Dope (band)

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OriginNew York City, U.S.
Years active1997–present
Past members

Dope is an American heavy metal band from New York City, formed in 1997.

The band has released six full-length studio albums with their most recent studio album, Blood Money Part 1, being released on October 28, 2016. The lineup currently consists of founding member and lead singer Edsel Dope, keyboardist and Edsel's brother, Simon Dope, guitarists Adam Durham and Nick Hansen, bassist Matt Varley, and drummer Daniel Fox.


Early days (1997–1998)[edit]

The band was founded in 1997 by songwriter and lead vocalist Edsel Dope. As a child, Edsel and his brother Simon Dope were separated when their parents divorced. When the two were adults, they reunited and Simon joined Edsel's band, playing keyboards, samples and percussion. The pair then recruited Tripp Eisen as guitarist, Preston Nash as drummer, and Acey Slade as bassist.

Unlike many of the popular bands from the 1990s, Dope derived their sound from influences taken from heavy metal bands and fused that with the sound of industrial rock acts who had made waves earlier in the decade, such as Ministry and Skinny Puppy.

In their earliest days, the band sold drugs to survive and purchase instruments.[1] Furthermore, the band name "Dope" refers to heroin, which was the common substance Edsel and Simon sold around the New York City area as shown by their early T-shirt designs, which prominently displayed hypodermic needles.

The band also had some early connections with fellow rockers Marilyn Manson; ex drummer Ginger Fish shared an apartment with Edsel Dope in Las Vegas during the earlier 1990s, before either of them were in their respective bands.[2] Also, guitarist Zim Zum allowed the band to claim that they were "currently being produced by Zim Zum" on the cover of their promotional discs to help them gain a record deal.[3] It was originally planned that Zum would produce their debut. However, he was busy recording the album Mechanical Animals at the time. Lead singer Edsel has also maintained a good friendship with ex-Manson guitarist Daisy Berkowitz.

Felons and Revolutionaries (1999–2000)[edit]

Felons and Revolutionaries was created after performing on the New York City club circuit, and releasing several promotional cassettes[4] the band was signed by Epic Records. For the album's recording, Sloane Jentry had left the band and Tripp Eisen moved to guitar, while Acey Slade was brought in on bass. The album featured fourteen tracks including two covers, which were; "Fuck tha Police" by N.W.A and "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" by English new wave band Dead or Alive, which featured in the movie American Psycho. "Debonaire" was also featured on the Scream 3 movie soundtrack and the first The Fast and the Furious movie during the police raid on Johnny Tran's house scene.

Dope toured extensively, taking part in several national tours with various acts ranging from Alice Cooper to Kid Rock.[5] This helped Felons and Revolutionaries SoundScan more than 250,000 units in total.

A live video for the song "Sick" was recorded to capture the energy of the group's live show. The first single and non-live promotional video released by the band from the album was "Everything Sucks", which failed to chart. The second single, a cover of "You Spin Me Round", saw the band gaining more attention; it received radio play and reached No. 37 on the US Mainstream Rock charts.

Life (2001–2002)[edit]

After the relative success of their debut album, Dope decided to record a follow up entitled Life. Several band changes had taken place once more; Tripp Eisen was fired from the group and joined industrial metal band Static-X, so Virus, a guitarist/producer from New York City who was originally hired for bass, replaced him on guitar in 2000. Acey Slade was moved to the position of guitar, while Sloane Jentry (who had remained friends with the band) rejoined, this time on bass. On drums, Preston Nash was replaced by Racci "Sketchy" Shay.

The two singles from Life; "Now or Never" and "Slipping Away" reached No. 28 and No. 29 on the Mainstream Rock charts respectively. The album itself reached No. 180 on the Billboard charts[which?] and No. 6 on the Top Heatseekers, which up until that point was the band's highest charting. After the album's release, Simon Dope left the group to pursue a career as a video game producer.

"Debonaire" from the first album was used in the movie The Fast and the Furious.[citation needed] More soundtrack work was done by Dope in 2002, as the band recorded WWE chairman Vince McMahon's theme song "No Chance (In Hell)" for the WWF Forceable Entry audio release. Dope's music had previously been used as the background theme in ECW, and Rhino also used "Debonaire" as his entrance theme.[citation needed]

Around this period, Edsel Dope also had a public rivalry with the band Murderdolls, particularly vocalist Wednesday 13. An early version of that group had featured Racci Shay on drums; and under the name Murderdolls, it featured Tripp Eisen. Dope guitarist Acey Slade then left the band to join Murderdolls in mid-2002.[6]

Group Therapy and American Apathy (2003–2007)[edit]

Disappointed with the label's perceived lack of promotion for the album, the band left Epic and joined Artemis Records, a New York independent record label.

Dope's third studio album was titled Group Therapy. A song from that album, Today is the Day served as the official theme song for WWE's pay-per-view event No Mercy 2003 in October.

