Since the release of dada’s groundbreaking 1992 debut Puzzle, the trio has created an array of
songs boasting progressive rock musicianship, dazzling vocal harmonies and melodic power
pop layered with inspired psychedelic and experimental rock impulses. Adding to the trio’s
groundbreaking line of attack are the marathon-length shows that deliver on the promise that
every performance is the only one of its kind.
Two decades after the Los Angeles outﬁt embarked on its singular journey, singer-guitarist
Michael Gurley, singer-bassist Joie Calio and drummer Phil Leavitt are celebrating dada’s
anniversary with an extended U.S. tour that kicks off at The Key Club in Hollywood on
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013.
“This tour will be about a reset in a way” said Calio, noting dada plans to include songs
seldom or never played by the band throughout the upcoming tour. “For right now I think
dada is about digging into our roots, examining and celebrating – enjoying it a little bit more.”
Puzzle was released on September 8, 1992, and it didn’t take long for the band’s sonic imprint
to ﬁnd an audience. The album’s ﬁrst single “Dizz Knee Land” found widespread airplay on
alternative and mainstream rock outlets. The band was soon touring around the globe, opening
for the celebrated likes of Crowded House, Depeche Mode and Sting.
“It’s certainly a milestone and an achievement for any band to last 20 years,” said Leavitt, who
began thinking about celebrating the band’s anniversary a few years ago. “People always ask,
‘Do you still talk to each other after 20 years?’ So that’s really why I wanted to commemorate
it because no matter the size of the career if you can stick together and still have a desire to play
music together after 20 years you have accomplished something.”
Dada was founded when Gurley and Calio began writing songs and performing as an acoustic
duo in the late ‘80s. But from the beginning, their approach was unique amidst the onslaught of
‘90s bands featuring lead singers and mostly generic backing bands.
“Joie and I were both lead singers. But we really found quickly that harmonies were going to
be a big strength for us,” recalled Gurley, noting both he and Calio are fans of Simon &
Garfunkel’s pioneering harmonies.
Gurley noted that once they recruited Leavitt, they were able to blend the thunderous power of
trios such as Cream with the artful harmony-minded songcraft of Simon & Garfunkel.
The success of Puzzle was followed in 1994 by American Highway Flower, featuring the
ambitious “Ask the Dust” and astounding “Feet to the Sun,” dada has gone on to create a
magniﬁcent discography featuring a half-dozen full-length albums and an EP. The trio has also
issued a number of solo efforts and participated in far-ﬂung offshoot projects along the way
exploring a range of styles including folk, blues, jazz and rock. Immediately after dada went on
hiatus in 1999, Leavitt performed with the Blue Man Group in Las Vegas from 2000-2002. In
addition, Gurley and Leavitt were both members of Butterﬂy Jones in the early ‘00s; Calio
has released several solo discs and with X Levitation Cult. Mike Gurley and the Nightcaps
are a popular jazz group in Southern California. Additionally, Leavitt has stepped out from
behind the drum set as lead singer and Calio is playing guitar in 7Horse, a psychedelic blues
project that will serve as the opening act for dada in 2013.
All three members of dada are excited about celebrating the legacy of a band with their ﬁrst