Hi everyone! We released our first record in over a decade on Partisan Records today and we're kicking off our fall tour this Friday. We'll be here to answer your questions starting at 2pm EST today!

Pick up a copy of our new album on iTunes, Amazon, direct from us or at your local record store!

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at our official website.

Travis' Proof, Eric's Proof, Jason's Proof

EDIT: Thank you all for the awesome questions! We have to run but we can't wait to see everyone on the road very soon!

Comments: 330 • Responses: 85  • Date: 

itsrandom38 karma

First, I have to say, The Dismemberment Plan is my favorite band. Not in a "Oh wow, I really love them!" kind of way, but in a "You changed the way I heard music." kind of way. In '01 an old friend put their headphones on my head and said "listen to this." Time Bomb played. I had never heard anything like it. I fell in love with the song, instantly. Since then, I can honestly say, not a week has gone by that I haven't listened to the plan at length. I'm always searching for something new and exciting, musically. My taste in and love for music has been forever influenced by what I call "Chasing The Plan." Thank you.

Alright. Now that we've got the fanboy shit out of the way, on to the questions.

For Travis: I heard a rumor, awhile back, that The Face of the Earth was inspired by an event that happened to Michael Jordan's girlfriend of a few months drowning in a riptide. I've searched, but can only find a quote from an apparent interview that you gave. Is this true? If not, what was the inspiration for it?

Speaking of inspirations and meanings, please explain Bra to me.

I've listened to Uncanny Valley quite a bit now and I love it. I know you've all been working on it for quite some time. What was an unforseen challenge that came from getting back in the studio together, for the first time in over a decade?

Lastly, Travis, you picked me up and twirled my 6'2 bald ass around, after the show at Rams Head Live, earlier this year. My girl tells nearly everyone about that.

I hope to see you guys this Saturday at 9:30! Girl O' Clock and/or One Too Many Blows to the Head... p-p-please.

Kill it on Fallen and make AudioTree.tv happen! Thanks!

Edit: @Jason Everyone knows the trash goes out on a Tuesday now. You should fix that note.

Dismemberment_Plan14 karma

hi, jason here. the original story behind face of the earth was from an eff founder john perry barlow interview, he lost his significant other to a random illness during a plane trip. i told travis about the interview and he took it from there.

Dismemberment_Plan12 karma

this is true! it's also true that the MJ story was percolating around at the same time and caught my imagination. a lot of songs have a few inspirations, not just one. -T

thomasthomas30 karma

Do you think Kelly Clarkson will ever admit that “The City” was the musical inspiration for "Since U Been Gone"?

Dismemberment_Plan31 karma

She hasn't called us since that single came out, so maybe she's hiding something? - E

JFras14 karma

Have you been in any contact with Ellen or Ben since Change came out?

Dismemberment_Plan26 karma

friends with Ben on Facebook. Ellen I have not seen in many years. Aw man now you've made me melancholy. Not a good look on an AMA. -T

JFras5 karma

That's sad to hear, but I guess it adds an extra bit of meaning to "they made eachother feel like they could die but they couldn't stay the slightest of friends".

By the way, this is reminding me of when I first heard Emergency & I in grade 10 and asked my teacher to "go to the bathroom" just so I could sit in the hall and hear "The City" again. Thank you guys for creating such an amazing catalogue, and please come to Toronto in 2014 so I can see you in person.

Dismemberment_Plan4 karma

I was just in Brampton for a week! Holy cow I ate a lot of Indian food!


Dismemberment_Plan13 karma

this is jason, signing off. thanks everybody for the questions and comments, this was super fun!

TheDismembermentFan10 karma

No question, but I do have a little story I'd like to share.

When I was around 17, I went through a year-long depression after the suicide of a friend. I dropped out of school, I stopped talking to most of my friends, and I basically spent a year in my bedroom in the dark or out on a midnight walk through town (I was gaining some weight and I thought it would help). I felt numb for so long that I eventually forgot what things were like outside of the bubble I'd created for myself. I turned inward and spent most of my time listening to music or watching movies. One band I rather enjoyed was Maritime. Well, one day I learned that Maritime had formed from former members of The Promise Ring and the Dismemberment Plan and I gave both of them a listen. Upon my first listen of Emergency & I, I didn't think much of it. I liked the tunes and I thought the singing was pretty good, so eventually it wound up on my mp3 player.

