Dented Personality (The Interview)
Words by Jackson Balling. Photo by Morgan Day.
Maybe I was still car-lagged, if that’s a real thing, from the fourteen hundred mile road trip I had just returned from, or maybe the day was just generally lame. Whatever it was, this past Sunday just lacked any sort of energy. At least until I got to wander back downtown and meet with three-fourths of Dented Personality here at Big Heavy World and talk about their band.
For those of you who haven’t been properly introduced to these guys, they are quickly becoming one of the natural leaders of the recently resurging punk scene here in Burlington, but you couldn’t guess it if you hung out with them for even a fraction of how long I did on that once lazy Sunday.
I thought my last interview with Gang of Thieves was goofy, but when I got these guys in a room together there was rarely a moment that wasn’t filled with laughter. While vocalist and rhythm guitarist Brian LaClair and I talked the most about what has been happening with the band, bassist Jordan Stocker and lead guitarist Brad Yandow were busy riffing off of each other and subconsciously demonstrating how buddy-buddy this band truly is. Every now and then they would break away from their gut-laugh inspiring moments to chime in with Brian, and it immediately hit me how much these guys love each other and the music that they make together.
Brian continued to explain that since Brad’s joining this past October, everything seemed to be taking off much quicker than ever before. I understood why he would say that, considering the band is approaching their fifth anniversary and the more diverse and exciting events have occurred in the past six months. From here we touched upon an upcoming recording session for a new single at the end of the month, which they hope to continue into their plans for the band’s first full-length record. They even sprinkled in some details about some surprising tour dates that may pop up on social media between now and the summer. And yet they considered this their first true interview. I couldn’t help but feel a part of something much bigger than anyone in the room considered it to be.
We discussed their recent show in the basement of Big Heavy World’s own Jim Lockridge, where they performed two brand new songs, and how it translates to their sonic growth. They all pitched in to the idea that their newer tracks are gravitating to a sound that truly is their own; raw, catchy, and generally exciting alternative punk that has been refined from the early days when Green Day, Blink-182, and Less Than Jake were more prevalent than their own voices.
Even by just discussing it, there’s an immediate wide appeal to the idea of what they want to create with their debut LP. If you like pop-punk, punk rock, or anything in between, chances are that you’ll find solace in Dented Personality.
We wrapped our talks of new music with a generally fun question: what are some of the goofy moments in the band’s history?
“There was one time where I played a set with my bass off!” Jordan brought up alongside a very visible grin.
“We once took the Big Heavy World van to a show in New Hampshire, called our manager when we got there and told him we were just leaving Burlington.” Brian explained, later pulling up a YouTube they filmed of Jordan delivering the prank call.
“And then there were the times when Brian bleached his hair and then grew a beard.” Jordan quickly threw out into the open, which Brian responded to with no shame whatsoever.
If there’s anything to take away from Dented Personality it’s that they truly put fun first into everything they do. These four best friends have an infectious attitude, great music, and a developed sense of who they are musically. With shows at 242 Main, or even Jim’s Basement, becoming more and more frequent, as well as dates throughout the state and beyond, I can’t think of a better group of guys to put a new spark into the local music scene in the funniest way possible.