The Dismemberment Plan: TAS In Session

The 2010 reunion of the mighty Washington D.C. rockers The Dismemberment Plan was good news, but the 2013 release of the quartet's first album in 12 years, the deliberately misspelled Uncanney Valley, has been cause for celebration for the group's devout fans.

The quartet wrap up a U.S. tour this week and then head to the U.K. later this month for a string of dates, including All Tomorrow's Parties. They return Stateside for jaunt down the West Coast in December.  

While in New York last month for a show at Terminal 5, The Dismemberment Plan — Travis Morrison (vocals), Eric Axelson (bass/keys), Jason Caddell (guitars/vocals), Joseph Easley (drums) — stopped by The Alternate Side for a very amusing session with Alisa Ali — watch the videos and read the highlights below. Listen to The Dismemberment Plan in session this Friday, November 7, on TAS on 91.5 WNYE at 11am EST, also streaming online.

UPDATE: Listen to The Dismemberment Plan's session now in the FUV archives.

Alisa Ali: Are you still D.C. based?

Eric Axelson: Two out of four. Travis is in Brooklyn and I’m in Richmond.

Alisa: You broke up in 2003, but that said, people said you were you on hiatus?

Travis Morrison: What were the other options?

Alisa: Option A is breakup, B stay together or C, hiatus.

Eric: And D is pizzas?

Alisa: So you really broke up?

Travis: I say so yes. We’d officially said we’re not doing anything anymore and we changed our minds.

Eric: We had a discussion about it and a farewell tour.

Alisa: So why did you break up?

Eric: I think we were generally tired. We’d been touring a lot, working on a new record and weren’t feeling all of it. Feeling a little burned out in general.

Alisa: So you decided to go on an extended vacation, sit in the Carribean, do nothing and drink margaritas?

Travis: Why wasn’t vacation a choice? I like this! We went on vacation for 12 years. So good! Eric: We met Gilligan. Travis: It implies we made a lot of money! Which is not true! But I like that illusion.


Travis: You know after we finished the album I went to Jazz Fest, it’s Louisiana, it’s Catholic and there, in the Food Court, eating a bunch of crawfish were five Franciscan nuns drinking itty bitty airplane bottles of wine and eating their crawfish. And I thought, there’s the nun on drugs! They’re real! I almost went over and went, “I need to tell you something!”

Joe Easley: I would have loved to have seen that conversation.

Travis: There were a lot of nuns and priests at Jazz Fest.

Alisa: You’re very busy with your own work, but you see a lot of other shows as well.

Eric: Yeah, sometimes, it comes in waves.

Travis: I saw Superchunk that was good. We play these festivals so the bands come to us. When we went on vacation in 2001, the festival thing wasn’t really going in America. And when we got back from Barbados, the festival thing was totally like England! So we can now go play a show and The Replacements are there! It was so weird!

Alisa: Oh! You played Riot Fest!

Travis: Twice!

Alisa: Did you ever catch the original Replacements?

Eric: They stopped in '90?

Travis: ‘91.

Eric: But they were barely playing at that point.

Travis: In junior high I had tickets to see the Smiths on the Queen is Dead tour but my parents wouldn’t come pick me up from summer camp early enough.

Joe: Wow.

Eric: Dude, that’s terrible.

Alisa: That’s really bad.

Eric: Next time I see Judy, I’m gonna give her a talking to ….

Travis: Not just any Smiths tour.


Alisa: Speaking of parents, you also have a song on the album called “Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer.” You refer to a mystery about your parents, what are their lives like … somebody has kids here.

Joe: I’ve got two of them. I’m really tired.

Alisa: Plus you work for NASA.

Joe: That’s right. Really tired.

Alisa: Did you work on the recent Curiosity Mission?

Joe: No, I work for the Satellite Servicing Capabilities office and they basically repair satellites. I’m a robotics engineer and I get to drive a big industrial robot when we test flight hardware which is awesome. I get to support flight ops and we help develop procedures, refine tools and stuff like that for robots to go fix satellites. Which nobody does yet! So it’s kind of cool.

Travis: So this is a sales plug.

Joe: Hopefully they’ll give us enough money to go fly our own satellite. But we get to do all of these things on the National Space Station with the robot that they have up there.

Alisa: That is amazing. Are you guys jealous?

Eric: I’m super bad at math, so no.

Alisa: It makes sense that you’re a drummer.

Joe: Most people say the opposite actually! Do you know about drummer jokes?

Travis: The drummer of Blur is also an engineer.

Alisa: I don’t know any [drummer jokes].

Joe: How do you know the stage is level? The drummer is drooling out of both sides of his mouth.

Eric: How do you know there’s a drummer at your door?

Joe: Knocks keep speeding up.

Travis: How many drummers does it take to change a lightbulb?

Alisa: How many?

Travis: They have a machine that can do it now!

Joe: I work at NASA! Shut up! 


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