One night, I was out on a walk at about midnight with my music on shuffle when Spider in the Snow came on. I'd never really listened to the lyrics beforehand, but for some reason, that night I did. Every word in that song struck a chord. By this time, everyone I knew had graduated highschool and were in the process of moving away to college. Everyone was getting on with their lives, but I was still holed up in my bedroom feeling sorry for myself. Everything around me was changing and I was terrified that I was being left behind. I broke down and collapsed in tears on the sidewalk for a few minutes before standing up and going immediately home. Now I won't say it was a sudden change that I made in my life, but from then on I stopped staying up so late and started slowly working to better myself. I lost about forty pounds, I got my GED, found a job, and I'm currently attending college. Now, I'm sure that I would have eventually gotten over myself either way, but I have always felt like hearing that song at that moment has been one of the pivotal moments in my life. I'd like to thank you for all of your music, but I'd especially like to thank you for Spider in the Snow. Sometimes it's enough to know that someone else out there gets it and you're not the only one who has ever felt left behind.

Dismemberment_Plan9 karma

Thanks for sharing that, and I'm very glad that we could help you out in any way. And it's great to hear that you're doing better, too. Come say hi if you make it to any of the shows. - E

1986JamesHetfield10 karma

Hi Guys. Huge fan. My question: Travis, "The Jitters" is such a brutal song. If I may, what were you going through at the time to write such lyrics?

Also, enjoy playing with my boys Deleted Scenes this Sat. I'd be there if I didn't live across the country.

Dismemberment_Plan51 karma

I was going through my 20s, I believe. -T

haminspace410 karma


Dismemberment_Plan13 karma

which niece/nephew is this?

haminspace411 karma

The biggest one you have! Dave, of course! I really appreciate the "XOXO -KC" in the background of your pic, what a nice lady you got there.

Dismemberment_Plan13 karma

dude. no one here knows you are 6' 8"!!! AND yes your aunt is A#1!!! have a terrific day, and i'll see you at christmas....

Dismemberment_Plan13 karma

I don't think he was referring to his height WOCKETA WOCKETA -T

haminspace46 karma

Haha yeah, and my reign as biggest will be proven once again on Christmas, when we host the annual holiday tradition of "measuring up". Nothing like family bonding through competition.

Dismemberment_Plan14 karma

talk about a stocking stuffer

dougsec8 karma

First of all, thanks so much for your music. I can't possibly express how much I loved Emergency & I during my formative years. I finally got the chance to see you all at Metro in Chicago during the first reunion tour and it was a truly amazing experience.

What's been your favorite memory so far since getting back together and touring?

Dismemberment_Plan9 karma

More of an ongoing memory...seeing faces from the past coming out to shows and at the same time meeting folks who never got to see us but are glad we're back at it. Since you've been to our shows, you know we like to walk around, meet people, talk, hang out. I think it's a big part of who we are as a band. -E

Dismemberment_Plan6 karma

hi dougsec, probably everyone just being back together and making noise in the basement :)

Dismemberment_Plan7 karma

that was jason btw

Aryeth8 karma

Do you any plans to re-release the rest of your back catalogue?

WithJuiceYouLose6 karma

A "Terrified" LP would be a godsend.

Dismemberment_Plan14 karma

I can't lie, I love that record. the songwriting craps out on side 2 a little but some of the rock and roll energy is overwhelming. -T

Dismemberment_Plan5 karma

We've talked about it, but nothing right now. Maybe after this LP's had its run? - E

GlenDiesel8 karma

Can I get a Pirate joke??

Dismemberment_Plan19 karma

What's a pirate's favorite radio station?



Dismemberment_Plan16 karma

A pirate walks into a bar with an enormous ships steering wheel on his belt. The bartender says, "Why do you have that wheel on your belt?" The pirate says "I don't know.... but it be drivin' me nuts!"



Dismemberment_Plan8 karma

Hey Redditz! Travis here, I gotta jump off. Thank you very much for your time this was fun and thought provoking. Hope to see some of you at the shows this fall!!

Pterodictyl7 karma

The new album, 'Uncanny Valley', feels more confident than your past albums. In a way, this is a major benefit for the work, and in others, it seems to be a hindrance. It feels to me, as a listener, like you're definitely using the studio as an instrument more than you have in past.

My question is, then, you clearly were aware of your newfound maturity as both people and musicians when making this album. When writing and recording this album, were you at any point concerned that this new maturity as musicians would dictate your output and that your fans who appreciate--and in many cases appreciation moves beyond adoration to borderline worship--your earlier, angstier work, would not appreciate this album the same way? Ultimately, were you overly concerned with appealling to your longer term fans, or, writing music that you liked for yourselves as artists?

