Dope returns to Oklahoma City ahead of its first full-length album in seven years 

click to enlarge Dope_Promo_2016.jpg

Edsel Dope wants to make sure fans have the right idea. Though his eponymous industrial metal band’s recent U.S. tour has been billed by many fans as a reunion tour, the founder and vocalist said he has kept busy the last several years.

“People assume that reunion lineup means that for the last seven years, we haven’t been doing anything,” he said. “But perception, it doesn’t matter to me. ... We’re happy to be back, promoting the record, and it’s cool to be with my old friends.”

Dope the man was born Brian Charles Ebejer in 1974 in New York City. His stage moniker and band name are inspired by the group’s early days in Chicago, when it sold drugs to finance the music. Dope the band brings its early-2000s lineup to Oklahoma City 7 p.m. Sunday at 89th Street Collective, 8911 N. Western Ave.

The Die Motherfucker Die Reunion Tour features Edsel with guitarists Acey Slade and Virus and drummer Racci Shay, all of whom performed on the band’s 2001 sophomore full-length album Life. The record features the popular, heavy, chest-pounding nu-metal single “Die Motherfucker Die,” still a fan favorite.

Edsel said while this is what he calls the band’s classic lineup, there are many roster iterations that stand out.

“They’re all classic lineups,” he said. “This just happened to be an instance where the guys involved in this one just haven’t all played together in a significant period of time, which put kind of a cool cherry on top.”

Dope is using the tour as a prelude to Blood Money, Part 1, its first album release since 2009’s No Regrets. Blood Money is due out Oct. 28.

Fans have long anticipated the album. The first edition of the two-part project was initially scheduled for a 2014 release. Edsel said he does not feel any more eager to get the new music out, despite project delays and the several years that have passed since No Regrets.

“I’m a patient guy,” he said. “I’ve been doing this a long, long time. I wouldn’t have minded it if it came out sooner, but life got in the way. When you’re not able to commit to touring and the things you need to do to promote a record, plans change, and that’s what happened with this.”

Edsel said Blood Money is a record longtime fans will love, but also one that might need to grow on some people. The single “Hold On” features a more commercially viable metalcore vibe sometimes compared to Bullet for My Valentine and different than “Die Motherfucker Die.”

Edsel is prepared to shrug off any negative reactions.

“Haters are going to hate,” he said. “They’re always the loudest in the beginning, and then they go away. It’s like anything else in life.”

Still, it is not as if Dope is reinventing itself 17 years into its existence. The album’s title track features the band as heavy and sinister as it has ever been.

“One of the reasons this tour is ending right when this [album] is coming out is because once the next touring cycle begins, people will have had the chance to live with the record for a while before we start going out and playing those songs night after night in front of them,” Edsel said.

The Dope frontman said much of the material for Part 1’s follow-up project is recorded and should see a release soon. In the meantime, he did say he is excited to finally have a full project to offer fans.

“I’m stoked for fans to hear it,” he said. 

Print headline: Die hard, Dope returns Sunday to OKC.

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