Exclusive Interview | Nikki Glaspie On Leaving Dumpstaphunk
Drummer/vocalist Nikki Glaspie’s first gig as a full-time member of Dumpstaphunk was at Gathering of the Vibes in 2011, so it’s a nice bit of symmetry that she’ll play one of her final dates with the raging funk squad at this year’s Vibes, currently underway in Bridgeport, CT.
An official announcement released Thursday from the band describes Glaspie’s departure as amicable. It’s a surprising move, given Dumpstaphunk’s increasingly larger audience and the rich chemistry of the lineup. But then again, if you’ve seen Glaspie play with The Nth Power – one of the scene’s more exciting new bands – it’s not hard to understand where her heart is these days.
Glaspie’s last scheduled date with Dumpstaphunk is Friday, August 22 in in Chapel Hill, NC, and Dumpsta plans to pick up with drummer Alan Ford Jr. (Dirty Dozen Brass Band among many other associations) the following night.
Meanwhile, The Nth Power – which includes Glaspie, Nigel Hall, Nate Edgar, Nick Cassarino and Weedie Brahmah –has plenty of dates lined up, including a significant West Coast tour in September. Following Thursday’s announcement, Nikki spoke exclusively to JamBase on what’s ahead:
JAMBASE: When we interviewed you in November, you described The Nth Power as your baby but Dumpstaphunk was very much the main gig. What changed over the last six or so months?
NIKKI GLASPIE: More of everything. We were writing more, recording more, playing more gigs. It’s come time to just go forward and do it. It’s a fit for everyone and it’s what we all want to do.
You know it’s very uncommon for people to have a band like this and have everyone feel the same way about it. There’s always someone that’s on the fence, or someone feeling like he could do something else. But with The Nth Power, everyone feels as though it’s the baby. It’s not just my baby. It’s Nate’s baby, it’s Nick’s baby, it’s Nigel’s baby, it’s Weedie’s baby. Just the last few months it’s been like, we’ve gone out and people have been asking, when’s the Nth Power coming here, when can we book the Nth Power. We were just like OK, seems like a high demand for it. Time to focus.
JAMBASE: Do you just feel like you can’t give The Nth Power the care and feeding it needs while maintaining a full-time gig with Dumpstaphunk?
NG: I can’t be in two places at once, yeah. That purely drove the decision. There was no musical discrepancy, no personal discrepancy. And Dumpstaphunk…it’s a bittersweet thing. I absolutely love and adore Dumpstaphunk. It hasn’t even really sunk in yet that I won’t be on the road with these guys anymore and I won’t see them every day. I’m definitely going to miss it. But it’s just life. You move on and you do other things. That’s the nature of it.
JAMBASE: When did you make the decision and how did you approach the guys?
NG: It was earlier in the year. Everyone in [the Nth Power] could feel it moving that way. We got offers for a bunch of gigs we couldn’t do, and it wasn’t just me being with Dumpstaphunk. Nigel was out with Lettuce and Nate was out with John Brown’s Body and Weedie was out doing things. And I want to make sure that’s understood. The announcement was about me and Dumpstaphunk but everyone has had to make this decision. We’re all doing this.
JAMBASE: Everyone in The Nth Power is fully committed to it being the main band?
NG: The whole thing about the Nth Power is that we have a mission, and it’s bigger than music. We want to change people’s lives through the music that we play and we preach a message of love – I still think not enough people know that they are loved. That’s our thing. It’s our whole M.O. We could be carpenters, or masons, or change the world by washing windows, too – our thing is playing music. I think people can see that us even not knowing us. They see that love and they’re affected by it.
JAMBASE: Will you be recording more this year?
NG: We’ll have a full-length album and the projected release is March. Everybody’s been doing everything to make it happen, and it’s like we’ve been working on the record for a while but haven’t been able to finish it. This thing…everyone’s stepping out on a limb. Everyone in the band knows what it’s like to start a band from scratch. We have no money, you know? We’re stepping out on faith. And I think everything’s going to turn out right.
The Nth Power returns to the road on August 7 at Club Metronome, while Dumpstaphunk performs at the Flood City Music Festival in Johnstown, PA tonight and at Gathering At The Vibes in Bridgeport, CT tomorrow.