The Dodos, ‘We’ve been living for these moments’

The Dodos are an American indie rock band from California. Meric Long (guitars/vocals) and Logan Kroeber (drums/vocals) are the masterminds behind the music project that has been around for a decade. Since the band’s inception in 2005, The Dodos are currently on tour in support of their sixth studio album entitled Individ. Individ, which was being worked on soon after the release of their fifth album, Carrier, portrays the duo’s music progress throughout the years. FDRMX had the privilege to sit down with Logan Kroeber and discuss dynamics, performances, the music video for “Competition,” and even Thai cuisine.

Long and Kroeber have been through so much in the past few years. With the passing of their dear friend and band member, Christopher Reimer, Long and Kroeber dealt with their own personal issues. Kroeber stated that the band’s dynamic hasn’t really changed. “There’s a real core dynamic that hasn’t changed. The type of humor that we enjoy around each other, the kind of things we do to entertain ourselves,” explained Kroeber. He further added, “I think it’s just the partying that has diminished, and we’ve taken on more responsibility. We’re much more likely to be found doing inventory on our merchandise and making sure everything is up to snuff. And it feels good.”

Kroeber explained how being in a band is analogous to being in the military: “There’s that military efficiency when being on tour. Like, ‘here’s when you have to do sound check, here’s when you have to wake up, here’s when we have to go to Guitar Center.’ I like to think of it that way. The hard partying has been replaced with waking up early and being efficient.”

Kroeber had no idea where he would be ten years from now during the time of the band’s formation. “I mean, I wished I would be here. Meric and I together have surpassed both of our expectations of what music would be for us as a career. And I knew that ten years ago, I told myself before, that if I would have a sold out show tonight, I’d be very happy,” said the drummer. Friday night’s show was a sold-out show, I told him. He responded, “I should be happier now! We maxed out our guest list a long time ago!”

The Dodos put so much effort into each song; there is definitely careful planning involved. When asked how hard it is to perform their songs live, Kroeber said, “It can be pretty difficult. There’s a lot of technical things at play where you have to have the feel-right when you’re playing the songs. But to put it in my widescreen onstage, the sound I get back to my monitor is really complicated.” Long is known for live-looping during the sets. And so Kroeber added, “Like when Meric is using loops, I need to be able to hear that. My monitor mix is so weird. I have to keep everything else low, so I can hear the loop above it all. I want to be able to hear the vocals loud, louder than I have. And so yeah, all that stuff is in the back of my mind when I’m playing. And I have to stay on top of what I’m doing.”

Despite the difficulties they fear, Long and Kroeber are used to it. “I’m used to it now, but it’s nice to be able to play without all that and it’s a blast; it’s more carefree. And it’s still really fun where everything is super professional. There’s a lot going on in the back of our minds, like you have no idea.”

The Dodos have recently released their music video for “Competition.” The concept of the video was all Long’s idea. Kroeber explained, “Meric started it, for sure. He grew up with older sisters who dance, and it’s like a big subconscious influence on him. He wanted to do it for that reason; he had a desire to do it deep down, kind of a way in he didn’t understand why. He just wanted to, and it became a statement piece.” Kroeber admired the way the music video was executed: “It was cool to convey an idea through this video that wasn’t plotted out. It’s really fun to make music videos – I love it – but usually, it’s more narrative-driven. Even if it’s stupid, it still has a story line. With this one, there was some commentary going on, but it was through dance.”

“Competition” was taken in one shot. There was no room for mistakes. The duo ended up doing only five/six full takes. Kroeber mentioned how hard they practiced. Some fans noticed Kroeber smirking in the video, and Kroeber had a message to send: “I was just trying to hype myself up when it was my turn to pop out. I didn’t even know I was laughing. I was just conjuring crazy energy. For the take we chose, I was trying to keep my sanity.” He further explains how it was just one of those days when they had to show up to the theater early in the morning, but started filming late in the evening. “And you’re burning through your adrenaline really fast.” You can watch the video below.

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The Dodos are touring in North America at the moment, but will head overseas to perform in Europe. Kroeber’s favorite moment on tour so far was the culinary experiences. “When we were in LA, there was a Thai restaurant near the venue. It wasn’t like any other Thai food I’ve ever had, probably because it was more traditional. I’ve been to Thailand, and so I’ve had traditional Thai food, but this was pushed to the max,” said Kroeber. He then added their culinary moment in PA: “We had a home cooked meal in Philadelphia. Our Italian friend of ours and his wife cooked, and it was amazing. We’ve been living for these moments, but we’ve been living for moments on stage, too.”

After the European tour, The Dodos will be taking a “much needed sabbatical” in the summer. “It’s my grandma’s 90th birthday, and we’ll probably celebrate it at the beach. Meric’s going camping,” said Kroeber. He hinted at a possible tour in the fall: “We’re gonna try to do another tour in the fall. I don’t know if we’re going to be opening for somebody else, somebody bigger or headline at places we haven’t been to yet.” For more information on The Dodos, their music, tour dates, and merch, visit their website here.

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