When Dopapod hits the stage, unleashing a flow of bouncy, progressive, jam-rock, a fun scene ensues. In the audience, faces and LED glow toys become illuminated, and the room seems to move like one big, warm, dancing organism. The band delights in being the funky heart.
The childlike bliss seen on stage though, is not quite the only mood which characterizes the hard working band's operation. Rather, according to guitarist and singer Rob Compa, the show itself is more like the fruitional reward of all the hard work that the band does behind the scenes.
This Thursday, the band plays the Funky Buddha in Boca Raton. The show is pre-party for The Big Up Music and Arts Fest, which takes place in New York in August. Ahead of this week's jams, New Times had a nice chat with Compa as he stood on the rooftop of a building in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, where most of the band members live in an apartment together when they aren't living together in a van on the road.
New Times: So, how's living in Brooklyn?
Rob Compa: It's encouraging to live here. All the best music comes through NYC and being around that inspires us to get better.
You're gone a lot though, eh?
Yeah, we've been out on the road a lot the last few years. Probably playing between a hundred-and-fifty to a hundred-and-seventy-five shows per year.
Seems like a lot of time on the road.
A lot of the time it feels like we're on the road even when we're not touring. We don't rehearse in the city, so we're in places like Boston, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania for weeks at a time also. It's hard to say how much we're gone each year, but it's a lot. Like, super a lot.
But I like it that way. I'm kind of content traveling a lot, especially when we're all young and can take the road abuse. So, we enjoy it.
I'm sure it's challenging as well.
When you're essentially living in a van with the same people every day, everybody's little personality quirks become prevalent. And you've been on the road forever not getting much sleep, so everybody's patience is pretty low. So, I think everybody, especially towards the end of the tour, has to be pretty careful to be respectful to one another.
How about self-care?
Right. Simpler kind of things like getting enough sleep or eating on the road. Sometimes you know you won't have a good show because you didn't get enough sleep, so you're just scrambling to try to get as much sleep as you can. An hour here and an hour there.
Yet, you enjoy it.
It's not a bed of roses, but the way I see it, all that other shit: traveling, moving equipment, not sleeping much, and all this stuff you go through is all so that we can have that two hours of feeling like little kids on stage and having a great time. So, I think it contributes to the quality of the show actually, because once we're up there, I think we all know that we owe it to ourselves to have a great time. And if we're having a great time, then the show is probably a good show.
The Big Up Music and Arts Festival satellite Party with Dopapod. 9 p.m. Thursday, June 6, at The Funky Buddha, 2621 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Tickets cost $8 to $12. Click here.
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