Riffing // Travis Morrison of the Dismemberment Plan

The Dismemberment Plan

It’s been years since we’ve been able to say this, but it’s a great time to be a fan of the Dismemberment Plan. The beloved Washington, DC indie rockers have reconvened en-force for the first time since disbanding in 2003, greeting 2011 with a flurry of activity.

It all started with the vinyl-only reissue of Emergency & I earlier this month (you can currently see the gorgeous package in all its glory on Barsuk’s home page) and continues this Thursday with a performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Next, the Plan hits the road for a quick-hit tour of six U.S. cities. If you snoozed on tickets for this one, you missed out – the band’s show at the Paradise next Friday sold out in mere hours, and if you want to see them in person on this run you’ll have to try your hand at the secondary ticket market or venture out to Seattle, the only Stateside gig where tickets are still available.

FiTi recently caught up with front man Travis Morrison – who now spends his days as a web developer (and occasional blogger) for The Huffington Post – and asked him about his “retirement” from music and what he thinks of fans’ enduring connection to a band that disbanded so long ago.

First thing’s first: Does this run of dates have any bearing on your retirement from music, or are you planning to hang your guitar back up come March?

Oh, I just said that to be smart and because I had no concrete plans having moved to NYC and couldn’t think of a better way to say it. I’m always playing music. I sing in church choirs, I do a kind of electronics/bass/drums duo called Time Travel – but I still have no concrete plans to make a record or tour. So I guess when I say “retirement” I just mean “checked out of tour/record/tour rock music loop.”

You were always such a ball of energy on-stage. How have you been getting that out of your system now that you’re not performing for live audiences on a regular basis?

Long-distance running for sure. I love it. I can run 13 miles like it’s nothing.

This tour was inspired by the vinyl reissue of Emergency & I, but the Plan has a pretty solid catalog of songs to pull from. Is there any material that has been particularly exciting to revisit in rehearsals?

The second record is my secret favorite these days. Amazing energy and, for the first two-thirds of the album, great songs. Then we kinda started sputtering with the ideas. But it has a lot of heart.

Tickets for your Boston date sold out in a few hours, and they were recently going for as much as $500 on StubHub. What’s your feeling about how attached many people still are to your band after all these years?

It’s great… It’s shocking… It’s humbling… all that. I mean, you never know if anyone will care in 1, 5 or 10 years.

The night before you hit the road, the D-Plan plays Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Have you figured out what you’ll be playing? We’re pulling for “The Ice of Boston,” but we may be slightly biased…

I don’t actually know! Probably not that because it’s not on Emergency & I. Maybe we’ll do “The Jitters” or something. Really bum people out.

The Dismemberment Plan plays the Paradise Rock Club on Friday, Jan. 28 with The Forms and Certainly, Sir. The show is sold out. The band also performs live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this Thursday (Jan. 20).

Photo credit: David Halloway (circa 2001)

About brian

Brian is a freelance music writer and photographer based in Boston who works full-time as a business-to-business marketing communications specialist and graphic/web designer. He provides all the content for Fighting Tinnitus. You can view his concert photography portfolio at www.lifeinhighiso.com.
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