Fun Fun Fun Fest Artist Interview: The Dismemberment Plan

Photo courtesy of The Dismemberment Plan and Partisan Records.

The Fun Fun Fun Fest line-up is full of bands with long histories, and fan-favorite indie-rock group The Dismemberment Plan is no exception.

The band formed in 1993, dropped 4 albums in a decade and then broke up in 2003. They re-united in 2011 by playing a few shows, but they remained consistently against the possibility of releasing new music, which is why the band’s 2013 release, “Uncanny Valley,” was such a pleasant surprise earlier this year.

Fans of The Plan can finally see its long-awaited, new music performed live at FFF Fest.

Longhorn Life spoke with The Dismemberment Plan’s vocalist and guitarist Travis Morrison about the band’s history, current creativity and their upcoming gig at the fest.

Morrison reminisced about the band’s early success, citing their first club gig as his biggest accomplishment as a musician.

“I mean, that's the most purely exciting moment,” Morrison said. “You can't believe it. You'll never top that level of excitement, my God.”

Pitchfork proclaimed The Dismemberment Plan as the “fathers of dance-punk,” and the band has always incorporated other genres into their sound. Morrison said he would love to collaborate with the experimental R&B group Tune Yards, and talked about current sounds he would like to incorporate into his music.

“I really like the new, stripped-down rock and roll, like Parquet Courts,” Morrison said. “Taking it back. I dig that.”

The Dismemberment Plan’s innovative sound is complemented by their humorous and deeply honest lyrics. Morrison hopes that fans connect with his music, and that it will help listeners find clarity.

“I hope that other people feel the same unnamable way we do about some things, and our music helps them tap into that and put a finger on it,” Morrison said.

While this goal is consistently apparent throughout The Dismemberment Plan’s body of work, critiques of their new release have cited changes in their sound and tone. Morrison expressed confusion about recent reviews which have mentioned a more mature sound from The Dismemberment Plan.

“I really don't know what it means, to be honest,” Morrison said. “I mean, Tom Waits is the most mature thing out there, and he's bashing on pots and pans and yelling.”

While The Plan still has their youthful humor and punk-rock attitude, it’s hard to deny that the band members lives have been overhauled since the band’s break up in 2003. In the decade since, members have married, gone back to school and gotten day jobs.

Morrison reflected on the changes in his personal life since the bands previous release.

“It's important to have new inspirations,” Morrison said. “The changes of life definitely helps you in that regard.”

As for what to expect from The Dismemberment Plan’s performance at the festival, Morrison is excited about the energy that the band’s history will bring to his performance.
“Well, we have a wide variety to songs to play and that's great,” Morrison said. “Keeps things fresh.”