Dismemberment_Plan14 karma

I find the claims that there's no angst on the record a little weird, I can't lie. Mexico City Christmas, Daddy... Living In Song... there's some big life issues on the record. Mexico City Christmas is dark as fuck. We can only be true to ourselves. Maybe there's a love song on there and that's freaking everyone out, I don't know. People are weird about hearing white males sing love songs. I guess white males have done some weird shit in history, maybe that's why, LOL -T

Dismemberment_Plan10 karma

I think they covered it, but it always feels wrong when older bands try to write like their younger selves. UV still has plenty of spazz on it (see WCWT and Mexico City), but it's not like when we were 26 and trying to do everything else at once. I do find that for friends of mine it takes a few listens to get past "it's not E&I" but then come around to loving it as much. - E

Dismemberment_Plan7 karma

hi pterodictyl,

we can only make music that we like. that's all we've ever been able to do. personally i wonder about stuff like that now and again, but at the same time i understand that it's totally out of my control. so i don't worry about it at all. i literally don't know how to make music to fit another person's expectations, which is a big reason why i have so much fun doing it. :) jason

mkarby7 karma

Be honest - Joe is working at NASA to build some special robot to play all your music for you right???

Dismemberment_Plan15 karma

Yes. It is almost complete, but then the government shut down. We will have to wait. It has lasers.


mkarby6 karma

So when you gave Nirvana (my bro) a tour of Goddard did you give him a sneak peak of the prototype?

Dismemberment_Plan6 karma

No. They keep it in a vault with the aliens. It is guarded by other robots. Also, tell your bro I say hello!


SurpriseBath7 karma

I am a father. Daddy Was a Real Good Dancer makes me tear up. Does this make me a ninny?

Dismemberment_Plan13 karma

I got midgets too. Makes me feel all gooey inside as well. And conflicted!

Let's be ninny's together. Joe

SurpriseBath3 karma

Never was there a better reason to get down than the joy of children.

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma


Rob_Saget7 karma

  • What was the biggest struggle in making "Uncanny Valley"?
  • What has been your most surreal moment on stage?
  • I host a podcast that has musicians (Andrew WK, Bryan Beller, etc) come on a nerd out with us. Would you be interested in being a guest to talk audio?

Thanks for this AMA and look forward to your responses!

Dismemberment_Plan6 karma

hi rob, biggest struggle was probably logistics. we all live in different cities and have pretty different schedules.

most surreal moment on stage was being surrounded by kids dancing in their underpants a bunch of years back during ice of boston.

i love audio, happy to talk anytime!

  • jason

Dismemberment_Plan4 karma

Another struggle was that we didn't get to tour on these songs, unlike the first four records where we'd play things live, then record. So when we started to prep for shows, there was some "hmm, how do you do this with four people?" But we got it figured out.

Surreal moment on stage - every night with Pearl Jam.

Hit us up in email about the podcast. - E

lookaghost7 karma

Most memorable on-stage interaction with a fan during "ice of boston?"

Dismemberment_Plan17 karma

During one of the 2007 shows I looked over and Ben Gibbard was playing the floor tom. I'm pretty sure he might be a better drummer than me.


MickRaider6 karma

What inspired your almost spoken word style of singing?

What led to the band breakup and reuniting?

Favorite band?

You guys rocked it at Riot Fest Denver. Hope you can make it back for some headline shows.

Dismemberment_Plan15 karma

that's just what God gave me, skills-wise. I'm not luther vandross, I'm not Peter Gabriel. I don't have a "beautiful instrument" as they say in the business. But I have a pretty good handle on language. So you go with what you got. breakup and reuniting... we were tired at the time and then with making another record, we just started jamming again. Favorite band I guess I gotta go with Talking heads. -T

CanWeBeMature6 karma

Hey guys! Question for Travis: as a guy that really loved your solo stuff, do you think the critical backlash against it was simply the result of critics being butthurt about the Plan's breakup? That's my personal theory, at least.

I saw you play a tiny show in Gainesville, FL after Travistan came out, and the energy was great. Different than seeing the Plan live, but great in its own way.

