Over two decades of making music and Dispatch is back once again to play their beloved tunes new and old at Red Rocks. Their latest album, 2017’s America, Location 12, has been greatly received and proves that truly talented musicians can preserve their sound while simultaneously taking a new path entirely.
Before the trio takes the famed Morrison stage next week, we spoke with Brad Corrigan about the band’s journey that has led them here and what he is most looking forward to at the performance.
303 Magazine: Colorado is ready to have you back. It looks like you are kicking off your summer tour here. Any particular reason why?
Brad Corrigan: Since I live in Denver, I am so stoked when we do. It means we get four or five days rehearsing here. We’ll be at the Denver Coliseum getting our production together and then Vail and Red Rocks to start. Red Rocks is so hard to get a good date. I mean, two years ago we put in for this. We built our tour around whatever the availability was. It’s an amazing place, man. Everyone wants to play it.
303: Over the years, you have played Colorado many times. Do you have a favorite venue in Colorado?
BC: We love playing [the] Fillmore. That is such a killer room and the energy is just ridiculous. However, there is nothing that can compare to Red Rocks.
303: America, Location 12 is your first studio album in five years. What is it like getting back into the swing of creating music after half a decade?
BC: We recorded so consistently early on and then had this massive break. We essentially broke up. We didn’t want to be creative, we didn’t want to be creative with each other, we were so burned out.
I honestly wish that we recorded every year. When you’re in a healthy place, it is way better to record consistently so that nothing gets stuck in the pipeline. But, you know, there are just times when adult life kicks in. Where babies and adult responsibilities make it harder to record all the time. We went back to the studio for like a week last fall and finished up another 12 songs. So, we have 12 songs that we are going to leak over the course of this year just to have that constant flow of new music.
303: How does it compare to previous breaks the band has taken?
BC: Honestly, the last five years we’ve played every year. So, there really hasn’t been a feeling of a break. We’re feeling good. There were a couple of years where we just played festivals but it’s been good to keep continuity with the guys and keep playing.
303: Some material that has come out surrounding the release of America, Location 12 shines a light on your improved personal relationships. Can you touch on that at all? Do you feel that as a group there is a difference?
BC: I think maybe we’re just getting older, feeding less into our egos and being a little bit quicker to acknowledge that we can all be total jackasses. We’re fortunate to be 22 years into knowing each other and making music now. Art is so personal, but now it is more about what serves the band best. It is really not about who has written what. I hope we’re getting to a place where we are better at standing on our own individual strengths and just knowing what formation moves the band best and what moves our fans the most. We’re pretty grateful to still be playing.
303: This album is being referred to as a “noticeably” new direction for the band. What do you think of this claim?
BC: That makes me happy. Artists are wanting to live, breathe and evolve. If anyone calls out an artist’s art for being a new direction, hopefully, that means there is some new life experience behind that and that inspired that.
303: Having been in a band for over 20 years, what would you say is the biggest struggle that comes along with such a commitment?
BC: Life on the road is really hard to balance out. All three of us really value community and it is hard to count the cost of what it is to be on the road until you get back and realize what you missed and what you need to take care of again. Second, I would say is being totally honest with your bandmates about how you’re feeling and when you’re feeling it. Making sure that the process of making music and being part of this living, breathing thing out on the road is healthy. We try to make sure that it is a family taking care of each other on the road because it’s a pretty unnatural way to live.
303: What would you say has been the most rewarding aspect of being in a beloved band so long?
BC: It is just a dream to have people singing along. We’re really amazed when people come up to us and tell us how a song has either helped them through a hard time or inspired them to think about what they were made to do or what their passion is. Those kinds of stories are such a huge treasure and paycheck.
303: What new track are you most excited to play at Red Rocks this summer?
BC: We have a new song called “Letter to Lady J.” Its a thumper, it’s got a great energy. We played it on a tour in Europe two years ago and had recorded it for America, Location 12 but we weren’t stoked on the way the recording turned out, so we re-recorded it. It will come out in a month or so. We love that tune, that will be some new fresh energy.
303: What else would you say to fans before they head to your June 17 performance?
BC: Warm up your voices and we can’t wait to sing together. There is nothing like the echo off the rocks of everybody singing.