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Dope

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Biography

An uncompromising New York City-based outfit that draws from both heavy metal and industrial music, Dope's confrontational emissions evoke Ministry, Skinny Puppy, and White Zombie. Emerging in 1999 with the hard-hitting Felons and Revolutionaries, the group continued to beat the post-industrial drum on 2005's American Apathy and 2018's Blood Money, Part 1, while managing to weave in elements of speed, alternative, rap, and nu-metal. The quintet was formed in the Chicago area by brothers Edsel Dope (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and Simon Dope (keyboards). Simon studied chemistry at the University of Florida, then received a scholarship to Polytechnic in Brooklyn. There he was joined by his brother, with the two claiming to have financed their demos by selling drugs. The initial incarnation of the band included lead guitarist Tripp Eisen, bass player Acey Slade, and drummer Preston Nash. They began a selective series of gigs in late 1997. In October 1998, they were signed to Flip Records, which made a production deal with Epic. Dope's debut album and best-selling release to date, Felons and Revolutionaries, was released in September 1999. The Dope brothers gutted their lineup after the ensuing tour, switching Slade to guitar and bringing in original bassist Sloane Jentry, guitarist Virus, and drummer Sketchy Shay. In the fall of 2001, they released their second album, Life. Two years later, the band inked a deal with Artemis and issued the nu-metal-leaning Group Therapy. The punitive American Apathy arrived in summer 2005, featuring covers of Depeche Mode's "People Are People" and N.W.A's "Fuck tha Police." It topped the Billboard Heatseekers chart upon release. No Regrets was issued four years later, and featured a guest appearance by Zakk Wylde. After an extended hiatus, Dope's classic lineup returned with a new album and coinciding tour. The band -- Edsel Dope, Acey Slade, Virus, and Racci Shay -- released Blood Money, Pt. 1 in late 2016, with a sequel, the aptly-named Blood Money, Pt. 2, arriving in 2019. ~ William Ruhlmann & Neil Z. Yeung
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