Dismemberment_Plan14 karma

Ah, yeah, I think people were upset about the Plan breaking up. I mean, I'm sympathetic to that, I'm not going to call it "butthurt" lol! I appreciate the emotions. I think also it was the Blog Moment and everyone was into reading reviews. Online commentary was new and fascinating and disruptive. So I think there was some competitiveness about who could hit the ball farthest, and I was just a soft juicy hanging curveball right over the plate because I made a tentative (if at times very interesting and thought-provoking and musically satisfying) record after my respected band broke up. I dunno, who cares, I got into this game to have a wild ride, and a wild ride it has been. I wouldn't trade it for anything. -T

ammolite6 karma

Hey D-Plan!

So glad to hear that you're back together - I already have my tickets for when you come to Philly! (We'll try to forgo the epic snowstorm this time around... Everyone wants their merch!)

Alright, the answer to this is probably floating around somewhere on the internet, but I'd like to hear it from the band themselves - How did the tradition of inviting the audience onstage for "The Ice of Boston" begin?

Also, how do you not laugh when you see people NOT dancing to "Doing the Standing Still?" You have to dance to that song!

Dismemberment_Plan12 karma

the fan invasion was my doing. I made 3 people from a crowd of like 14 in Jacksonville, FL get up on stage with me and be my Pips. I think that's what happened anyways. I am 80 years old. -T

WithJuiceYouLose6 karma

What's up with the torso?

Dismemberment_Plan9 karma

We played a small show in an art space in Fredericksburg, VA (where Jason and Eric went to school) last year. During the set, Travis "found" a torso during the set and started humping it, because, well... you know. Anyway, it ended up on his head and somebody snapped a crazy looking photo that become that album art. Beyond that, we're just impressed by how friendly he is.


Pterodictyl6 karma

Travis, Joe, Eric, and Jason: I am a huge fan of your music. I was 14 years old when I tried to hitchhike to Athens, Ga to see you and Ted Leo play together, and have declared you among my favorite artists since then. You definitely influenced the way I listen to and enjoy music, for the better.

That being said, what was the thought process behind writing 'Let's Just Go to the Dogs'? It's not really like anything else you've produced before. What lead to writing that song? Why the decision to close your first new album in so long with that specific track?

Dismemberment_Plan4 karma

i can't speak to the lyrics part, but the for the music (i play keys) i was going for an eighties ABC kinda vibe



littlethoughts6 karma

Hi guys!

I don't have much of a question, I just really want to say thank you for everything. My first semester of college was the loneliest time of my life and three records got me through that time: life without buildings's any other city, the wrens's meadowlands, and emergency & i. Mostly your album, though. To relate so heavily to what someone else is writing about their own lives, it's incredible. So I thank you with all my heart. See you guys in LA!

Dismemberment_Plan10 karma

I burned a hole in that Wrens disc when it came out. What a great album.


Dismemberment_Plan3 karma

thanks so much littlethoughts, we'll see you on the west coast!

Frajer6 karma

What inspired your Ludacris cover Travis?

Dismemberment_Plan4 karma

well, you know, it's kind of a neurotic song. He's listing all these things he's gonna do in rapid fire and it's not totally erotic, it's kind of manic and demented. I guess I was able to relate LOL! -T

wheezymustafa5 karma

Hey guys! Really excited about your new album. Hope this doesn't make you feel old but you guys were the first rock concert I ever went to (2004ish, Fayetteville, AR) been a fan ever since and particularly enjoy Joe's style of drumming.

My question is: Ellen and Ben - were they real people, and if so, where are they now?

Dismemberment_Plan9 karma

They are. Ben booked a venue in Baltimore called the Small Intestine in the late 90s where the Plan really got its sound together. Key to our history. Ellen was his girlfriend and was also very involved in running the place. they were very much like an older couple even though they were late teens. -T

thomasthomas5 karma

Eric; you are one of my favorite bass players EVER. Who are some of your favorite bass players (or other musicians)?

Dismemberment_Plan10 karma

Thanks, man. My go-tos to mention are James Jamerson (Motown), Aston Barrett (Bob Marley) and Wayne Montana (Trenchmouth). But I've stolen plenty over the years from Joe from Fugazi and others. - E

1986JamesHetfield5 karma

Jamerson's playing is mesmerizing. You can focus in on him on any song he's on and be entertained.

Dismemberment_Plan7 karma

Totally. And those solo'd tracks from him with Marvin Gaye? Good lord, who needs the rest of the band? I'd say the same about the other two I mentioned.

dinosaur_sr5 karma

Do you decide beforehand which songs to use in the middle of OK Jokes Over, or is it dictated by the show itself?

