Vital American Industrial Metallers DOPE have lined up the release of their long-awaited sixth studio album, ‘Blood Money Pt. 1’, on Steamhammer / SPV on October 28th and announced their first ever UK headline gig on November 7th, when the classic Dope line up of Edsel Dope, Acey Slade, Virus and Racci Shay are set to play live at London’s 02 Islington Academy.
‘Blood Money Pt. 1’, the follow up to 2009’s highly acclaimed ‘No Regrets’ album, will be available as a DigiPak CD, double gatefold 180 gram transparent red vinyl LP, (with printed inner sleeves + album CD in a cardboard sleeve) and download.
Explaining the lengthy gestation period of ‘Blood Money Part 1’, Edsel Dope states that “We toured virtually non-stop for more than 10 years. It was just time for a little break from the ever present gypsy life. Once I was off of that unrelenting roller coaster for a minute, it became time for me to prioritize some other areas of my life, and to focus on some very important things that I had been neglecting for quite a while. During the down time I continued to write new material and the band continued to play regional dates, but there was definitely a shift from the (pedal to the metal) philosophy that had become the status quo, since the band first hit the scene. Because of this, it seemed to many that the band had gone into hiding, while the truth is, we simply shifted gears for a while.”
“The collection of songs written for ‘Blood Money’, represent a larger chunk of my life than previous albums. It only feels appropriate for me to keep all of these songs under the same title. Now that this process is fully in motion, I anticipate that ‘Blood Money Part 2’ will follow Part 1, relatively quickly… ‘Blood Money’ picks up where our last album ‘No Regrets left off. It is heavy, melodic, and technical, and like all Dope albums, it is very broad in its song selection and sound, while also touching on a variety of topics. Saying all of that, ‘Blood Money’ is also a bit more of a personal album for me, a bit more of a look inward, rather than me looking outward on this album. I went through a lot of growth, on a personal level, over the last few years and some of that is depicted in the new music.”
Edsel Dope’s responsibilities on ‘Blood Money’ include producing, engineering, mixing, programming, art conception, video direction, vocals, & live drums, as well as sharing writing and performance duties on guitar, bass, and more. ‘Blood Money’ features a unique mix of support musicians; Dope mainstay guitarist Virus can be heard on multiple tracks, while new musical partner Nikk Dibs played a large role in guitar / bass / programming and production. Former Chimera guitarist Matt Szlachta and Chicago shredder DJ Nelson were also recruited by Edsel for some of the guitar work and collaborations on ‘Blood Money’.
“I appreciate all of the people that contributed to this album and to Dope, in general throughout the years” says Edsel. “I have a talented support group, and a great team of (go to guys) for touring and recording. Every album has consisted of a different line up, so I have a lot of talented people to choose from at any given time. We are all grown-ups and I have a truly great relationship with all of these guys. Dope has been a bit of a breeding ground for talent; so many of the dudes that came up through the Dope fraternity have gone on to be part of some very successful things”: Device, Static-X, The Murder Dolls, Joan Jett & The Black Hearts, and most recently Marilyn Manson and The Misfits Reunion, to name a few.
The video for the title track ‘Blood Money’ goes above and beyond the modern standards. In a world where hard rock / metal bands are churning out low budget performance videos, or often times simple lyric videos to support their musical works, Dope continue to take their visual elements to a whole other level. “The music videos and the artwork that surround the recordings are every bit as important to me as the music” says Edsel. “The music video for ‘Blood Money’ is one of my proudest works to date. I put a tremendous amount of time and effort into writing and producing the song, as well as in writing and directing the video.” Check it out:
1ST EVER UK HEADLINE GIG @ 02 ISLINGTON ACADEMY 7TH NOVEMBER