Jump to content

The Dismemberment Plan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Dismemberment Plan
The Dismemberment Plan at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City in 2003
The Dismemberment Plan at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City in 2003
Background information
OriginWashington, D.C., U.S.
Years active
  • 1993–2003
  • 2007
  • 2010–2015
  • 2023–present
Past members
  • Steve Cummings

The Dismemberment Plan is a Washington, D.C. based indie rock band formed on January 1, 1993. Also known as D-Plan or the Plan, the name was derived from an industry phrase used by insurance salesman Ned Ryerson in the 1993 comedy film Groundhog Day.[1] The band members include Eric Axelson (bass), Jason Caddell (guitar), Joe Easley (drums), and Travis Morrison (vocals and guitar). Axelson, Caddell, Morrison and original drummer Steve Cummings formed the band in college, knowing each other from attending northern Virginia high schools (Axelson, Cummings, and Morrison attended Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia). Cummings left the band after the recording of their debut album ! and was replaced by Easley, cementing the band's lineup.

The Dismemberment Plan released four albums before breaking up in 2003, the best known being 1999's critically acclaimed Emergency & I. They reunited three times after their initial disbandment for additional tour dates, and to produce their fifth and most recent studio album Uncanney Valley in 2013.

Band history[edit]

1993–2003: Original years[edit]

Aside from a brief interlude in 1998 and 1999 when they were signed by Interscope Records, the band recorded for the Washington, D.C independent label DeSoto Records. Their breakthrough album, Emergency & I, was actually created during their time at Interscope. However, they were dropped from the label shortly after its completion, and thus took it back with them to DeSoto, where it wound up being released. The EP The Ice of Boston is the only item of theirs Interscope actually released during their tenure there. The band managed to avoid being in debt to the label, effectively being able to record on a major label budget with no consequence. The band referred to their situation in a later interview as "slipping through the cracks".

Travis Morrison performing with the Dismemberment Plan at the Iowa Union Basement c. 2001

Following the massive underground success of Emergency & I, the band received an even higher profile after being invited to open for the European leg of Pearl Jam's 2000 tour. A co-headlining tour in 2002 with Death Cab for Cutie (called the "Death and Dismemberment Tour") also worked well to raise both bands' profiles and cross-pollinate their fanbases, as well as forge creative ties between several members. Later that summer and fall the Dismemberment Plan started to debut songs for their follow-up to 2001's Change. In 2002 the band put all the music tracks from their last two albums on their website, encouraging fans to remix the songs. The result was 2003's A People's History of the Dismemberment Plan. On January 19, 2003, however, the band announced on their website that they had decided to break up after a few tours that year.[2] A final show was planned for July 28, 2003 in Washington D.C.'s famous outdoor show space, Fort Reno Park. However come show-time a heavy rain threatened to damage their electronic equipment and drove off all but the most devoted fans, leading the band to add one more final show. On September 1, 2003, they closed out their career with a sold-out show at the renowned 9:30 Club, dubbed the "one last slice" show. By the band's breakup, Emergency & I and Change had sold 22,000 copies each in the US.[3]

2003–2010: Post-breakup activity[edit]

Morrison took the post-Change songs with him for further work, and released many of them on his first album, Travistan, released in 2004. Eric Axelson started a band called Maritime with former members of The Promise Ring. They released three albums: Glass Floor in 2004, We, the Vehicles in 2006, and Heresy and the Hotel Choir in 2007.

On March 1, 2007, the band announced they would be playing a one-off reunion show on Saturday, April 28, 2007 at Washington D.C.'s venerable Black Cat nightclub. The event was a charity concert benefiting Callum Robbins, son of J. Robbins, frontman for DeSoto Records labelmate Jawbox. Fan reaction to the decision was overwhelmingly positive, and tickets to the concert sold out within minutes of being offered online. In response to the high demand for tickets, a second show was announced for April 27. Travis Morrison has stated that the band probably won't be getting back together, "except to drink beer".