By 2005, Dope had regrouped once more, the band had a new bassist, Brian "Brix" Milner (former guitarist and keyboardist for Orlando's Skrape). For their new album entitled American Apathy, the band returned to a harder sound similar in some respects to their debut, in an industrial metal style.

Although released eight years after the band formed, four albums in and on an independent label, American Apathy performed well in the charts. It was a No. 1 hit on the Top Heatseekers chart, for the first time in the band's history and it also saw the band's highest charting on the Billboard chart to date.

Ben Graves of the Murderdolls joined Dope as the live drummer on a tour of Japan. In 2006 Dope bassist Brix Milner played in Murderdolls front man Wednesday 13's solo band, replacing the injured Kid Kid.

Edsel Dope and Virus became involved in an alternative pop/rock side-project called Makeshift Romeo.

No Regrets (2008–2012)[edit]

No Regrets is the band's fifth studio album. The album was released on March 10, 2009. The album debuted at No. 88 with 6,200 copies sold in its first week, making it the highest-charted album in the band's history. This CD is different from past releases in that the name of the CD is repeated in many of the songs, including "Dirty World," "My Funeral," "We Are," and the CD's title track. "Addiction" is the third single from the album. The song features a guitar solo by the guest musician Zakk Wylde.[7]

Dope has finished their spring tour of the United States, the tour, which took place over two months, included 22 dates. Tripp Lee played live on bass with the band (although Brix is still listed, and seems doubtful that he will return) and a new drummer named Angel Bartolotta, formerly of Pig and The Genitorturers has joined.[citation needed]

It was announced on October 15, 2008 that the first single from No Regrets is called "Violence". The song is currently available to listen on the band's MySpace. There will be a music video, for "Violence", according to the image the band set for album art. One of the tracks for the album was released in late 2007 in the game, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Guitar Hero III includes a song by Dope called "Nothing for Me Here" on the bonus list and mentions that it will be on the band's upcoming album.[8]

Some time in early 2009, Dope updated their official website, which now features promotion for No Regrets, which was released on March 10, 2009. Previews of eight tracks from the new album can be heard via the music player on the site. In addition to this, the full music video for the single Addiction, which features Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society and well-known guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne is available to be viewed on the site. One of the tracks on the new album is a cover of the Billy Idol single, "Rebel Yell".[9]

On July 29, 2008, Dope released American Apathy Reloaded—a CD of remixes and alternate versions of songs from American Apathy, plus a live DVD.[citation needed]

Dope has released a video to go along with the second single on the album, "6-6-Sick".[citation needed]

The song "Nothing for Me Here" is featured in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as a bonus track, therefore making the song's original release date in 2007, 2 years before No Regrets was released.[citation needed]

Virus, the lead guitarist, teaches guitar/bass at the Paul Green School of Rock in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania.[10]

Virus also produces up-and-coming bands and writes music for TV and video game companies such as Activision, Disney and ESPN.[11]

In 2011, Dope performed at the Gathering of the Juggalos.[12]

On August 12, 2011, Dope played at Mojoes in Joliet, Illinois.[citation needed]

In 2012, Virus joined David Draiman's band Device.[citation needed]

Blood Money (2013–present)[edit]

On the September 19, 2013, the band officially released a teaser for the song "Drug Music" from their upcoming sixth studio album, entitled "Blood Money" via their Facebook page. The album was originally set to be released in March 2014. However, in an interview with Dee J. Nelson, it was said that the release will take place in the summer. The music video for the album's first single "Selfish" was released on August 26, 2014 as frontman Edsel Dope announced that Blood Money will be a two-part album. In 2015, Dope announced the dates for the "Die Mother Fucker Die" reunion tour, featuring the classic lineup of Edsel Dope, Virus, Acey Slade, and Racci Shay. Dope also recorded their very first live album in Moscow which featured the four long time friends and bandmates. Dope's live album, titled "Live In Moscow", was released in 2016 summer via a fan-funded process through their website where all those who pre-ordered the live album and/or contributed to the fundraiser would have their name listed in the album's liner notes and would subsequently make the website's virtual thermometer grow as fans shopped around the website. The Thermometer would display the overall progress in reaching various fundraiser goals such as the release of the live DVD and making it to United Kingdom and Europe for a tour.

After the release of their first live album, the band announced that they will be releasing their long-awaited album "Blood Money, Part 1" in the autumn of 2016, also stating that the second part of "Blood Money" would not see such lengthy delays as Part 1 did.

Dope released the official music video for the two-part album's title track "Blood Money" on July 16, 2016. The band released the second single on the album entitled "Hold On" on August 26, 2016, as well as the official music video. Blood Money part 1 was officially released worldwide on October 28, 2016 via eOne Entertainment.

