewy. So rather than just spitting it out and dealing with it, I was just like fuck it, I’ll just eat this whole thing. And it got stuck in my throat. it’s happened before, but this just kept going on. So Rob and I spent some time trying to deal with it. He asked me if I was ok? and I was like “Yeah, I think I’ll be fine.” Then I was vomiting sort of, like all this gross shit was coming out in the sink. I went into the bathroom, I’ve never really made myself throw up, but I did it this time. I had my fingers all the way back down there, just puking all sorts of crazy shit.

Rob: And me behind just looking like (Gives a WTF expression)

Chuck: So, I pulled up the heimlick maneuver, cause I thought he might have to do it, so I showed Rob it on WebMD or something. He was not excited to do that. Eventually I had to call 911 because I thought I was going to do die. It was really bad, I couldn’t breathe. Then they showed up, we got in the van and I asked them about it. The woman was like super Staten Islandey, she was like “ Oh yeah my ex-boyfriend had the same thing. its this thing when the asphogus can’t the handle food, it happens out of nowhere, you just got deal with it.” So they didn’t help me. I ended up throwing up all over again and ended up going to the hospital. Finally when we got to the hospital I threw up this chunk of meat, unchewed meat that was just lodged right down there. So what I learned from that is to take smaller bites and chew more. It’s a new day today, here I am.

030-DSC_3236P. Sunkel: Well good, you’ll be alive for Dopadosio at Catskill Chill, tell me a little about how that’s going to go down and how it came about?

Rob: The first time we met them was at the Blockley, no it was Bear Creek. We met in 2010 at Bear Creek, we weren’t on the bill but we just showed up and played a set in front of like a pasta tent. All the dudes from Papadosio just happened to stumble upon us, they were like “Fuck Yeah!” So we started booking shows together.

Jason Gibbs(Dopapod MGMT): And both bands found 20 dollars on the ground.

Chuck: Well I think something cool that always happens with them is that theres always natural friendly competition. Like what are these guys all about? You know like your first show together your checking each other out and trying to see what they’re doing. And they’re great band. But the moral of the story is, that after checking them out, you see that they’re really good. They’re awesome.

Rob: And they’re really nice guys.

Chuck: After watching them grow, like they’re live performance, I dont know if its just me, but it used to just be really straightforward jamtronica stuff. Now its like really great song writing, amazing songs and compositions, I personally think that its really different from what other bands are doing.

P. Sunkel: So do you guys think it will kind of be like a little competition being on stage together?

Rob: Nah

Chuck: We’re going to kill them.

Neal: They’re going down.

P. Sunkel: So how’s it going to work?

Everyone: We don’t know yet hahaha.

Chuck: There’s actually been a huge Facebook thread about figuring out how we’re going to make it work. The biggest thing is that they have in-ears (Monitors) and we’re switching to in-ears this month except for Rob, which should make it really difficult. That’s actually going to prevent the whole thing from happening.

Rob: Sorry.

Chuck: I don’t know though, its definitely going to be challenging performance wise.

P. Sunkel: If Dopapod were a woman, what would she look like?

Neal: Oooohhh That’s a good one

Rob: It is a good one.

Chuck: She definitely wouldn’t be model hot…

Rob: Yup.

Chuck: She’d have some chunk, can we use a reference?

Neal: I can’t think of one.

Rob: Whose a famous person who we could reference their body? Eva Mendes. I don’t even know who that is.

Chuck: Maybe it would be whats her name from that movie with the engagement party, remember that movie with all those chicks doing that engagement party?

P. Sunkel: Oh I know what your talking about…

Neal: Oh yeah

Destiny Spang(Brotherly Love Productions): The bachelorrete party?

Chuck: Yeah, and they all like shit in the dresses?

Rob: you just made this my new favorite movie ever.

Chuck: What is that movie?

Destiny: I think it’s called the bachellorette party.

Chuck: No I don’t think thats the one, anyways The blonde girl, the main girl from that is Dopapod.

P. Sunkel: So blonde and sexy in a clumsy goofy kind of way, right?

Neal: I don’t think I ever saw that one.

Rob: What movie?

Chuck: The one we were just talking about.

Rob: I don’t know what movie you’re talking about.

Chuck: You weren’t paying any attention.

Rob: Yeah I know.

Chuck: So I can’t fill you in.

P.Sunkel: Alot of things just happened there very quick.

Rob: I was think whats her name from uh bridesmaids?

Chuck: That’s exactly what I’m talking about!

Rob: Is it? haha

Chuck: Hahaha yeah yeah

Rob: Kristen Wiig?

Chuck: Yes, exactly. That was who I was thinking of all along.

Rob: Seriously?! Thats who you were thinking of?

Chuck: Yeah, I think thats who it would be.

Rob: She’s good looking, I’m down with that.

Chuck: You know she’s smart but she’s also kind of weird

026-DSC_3108P. Sunkel: So let’s talk about Bear Creek, the lineup almost seems like a school play to me each year. The bands who do get on are super pumped but the ones who don’t are super bummed. Like damn I didn’t make the school play this year, but really its Bear Creek haha…

Chuck: It’s exactly like that.

Rob: Festivals just naturally rotate their lineups…

Neal: You can’t take it personally.

Rob: They do it to try and keep it fresh…

Chuck: Well no, you definitely can take it personal.

Rob: You can but you shouldn’t.

Chuck: It has a lot to do with when they lineup, it has something to do with your style of music. So you can definitely look into it like that.

Rob: But we are on it so…

Chuck: Yeah, no it’s great.

P. Sunkel: What are you guys excited about this year?

Neal: Sweet lineup this year, that place is always awesome. It’s just a good place to be, a good place to play music.

