Q&A with Doctor Doom Orchestra
by Chrissy Prisco
How did the band start?
It's a bit of a long story, Doctor Doom Orchestra sort of rose from the ashes of a few bands. Andrew Simpson (Bassist) Pat Hurley (Guitarist) Lucas Batten (Drums) and myself (Pete Hantzis) played in a band together in college (Covalence). We split up after graduating U-Mass Amherst. Luke & Andrew did stick together through several projects thereafter.
Meanwhile, I helped start a group called "Doctors of Flight." That band featured current Doctor Doom Orchestra members Dan Fasset (Fiddle, Hermonica, Mandolin) Jess Markey (Trumpet) and Andrew Simpson, who later replaced our bassist.
After Doctors Of Flight broke up we combined the past with the present and luckily stumbled upon the final two members of Doctor Doom Orchestra, Andrea Tavares (Vocals) and Dave Pratt (Saxophone).
Where did the band name come from?
At some point we started referring to Dan as Doctor Doom. It caught on pretty quickly and people seemed to really dig that name. I guess we must have been tossing around band names for a month or two before Doctor Doom Orchestra finally slipped out of someone's mouth. Although we tend to bring a more upbeat than doomed attitude - the name still seems to resonate in a positive way.
What are your biggest musical influences?
That is an extremely difficult question to answer. We have so many different musical influences in this band. To name a few - 311, The Roots, Sublime, Lee Scratch Perry, Al Green, Atmosphere, Pink Floyd... We're all over the map and that list goes on and on. It does help explain why we sometimes touch several genres in one song.
What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
Sublime, Black Sabbath, 311, MM&W, Phish, Adele, Wu Tang Clan, Jay Z, The Doors, Atmosphere, Radiohead, Easy Star Allstars. I guess you can't even say "ETC..." at the end of that list because there is really no implied pattern. We just listen to everything
We really do love staying connected to local artists, some of our favorites are:
Danny Pease & The Regulators, Fear Nuttin Band, Mighty Mystic, Wolfman Conspiracy, Bad Rabbits, The Alchemystics, Grant Street Orchestra, RBC. We definitely recommend you check out all of these artists!
What do you love about Boston's music scene?
As much as the harshness of the Boston music scene is difficult to swallow, it really filters out the bands who aren't meant to be playing it. If you want into the scene you have to work your butt off to establish yourself. That alone makes the quality of music in Boston fantastic. It's tough to go to a 4 band show where at least one band doesn't grab your attention and hold it. We love the honesty of the Boston music scene.
What would you like to see change in the local music scene?
Well, we would love a music scene where fans come out early and stay late. A lot of people come out for their friends' band and then they are on their way. Maybe the bands that are grouped together need to be more thought out at times or maybe the fans need to have more faith in the line-up. Whatever it is, there is a lot of good local music out there and we hope more people take the time to discover it!
What are your plans for the upcoming year?
We're just focusing on getting through our first year as DDO at this point. The band will celebrate its one year anniversary in October 2011. In the next few months, we plan to get our 2nd album underway, we'll be playing 15+ cities in 5 states before finishing up back home at The Paradise Rock Club on September 17th.
What was your most memorable live show?
To this point - our CD Release (at The Middle East Downstairs). All of us had been to so many sold-out shows at The Middle East Downstairs growing up. I don't think any of us ever dreamed we would be playing one.
Is there someone who has helped your band grow through support?
There are so many people - we're almost afraid to list them because we don't want to leave anyone out - but here goes nothing:
Tom Grin & The Entire Fear Nuttin Band, Danny Pease & The Regulators, Mark Kaye, Lionel Brown & Hear Now Live, Rich Concepts, Mighty Mystic, Dean Hantzis, James Sawyer, Trevor Buckingham, Afolabi Oyelowo, Christina Razionale, Samantha Saltz, Dan Shapo, All of our families and, of course, all of our fans.
Is there a piece of equipment you couldn't live without and why?
I think all of DDO is pretty attached to their equipment, it would be difficult to pry any of it away. Someone did try to take Andrew's bass rig a while back... Andrew still has his rig, we'll leave it at that haha.
Why do you read The Deli?
Because we love the local music scene and we want to know what's going on in it!