Broke-Ass Band Interview: The Dodos
I first heard about The Dodos back when I was living in Brooklyn and working on my NYC book. I was hanging out with Mateo, one of my oldest friends in the world, and he was telling me about how his good buddy from college was in a band in SF called The Dodos. He wanted to know if I’d heard of them. I hadn’t, but it was one of those things where after Mateo mentioned them, I began hearing about them everywhere.
Once I returned to SF, Imeem asked me to be their on camera host for the Treasure Island Music Festival at which I ended up interviewing The Dodos. After the interview we talked for a bit about our mutual friend, and then I used my backstage access to pinch as much free beer as possible.
For those of you unfamiliar with them, The Dodos consist of Meric Long as the singer/guitarist and Logan Kroeber on the drums. They play blistering live shows and their last record Visiter made music critics panties wet all over the country. They’ve recently added a vibraphone player named Keaton Snyder and are in the middle of a huge American and European tour in support of their new record, optimistically titled, Time to Die.
And now, since they are coming home to play a show tomorrow in San Francisco at Bimbo’s, I figured I’d wrangle another interview out of them for your reading enjoyment. Drummer Logan Kroeber was nice enough to respond to my pointless questions by email:
Broke-Ass Stuart: I know that being a touring musician isn’t the easiest job in the world, but it still beats a having a day job, right? Do any of you still have other jobs and if so what are they. If not, what was the last job you had before becoming a fulltime musician?
Logan Kroeber: We’re full time musicians right now, but my last job was in a printshop.
BAS: When was the moment where you were like, 'œHoly fuck! I get to quit my job and play music like'for reals'? Was it as gratifying as you thought it would be?
LK: It wasn’t as gratifying as you’d think. My boss had been super cool about giving me time off to tour and when I finally left for good I felt like I owed him rather than the other way around. It was more gratifying when I could stop asking my girlfriend to pay rent for me while I was on tour.
BAS: What’s your biggest horror story from being on the road?
LK: Probably this summer when we were flying into the Melt festival in Germany. We left a picturesque St. Tropez and were trying to land in Berlin in the middle of a thunder storm. I saw lightning outside my window and we spent a good half hor trying to penetrate the clouds. The turbulence was insane. We couldn’t land so we set down in Dresden and took a three hour cabride to the festival sight and went straight to the stage. The festival itself was really cool though.
Either that or when our merch guy, Bo, got abducted by a taxi driver in Portugal.
BAS: Do you have a moment that you think back on as the best thing that’s ever happened on tour?
LK: It’s cumulative for me. If I can keep my brain in working order I’ll have a giant soup of memories to draw on in the nursing home of beautiful places and amazing people.
BAS: Considering that you’re still probably pretty broke while touring, what’s your best tip for saving money?
LK: Bring all food and drink that is given to you from the venues into the van. That’s tomorrow’s lunch!
BAS: Favorite dive bar in San Francisco?
LK: The Attic. C’mon, it’s two blocks from my house.
BAS: Favorite dive bar that you’ve found on the road?
LK: We were having fun at this place called Tattooed Mom’s in Philly, but it was upscale divey.
BAS: Favorite cheap eat in SF?
LK: Yamo on 18th btw mission and valencia.
BAS: Favorite cheap eat that you’ve found elsewhere?
LK: Dick’s burger in Seattle, Washington. Deluxe and fries please!
BAS: Meric and I both share Mateo as a good friend. I know that over the years you’ve gotten to know him pretty well too. Can you believe that lucky bastard got paid to not work for a year?*
LK: His luck really changed when he cut off his dreadlocks.
BAS: How much do you love what you’re doing?
LK: It’s a love affair for sure. Sometimes I love it so much I hate it and then vice versa.
BAS: What job would you be doing otherwise?
LK: If I didn’t go back to the printshop I would try my hands at being a masseuse.
BAS: And finally, what is the one thing that you think all broke-ass musicians need to know?
LK: This might not work out, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun while it lasts.
*The friend mentioned is a lawyer whose firm paid him less than normal salary to to take a year off during this recession.