Alt-rockers Dada together again after extended break
After playing with the same band for close to a decade, Joie Calio needed a break — not a breakup, just a long vacation.
“I said, `Look, here’s the deal, I need time to do other things.’ Luckily I’m with a band that allowed me to do that,” Calio said during a telephone interview from his former home, Hollywood, Calif.
Now that the four-year, self-imposed hiatus is over, Dada is back, recharged for a new tour and its fifth studio album — aptly titled “How To Be Found” — set for a March 2 release.
With “How To Be Found” the smoothed-out, adult-alternative rock outfit has landed a 13-track album that stays in tune with its critically acclaimed, gold-selling debut, “Puzzle.”
Ever-present are the airy dual vocals of bassist Calio and guitarist Michael Gurley floating over melodic, aquatic guitar riffs.
Calio’s indulgences with a solo record deal and writing an autobiographical comedy are temporarily on the back burner, as is Gurley and drummer Phil Leavitt’s side project, Butterfly Jones.
Without any distracting creative inclinations, Dada is back to basics and “How To Be Found” proves well worth the wait.
Alongside the release of “How To Be Found,” Calio’s solo album, “Complications of Glitter,” is also set for a March release.
“It’s different from Dada because when you get these three guys together there is a sound that there is no way around,” Calio said. “On my album I’m keeping it stripped down, it’s pretty much me and a bass, an acoustic guitar or keyboards, and I hired a session drummer to play on the tracks.”
Dada blossomed from a project Calio and Gurley started while in high school in the Bay Area.
“Musicians are inherently afraid of not being in a band, like some people have to have a girlfriend — we don’t want to be alone,” Calio said. “But we weren’t into all having the same haircut or liking the same Beatles record, so we just sang and wrote songs together for years. Singing with dual vocals allowed us to stretch and add less obvious harmonies.”
When the time was right, they added Leavitt on the drums. The decision to put the band on hold was just as impulsive. It came right on the heels of Dada losing its label deal when MCA’s parent company was bought by Vivendi.
“We took some time to plan our next move,” Calio said.
In addition to playing with side projects, Calio moved to Seattle and began working as an A&R scout for MCA records. Leavitt regularly performed with the Blue Man Group (he still appears with Uberschall, comprised of Blue Man drummers).
Soon the urge to start recording as a group naturally pulled them all together, and each of the members had plenty of fresh material to add to the mix.
Check out the rejuvenated sounds of Dada when the band performs with Jupiter Effect, 33 and Honey Tongue on Saturday at 10 p.m. at The B-Side, 230 W. Riverside Ave. There is a $5 cover.
- Isamu Jordan
Source: Spokane, WA: The Spokesman-Review