Earlier this month, contributing writer Allison Leahy was on-site at the 2012 Outside Lands in San Francisco, CA. Late Sunday afternoon before Dispatch hit the stage, Leahy had the chance to catch up with the recently reunited band and get a little insight into their newly released album and on-going commitment to charitable causes.
Dispatch is back! On August 21st the indie band released its first studio album in over a decade. Circles Around the Sun is a unique addition to Dispatch’s discography. It’s their first album to be packaged with eco-friendly materials and $1 of every album sale goes directly to Amplifying Education, a campaign that supports local literacy programs across North America.
Always looking to incorporate social justice and activism into its message, Dispatch’s latest crusade takes into account literacy, education, and the environment. Of course, the most environmentally-friendly option may be a digital download, but those fans who would love to indulge in the liner notes and album artwork can purchase Circles Around the Sun with a little less guilt.
The packaging for the album was produced using biodegradable cardboard, environmentally friendly inks, and water-based lacquer. “Save trees,” encourages Chad. “I don’t think [all of the packaging is] compostable, but it’s all made from recycled, non-toxic materials.”
This environmentally-conscious ethos isn’t new to Dispatch. In 2005, Brad Corrigan organized The Relief Project. And in 2007, the band came together for a series of benefit concerts to fight disease, famine and social injustice in Zimbabwe through the Elias Fund. The shows at Madison Square Garden sold out within days and all proceeds went to the fund.
“This [new release] gave us the opportunity to take songs that were in their baby form and turn them into grown up songs, ” Pete told Green Up Music at Outside Lands.
“Our songs are like butterflies and birds that have been in cages. On August 21st we open that cage and let them go,” Brad continued. “[We] haven’t been recording tunes with each other for oh, about 10 years. It’s just exciting to get the new music out there. That feeling hasn’t been around in a little while.”
“We love playing live, traveling and going to new places,” added Chad. The next North American tour begins in mid-September.
If you need further proof that the band is up to the some kinds of good, over the last year Dispatch’s Amplifying Education campaign has:
- Engaged over 600 fan volunteers in over 4,000 hours of service to improve schools across North America and Europe
- Collected over 10,000 book donations to support local literacy programs through Better World Books
- Raised over $250,000 through portion of ticket sales, benefit shows, fan-to-fan outreach shows to support local organizations like City Year Denver, Teach for America, and the Westside School
Let the good times roll.