Dopapod aims to give fans a good time (again) in Happy Valley

Dopapod plans to begin work on their next record early next year.
Dopapod plans to begin work on their next record early next year. Photo provided

Electronic jam (or “jamtronica”) band Dopapod returns to Happy Valley Oct. 4 at The State Theatre.

The band came to town earlier this year and performed to a packed house at the now-defunct Levels nightclub.

“It’s been a great year,” said Chuck Jones, bassist for Dopapod. “The summer was awesome, all the festivals were great. We just finished up a bit of downtime/personal time for everyone, which was very nice. We all enjoyed our time at home with our girlfriends and families.”

Dopapod has gained a larger following over the past year primarily due to their highly expressive concerts and ability to connect with their audiences. The four-piece band is looking forward to returning to State College and hopes that fans will show up in droves.

“After this big summer, I’m not setting my hopes too high on anything,” Jones said. “I’m definitely expecting to enjoy the show, but I’m not necessarily predicting a packed house or anything. Last time, when we played Levels, it was just great. Great crowd, great energy, just awesome.”

Success has not changed Dopapod.

“We were a pretty well-oiled machine at the beginning of the year,” Jones said. “Whenever we’re on the road — and this happens to everyone — we get really tight and on the same page very easily, especially with improv.”

“When you spend so much time together, you end up listening to the same music and getting into each other’s heads,” Jones continued. “Musically, we’ve had a bunch of time off, so it’s exciting and scary at the same time. It always takes a few shows after this long of a break to fit everything back together just right. Not even just songwise, but also improv and listening. The whole Dopapod thing sort of resets itself when we take a break.”

The band plans to begin work on their next record in early 2016.

“We’ve haven’t been (very active) about making a new record,” Jones said. “We got some stuff together this summer and hopefully this fall tour (will yield more), but we’re taking a significant amount of time off at the beginning of next year. That will be used to work on new material for a new record.”

When asked about the future of the band, Jones wasn’t exactly sure how things are going to pan out.

“I don’t really know where we will be in five years ... We could be on top of the world or killing each other, probably one of the two,” he said, laughing. “Individually, I think we’ll all be alive, hopefully together playing music. Hopefully things will have progressed in a direction we’re all happy with, but I mean, you never know. Things happen.”

Supporting Dopapod on Oct. 4 will be the band’s hand-selected opening act, Nth Power. The band will play music from their debut CD, “Abundance,” coming out Nov. 13.

“Nth Power is ridiculous,” Jones said. “I’m so pumped to have them on this run. The band is a bunch of musicians that played with other people. Their drummer toured on Beyonce’s all-female band for a year or two, so clearly she is amazing. She was the drummer for Dumpstaphunk too, but she left that to focus on Nth Power. The guitar player whom I don’t know too well, is amazing. Their bassist played with John Brown’s Body for a long time, but stopped doing that to focus on the Nth Power. He’s an old bass friend of mine so I look forward to ‘bass geeking out’ with him. They got a new keyboard player who is really great, and their percussionist is insane. I heard a story about him recently going to NAMM (North American Music Merchants) for a big percussion drum-off. He was with the biggest names in the world not only hanging in there, but also showing off. On top of being a great player, I’ve never seen anyone have as much fun on stage as he does.”

Jones thinks anyone who wants to have a good time should come to The State Theatre on Oct. 4.

“The next day is Monday, and everyone hates Mondays,” he joked. “You might as well go into slightly hungover from a great party the night before.”

The band from humble beginnings has kept their humility, and Jones says he doesn’t really care for the “praise” that fans and critics have showered on the band.

“By no means am I comparing myself or any of us to Jimi Hendrix, but there’s a great quote from him talking about getting praise from people,” Jones said. “He said he didn’t like getting praise from people. He said he found it distracting. I appreciate our success and the level that we’re at, but trying to size yourself up and see where you are or comparing yourself to other people is really harmful to my well-being. I try to just focus on my friendship with the guys and our music; that’s what I focus on.”