Dismemberment_Plan6 karma

I just hope something lands on my head. Sometimes nothing comes out. I try not to prepare it. When I prepare it, it's no good. -T

indecisiveprick5 karma

I've never heard any of your stuff.

If you had to suck in a new fan with one song, which would it be?

Dismemberment_Plan5 karma

People seem to like "The City" off of Emergency and I. Hope you dig it!


Dismemberment_Plan5 karma

Start with "Let's Go to the Dogs" from the new record, or "The City" from our catalog. Though both fo those are kind of dance driven. If you want something heavier, how about "Invisible" from the new record or "Timebomb" from the old. Thanks for asking! - E

bikewobble5 karma

I still have the trombone Travis played at the Philly TLA show in July 2003 ("last ever" US club date). After the show he autographed it...though I'm pretty sure he actually just squiggled something to humor me.

Here's my question: Are you ever kind of freaked out by the extremes some of your fans will go to? Bringing you instruments to play, following you on tour, those kids with the gray ketchup bottle.

And do you think that trombone is worth anything?

Dismemberment_Plan6 karma

the trombone is worth less than nothing! lol oh god I wonder if that f***ing ketchup bottle is coming back. that was quite a catch I made on it right? At webster hall? perhaps my greatest moment as a perfomer. -T

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma

lol that's amazing!

so far i have not ever felt threatened or freaked out, but there's always a first time.... jason

shredmycello4 karma

Will you play Ice of Boston at your LA show? Can I come on stage?

Dismemberment_Plan5 karma

I think we'll play it. If we have people on stage, you should go for it! It depends a lot on the particular venue.


okiedokeguy4 karma

How would you dismember Wolverine? You couldn't. All your planning is for shit.

Dismemberment_Plan5 karma

right??? -T

Kiubier3 karma

How did you guys get together?

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma

hi kiubier,

we basically met in college 1000 years ago. then joe joined the band when me, eric and travis moved back to the DC burbs.


Dismemberment_Plan2 karma

Travis and Eric went to high school together and stayed in touch over the summers in college. Eric and Jason went to college together and played in a band there. Fall of 1992, Travis started coming to our place in college to mess around on guitars, then New Years Day 1993 we played as a full band with Steve Cummings (now my brother-in-law) on drums. He left a few years later and we lucked into Joe through mutual friends. - E

MeVersusShark3 karma

Hey guys!

You're my favorite band (next to The Beatles (credit goes where credit's due)), I was on stage with you with my sister at the 1/23/11 reunion show, and I can play all of the Plan's songs on drums except for one, so my question is for Joe. How do you play the verses in "Girl O'Clock?"

I'll prob be seeing you guys in DC this week. Any chance I could drum a song, haha?

P.S. The new album is goofy, but I like it.

Dismemberment_Plan4 karma

It's a pretty strait syncopated beat on hat and kick. Snare hand is hitting rack and floor when not hitting the snare, real busy-like.

Maybe make a guest appearance on the tamborine during Daddy was a Real Good Dancer?


PinkCigarette3 karma

If you guys covered a single Harry Nilsson song, what would it be? (my vote is for "Me and My Arrow")

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma

there is "Jump Into The Fire" but I believe LCD Soundsystem beat us to that. maybe 'Don't Forget Me' -T

Davidlovesthedplan3 karma

Hey fellas, very big fan!

  1. Which old song is the hardest to play due to its emotional content?
  2. Which old song is the hardest to play due to its musical complexity?
  3. I was lucky enough to see you guys in Chicago at Pitchfork. I know that you have been doing short little bits of touring, but any chance for a longer tour that reaches Minnesota or Wisconsin?

Love the new record! I just want to say that during my first year at college, I was away from home for the first time in my life, I was feeling really down, and I didn't have any friends. I listened to 'Change' every night as I fell asleep, and, although I'm still in college and still don't have many friends, something about that beautiful album got me through the really rough times. Thank you for everything you guys have done.

Sorry about any spelling errors, I'm typing this on my phone.

Dismemberment_Plan5 karma

1) Back and Forth chokes me up if I listen too closely to the lyrics. 2) If I Don't Write used to give me cramps, but I got that one now. 3) we're pretty maxed out on days off from work, so not right now. We can't tour as much as we used to, but wish we could! - E

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma

thanks david, happy the music means so much to you. don't have an answer for 1, but 2 might be lookin' right now. my keyboard part is pretty spread out & weird. 3, that part of the country isn't on the radar right now, but maybe down the line. -jason

captainscratchnuts3 karma

Hey, am I still invited? It's been years

Dismemberment_Plan10 karma

For all time, right? - E

bikewobble3 karma

What was the name Travis gave his collar whenever his guitar strap flipped it up?

