Dopapod to get funky at The Canopy Club

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By Alexander Vassiliadis

Electronic funk jammin’ is the game, and Dopapod is the name. On Thursday, Eli Winderman (keyboards), Rob Compa (guitar), Chuck Jones (bass) and Scotty Zwang (drums) will hit The Canopy Club at 9 p.m. Three years young, Dopapod is an improvisational jam band that experiments with electronic funk. They are currently on their third tour around the East Coast and Midwest, which will continue until May 3. The Daily Illini was able to talk to Rob Campa about their upcoming show. 

Daily Illini: Have you guys performed at The Canopy Club before? 

Rob Compa: Yeah, two other times. One time we opened for Papadosio, who are our best buddies, and the second time was our last tour before this. So this will be our third time. 

DI: How was the energy at your concerts before, and are you expecting anything different this time? 

Compa: It was great! Both times were awesome. I never know what to expect, I kind of have trained myself never to expect anything, so I am happy with whatever happens. I don’t even think about it. Last time, I remember being really psyched because we only were there one other time so I was like, “Is anyone even going to come?” And we ended up having a really great show and an amazing crowd. We were all really pleased. 

 

DI: What is your purpose when performing? 

Compa: For one, it’s the feeling that we’re in a room with no one watching, which is the more selfish reason to do it, where it is just the four of us playing together. I search for that feeling every night. We don’t always get it, but that’s what we’re looking for. We just really want to walk in and make something incredible happen on stage. I guess for the second reason, for me personally — I remember when I was 18 and 19 … how I (would) feel when I (would) listen to my favorite musicians and guitar players. So I guess my goal is to make people feel how I feel when I see my favorite musicians. 

DI: How would you describe your band’s sound? 

Compa: That’s tough. We’re trying to be progressive in a way without trying to be pretentious. We love making weird arrangements and music you’re not even sure you’ll like or not, but without being academic about it. We try to have a sense of humor about the whole thing. And improvisational. Improvisation is easily 50 percent of what we do. As far as genre wise, I can never answer that. I never know what to say. 

DI: What makes you unique to the stage? 

Compa: I think we have our own twist on how to improvise. I think we have good enough experience that we can work with each other really well, music-wise. Interesting things happen on stage. A big part of improvisation is accepting that you don’t have any control over it. You just get up there, and you wait for a big wave to come in and just ride it in. But we always listen to each other. Almost more than we even listen to ourselves. 

DI: What inspired you guys to make the music you make? 

Compa: I don’t think there’s any conscious effort to be different or anything. You just have to make room for what everybody likes and can put into music. And all of us have so many different influences that we have to make room for. We have to make room for everyone’s personality in the song. 

DI: Where does the name Dopapod come from? 

Compa: I don’t know. I honestly don’t. Because I wasn’t in the band when it started up. I know that it’s not drug related, and everyone is so surprised to hear that when I tell him or her. It has something to do with dopamine, the chemical in your brain that causes happiness. 

Alex can be reached at [email protected]