LEGEND TRIPPING - CD
Label: SELF AWARE
Release Date: October 27, 2023
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Dollar Signs have always played by their own rules. While in the midst of their last album cycle for 2021’s Hearts of Gold, it seemed like things were going to get easier for both the band as a unit, and the members as individuals. This didn’t happen, because nothing ever really does get easier. Things get different.
While the chaos of the year was unfolding, lead-songwriter Erik Button was holed up in his home with his fiance. The first few years of the 2020s seemed like an engine; sputtering and in need of gas. Erik’s song writing style had to adjust to the new situation. “I’ve always written in a very diary-like style but now I had to stop and take a breath. What do you write about when nothing is happening? It got me thinking about rock album cliches and especially the idea of “the home town” record. What about a record with that material set in the south where I was raised? Or how does that record change when you’re in your 30’s and you come back to where you were raised? Legend Tripping is a record about home; what it was, and what it is now, and how time creates a bigger distance than any amount of mileage could”.
Armed with his love of horror films, we frame “home” as a place that’s haunted, and examine change through the lens of ominous mystery, just as a ghost hunter might. And despite this nostalgia, his caustic wit still manages to lob neon green paint at every elephant in the room.
In eleven songs, he decries the erosion of old friends due to right-wing political movements on “Fight or Flight”, the loss of personal identity that comes with time on “Bless Your Heart”, the regret of trying to bring something back to life on “RESONATOR!” and even penning a bombastic ode to the punk scene on the titular track, “Legend Tripping”, with a double-entendre chorus of “We are not alone”, a battle-cry for punk kids that are drawn to each other by the fact that they are outsiders in their spaces, aliens of the status quo. Erik says, “It was really important for me to think carefully about the subject matter. I didn’t want to approach this topic with rose-colored glasses, but also the south gets sh*t on constantly and I did want to reflect that good people do live here, good things happen here. It’s beautiful here and people live freely and joyfully here in spite of the systems of horror baked into our infrastructure.”
And with that sense of pride for the community, Dollar Signs raised over $25,000 to put this album out by themselves with the help of followers and fans alike. “The pop punk industrial complex was not for me”, says Dylan Wachman, manager and bass player of the band. “I only ever joined this band and did these things because I was a fan of music. The more time I spent working the systems of it all, the more I realized what I liked about it in the first place. And it wasn’t what we were living for.”
The band now runs their own merch store and works exclusively with close friends and trusted confidants in other areas. This change brings them closer to their roots, and closer to their art. This of course comes with challenges, but it’s nothing the band hasn’t done before. “If I need to pay for everything myself, then, so be it. If I need to take out a loan to release a record, that’s fine. I’ve never wanted to do this more, I’ve never been more fired up”, says Dylan.
“At least Bank Of America doesn’t want my masters.”
1. CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN
2. BLESS YOUR HEART
3. OLD TIMES' SAKE
4. FIGHT OR FLIGHT
6. EAST OF THE ROCKIES
7. LEGEND TRIPPING
10. NUCLEAR FAMILY
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