Dismemberment_Plan7 karma

oh my god. what was it. oh wow. -T

Dismemberment_Plan6 karma

coolio? CANDY-O!!!

BeckityBeck3 karma

  1. You said in one of your interviews that you only thought 4 songs from Change were good. Which ones?

  2. Will you consider playing What's Your Fantasy at Fun Fun Fun Fest?

  3. Will you upload all your Uncanney Valley stems on Soundcloud?

Thanks dudes, you're the best! Coming back from a decade hiatus feels like one of my dead best friends was actually alive this whole time but living under another alias and I just found out.

Dismemberment_Plan5 karma

I need to stop slamming Change. it's a good record. "Time Bomb" "Following Through" "Face Of The Earth" "Ellen and Ben." I mean jesus those are dope songs aren't they? I think don't like it because I can hear the wheels coming off the band halfway through writing it. There is some filler.

SurpriseBath2 karma

This is not a question. This is a demand. Please tell me you're going to keep writing and playing together. Thanks. Bye.

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma

We decided to make no plans and keep an open mind about what to do next. But for now everyone's excited to promote the record with shows and see what happens next. -E

bq872 karma

First things first – Emergency and I is my favorite album ever. Change is top ten. You guys are musical titans to me. Anyways, I’ve got a few questions I’ve always wanted answered over the years:

Are there any recorded outtakes in existence we don’t know about (and can I have them)?

The tone of Travis’ lyrics seemed to change from album to album, sometimes very drastically. What caused this? Where there events in your life that caused these shifts, or was it a concerted effort to match the tone of the music on the album?

Were there any songs you thought would be more popular, but weren’t? Were there any songs you thought were “meh” but ended up being crowd pleasers?

Dismemberment_Plan5 karma

Well, I mean, how different are most people at 21, 25, 28, and 38? a lot... -T

oceanographerschoice2 karma

Hey guys, let me start by saying thank you for taking time to do this. I'm a huge fan of your music, but was a little late to the game. I first heard Change a short while after you broke up and fell in love with the album. It's hands down one of my favorites of all time. Anyways, I was finally able to see you guys at Laneway Fest and danced harder than I ever have in my life. I think I threw out my hip doing spin kicks and almost puked from spinning around in circles. It was the best.

Anyways, onto my question: Do you feel that the time apart influenced the way you all write music? It seems like Travis doing his solo thing, Jason working as a producer, Eric teaching and Joe working for NASA would fundamentally change how you approached problems, ideas and music in general.

Also, bonus question for Joe: Are you still working for NASA and how did you end up there in the first place? It seems strange to me to go from drumming in one of indie rock's greatest bands to working for NASA to playing in D-Plan again.

Thanks again for doing this guys!

Dismemberment_Plan5 karma

Speaking for myself, I feel like my approach is mostly the same. I'm trying new things, and am a little more focused maybe. And yes - still at NASA. The day after the last Plan show in 2003 I started my four years at University of Maryland. I got my aerospace degree, did a bunch of internships (at age 30, dear lord) and was hired by the program I still work on. I love NASA! Joe

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma

i think the short answer is yes. that stuff all contributes in some form or fashion, but i don't know how to tease out what influences what. i just know that i write differently now, and it's really cool to feel how that has changed. and i've learned loads of techie-stuff and song structure stuff since the last time around, and that helps too! -jason

PartyLikeIts199992 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA. I was at your last show at the Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill -- the one where Travis announced that The Plan was splitting up and he were going solo. That was easily one of the saddest days of my musical life, but I have to say, it was an excellent show, and I'm really glad I went. Thanks for all the great music!

Q: I'm super-excited about the new album (and tour!) but I've always preferred your shows to the studio recordings because of all the energy you guys put into the music on stage. I wondered if you've ever considered making a live album?

Follow-up for Travis: Did you ever put out a solo album?

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma

We recorded a live album a little ways back in Japan: http://dismembermentplan.com/catalog/live-in-japan-2011_143


roberthenryk2 karma

I was excited in the early to mid 00's when bands I liked we're getting a lot more exposure than was I was in college and high school in the mid to late 90's. Death Cab and The White Stripes spring to mind immediately, but there were a lot more on tv and in movies all of a sudden weird things were happening like my sister being into The Flaming Lips. It was pretty cool, but you guys weren't there.

