Interview with Virus of Dope

With Carox Rox
Interview with Virus of Dope on tour in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of their debut album 'Felons and Revolutionaries' with Static-X  on their Wisconsin Death Trip 20th Anniversary Tour & Memorial Tribute to Wayne Static. Featuring Co-Headliners Devil Driver, Dope, Plus Wednesday 13 and Raven Black - Band  along with Nita Strauss, Asleep in the Wake, Calling Chase. This was at Houston Warehouse Live, 6.22.19.
Carox: My first question to you is, why are called, “Virus”?
Virus:  Back when I first joined the band and when Dope was first formed – of course I joined the band a little bit later on, like after the first record, everybody had name and a persona. At first my original name was Cyrus. I thought it was really cool but then everyone started joking about that movie Cyrus the Virus and so it just ended up being Virus.
Carox: Did you mind?
Virus: At first I thought it was really weird but then I just sort of embraced it. It was Virus, and I had green hair and then green guitars. The thing that was or is cool about it is that it is a character and it allows you to be creative in the way you dress, your guitars you use. That is one of the cool things about Dope, always going the extra mile with the entertainment aspect.
Carox: Yes I saw you guys play in Houston when you came through with Static-X.
Virus: Yes a zillion times. I think Static-X was the band we did the most tours with.
Carox: Can you tell me what the incentive for this tour?
Virus: Well it is 20 years since our first record and 20 years since Wisconsin Death Trip so it is a celebration of that for Dope. Here we are on this fantastic tour and bill getting treated great. We haven’t done a support tour in a long time – we have been headlining for 6 or 7 years so supporting we kinda get new fans from the other bands that play as well. Just to be part of this is amazing.
Carox: Who put this tour together?
Virus: It is many factors – managers, booking agencies – availability. It is a very complicated thing and it all happens months and months before it is announced to the public.
Carox: The tour is so intricate – when I saw the list of gigs – I saw the USA and then Europe.
Virus: Yes, and Australia as well. We are on the tour all the way to December – Dope drops off the first week of December.
Carox: Is this one of the most extensive tours that Dope has done?
Virus: No, we are very used to be gone 10 months out of 12.
Carox: Are you enjoying the feeling of a shorter tour?
Virus: Now the point where Dope is, we have our fans. We have what we have done. And what happens if you keep playing and playing you might roll through Houston four times a year. People are going to choose when they come and there are so many choices what to do, and you know money is tight for people. So when we try and keep it to one tour a year and do the whole country it becomes an event!
Carox: This is an event! You know I was outside earlier and it is not even 2pm and some young guy was out there trying to find out which bus Dope was on.
Virus: Yes, those are the fans you love because they are so psyched to be here. Some people just get there early because they want to see a band they love. They are like, “Hey Tony Campos, love you man!”
Carox: What is it like to be on the bus with the rest of the band?
Virus: Let me ask you what you think – a steel tube with wheels with 11 other people.
Carox: So what it that like?
Virus: Well what is your concern – think it smells nice?
Carox: Haha!
Virus: Well wait till later when everyone smells sweaty and takes off their shoes, haha! This is what usually happens which I call tour bus life. You wake up and you are here, but then so the crew goes in so that leaves 5 or 6 of you in the bus. The crew is inside working and the band is in the bus so that’s when we do interviews, write music and take care of business. The place has production, so the tour manager is in there. Basically it is like this during the day and then everyone is in and out doing stuff. At night there is no one in the bus, it is locked – all the crew is inside and the band is playing. Then after the show the band gets into bus, showers, towel off. Then the crew comes back so basically you got everyone in here before the bus starts rolling. Last night we had everyone in the front lounge here – about 7 or 8 0f us. Some of us were sleeping. We drank a few beers and told some stories. It is not like we have 12 people in that little lounge up there all standing up haha!
Carox: I just was figuring that you all need a way to get on because you have to!
Virus: Right! Every now and then I get a hotel room. I need my physical space. I watch TV. I do laundry. I lie in a bed!
Carox: What music are you playing on this tour?
Virus: We have 6 records and the fans like songs from all the records.
Carox: How do you choose?
Virus: We are only playing 30 minutes. So if each song is 3-4 minutes how many can we fit in? So we have to choose and some people might be disappointed that we didn’t play something. We have to leave songs out that we think are amazing – but we can’t play everything.
Carox: That must be frustrating.
Virus: Yeah, cos you want to give the fans what you want. Then you have to think, what kind of tour are we on? So we have to later our set like when we did shows with Slayer to play our heaviest stuff.
Carox: So if Texas is sort of in the Bible belt?
Virus: Yeah we play all our most religious songs, zero, hah!
Carox: What genre is your music?
Virus: Basically we came up with Static-X so we are in the same genre.
Carox: On this tour do you think people will be expecting a lot from Static-X?
Virus: Oh yea. First of all you are curious. Who is doing this? How is it going to sound? Look? I can tell you I have not heard one fan say anything negative. Last night in Dallas it was insane for Dope and Static-X with a lot of shared fans, some of whom were in the crowd in 2000.
Carox: As a Static-X fan I get frustrated because I still feel Wayne should be here.
Virus: That is the selfish part of being a fan. You miss that it is not going to be created by him. But Static-X is going to go on. They have new music. If you are fan of Static-X you are going to be amazed.
Carox: What would you like to say to your Dope fans?
Virus: As we get older – I have been in this band 20 years come the fall, I would like to say how grateful we are. Because you realize how fragile and how hard it is in the music business so when your fans are still with you all the way up to this point – when they have a Dope T-shirt but buy another one. When they have a Dope record but they are gonna buy the next one. There was fan in Dallas last night who had seen us the previous year and they are always there. These are the people we owe our gratitude to. Without them, we don’t have this job. When you are young, you don’t focus on all of that. You are trying to take it all in and make your mark and survive. But when you are in the game long enough, you realize it is because there is still a demand for it. If no one bought your tickets or T-shirts or were no longer excited, it would be over.
Carox: Well you guys have certainly kept yourself relevant, you should be proud.
Virus: Well that’s a whole other topic and it takes a lot of work. Like Edsel is great at what he does and we do good work together and we are proud of that. As far as content he works harder than anyone I know to create something that is worth someone’s dollar.  Some bands get lazy but not this band. It is just not in our DNA. He really is unique. I am proud as a friend of what he has done. He goes the extra mile and people need to know.
Carox: Thank you for this interview – they will!
Virus: Thank you, it has been wonderful!
About Dope
Genre: Hard rock / Metal / Industrial / Noize / Loud
Band Members: Edsel Dope. Active Dope Guitarists / Bassists & Drummers:
Acey Slade, Virus, Nikk Dibs, Dan Fox, Chris Warner, Racci Shay Jerms, Angel, Sinister, Andy Cole.
Hometown: USA
Record Label: Epic Records - E1 Entertainment
Official Page of Dope

Tour Dates click here.