1. Could you briefly tell us about how you met and came up with this band name?
We started as a group of friends when we were teenagers. We were influenced by Industrial, Electro, Rock’n’roll and Metal. At the time, I was a producer and sound engineer and a member of two different bands. I started to compose in a rehearsal room near Vatican City. We wanted something different, something like “Shotgun Messiah meets Prodigy and Industrial”. “Dope” represents the catchy and addictive melodies, “stars” is for the rock’n’roll attitude, and "inc." for the industrial and cyberpunk core that is in our lyrics.
2. What are your main musical influences and where do you find your inspiration while composing a track?
I listen to a lot of different kind of music that goes from classics like Depeche Mode, Metallica, Guns’n’roses, Michael Jackson and the Beatles to more extreme music like rave techno, acid electro, death or black metal so my inspiration evolves with time. I also enjoy classical music since I worked with my best friend, Noras, on a project called “Epochate” which mixes classical music with a soundtrack feel / industrial rock.
3. “Never accept, conform, disconnect, Be extraordinary, Be Ultrawired”. How were these words applied in the creation of your new album “Ultrawired” now available on Jamendo ?
I am like a hacker in the music field : I explore and experiment new things in terms of music promotion and communication with our fans, break the musical rules to create something that never existed before. The launch of Dope Stars Inc. was a true DIY process : We prepared the music, the artwork, the website, the forum, the street team and the splash page announcing it. I sent hundreds of packages to magazines, sent thousands of emails all around the world, encouraged each new fan to join the street team and promote our band. I lost a fair amount of hours and hair but who cares, it was all worth it in the end!
After finding a record label to support our first 3 albums, we started to perform in public and I was always working with the labels on how to promote our music in a different way in this constantly changing musical world but it seemed to be hopeless. People downloaded music and webzines were emerging but labels kept focusing on the paper magazines with a promotion-for-money system. We decided it had to change. We reached a lot more people and did 3 important tours in Europe, Russia, and the US. Nowadays, artists tend to use crowdfunding and extreme social networking.
We are aiming for a better fans interaction because having 100 000 fans on Facebook doesn’t mean we can contact them so I am currently studying a new way to get out of the dependence from these networks and create a new system that is really building a direct contact instead of doing the work for third party websites that use this data mostly for their own interests and delegate to users the role of sharing the content starting from a central website.
4. What is the best memory you keep from your public performances and your fans (crazy fans, love letters, etc...) ?
What we remember and what counts the most for us, after 150 shows in 3 continents is to know that people had a good time thanks to our music and performances. We also got to meet new musicians and people in the musical field who became good friends (I’m thinking of our manager in Russia, Alexey, and The Rabid Whole who drove for thousands of kilometers with us across the US).
5. You were the first band to be featured on the home page of “The Pirate Bay”, got several awards and appeared in the soundtracks of three different “Saw” horror movies. How did you manage to get this kind of exposure?
At the time, our record label made a deal with the director of Saw who was enthusiastic about our music and decided to feature us again and again. As for The Pirate Bay, I guess it’s because I really know a lot of people, especially in the computer field. It was the first doodle of The Pirate Bay and inspired the “Promo Bay” campaign. I am really happy when I see other bands doing the same and doing it for passion rather than for money or marketing.
6. Is there a fun anecdote your fans don’t know about you and would be surprised to hear?
According to me, to make good music, you have to feel bad. The more people hurt me the more they inspire me and the bigger is their surprise when the talking ends and the music start to speak!
7. You wrote in your manifesto “We are the generation of free download, of do it yourself, the proud technological geeks”. Do you think it is important nowadays to share music more freely? Why?
My wish to share our music more freely doesn’t come from nowhere and is not just for the sake of experimenting. When I was young, before the Internet even existed, we had at home the first peer to peer workstation, it was called BBS, where people were connecting to get software out of it. My father teached me the importance to learn everything by myself without even a manual (as I said there was no internet) to learn how to use computer or devices or software (music production software for example) because they were the future. The DIY and freedom of information is a thing that is flowing in my blood. We think that everybody should have the right to listen to music as everybody have the right to see a monument. In case of a performance, it’s different. Making tours requires a lot of work and stress.
We think artists shouldn’t make people pay to see the creation of their minds. The most beautiful gift is not money but when people drive for kilometers just to come to your shows and meet you (like it was the case in Russia). Life is too short to make money your God. I am 34 years old and I have seen the world and can say that I did it because of my hard work. Dope Stars Inc. is thankful for all the people who support our music and we’ll try to reach the most people possible through the Internet. They can support us with a donation or by coming to our shows.