Band considers California move, tour


    Local band Darth Vato, which was voted 2004’s Best Live Band by Fort Worth Weekly readers, is planning a winter tour and possibly a big move in 2006.The reggae-influenced rock band, who has been compared to bands like Sublime, performs live shows all around Texas and the Southwest.

    Darth Vato also released a new EP in July 2005 called “Seven Seas.”

    Drummer Eric Dodson said the band’s greatest influence has not been one band or individual, but rather the entire Southern California music scene.

    In fact, Darth Vato has considered moving to California, where its fan base is larger and where there are more places to play.

    “People here aren’t as used to the beach music as they are on the West Coast,” guitarist Kerry Dean, said.

    Dean, Dodson and bassist Steven Steward, who are all TCU graduates, said they formed the band three years ago and named it “Darth Vato” after a name they found in a lowrider magazine.

    Dressed in black logo T-shirts and free Dickies hats and pants, the members of Darth Vato talked about the best part of life in a band: free stuff.

    Dean said an additional perk is hearing local bands for free.

    The members said they are big supporters of local music and that most of their friends are also in local bands. Some of their favorites include The Me Thinks, Chatteron and Pablo, and the Hemphill Seven.

    They also added that they would like to see more people at all of the local shows and getting involved in the Fort Worth music scene, especially since the area offers different styles and an abundance of talent.

    Dodson is the only member who grew up in the Metroplex and said the thriving music scene influenced him to be around musicians. By 16, he was playing with bands in Deep Ellum. In 2000, he graduated from TCU with a bachelor’s degree in music education.

    Although the band enjoys playing for large audiences, Dodson said the band prefers intimate shows where the crowd is close to the stage.

    “It’s really cool seeing people sing along to our songs,” Dean said. “It’s neat to see someone who knows all the words.”

    For that reason, The Moon is the bands favorite venue to play. Also, the club attracts good crowds.

    The band says it has plans to go on tour with close friends Can’t Hang sometime this winter. Steward and Dodson said there has been talk of touring either Southern California or the Baltimore area.

    Audiences can see Darth Vato live at The Moon on Saturday.