After the release of "Blood Money, Part 1," Dope went to tour Russia and the United Kingdom as the headlining act as well as having toured with the classic lineup featured in the "Die Mother Fucker Die Reunion" tour. This reunion tour had guitarist Virus, drummer Racci Shay, and bassist Acey Slade return for the occasion.

In the beginning of 2017, Dope released tour dates for Spring 2017, touring with co-headliner Combichrist and supporting acts September Mourning and Davey Suicide. They also released more tour dates for Fall 2017, this time touring with Hed PE.

In 2019, Dope toured with Static-X, DevilDriver, Wednesday 13, and Raven Black in the US. In 2022, they are part of the Rise of the Machine tour with Static-X, Fear Factory, Mushroomhead and Twiztid.

Musical style and influences[edit]

Dope have been described as alternative metal,[13] speed metal,[14] nu metal,[15][16][17][18][19] and industrial metal.[20] Dope's influences include Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Kiss, Guns N' Roses, White Zombie, and Mötley Crüe.[21][22] Dope's lyrics are known for being obscene and aggressive.[14][23] In a review of Dope's album Felons and Revolutionaries, NME said "In American Pie, a boy puts his cock in an apple pie, to let us know that there's something rotten at the heart of the American Dream. Ex-con brothers Edsel and Simon Dope, though, would probably put someone else's cock in the apple pie, cut it off, lace the pie with strychnine, and serve it up at the Clinton dinner table."[24]



  • Edsel Dope – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, programming (1997–present)
  • Virus – lead guitar, backing vocals (2000–2013, 2015–2017, 2018–present)
  • Acey Slade – bass (1998–1999, 2015–2017, 2018–present), rhythm guitar (1999–2002)
  • Daniel Fox – drums (2004–2005, 2013–2015, 2017, 2019–present)


  • Simon Dope – keyboards, programming, percussion (1997–2002)
  • Sloane "Mosey" Jentry – lead guitar (1997–1998), bass (1999–2004)
  • Tripp Eisen – bass (1997–1998), lead guitar (1998–2000)
  • Preston Nash – drums (1997–2000)
  • Simon Dope – keyboards, programming, percussion (1997–2002)
  • Adrian Ost – drums (2000–2001)
  • Racci Shay – drums (2001–2004, 2015–2017), bass (2004–2006)
  • Ben Graves – drums (2005–2006) (died 2018)[25]
  • Brix Milner – bass (2006–2007)
  • Angel Bartolotta – drums (2006–2013)
  • Derrick "Tripp" Tribbett – bass, backing vocals (2007–2013)
  • Jerms Genske – bass, backing vocals (2013–2015, 2017–2018)
  • Nikk Dibs – lead guitar, backing vocals (2013–2015, 2017–2018), bass, keyboards, backing vocals (2017)
  • Chris Warner – drums (2017–2019)



Studio albums


  1. ^ "Outburn Magazine". Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  2. ^ "Edsel Dope". Edsel Dope. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  3. ^ "Zim Zum Interview". Archived from the original on 2010-04-23. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  4. ^ "Dope Demos". Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  5. ^ "David Collette". David Collette. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  6. ^ "Acey to Murderdolls". Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  7. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - DOPE: New Song Featuring ZAKK WYLDE Posted Online". Archived from the original on 2012-09-09. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  8. ^ "This song is from their much anticipated fifth studio album," Guitar Center (Career Store) from Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.
  9. ^ "Official Dope website". Retrieved 2009-02-08.
  10. ^ "School of Rock/School Staff". Archived from the original on 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2008-12-11.
  11. ^ Blabbermouth News. "DOPE Guitarist Producing KORE ROZZIK Demo". Archived from the original on 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2008-12-11.
  12. ^ "2011 Gathering of the Juggalos Infomercial". YouTube. 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2011-12-07.
  13. ^ Magnus Altkula. "Dope - Felons And Revolutionaries". Sputnikmusic. (November 4th, 2009)
  14. ^ a b William Ruhlmann (1999-09-14). "Felons and Revolutionaries - Dope | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-30.
  15. ^ Taniwha (Garry Sharpe-Young). "Dope". MusicMight. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  16. ^ Photo Courtesy of Dope. "Dope to drop by Allentown's Croc Rock".
  17. ^ "The Autumn Offering's Matt McChesney Overcame a Stopped Heart, Prison Time". Noisecreep.
  18. ^ D'Angelo, Joe. "Nu Metal Meltdown". MTV. Archived from the original on February 1, 2003.
  19. ^ "Artists :: DOPE". MusicMight. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  20. ^ "Score some 'Dope' this Sunday". The Badger Herald.
  21. ^ "An Interview With Edsel Dope". (September 1st, 2005)
  22. ^ "Dope Frontman: 'We Didn't Grow Up Listening To Korn". Blabbermouth.
  23. ^ Johnny Loftus (2003-10-21). "Group Therapy - Dope | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-30.
  24. ^ "Felons And Revolutionaries". NME. (September 12th, 2005)
  25. ^