Abigail St. Clair Thomas interviews John Jones of Dope Body

 

 

ASCT
How did you get into working with Dope Body? How did you decide it was something you wanted to be involved in?
DB
I moved into the Copy Cat warehouse space with Zach, Andrew, and Dave in 2009. They started Dope Body around the same time. During this period I was working full time with autistic middle schoolers while they were touring and putting out records.  Eventually I resigned from my position at the school and it just so happened they needed a bass player. It was an easy decision to make based on the fact that I really appreciated what they were producing, and they were/are some of my favorite people to hang out with.

 

ASCT
How long have you been in DB? Has your role in the band changed over time?
DB
Its been a year and some change now, but in that time we’ve recorded an album as well as a 7-inch, and have traveled extensively through out the U.S. and Europe. Its been a busy year. I jumped on board the wagon just as everything seemed to be picking up for the band. In terms of my role in the band, I can’t really say if it has changed. Too soon to tell I guess. The writing process thus far has consisted of jamming for hours until parts and pieces fall into place. Its a very organic process. I feel as an equal based on the fact that I’ve know all the guys for quite sometime now. They were friends before bandmates, which makes being bandmates easier I guess.

 

ASCT
How would you categorize DB’s sound? Does it differ from DB’s influences?
DB
I like to think of our sound as some form of “Subconscious Rock” which is a silly term, but I mean it. We are often compared to bands that we listened to predominately through our middle school/high school years. No one in the band listens to much heavy music these days.. Our influences do not really interfere with our sound at all. If they did we would sound like a classic rock new age hip hop group or something..

 

ASCT
What do you like about the Baltimore scene? What, if anything, bothers you about it?
DB
Baltimore is a small city where artist and musicians have the ability to live cheaply. Everyone in the scene seems to be supportive of one another. The bills are often a smorgasbord of styles and genres which I think is incredibly healthy. I guess my only complaint is that it’s difficult for those that are outside of of the scene to tap in to whats going on. Whether your an out of town performer or someone new to the city I think it can seem that the scene is incestuous.

 

ASCT
Any emerging artists you’re interested in?
DB
Yes! The band Horse Lords have been the talk of the town for sometime now, and rightfully so. they shred in the most unshreddy way (!?). If you listen to them you’ll get that sentiment. I’m really excited about the new Run DMT record. I listened to a portion of it two months ago and still can’t get this specific melody out of my head. I feel like everyone in my immediate life right now has been diving deep into their own creative projects. I look to them more so than anyone else for that special type of inspiration which cannot be defined.

 

ASCT
Currently, are there any other projects you’re working on?
DB
Yes! I co-run a small label with some friends called Player Press. We are currently working on a Kid Drawing Zine titled “When Your Dead Your Dead” which will focus primarily on children’s relationship with the unknown/esoteric (its not as dark as it sounds). We also have a few new tape releases lined up from such artist as Alan Gesso, Jason Willett, Cex, and Breeeze. (www.playerpressmedia.com)
Between doing the Player Press stuff and writing new material with Dope Body I’ve been preparing for a photo show I’m in next month here in Baltimore, and trying to finish two records of my own under the name Eachothers. BUSYBUSY.

 

ASCT
Show us a picture and tell us about it.
DB
I took this photo while on a ferry leaving the UK during the Dope Body euro tour. The cliffs of dover were present outside the windows of the ship. The TV was part of the video juke box that was available to all passengers. It was really a surreal moment for me. Being surrounded by British and French families who were drinking booze, while a Mystical ( who was seriously one of my favorite rappers when I was 12) music video played as we rocked back and forth in such a forcefully nauseating way. It was a very “Lynchian” type of experience.

 

ASCT
What sentiment (feeling, idea, etc) has been the most difficult to convey in your art? Why did you feel it was important to convey?
DB
For years I’ve always taken advantage of ideas and concepts when they come to me quickly or spontaneously, but now I’m finding that what becomes the end result of those situations, does not appeal to me the way the idea initially did. So at this point I’m working on defining a ‘purpose’ before beginning a project. whether its a series of photos, sounds, collages, or paintings I think there should be some string that exists through out all that is being presented. This is some seriously basic shit, but you know i’m a hard head…..

 

ASCT
When do you know something you’re working on is finished?
DB
I’m still figuring that one out. “I’m never sure” can be applied to all aspects of my life.

 

ASCT
What keeps you up at night?
DB
THE INTERNET, and hanging out with buds of course.