Dopapod release their fifth studio album, MEGAGEM’ on October 26th, 2017, in Vinyl/CD/Digital. As a gift to fans, select tracks will be available as a ‘name your own price’ download on their Bandcamp page leading up to the release.
A full fall tour is announced and on sale. Along with those dates, the band will be playing two New Year’s shows– first in one of their favorite cities, Providence, RI, and a NYE date where the band was born—Boston, MA— at the Paradise Rock Club.
Following the release of MEGAGEM and the fall tour, Dopapod and plan to take a break from touring in 2018. Keyboardist and singer/songwriter Eli Winderman explains the sabbatical as a blueprint for wellness borne from mutual respect amongst old friends, a pre-emptive move of self preservation:
After playing close to 150 shows a year for the last 7 years, we have decided as a group that the healthiest thing we can do moving forward is to take some time to nourish other parts of our lives without having to think of the next step for the band. The goal is that we can come back to Dopapod with a renewed sense of excitement and a plethora of new music that we would never be able to conceive without this time off the road.
Listening closely to MEGAGEM provides a window into the band’s roving headspace over the last few years. There’s a rich tradition of songs about life on the road, but very few of them spend time exploring the inner dialogue that results from that lifestyle.
Dopapod recorded MEGAGEM’s instrumentals at the solar-powered Mountain Star Studios in Black Hawk, Colorado during the dead of winter, making the most of an optimal opportunity to unplug from all other noise. “The lack of oxygen led to some crazy ideas,” says guitarist Rob Compa. “When combined with the lack of phone service, human contact, or any other distractions, it allowed us to have the freedom to make a lot of that weird inspiration become reality.”
“A lot of these songs are also reactions to how the world is changing, about living your life in the present moment and the inner dialogues of the mind,” adds Winderman. “ MEGAGEM could be the brain, or it could also be a cell phone, controlling your subconscious thoughts and, thus, changing your habits.. I think a lot of people are feeling this way because of the boost in technology.”
Compa and Winderman knocked out the vocals soon after, in two days, at More Sound Recording Studios in Syracuse, NY. Then Winderman went to Cincinnati to record with a string quartet for portions of the album, making MEGAGEM the first time Dopapod have featured string arrangements on a recording.
MEGAGEM’s moments of homage to bands like The Beatles, ELO, Ween and Tool sound right at home alongside Dopapod’s longstanding love for fellow jammy brethren like Medeski, Martin and Wood, Scofield, Soulive and Phish.
The band’s break, meanwhile, was inspired by a Ted Talk that Evans sent to Winderman called “The Power of Time Off.” “Every seven years this guy closes his design firm and everyone who works for the company works on their own projects for the year,” says Winderman. “When they come back, everyone is inspired and working with a newfound sense of excitement.”
“From all of the other bands who we’ve come up with, to all of the music fans that have shown us such incredible support over the years, we just want to say thank you. “Dopapod would be nothing without you.”