Dumplings were formed during a particularly biting Pittsburgh winter in 2012. Brothers Jason (middle child, drummer) and Jonathan (vocals, guitar, baby) Dowling had not written music together for almost a decade. Jason was busy working with the electro-duo Middle Children, and Jon with lo-fi legend Weird Paul, among other projects (including the annual Production Procedures Productions Halloween Compilation).
Inspired by noisey rock bands coming from the west coast, Jon felt it was time to start up a new band with his brother, whose idea was to implement sampling and sequencing to the mix. Their mission: to make interesting, textured, and, most of all, fun rock 'n roll. Dumplings became a band when Pam Hanlin agreed to play bass without any prior bass experience. Her enthusiasm and passion for music, performance, and singing was exactly what the band needed.
The Dumplings' "sound" came really naturally to all of them. There was no specific agenda to sound like anyone. The songs are written mostly as a band and with lots of musical and lyrical humor. Vocal melodies are a large focus on the overall sound, with very overdriven guitar and rhythmic, pulsing drums & bass. Dumplings write songs about what's around them: work, friends, dreams, animals, Pittsburghers, clothes, etc. When audience members approach the band, they're usually suprised by the sound. It's something unexpected, something they haven't heard performed in a long time. They've been compared to arty-rock bands such as Talking Heads, Pixies, or Wire. A lot of the time, people admit it's hard to pin-down, but they like it. Dumplings have many varied influences, from Suicide to Billy Joel to Negativland (they even did a set of Green Day covers last Halloween). Dumplings' live shows keep getting better as the band plays more of them. A large focus is audience interaction; pumping the audience up to have as much fun as the band is. Only a year in, Dumplings have played some of Pittsburgh's biggest events, including Art All Night, R.A.N.T., and Live On Liberty. They plan to tour in 2014.
Dumplings have just finished recording a six-song cassette, written and recorded entirely in their basement in 3 weeks, to be released September 18, 2013 at Garfield Artworks. An EP of older songs has also been recorded, but the band is holding out to release them on vinyl as soon as possible. Dumplings want to make music that makes you feel just right. Check out the music and come to the shows. You'll love it!