DOPE Frontman: 'We Didn't Grow Up Listening To KORN' recently conducted an in-depth interview with outspoken DOPE frontman Edsel Dope. Several excerpts follow: Musically, what are your influences?

Edsel: "This record ['American Apathy'] is a lot more brutal and it was done intentionally like that. The first DOPE album was really raw and dirty…really gutter. On the next two records, I really spent a lot of focus on proving to myself and a lot of other people that the band was a lot more broad than that…that there was another side. I feel like I accomplished that. On this record, I wanted to bring the band right back down into the gutter again and make a dirty rock record that we can play live. The sound of this band is a mixture of MÖTLEY CRÜE, MINISTRY, NINE INCH NAILS and WHITE ZOMBIE…that's pretty much what it is. I like everything and my guitar player helps me write a lot of songs…he likes everything, too. I don't know… I like all kinds of music." It's actually nice speaking with someone who isn't afraid to wear his influences on his sleeve…

Edsel: "Those are the influences for DOPE, but I produce other bands and I write songs all the time. Some of my favorite bands are GREEN DAY and NIRVANA…bands that just wrote great melodic songs. I've never been afraid to say that I like pop songs. There's a pop influence in DOPE — the structure and the choruses — and I think that's what makes it different from a lot of other music out there. Maybe that's why DOPE has been out there for four records and really hasn't really fallen victim to one of the trends or movement. We were never really part of any movement." I have to admit your music is a little difficult to classify.

Edsel: "We obviously didn't grow up listening to KORN (laughs). KORN is a great band, but we're just not one of those bands, ya know? I don't know, man…I just like to do what we do. If ya like us, ya like us. If you don't, who cares?" Seriously…if I hear one more band that mimics KORN's overall sound, I'm gonna fuckin' puke!

Edsel: "Yeah, but that all made sense at the time. It was no different than when NIRVANA came out and you had a million bands tryin' to sound like them. It's what happens, and some good bands do come out of that. That's the way it is." What in specific did you do to help the band return to its roots?

Edsel: "Nothin'…it was time again, ya know? When it came time to write our next record, we just wanted to have fun with it ya, know? We're on our fourth album now, so you have to play material from every record when you're out there on tour. We realized that there were a lot of songs that we really couldn't even think about playing because they just didn't work. They were great to listen to, they were great to produce and write and meant a lot to the band, but when it came down to what DOPE throws down live, it just didn't feel like what we are. We felt like makin' sure that the record we made this time around felt like what we're living out there on the road everyday, like a record that we felt like we wanted to go out and play every day. I think it was time… What goes around goes around and it eventually came time for my headspace to be in an angry and dirty place. That's where this record came from."

Read the entire interview at


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