Feb. 27, 2003

Dredg To Open Sno-Core Tour

By Randy J. Klodz

Los Gatos, Calif. natives Dredg, whose melding of creative beats and vocals better resemble an abstract art project than a standard 4-piece band, have garnished a coveted opening slot on this year’s Sno-Core Rock tour, which hits Chicago on Mar. 10 at the Riviera Theatre.

Dredg, which features Gavin Hayes (vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin), Mark Engles (guitars), Drew Roulette (bass) and Dino Campanella (drums, piano), will warm the stage for fellow non-mainstream--yet successful--acts: Sparta, Glassjaw and Hot Water Music; and they couldn’t see things better.

“We feel really comfortable. As an opening band we fit in fine,” said guitarist Mark Engles. “None of these bands are mainstream; none of the are poppy. Everyone of us has an underground quality to us, even though we are different musically. It works really well. We don’t get tons of press, but then people have heard of us and are curious at least, so it works, these four bands together works really well.”

Though Engles holds great respect for prog-rock heavyweights Tool--he even lists them as a band influence--he doesn’t fully agree with musical comparisons often made between his band and the Maynard James Keenan-led rockers.

“I think that people get that similarity from just maybe the energy of it,” Engles said. “We don’t shove ourselves down people’s throats and we don’t put our pictures everywhere--we do things a little more mellow--and that’s what Tool did. They were very low-key in the sense of promotion and marketing. I think that similarity is there.

“I think musically if you listen to our albums and their albums they really aren’t too similar. First of all they are definitely darker and heavier--they are a great band, I love them--but we’re very different.”

Dredg released “El Cielo” in October and have toured with Taproot, Code 7 and even headlined for a stint. The 16 tracks of “El Cielo” bob and weave through the mind, with a Sigmund Freud-meets-Maynard James Keenan philosophy. The video for the spacious track “Same Ol’ Road Again” has recently been airing on Much Music, with Hayes’ lyrics: “Here we go down that same old road again / Empathy controls the wind that blows / And tickles our skin.”

The Riviera Theatre is at 4746 N. Racine. Tickets for this all-ages show are listed for $18.50 with show time listed as 6 p.m. For more information on Dredg, view www.dredg.com.
Dredg Photo: Anthony Mandler