An equal-opportunity band (the Dodges)
  • An equal-opportunity band (the Dodges)
  • photo by by Stefanie Schwartz
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Alex Snyder, guitarist with the Dodges, doesn’t get worked up over the fact that Coachella’s three main headliners this year are Beyoncé, Eminem, and the Weeknd.

“If we wanted to have huge shows and make lots of money, we would throw out our guitars and get MacBooks and keyboard controllers. But, like so many other people, we just want to hear humans played by other humans. There are still people who crave music that doesn’t go through a computer.”

“I just think that everything goes through cycles just like it did in the ’80s when everyone was using synthesizers,” says Mike Hertel, singer/guitarist with the Dodges. “I think rock and punk rock will make a comeback sooner than later. When people get tired of autotune and synthesizers and want something natural, we’ll be there.”

The year-old “punk band with harmonies” isn’t waiting around. They just returned from their first four-state tour that took them up to Seattle and included nine other cities.

The Dodges' Roll With album art

The Dodges' Roll With album art

Hertel, who has toured with his old bands Pass the Axe and Rat City Riot (with whom he toured Europe), says he has learned some road rules.

“I’ve toured a bunch of times, and this is the first time the tour didn’t come out in the red. We didn’t lose money. Everything paid for itself. What I have learned is quality merchandise is important. People want good images. We have this one T-shirt that has a powerful design. It’s our album cover [Roll With] that has a guy getting attacked by a cat. People love it. They bought it for themselves, their girlfriend, their mom....”

Hertel credits his local record label, La Escalera, for hooking him up with dates and giving the band the merchandise it needed. He says the band’s name helped him weasel out of a speeding ticket in Oregon.

“I was going, like, 30 miles over the limit going from Medford to Seattle when I got pulled over. We were driving a rented Dodge van. On the back we altered the Dodge logo with tape so it said ‘The Dodges.’ The cop was really amused by that. He let us go.”

Past Event

Awesome Fest

  • Sunday, February 18, 2018, noon
  • Office, 3936 30th Street, San Diego
  • 21+ / $35

Hertel avoids sharing any details about why he left Rat City Riot after about four years. But he learned a few things: “Make sure you surround yourself with people you can trust and that you can tolerate. Everything in the band needs to be equal. With [Rat City Riot] a lot was being controlled by a few people. With this band everybody has access to everything. Anybody in the band can write a song or get on our Instagram or Facebook.”

The Dodges appear Sunday afternoon, February 18, at the Office in North Park as part of the La Escalera Records’ annual Awesome Fest and February 21 at the Tower Bar with Tigersex (Las Vegas).

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