As the vinyl reissue of Dr. Octagon’s 1996 magnum opus, Dr. Octagonecologyst, inches closer to its May 19 release date, the excitement from die-hard Kool Keith, Dan The Automator and DJ QBert fans is palpable. The album is a certified classic in the books of many Hip Hop connoisseurs and with the new edition of the record, people will also be privy to five previously unreleased tracks. The trio recently performed Dr. Octagon material live for the first time ever at two shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and Dan The Automator was surprisingly shocked at the warm reception.
“It was crazy because we didn’t advertise,” Dan The Automator tells HipHopDX. “We put up two posts on Instagram with no real official stuff and both shows sold out in three hours. The demand was a lot higher than we thought. We knew we were going to do shows, but we didn’t know how people would react. These places were small — like 600 to 700 people. We knew we needed it to do well. We underestimated. We probably could have done 2,000, but we didn’t know.”
Now that the Handsome Boy Modeling School alum is aware of the amount of people out there itching for more of Dr. Octagon, the trio is planning on doing additional live shows in the near future. He also confirmed that new material from Dr. Octagon is apparently not too far off from being unleashed. However, he admits dropping a full album is not as simple as it used to be.
“There are new [Dr. Octagon] songs — let’s put it that way,” Dan says. “Releasing an album is all convoluted and complicated these days. Personally, I think singles are the only way. You kind of waste an album if you put it out there because you get the same amount of press and impact with a single. Maybe we’re going back to a ‘50s and ‘60s vibe where everyone just makes 45s.”
Considering he comes from an era when crafting an entire album was a meticulous labor of love and actually held more value than a download or MP3, he confesses it’s a bit disheartening that tangible records have become less impactful.
“It hurts the work part,” he says. “Guys like me and [Prince] Paul who have concepts, it doesn’t translate as well with singles. We’re all still figuring that out. We want to make records. I want to listen to one front to back, but we have to figure out how to market that.”
For now, Dan The Automator is focused on his upcoming show with Qbert in Denver this weekend and will presumably be jumping in the studio again soon with Kool Keith, who he says is “dead serious” when he’s working.
“He’s a stream of consciousness rapper, so sometimes it doesn’t work,” he says. “But when it does, it’s fucking amazing.”
Check out an image of the Dr. Octagon vinyl reissue above and pre-order it here.