A lot happened in the world of music back in 1996. Sammy Hager left Van Halen. Alternative rock was king. Tupac Shakur was killed, and people -- yes, you -- did the Macarena. Somewhere in the middle of all that, Dispatch carved its own niche with their rootsy, folksy, dare-we-say-poppy rock flavor (that's a lot of adjectives) with their debut album Silent Steeples that year. But, the trio of Chad Stokes, Pete Francis, and Brad Corrigan arguably became infamous for their live performances which always generated swarms of fans.
After unprecedented success, the indie act called it quits following the 2000 release of Who Are We Living For? to make music on their own. Thankfully, after roughly a decade away, they've gotten the band back together and just released Circles Around The Sun. Four days before the album dropped and landed at Number 24 on the Billboard 200 Album Charts (their highest entry ever), the band filmed an A-Sides session at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, N.Y.
Showing little of what wrestlers refer to as "ring rust," Dispatch didn't miss a beat and bursted with more energy than a 6-year-old boy after a dozen Red Bulls. Case in point: before the session began, the trio -- led by Corrigan -- reinterpreted its title track as an operatic masterpiece. To explain it wouldn't do it justice, but let's just say costumes were warranted and the performance -- equipped with Corrigan acting out the song lyrics -- could've been a contender for a Monty Python sketch or at the very least the end credits of a Game of Thrones episode had someone filmed it.
The slap-happiness of the band contradicted so many of their on-point and compelling tracks they often churn out and the actions they've taken as a band. Most recently, for example, the band has pledged to donate a dollar per initial album pre-order to Amplifying Education, an initiative the band created to help support -- as the press release states -- "educational initiatives in local communities." An additional buck from all tickets sold for their upcoming Circles Around The Sun Tour will also be donated to the cause. Last year, the band raised over $250,000. Watch the band perform two tracks -- one new, and an oldie -- below, and visit asidesmusic.com for an exclusive performance of a third track -- "We Hold a Gun" off the new album. This version, I promise you, is more stripped down than a Vegas showgirl.
Watch. Listen. Love.
"Circles Around the Sun"
A Chat (Part One)
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman
Jon Chattman's music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.