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» DOPE

EDSEL DOPE- Vocals, Guitar, Programming
VIRUS- Guitar, Keys
SLOANE "MOSEY" JENTRY- Bass
RACCI SHAY- Drums, Samples

Anyone that knows Edsel Dope, knows one of two people--one of the hardest working artists in the music industry, or a complete mental case who's probably dropped his pants in front of you and screamed, "Touch it, you know you want to"" Either way, one thing is for certain--he"s one of a kind, and is the visionary behind one of the most explosive and underrated acts in music. Dope--Edsel, guitarist Virus, bassist Sloane "Mosey" Jentry, and drummer Racci Shay--are more than a dreadlocked rock band with industrial roots, they're four combustible personalities that combine Guns N' Roses' Appetite For Destruction, with a modern edge that recalls Motley Crue's eagerness to "Shout At The Devil." At the helm of the madness, Edsel Dope fronts the band with all the piss and vinegar of the New York City streets his band was founded on, brilliance and arrogance rolled into one tightly wound powder keg, primed to explode at any moment.

With the release of Group Therapy, the band's third album, the keg is packed, the fuse is lit, and Dope are hell-bent on making their loudest statement to date. Released on their own Recon Records, and partnered with Artemis Records, the album takes listeners on a journey into a realm where music is more than a catchy radio single or a hi-definition video with little sonic-boom to back it up. Group Therapy offers thirteen tracks that run the gamut from the frenetic pacing of "Paranoia" and the scalding surge of "Burn," to the more emotive and melody-driven "Another Day Goes By" and "Sing," encompassing everything we've come to expect from the band's previous releases, while stretching their extremes throughout. "On the lighter stuff, it remained lighter, but not as dark. The lighter stuff on the last record was still a little dark," says the frontman. "We did mix it up a bit, though. With a song like "Now Is The Time," that's one of the heaviest songs on the record, but it"s got a three-part harmony in the chorus. Or a song like "I Am"--that"s really singable, but I"m screaming, "Fuck you, I am what I am" throughout the song. We kind of just did what we wanted to do this time, and wrote songs that we thought made sense with what was going on in my head, while putting a good foot forward for the band both musically and conceptually--it"s dreadlocks, mohawks, melodies and metal."

While the seismic assault of the music is enough to rattle anyone"s foundation, it's Dope"s vision that sends the band careening past their contemporaries. While the band's said dreadlocks and mohawks do their fair share in contributing to the band's rock "n" roll image, style is just the tip of the iceberg when the frontman hails his band's visual dynamic. "I don"t know that it's important in the big scheme, but it's very important to me," he says of his band's image. "It"s not important to me in that image is the way we look, it"s more in the way that the band is represented. It doesn't stop at the fact that I have dreadlocks or dress a certain way, it goes into the way your record looks when you open it up and go through the artwork, and your website, and your stage--it's all part of the package, and it"s very important for me to go above and beyond the call of duty to put forth an entertaining spectacle for my fans."

Hence his eagerness to turn Group Therapy into a multi-faceted listening experience, a musical adventure that captures not only the essence of the band's music, but also of their live spectacle and visual overload. "Watch the album," declares the band's namesake, and he"s put his money where his mouth his, producing a full-length music video for each of the album"s thirteen tracks, and including the videos on the album release. "This never would have been possible without starting our own label," claims Edsel. "The major labels have a specific format that they're used to following and they don't think outside the box. I wanted to break all the rules this time and provide an overload of content, while showing everyone that you don't have to jack up the price to do so." This multi-media onslaught will sell for $12.98, far less than the band's previous major label release which contained no multi-media section at all. "This band has never just been about listening. I like the idea that this band makes you want to speed while you're driving down the road, because it makes you feel adrenalized, but I also like the idea that while you're sitting on your laptop, emailing and IMing your friends, you can pop the Dope record in and watch it while you're listening to it. That's image. That's what's important to us, to put forth an entire, well-rounded package. That"s what makes me happy and makes me feel good, because we"ve worked hard to make all this happen. If it doesn't sell five copies, will I care" Of course I'll care, but at the same time, I know it's fucking killer, and if you don't get it, that's just too fucking bad""


"Especially on this album, there are very broad scopes of where this band can go, and that's been the goal ever since we got deemed a one-trick pony on the first record, when no one wanted to talk about the music, they just wanted to talk about my Dope image and the fact that I used to sell drugs," continues the frontman. "So making this record, unlike the last one, it was just me and my band--mainly my guitar player "Virus" , really--sitting in a room. We made the decisions, and it's only been the decision of me, Virus, and the band around us that made this album come to fruition. This record was done in a real old-school Dope way--a couple of guys sitting around in a bedroom with a bong, some beer, and lots and lots of hours" Because of that, I think it"s a dirtier record, and it's more of a fun record to play live. Dope"s always going to be about a raunchy, dirty groove, but I think nowadays we need to push ourselves to make that groove a little smarter than it was five years ago. I feel like we've combined the spirit of Appetite For Destruction and GN"R's Lies into one record--we've got "Patience," and we've got "Welcome To The Jungle." There's something for everyone on this record, and once you get invited into our world, you usually stay in it. There aren't a lot of people who see Dope live, whether we"re headlining or opening for someone else, who don"t like Dope's music or Dope"s live show. There might be people that don't like me, but that's not the point," the singer says with a laugh.


The point is, with Dope, we've got a band that embraces and epitomizes everything that isn't wrong with the music industry in 21st Century. Instead of making excuses, they've taken action, and instead of pointing fingers, they raise their middle ones. "We"ve just taken back that state of mind that this band has had since the beginning," says Edsel. "We're in control of our own destiny, and we're not going to let anyone else change that." And whether you love them or hate them, for that, you've got to respect them. While the rest of the music industry cries about how things used to be, Dope are stepping to the forefront and showing people how it should be.

Don't be scared, a little Group Therapy never hurt anyone"