In interviews you guys have been very candid about your music making process and how it stopped working post Change, leading to your break. However, did you guys ever think what would have happened if you toughed it out for another year or two? Basically, I'm wondering if you're sad that you were never on The O.C.

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma

The other guys may feel different but I just don't see it happening in retrospect. We were very stubborn and maybe a little overly self-critical and worried about doing the "wrong thing" and I think we kind of backed ourselves in a corner. Also, our music was just very unusual and not for everyone. I mean, also, WHO CARES, WE'RE HERE NOW. -T

JorgeCS2 karma

A friend of mine doesn't want to come with me to see you on Friday in NYC because he wants to remember you the way you were. Convince him that he should just man up and come to the show with me.

Edit: Also, I first saw you at the Livingston Student Center at Rutgers back in '02, I think. I had no idea who you were but was blown away. I rediscovered you only after you broke up and was disappointed that I'd never get to see you live..... but then I did on your reunion tour! You guys are great and I'm looking forward to Friday with or without my friend.

Dismemberment_Plan5 karma

most folks who came in 2011 said that we were better / more solid than we were in 2003. It's not going to be us at 27 bouncing off a sweating small club stage, but it's good. Besides, tell him Matlock's a repeat that night, so he should go to the club. - E

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma

well you can tell him about it! can't wait to see you. Shows are gonna be great. -T

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma

Tell your friend that our intent is still to melt faces. Not sure what else to say. Looking forward to melting yours (and hopefully your friends)!

PartoftheDark2 karma

I think this one might be mostly for Travis. Many people loathe NoVA for a kaleidoscope of reasons. I for one work and live there while trying to play music and I can't seem to shake the nagging sense of despair and doom for everything I actually enjoy (music, culture, things that are open past 10pm). I was wondering if there was an instance you can point to where you finally said, "Fuck this, I'm completely done here."

Dismemberment_Plan5 karma

Haha, yes, it is that bible belt suburban vibe that is so truly weird and alienating. Every time I watch the movie "Office Space" I'm like ARGH WAS THIS FILMED IN FAIRFAX?? and I have to turn it off. I mean, I left for college and then the city after high school so that was my way out. Maybe you need to establish yourself as the poet laureate of the Fairfax County Parkway! It's a weird alienating place but it is distinct. Give it some JG Ballard or Don Dellilo edge.

GoldenGod21122 karma

Hey guys! Thanks for doing this AMA. I'm loving the new album and hope to see you in Seattle in December!

  1. Why did you decide to get back together?

  2. What are your music influences?

  3. What are your all time favorite albums!?

Dismemberment_Plan4 karma

hi goldengod2112,

we played some shows to support the re-release of emergency & i in 2011 and that started the ball rolling.

our influences....i don't think we have enough room to cover all of those here!

i can say that two of my favorite albums right this minute are david bowie's 'the next day' and the stepkids' 'troubadour'


Dismemberment_Plan4 karma

1) we were re-issuing E&I on vinyl, which turned into shows, which turned into practices, which turned into jams, and then songs.

2) That's a long long list. I think the obvious ones in the day were XTC, Talking Heads, Soul Coughing, Brainiac, Jawbox, Fugazi...but stuff like the Band, Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, Steely Dan, Roni Size, Mos Def, all got more than equal play on our radio. Someone once called us "musical omnivores" and I think that's fair.

3) Right now it's "Unforgettable Fire" by U2, "Revolver" by the Beatles, and "Blue" by Joni Mitchell, but it changes fast. - E

iceofboston2 karma

How did you develop the lyrics and vocal style on "The Dismemberment Plan Is Terrified"? That album is one of my all-time favorites, and I'm always amazed by how unique its sound is.

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma

Dude 90% of my inspiration is desperation bourne of lack of talent. When I read Steve Martin's book and he talked about how he wanted to be a performer and his skills amounted to mediocre banjo playing and worse magic tricks, and somehow he became a star, I'm like, right there with you Steve!!! -T

logitaunt2 karma

No questions, just wanted to say that I'm looking forward to your show at 9:30 Club on Saturday!

Rock my socks off, will you?

Dismemberment_Plan4 karma

you can say goodbye to your socks -T

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma


sirernestshackleton1 karma

New album is great, I'll be at the show on Saturday

After the initial breakup, you guys moved on to different jobs/cities. What's the long-term plan for the band now that Uncanny Valley is out? More albums and tours or to take it easy after this initial touring?

