Interview: Dispatch

mit Chad Urmston und Pete Francis Heimbold vom 4. Februar 2013
Jam-Bands haben in Amerika schon seit jeher Tradition, wie z.B. The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Little Feat oder aktueller Phish, moe., Gov't Mule und The Black Crowes, um nur einige zu nennen. Das besondere Merkmal ist, dass sie ihre Konzerte dabei in die Länge ziehen, indem sie Titel nach Lust und Laune erweitern, ausbauen oder einfach damit herumspielen. Aber bei uns in Europa will das nicht so richtig funktionieren bzw. fehlt da anscheinend die Lebenseinstellung oder das Interesse dafür. Und das, obwohl es eine gute Portion Lebensfreude versprüht, kein Konzert dem anderen gleicht und so natürlich nicht alles zum selben Trott werden lässt. Ein weiterer positiver Aspekt ist, dass sich auf diese Weise tatsächlich mehrere unterschiedliche Konzerte einer Tour besuchen lassen, ohne dabei das gleiche Programm sehen zu müssen. Dabei entstand eine richtig eingeschworene Anhängerschaft, die teilweise ihren Idolen ganze Tourneen lang folgten und es immer noch tun. Außerdem bleiben die Musiker dadurch einer gewissen Spontanität ausgesetzt, was die Shows auch für sie spannender werden lässt. Zudem erlauben die meisten dieser Bands auch das Mitschneiden ihrer Konzerte, da so und so, keine Show der andere gleicht. Eine Politik, die seinerzeit von den Grateful Dead ins Leben gerufen wurde und seitdem - zumindest im Bereich der Jam-Bands - Geltung hat.
Dispatch sind auch eine dieser Bands, welche mit ihren tief verwurzelten Amerikana-Einflüssen, diese Tradition weiterführen und für den Spaß, den sie auf der Bühne haben, in ihrer Heimat berühmt wurden. Die ständigen Instrumentenwechsel bestätigen das eindrucksvoll und wirken durchaus ansteckend. Im Zuge ihres ersten Besuches in Europa, wurde das aktuelle Album "Circles around the Sun" präsentiert (Hier geht es zur Rezension des Longplayers.) und neuerlich versucht, dieses Lebensgefühl hierher zu übertragen. Warum es 12 Jahre gedauert hat, bis sie ein neues Studio-Album einspielten, was hinter den vielen Auszeiten steckt, die sie bis jetzt hatten und was genau sie so an dem ständigen Jams plus Instrumentenwechsel reizt, erzählen sie im folgenden Interview.
Viel Spaß beim Lesen!

The interview:

