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Interview with Edsel Dope of DOPE

By Dominic Pierce-Toogood

Dope's debut album, "Felons and Revolutionaries," was released to much critical acclaim. Their second, entitled "Life," went virtually unnoticed. This makes Edsel Dope mad ... very mad ... and this outrageous frontman, formerly forced to sell drugs to fund his band's demos and touted at one time as being the next Marilyn Manson, wants to get his own way at last. And who can blame him? Having seen former band members reach dizzying heights with their new bands - Static-X and Murderdolls - surely it's now Dope's time to get back some of the respect and fame that was initially poured on them. So, with much needed record company support and a new album set to be released any day, Dope take the show on the road - making new fans and appeasing old ones.

We caught Edsel's rage as he neared the end of his 12-Dollar Riot Tour where he screamed about his record company, yelled at his old members and vented about how this country really should be run ...

Rough Edge: Your sound has been described as industrial by some and by others as just hard ass heavy metal. How would you best describe it? 

Edsel Dope: LOUD!!!!!!!

Rough Edge: I have read that you feel the American people want to see you in jail. Why do you think that is? And how have you avoided it for so long now? 

Edsel Dope: I was referring to when we used to sell drugs. I was sick of turning on the TV and watching all of the politicians claim that drug dealers are responsible for the demise of our society. I would watch them bitch and moan about the state of our country and suddenly realized that they were talking about me. Wait a minute! I'm to blame for all of this country's problems? It's a joke. The reason that so many politicians make the war on drugs one of their main focuses is because they know that they will have the support of the older people in our country. Most grammas and grampas still think that pot is the devil and anything drug-related leads to certain death. If you haven't noticed, the majority of the people in this country that take the time to vote are the oldies. So the politicians get behind the things that they know the older people will back in order to get their votes. Legalize drugs to those of age. Tax the shit out of them and use that tax money and the billions we spend trying to fight the war on drugs on better things like education. The problem with our society is everyone is always looking for someone or something else to blame. Take responsibility and raise your kids. Stop being so fucking selfish and listen to them and everything will be fine. 

Rough Edge: So, please introduce us to your new band members. 

Edsel Dope: They're not so new anymore. I think most people are aware of my guitarist Virus and my drummer Racci. My bassist Sloane "Mosey" is actually my original guitarist who used to sell drugs with my brother and me when we first started Dope back in the day. It's kind of old news.

Rough Edge: What were the primary qualities you were looking for when choosing the new guys? 

Edsel Dope: Obviously they had to be able to play great. I needed to find people that I could hang out with and that I had things in common with. I don't want you in my band if the only reason you're here is to play Rock Star. There is a lot more to being in a band then getting up on stage and looking cool.

Rough Edge: Are you still based in NY? If so, what changes, if any, have you seen in the music scene there since moving there to attend college in Brooklyn? Any favorite hang outs your fans should visit? 

Edsel Dope: We never got into the NYC music scene. We made our own little Dope scene and spent all of the rest of our time making music and selling drugs to support our music. Now we spend all of our time making music or touring. We are currently kicking it in Chicago while we finish up the new record.

Rough Edge: Any classic drug selling stories you would like to share? 

Edsel Dope: Nah, It was a job. There were a few close calls with the pigs here and there but at the end of the day it was a tool to get us here where we belong.

Rough Edge: So the new record that has been promised for some time now. When can we expect it to be on the shelves and how different is it to "Felons and Revolutionaries," if at all? Why has it taken so long to make? 

Edsel Dope: Well, you are exactly the kind of person that I use as an example for how poor of a job our label did on supporting us. We have put two albums out. Our follow up to "Felons and Revolutionaries" called "Life" was released last year in the aftermath of 9/11. Only our die-hard fans knew it came out. I think that record was a huge step for us in setting the future tone of Dope. We are not a one-dimensional metal band and we have the desires to push the boundaries of where people want to pigeonhole us. The new stuff is an expansion of all of that.

Rough Edge: How is the new material being received live? And does it feel strange to be performing without Tripp (Eisen, guitarist who left to join Static-X) by your side? Any negative, (or positive), reactions from the fans? 

Edsel Dope: Dude, it's been so long since he was in this band and I never got along with him anyway. His job was to play my songs that I wrote and I recorded live and that's what he did. We never worked together or wrote songs together.

Rough Edge: So after you close your current tour, what's next for Dope? Would you expect your fans to have to wait another three years for the next album or do you have more material waiting to be laid down? 

Edsel Dope: I want this new record - our third record - out this summer. (Interviewer's note: It's already October, Edsel!). We have tons of songs and we are better then ever. The new record is almost done but the focus right now is on The 12-Dollar Riot Tour. It's our way of giving back to our fans. We didn't tour enough on the "Life" record and we've missed our fans.

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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:11 -0400