Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bands in the Neighborhood: Dot Dash

It's been a while since we've run a Bands in the Neighborhood post, where we talk to a local band about their music, their gigs, and their story. 

Today's installment is on Dot Dash, a post punk band with members who were previously in other notable DC bands like Minor Threat, Youth Brigade, Julie Ocean & Saturday People. The foursome is made up of Terry Banks (guitar/vocals), Steve Hansgen (guitar), Hunter Bennett (bass) and Danny Ingram (drums). 

They just played the Black Cat opening for The Clientele, and here's what they had to say.

How did the band form? It sounds like almost you're a supergroup of DC bands. And where did the name come from? 

We really just formed from being friends, friends of friends, ex-bandmates -- that sort of thing … The band name comes from a song by Wire -- it just seemed like a good handle – concise and kind of abstract but also something in the vernacular…

What are some of your influences? I hear some Teenage Fanclub and the catchier parts of The Replacements in there.

Thanks!   We definitely dig both of those bands.   We all have our own musical inspirations, some of the main ones include:

Terry:  The Jam, The Byrds, Joy Division
Steve:  The Beatles, Brian Wilson, The Who
Hunter:  The Jam, Motorhead, Burt Bacharach
Danny:  Joe Strummer, for inspiring me to get in a band.  Jet Black, for inspiring me with his longevity. The Beatles, for every little thing. 

Any memorable gigs in Columbia Heights or the surrounding areas?

Suppose the main one would be playing for 90 minutes, outside, on the corner of Columbia Road and 18th Street, in 100-degree weather.  There’s a video clip here.   You can fry an egg on your laptop merely from watching it. 

What's your take on the current-day DC music scene? Any trends you've noticed or good bands you'd recommend?

It seems really good.  We’ve played with some cool D.C. bands… Sending good vibes to:  Alarms & Controls, Regents, Highway Cross, History Repeated, Black Checker, The Shifters, America Hearts, Screen Vinyl Image, Beach Week, Golden Looks, Technicians -- hopefully we’re not forgetting anyone.  

I'm a big power pop fan, especially from the 90s, but it seems like there aren't many popular bands in the genre these days. Why do you think that is? 

Who knows… we have sort of a love-hate thing with the “power pop” tag.  It’s definitely a part of what we do, but we also feel like we weave in kind of a post-punkish thing, too… suppose we like/love the melodic part of power pop, but maybe not some of the more tame or odious aspects of the genre…  Anyway, you can’t quibble with what people make of your stuff.  If they like it, great -- If not, that’s what spells, incantations and voodoo dolls are for.
And, I am required to ask: if you had to rename your band for something in Columbia Heights, what would it be?

Maybe 1412 Harvard?

Thanks guys!

More Info & MP3s:
You can learn more about Dot Dash from their Facebook and Bandcamp pages, and below are some free MP3s. They're looking to book some shows soon, so keep checking their page!

Free MP3s:
from most recent record:  '(Here's to) The Ghosts of The Past'

from second record:  'Countdown'
from first record:  'The Color and The Sound' 

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