Michael: Hello guys. Greetings from Germany! Thanks for taking the time for this interview! How are you doing?
Chad Urmston: Great - We love it here.
Pete Francis Heimbold: So good ... loving Copenhagen.
Michael: Can you introduce yourself to our readers and roughly describe your role in the band?
Chad: My name is Chadwick Stokes - I play guitar and bass and sing.
Pete: I love playing the band new music that I've been listening to. I'm like a dinosaur who likes to wear cool clothes.
Michael: After 12 years since the last album, you released the masterpiece called "Circles Around The Sun" last year. What's the story behind that and why took it so long?
Chad: We needed to see what it was like living separately from each other.
Pete: I guess it can take a long time to travel around the sun.
Michael: Is there any meaning behind the title?
Chad: In late 50s my severely disabled friend was sent up into space by NASA. Top secret government experiment to see how a human was effected by space travel. He recently died and the song is an homage to him.
Pete: The journey is where it's at.
Michael: How has been the reactions about the new studio album so far?
Chad: Been great!
Pete: People have been giving us a lot of love.
Michael: Which track from the album do you like most and why?
Chad: Josaphine - I like how it tells a story and all the different moving parts. Pays homage to "The Band".
Pete: Josaphine .... it's just so good.
Michael: What's the reason you to started with music? What makes it so special for you?
Chad: Music was all around in my house - my dad played piano and my uncle tuba and flute - brothers played trombone and trumpet. Music lets the spirit out.
Pete: I think, music is the best medicine.
Michael: How did you guys do the songwriting: Did you come with finish songs or more like rough ideas and fragments?
Chad: 3/4 of song is done and then we put them through the dispatch machine.
Pete: Actually it's both.
Michael: What is the most difficult part of the songwriting process?
Chad: Finishing the song - going back to it to wrap it up.
Pete: Same here! Finishing a song.
Michael: How do you know when you are finished? Today, you have so many possibilities to put more and more into a song and rework it over and over again until it's literally “produced to death”. Is there a point where you lose objectivity?
Chad: Yes - deadlines are good - u have to be done.
Pete: Yes ... I think it's good to ask someone you trust ... I guess babies are ready to be born when they are ready to be born.
Michael: I found a lot of americana reminiscences on the album. What can you tell us about that?
Chad: Just coincidence - the songs we chose happened to lean that way.
Pete: We love groups like The Band .... there is such honesty and good feeling about there music.
Michael: What bands and musicians are your personal influences and musical inspiration?
Chad: Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jethro Tull, Rage Against The Machine
Pete: I'm influenced by Pink Floyd, James Brown and other people who have created a tidal wave with their musical ideas.
Michael: Could you explain to our readers how your musical style has developed over the years?
Chad: Started pretty folkie (Cat Stevens) and then went towards Led Zeppelin and The Who and then got into Jamaican sound and English punk/ska.
Pete: I love playing with many different musicians of many creative styles.
Michael: I'm a big fan of Live-Jams: What's the reason for you to expand your songs on stage?
Chad: Let them get off the rails and listen to each other to see where they go.
Pete: Songs can go on and live new lives and bloom.
Michael: Your musical style is mainly categorized as “americana”, but with a lot of rock, country and reggae aspects. Is this a result of your different musical backgrounds?
Chad: I think so. We all like different things but we share many, too.
Pete: We love these styles and many others as well ... I think it's in our musical blood.
Michael: You play a lot of different instruments on stage: Is it too boring to play only one or two?
Chad: It's a lot of fun switching it around - keeps things new.
Pete: I wish I could play more ... like the baritone clarinet or vibes ... that would be sweet.
Michael: Your studio albums and your live shows are two completly different things, like I know it from "The Grateful Dead". How do you see that?
Chad: Our Albums have been pretty straight forward, live we relax a little and get pumped up by the crowd.
Pete: I think they should be different. It makes the two experiences very unique.
Michael: Here in Europe you're some kind of an insider tip. Do you think that Americana-Jam-Band-Thing is more an american tradition?
Chad: Kind of yes. Gomez is jammy tho and they are from UK.
Pete: I hear what you're saying, but I think there are more layers to us than just a Americana-Jam-Band-Thing. I think that our songs and voices are central to our sound and what sets us apart.
Michael: Your band was set on hiatus for four times. What's the reason for that?
Chad: It's good to see what else is out there sometimes and get involved on other projects.
Pete: I guess it's the path we are on.
Michael: How does it feel to be back in business?
Chad: Super!
Pete: Yes, that's great!
Michael: What's your formular to keep the band clean of conflicts?
Chad: Keep things respectable and upfront and honest. And listen.
Pete: There are always conflicts ... it's just knowing how to roll with them better.
Michael: Have there been any remarkable, special or funny Moments with 'Dispatch', you will never forget?
Chad: When Pete spat his beer by mistake all over the hair of a fan.
Pete: One time we tried to sneak our friends In merch boxes into a club in Chicago.
Michael: Has there ever been a fan who went too far? Who did something strange or dangerous?
Chad: Swimming in the Charles river (during our last dispatch) was once considered deadly.
Pete: We had so many fans show up in Boston that they filled the highway ... That was crazy.
Michael: What do you think about the Rock-cliché "Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll"? Is it jaded?
Chad: There are other not so glamorous things too. A lot of loading gear in and out and driving many hours. But it's still a hell of a job :)
Pete: It's great.
Michael: Is there a favourite movie you wanted to bring in a song or compose the whole score for?
Chad: "Bottle Rocket" or "Goonies".
Pete: "Spies Like Us" with Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd.
Michael: Do you have any tips for all the young bands out there?
Chad: Play out as much as you can even if its to three people, make a recording of three songs, drive safely and stay awake.
Pete: Try to have a dance party after your show.
Michael: Colorado and Washington decided to legalize Weed last year. What do you think about that?
Chad: Wonderful - weed should be legal everywhere!
Pete: All good.
Michael: What are your plans for the future?
Chad: Coming back in march with State Radio.
Pete: I don't know ...
Michael: That's it, thanks again for your time! Now it's up to you to leave some final greetings for the fans.
Vie Leben oish - our fans in Germany are the greatest ever ... Thank you a thousand times!
Moderation: Michael Voit

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