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I’ll Do It All Again, With No Regrets…

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment

No Regrets-era (Current) Dope

Once upon a time, there was a story. A story who’s main idea was centered around two songs – I can’t remember one of them. But the other? I’ll never forget it. That song was Take Your Best Shot, by Dope. I had no clue who this “Dope” fella was, but, honestly, when I first saw the name, I figured it was some bullshit rap artist. So, I go and take a look on Playlist.com for this song, and listened.

From that point on; I was hooked to metal. The gritty riffs, the intense drumming, and the sound of Edsel screaming the word “shot” at the top of his lungs, it entranced me. I was rude enough to have not worn headphones, and my dad overheard the loud, wailing noises emanating from my laptop. He turned, and said, “What the hell is that?” I looked up from the computer, and said, “I have no idea… but I like it.” The look on his face was priceless.

I can thank Dope for a lot of things, aside from bringing some of my favorite songs into this world. But, had I never discovered Dope, I might not be sitting here, writing this, my iPod may instead be filled with the likes of Lady Gaga and Britney Spears (The thought pains me). But, on the other hand, my pessimistic outlook on life may be different, but I don’t always consider that a curse. I suppose I’m rambling now. But, why the hell do I matter? This is a post about the band itself, not my own opinion on them… okay, that’s a lie. SHUDDUP! I’m just trying to think of a good way to lead into a biography type-thing!

Dope formed in 1997 by Edsel Dope (Born as Brian Ebejer), who took charge of lead vocals and song writing, his brother, Simon, who played keyboards, Preston Nash on drums, Tripp Eisen on bass, and Lanson Lang on guitar. The band quickly took over the New York club scene, and after a rather minimal amount of shows, they were signed into the label Epic Records. In 1999, their first record, Felons & Revolutionaries was released. It features twelve tracks, including the covers of “Fuck tha Police” by N.W.A., and “You Spin Me Right ‘Round (Like A Record)” by Dead Or Alive. The album has (To this day) sold approximately 236,000 copies. This debut album featured a very industrial album – no different than that of Nine Inch Nails. The cover of “You Spin Me Round” was released as a single, and placed the band on the #37 spot on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Charts, which gained the band a great deal of attention that, to quote Edsel, “We weren’t quite ready for that attention.”

After the release of Felons, Tripp – who had taken the guitarist position after Lanson left – was replaced with Virus, who is still in lead guitar spot. Preston was also replaced by Racci “Sketchy” Shay on drums. Finally; Sloane Jentry had taken the bass spot, leaving Edsel and Simon as the only two remaining members from the original band. After these changes, the band soon began work on the follow up to Felons, which would be entitled Life. The two singles, Now Or Never, and Slipping Away, hit the charts on #28 and #29 respectively. This brought an eventual success of the album, which hit #180 on the charts. After this album, Simon left to go into video game design. Edsel backed his brother’s decision to leave 100%. Edsel Dope is now the only remaining founding member of Dope.

Fun Fact!: The song “Die Mother Fucker Die” from Life was used by the U.S. Army as interrogation-music-type-stuff when interrogating P.O.Ws! Edsel claims this was one of the best points of his career.

Group Therapy-era Dope

After Life, Dope left Epic and joined Artemis Records, a New York-based independent label. Acey Slade (Who had played lead through Life), left the group, and Virus became the only guitar player. The band has since been a quartet. The band began work on Group Therapy, which was released in 2003, and featured the single I Am”. After putting out a shit-ton of videos for Group Therapy, the band started work on their fourth album – this time without any member-changes! What a shock! American Apathy brought the band back to their Industrial-metal roots, and included a cover of Depeche Mode‘s “People Are People”. The album hit #1 in the ‘Top Heatseekers’ chart, a first for the band.

Fun Fact!: After American Apathy, Edsel got rid of the dred-locks he had throughout the band’s entire career up to that point.

Four years later, all we have is a song entitled Nothing For Me Here on Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as a bonus track. Dope continued touring, and recording. We knew the groups’ fifth album would be entitled No Regrets, we just had no clue when it would come out. The single “Violence” appeared in late 2008, and the release date for No Regrets finally appeared soon after. On March 10th, 2009, this fifth album from Dope appeared on the stands. It charted at #88 on the charts, and sold over 6,200 copies in the first week. This makes ‘No Regrets’ the group’s most successful album to date, and lemme tell ya, it deserves that. Without question, ‘No Regrets’ is the best work from the quartet, and even Virus agrees!

Today, Dope continues touring, rocking, and being badass. Even if Edsel got rid of his dreds. But, I owe a lot to these guys, because if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now.

Whoohoo… first post on WordPress!
Categories: Dope, Feature, Metal