Also, because of you guys I always think I'll be mugged when I walk by 13th and Euclid.

Dismemberment_Plan1 karma

no plans, no schemes, no problem! lol seriously tho, we have none. we'll support this record then what will be will be....

re: 13th & euclid, surprised to hear you say that, given how much the city has changed since that song was written...


Dismemberment_Plan2 karma

and thanks for the kind words!

littlethoughts1 karma

Like everyone does, they thank you guys for making albums to listen to during their formative 20's. But what albums shaped you guys in your 20's?

Dismemberment_Plan3 karma

De La Soul is Dead, The Bends, Grace, In on the Killtaker, Midnight Vultures, Roni Size Represent...lots more. - E

stubsy1 karma

What is your favorite single lyric line on the new album?

Dismemberment_Plan9 karma

now I'm biting my nails and I'm calling it dinner -T

seabass01 karma

I've been counting down the days until this album was released. So excited, and I'm loving it after the first listen! It's like you guys picked up just where you left off.

My question...where did "You are Invited" stem from? I think that will always be in my top 5 favorite songs (of any band) of all time. I have distinct memories of listening to that (on my discman!), while walking through the snow back in college. It would always put a big grin on my face no matter what I was feeling. Got me through some tough/lonely times.

Thanks for the new album dudes!

Dismemberment_Plan2 karma

that is one of the very few Plan songs where think I can step forward and be like THAT IS ME. It came to me in a flash at the gas station in front of the Safeway at the Bradlee shopping center in Alexandria, VA. I was just gassing up my dodge neon one warm spring night and boom. The whole thing I swear. I imagined it like a country song and then I was like no... Hank Williams would do it over a BEAT in 1998. These are the things we thought in the 90s.-T

lukewarmandtoasty1 karma

What advice do you have for young musicians like myself who are just getting into touring?

Also, Eric and Joe, you're one of my favorite rhythm sections in rock music.

Dismemberment_Plan2 karma

Once we decided to buy a van, but all agreed to do two weekends of shows per month to help pay for it (in addition to bigger full tours). It helped get us to a bunch of new towns and make new friends. I'd start like that. Also, find bands to trade shows with in other cities.

thanks for the kind words about Joe & I. - E

tinysalmon41 karma

  1. I often hear E&I referred to as a "Breakup Album", and have even used it as such in my own life. I feel, though, like it's more about the heartbreak of getting older, i.e. being in your 20's and having to get used to how the world really works. Am I onto something there?

  2. Why did you make so few copies of E&I when you did the vinyl?! I don't have 200 bucks for one record! Please repress it!

Dismemberment_Plan2 karma

It's repressed, check our web store or the Barsuk store. - E

uberlad1 karma


Dismemberment_Plan7 karma

sometimes you'll want sex, sometimes you'll want love, and sometimes you'll want to be left alone. metaphorically and literally. try to be straight with yourself about which state you're in and you'll be happier. -T

Dismemberment_Plan4 karma

Always have garlic, lemons and pink salt around when you're cooking. - E

beestro1 karma

Saw you in 2011 in Boston. Incredible show! Looking forward to the next one here in a couple weeks.

One of my female friends (seriously!) wants to know how you all feel about open marriages. But mostly T-Mo. Also, she is attending your NY and DC shows in addition to the Boston show with me and is desperately hoping for a T-Mo beard. Is this in the cards?

Dismemberment_Plan2 karma

think I'm good with the wife thx. She's a good one. No beard yet because we have had this mild-ass fall on the east coast. I haven't grown my winter pelt. -T

thomasthomas1 karma

The recording process for your new album was a lot more fragmented than it’s been in the past (recording in groups of two at different times/shifts). How did you like this kind of recording process compared to previous albums?

P.S. I love the new album. I've been listening to it non-stop since the NPR stream came out.

Dismemberment_Plan5 karma

personally i remember wishing it was less fragmented, but i think it turned out great. the big benefit from our process i think was that we figured out how to put releasable music together without necessarily having to all be in the same city all the time. this may come in handy in the future.....


peruchef1 karma

Howdy! First off congrats on the new album, it's awesome!

I didn't discover you guys until Pitchfork named your album Emergency & I best new reissue, so my question is, how has your fanbase changed over the years since you guys started playing music?

Dismemberment_Plan2 karma

hi peruchef,

i think it's gotten older and younger at the same time. we seem to have picked up a lot of fans in the years since we broke up, plus we've retained some folks from years gone by as well....