Rob: I’m actually a little hazy on the lineup this year, whose on it?

Chuck: Bootsy’s on it right?

Rob: Bootsy’s on it?

Chuck: My goal this year, my number on goal at Bear Creek is to get Bootsy Collins to make my answering machine on my phone. “Yo baby it’s Bootsy! Leave a message for yo baby Chuck.” Thats all I want, more than anything. “That’s a funky ass message.”

Neal: People are gonna be like “uh Chuck?”

Chuck: “Nah baby its Bootsy.” hahaha. What do you guys think? Bootsy’s always sweet.

Rob: Funk yeah.

Neal: I just really like that place, it doesn’t really matter whats going on there.

Rob: Will you be there?

033-DSC_3310P. Sunkel: Yup I will, haven’t missed a Bear Creek sine ’09. That’s where I actually discovered Mother fucking Dopapod, excuse my language but yall already know that thats how my festival family refers to yall haha.

Chuck:“Haha they’re playing the camp stage.”

P. Sunkel: That campground in general is just amazing. It’s the first place I caught yall and Papadosio.

Chuck: Yeah It’s awesome.

P. Sunkel: I mean where else can you catch Zach Deputy jamming out on top of Uhaul trailer?

Chuck: Hahahaha totally.

Rob: I remember that

Chuck: “Woooooo!!! Buck bunank kanunk” (Making up beat that sounds just like a Zach Deputy song) hahaha “Wooooo!!! On a Uhaul! Buck bunank kanunk.” I don’t know if that’s actually one of his songs haha.

P. Sunkel: Nah that sounded pretty damn close to me haha.

Rob: Remember that one time when Eli (Keyboards) was sleep talking and in the middle of his sleep starting singing the chorus of “Chicken Pot Pie” by Zach Deputy?

Neal: Hahaha Yeah

Chuck: Hahaha yup, Eli is a sleep talker.

P. Sunkel: Well that actually leads me to my next question, what are some of the odd things that go down in the bus?

Rob: Well that was one, but it wasn’t on a bus…

Chuck: It was in the hotel.

Rob: And let’s be real, its not really a bus, its a van.

Chuck: Theres definitely obviously a lot of farting.

P. Sunkel: You know I always try to somehow ask that question but its so hard to think something up to actually get to the farting.

Chuck: Haha right? Its kind of weird. But we’ve got the whole window system going on. The weirdest thing…

Rob: I brought a moldy cucumber out of there today.

Chuck: Yeah, after a long drive we all start losing our minds. One time Rob was sleeping and I just decided I should take all of the pillows and blankets and then just put them all on top of him to then jump on top of him. And then start sleeping on Rob.

Rob: One time you guys wrapped me up in sleeping bags so tight I couldn’t move…

Chuck: Oh yeah with the seatbelts…

Rob: Yeah you tied me up and I seriously could not move. That was another one.

Chuck: That was after a very long drive. It’s usually me and him that are fucking with each other.

034-DSC_3358P. Sunkel: So we’re here at The Big Up, what do you guys think so far? Yall pumped to be back?

Neal: This place is cool. We didn’t get to make it out here last year and the years before that we all had a great time.

Chuck: Thats cool right?

Neal: Thats neat huh?

Chuck: Whenever your interviews get dictated and transcribed its so funny.

Neal: So when we say its cool, you write those things? Do they write those songs. They don’t write those things.

Chuck: Yeah they do, thats how you get the personality…

Neal: I guess…

Chuck: What do you mean? Thats what the interview is for, to write down what we’re saying. They don’t just choose what they like from what we say…

Neal: Well they do trim the fat…

Chuck: But yeah thats the good stuff. Thats Neal’s personality, “Yeah it was really cool, I was really psyched to be back here, it was definitely a really great time with homies.”

Neal: Hahaha I guess I just assume everyone paraphrases.

Chuck: I think we were all really attached to the last grounds, you know it was really nice.

Rob: I kept visualizing it being at the original place in my head, until we pulled up here.

Chuck: Totally, me too.

Rob: And we rolled up and I was just like, “Oh, right.” But it’s still really good grounds, it’s awesome.

Chuck: The mansion at the last place was awesome.

Rob: The mansion was really cool.

037-DSC_3405Chuck: The mansion was what I imagined my entire life growing up what being backstage was like.

Rob: Remember OTT came out and yelled at us in his bathrobe?

Chuck: Hahaha yeah, I was up all night…

Rob: We were all drinking a little and I was basing on this piano and he came out in this silk bathrobe and was like (in a british accent) “It’s five-o-clock in the morning!”

Chuck: I stole Big Gigantic’s room after they left. I watched them leave to go out to their van and I just went in and there and passed out.

Rob: Any more stories we should share from that year?

Neal: probably not…

Chuck: Yeah I did some things that I will not repeat…

Rob: Well months before, Todd Stoops from Kung Fu had tapped me in the groinal area, it was like uh…

Chuck: Ball Tap!

Rob: Yeah a ball tap, I got him back so hard at the last Big Up we were at. I think he’s still hunched over recovering from it.

Chuck: But he’s proud of you.

Rob: He is proud of me though.

P. Sunkel: So my last question is what are your goals for the next year? Can we expect a new album?

Rob: Yup thats definitely on there. I think we’re just starting to reserve time for the next recording schedule.

Chuck: In-ear monitors, we’re really pumped about that. We should be getting those within the next month, its gonna be awesome. We all agree that the only thing that really makes it a great show for us, is really how well we can hear each other. That will be the end of having to worry about that. I think its really going to step us up improvisationally.

Rob: I’m not getting one because they all told me I would hate it.

For more info on Dopapod check out:

-Phil Sunkel


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