Dispute Taste Success

“We feel pretty lucky,” says Dispute's Jeremy Lux, lead singer and long-time friend of AFI’s Davey Havok. “It was a great opportunity and we wanted it really badly. We paid for our own flights, our tour bus – literally, we funded ourselves to go and do that tour, but was definitely worth it.”

- Helen Bolter
Photo by Carol McCurdie

posted April 2, 2007

Dispute Taste Success
     Less than 18 months on from playing their first ever show, Dispute found themselves playing crowds a couple of thousand strong, as they supported AFI on their UK tour. “We feel pretty lucky,” says Jeremy Lux, lead singer and long-time friend of AFI’s Davey Havok. “It was a great opportunity and we wanted it really badly. We paid for our own flights, our tour bus – literally, we funded ourselves to go and do that tour, but was definitely worth it.”

     On stage, Dispute seem as though they have been doing this all their lives. A large venue, packed to capacity with another band’s fans, cannot be the easiest of audiences and could make many a stalwart rocker tremble – Dispute seem calmly self-assured and very comfortable in their own stage-shoes. In London last October, they maturely soldiered on through terrible sound (some techie’s head should roll) and in Manchester, they gate-crashed fellow support act The Explosion’s set, semi-naked and sporting builders’ hats. Personality is certainly not a thing this band lacks.

     Despite the name, Dispute is not a political band – four of five members are straight edge and vegan or vegetarian, but there is no hint of moral preaching in their lyrics. There is, however, great depth and personal meaning to some of their songs: for example, ‘Kiss the case’ was written about the loss of their friend Ernie Cortez. Cortez was the bass player for the hardcore band Powerhouse, who died of stomach cancer, without even telling those close to him that he was ill. The lyrics are not overly emotional: “We stand in line and wait our turn. We kiss the case of no return.” By making the finality of death so factual and undeniable, it makes the song even more powerful.

     The fact that they are inspired by artists as diverse as The Beatles, Queens of the Stone Age and Rancid, may explain why Dispute’s music is difficult to pigeon-hole, as they flit from hardcore to pop-punk, song by song. “We like a little bit of the artists we emulate to come out in our songs,” Lux explains, and he’s right - you can easily discern which influence was at play with each song. Far from being disjointed, this means their live set keeps you on your toes.

     After the AFI tour and a recent charity benefit gig in San Francisco, Dispute have gained quite a following. Outside Brixton Academy, some fans, who had come to London from Germany especially for the show, gathered round clutching their Dispute merch and asking for autographs. The boys looked bashful, but this has been a great start for a band with so much promise.

     With a full length album about to be released and such a big tour under their belt, it looks as though Dispute’s spectacular dedication will pay off. “We live for what we do,” says Lux. “We’ve put our all in to the future of this band.” Well, you can’t argue with that.