2010–2015: First reunion and Uncanney Valley[edit]

On September 13, 2010, The Washington Post's Click Track reported that the band would reunite for a tour, in support of Barsuk Records' reissue of 1999's Emergency & I. "We're not planning a new record," bassist Eric Axelson told Click Track. "But we're doing these shows and taking it day to day after that."[4] The 2011 tour kicked off with a performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, followed by three Washington, D.C. shows (two at the 9:30 Club, one at the Black Cat) January 21–23.[5] The band would play 10 more shows in 2011, including high-profile appearances at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago and the annual "Roots Picnic" in Philadelphia.[6]

In August 2012, wanting to play "a couple of small, sweaty summer shows like we used to do", the Dismemberment Plan played small-venue shows in Baltimore and Fredericksburg, Va where they debuted eight new songs. As of August 13, 2012, according to Travis Morrison, "We have a bunch more [new songs] coming so we're going back to the lab to work on brand new ones and tweak these. No plans for recording as of yet, although certainly those conversations are happening now." Shortly thereafter, the band announced that they would be playing the Virgin FreeFest in October, along with two more accompanying shows.[7]

On July 16, 2013, the band shared "Waiting", the lead single from their forthcoming fifth album Uncanney Valley, which could initially be heard by calling the promotional phone number 252-64-DPLAN.[8] Two more singles, "Invisible" and "Daddy Was a Real Good Dancer", were released on August 19 and September 11 respectively.[9][10]

On October 15, 2013, the band released their fifth studio album Uncanney Valley on Partisan Records.

In November 2013, the band played the final holiday camp edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Camber Sands, England.[11] Following a New Year's Eve concert in 2014 at the Brighton Music Hall in Boston, Massachusetts,[12] the group went on hiatus, and no announcement was made by the band on its status.[13]

2023–present: Second reunion[edit]

On January 31, 2024, without prior announcement, The Dismemberment Plan contributed a cover of the Circus Lupus song "Unrequited" for Yesterday & Today: DC Does Dischord, a tribute album to Dischord Records. The song was reportedly recorded in August 2023.[14] Later that year, the band announced they would play five reunion shows starting in September, their first live performances in almost a decade, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Emergency & I, concluding with a performance at the Best Friends Forever Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 11.[15][16][17]


Studio albums

Live album


Compilations and appearances


  • "What Do You Want Me to Say?" / "Since You Died" (1997)
  • "Waiting" (2013)
  • "Invisible" (2013)
  • "Daddy Was a Real Good Dancer" (2013)


  1. ^ Hearon, Liza. An Interview with Travis Morrison of The Dismemberment Plan Archived September 24, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on October 6, 2006.
  2. ^ White, Adam (January 19, 2003). "Dismemberment Plan (1994-2003)". Punknews.org. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  3. ^ Billboard Staff (January 19, 2003). "Dismemberment Plan Announces Split". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  4. ^ Richards, Chris (September 13, 2010). "The Dismemberment Plan to embark on reunion tour". Blog.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  5. ^ "The Dismemberment Plan". The Dismemberment Plan.
  6. ^ "The Dismemberment Plan Gigography, Tour History". Songkick. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  7. ^ "The Dismemberment Plan". Facebook. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  8. ^ "The Dismemberment Plan shares new song". Stereogum. July 16, 2013.
  9. ^ "Stream "Invisible" from the upcoming album 'Uncanney Valley'". The Dismemberment Plan. August 22, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2023.
  10. ^ "Listen: "Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer"". The Dismemberment Plan. September 11, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2023.
  11. ^ "End Of An Era Part 2 curated by ATP & Loop". All Tomorrow's Parties.
  12. ^ "Boston, MA: Brighton Music Hall (W/ Mean Creek) on 12/31/2014".
  13. ^ "The Dismemberment Plan". The Dismemberment Plan. Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  14. ^ "The Dismemberment Plan reunited for a Circus Lupus cover on new Dischord tribute comp (listen)".
  15. ^ "New Second Wave Emo Festival Best Friends Forever Announces 2024 Lineup".
  16. ^ The Dismemberment Plan on Facebook
  17. ^ The Dismemberment Plan on Facebook

External links[edit]