A Rare Encounter: Words with The Dodos, Performance at Neumos

Last week, we posted an interview with a band named after a flightless bird, Yellow Ostrich. This week, we’re kicking things off with yet another flightless bird interview, this time with San Francisco’s own The Dodos.

The duo will be playing at Neumos tonight to celebrate last month’s release of their new album, No Color. The album features their signature intricate percussion and lively guitarwork for an all-around fun listening experience. We caught up with bandmember Logan Kroeber to talk about the new album, what the group hopes to do in Seattle and more.

It’s nearly impossible to listen to your albums without focusing on the prominent percussive elements that compel your sound. How did you decide to incorporate Meric’s African drumming and other non-traditional percussive rock instrumentation into the mix?
When I started playing with Meric I was trying to do something different with drumming, but I didn’t know what. Learning some African techniques third hand from Meric via his guitar playing started something new in my head and I was able to incorporate that with my metal/prog leanings. It was a really fun, new thing for me and somehow it all made sense musically.

In what ways does No Color differ from Time to Die and Visiter?
In my mind, No Color is different from Visiter by continuing a songwriting style more similar to Time To Die and is different from Time To Die by having a recording style more similar to Visiter.

What artists have been the most prominent in your musical development?
I have no clue how they add up to what I’m doing now, but I went through some heavy listening phases of Tool, Sigur Ros, Deerhoof, and Waylon Jennings over the years.

How did you all decide on the band’s name?
It was a pretty drawn out process. Meric had a solo ep called Dodo Bird, when we started playing together he wanted a band name so we called ourselves Dodo Bird. After our first tour it got shortened to the Dodos. This caused a lot of confusion for promoters and I believe there was one show where we were billed like this: The Dodos (formerly Dodo Bird (Meric Long)).

If you lived in an alternate reality where you forced to play the catalogue of another musician/band for an entire year, which musicians/band’s works would you play?
Sunday Coming era Alton Ellis. Not just from behind the drums either, I’d love to learn the bass parts as well.

How did Neko Case end up being involved with the record?
We did a tour with the New Pornographers last Summer and she came on stage to sing with us a few times. On the last day I think Meric asked her if she’d like to sing on the record and she said yes. She flew out to Portland, got a tattoo and did her vocals, simple as that.

Are there any Seattle bands that currently make your van’s playlist?
I listen to Earth pretty frequently, they live in Seattle right?

Anything that you’re looking to do with your time in Seattle this round?
Go to Dick’s and go to Paseo. Luckily we have two days here so I won’t have to do both in one afternoon and explode.

What’s next for the band in 2011?
We’re going to be touring pretty heavily, and we have some unreleased tracks from No Color coming out sometime as well. We should have a video for Companions coming out too.

4/4 Dodos/Reading Rainbow @ Neumos :: Tickets are $15 :: Doors at 8:00 PM :: 21+

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