Interview: DUST

They define themselves pop rock, but they’ve a bluesy soul. DUST hail in Italy, in a ‘place you won’t find on Google Maps’. Their new EP, ‘Kind’ is going to be released soon, but for now you can enjoy a quick chat, in which we’re discovering their influences, talking about the best aspects of live music (drinking among others) and something more about their future projects.

How long have Dust been together?

The project was created in 2005, we started with another name playing together some cover songs by John Lee Hooker, the Clash, the Doors, but it’s in 2006 that Andrea and Tomas (singer and pianist) began to write some original songs. The recording of a couple of demos helped us find our own sound, but the real turning point was in 2009, the year of “Tuesday Evenings”, our first self-produced LP.

How would you define Dust’s sound to somebody who has never heard of you?

We think that the best way to define our music is pop-rock with haunting moods, even if in every song of ours we try to convey an imaginary of open spaces; oneiric landscapes always linked to everyday life.

Where does the name Dust come from? Is it in any way linked to the American rock band from the 70s?

Honestly we’ve never heard about them, until you named them! Actually DUST is the acronym of Dream Unless (you can) See Truth. We found information about this band and listened to their first record, but our music is pretty much different…even if our solo guitarist started his career playing heavy metal music, ahahahaha.

Can you name some of the bands you grew up with? How much did they influence your music?

For we are a six men band, we’d like to name one band for each member of Dust: Wilco for their elegance; the Band for their heartbreaking way of making music; Pearl Jam for their explosive live attitude; the Smiths for their pop song-writing; Arcade Fire for their arrangements and the blues music in general, for its humbleness and its longevity.

If you had to choose one album that inspired you personally and musically, which one would you pick? 

Mmmm.. that’s a hard question!! We’ll answer as above.. so you can understand how many different personal influences we have: “Music from Big Pink” by The Band, “Crocodiles” by Echo and the Bunnymen; “Into the Music” by Van Morrison; “The good Son” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds; “A ghost is Born” by Wilco and “Boxer” by The National.

Can you tell us something more about your forthcoming  EP ‘Kind’?

“Kind” is a five track ep, it contains the best music we produced in the last months and it’s been the first time we haven’t worked on our own. While the previous record was essentially a mixture of many influences, the new one, due to the collaboration with the producer Matteo Cantaluppi, is more compact and coherent in itself, with a much better sound quality since we worked in one of the best recording studios in Milan (Mono studio). The record features mixing by Paolo Alberta (Negrita) and mastering by Giovanni Nebbia (Ithil World Studio). The title “Kind” was chosen due to new solutions in our arrangements which became more discreet, because of the stories behind our songs which start from particular situations to connect to the general questions which belong to the human kind.

If in the first EP you sounded more blues-oriented, in ‘Kind’ we experience a darker side of the rock scene, which somehow reminds me of Editors among others. How do you think you’ve changed musically from ‘Tuesday Evenings’ to’Kind’?

First of all we’d like to underline that during the last years we listened to plenty of music that led us to an evolution in our compositions and to a new maturity in making arrangements. Matteo Cantaluppi helped us in order to achieve a modernization of our sound, which maybe grew darker, as you noticed; still we have to say we don’t think to sound like Editors.  The most important thing is that this work represents our first “real” record, since the previous ones were just, to say, extended demos. For the first time we concentrated on creating a product that has coherence and real consciousness. That’s not a concept album, though we think it evokes a kind of identity in its entirety.

What provoked you to sing in English? Are you planning on trying also to add some Italian lyrics at some point?

During the last months a lot of people tried to understand the reason why we write in a foreign language that doesn’t represent the culture we belong to. Actually the choice of english is not linked to an “official” decision, but it’s just to read as a spontaneous process of a band in love with american and english music. Musical influences don’t affect only sounds, but language too. For this reason we consider english language strictly connected to the music we write and play; this choice caused us many problems since it’s really difficult to promote records in Italy when you sing in a foreign language. We don’t know if one day we will to start to write in italian, but  we haven’t considered the possibility of writing in our own language yet. At the moment we still enjoy using English because of its “musicality”.  (and it’s also a pretty good one, I’d like to add)

Which aspect of a live performance do you enjoy the most?

Being fans of Bob Dylan, we conceive live performances as a way to give a kind of “new dress” to our songs, looking for new arrangements and new way to interpret them. Besides: drinking.

Who would be your dream person to collaborate with?

It would be a dream to work with Brian Eno or Nigel Godrich, they would give a sense of uncanny to our music and above all it would be a honor for us. If we had the chance to submit one song to the arrangement of an artist, we’d choose Bon Iver, because in these days we’re really loving his new record. But in our hearts, we would like to have an album produced by Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), we think he has done a great job for “You’re Not Alone”, the last cd by the great Mavis Staples; probably he’s one of the last symbols of the Americana spirit. There are many cities in which we’d love to play in, like Chicago or New York, maybe Manchester…Although we have not yet toured the whole Italy and its most interesting cities, like Rome or Livorno, which in recent years has developed an excellent alternative scene.

Thank you so much guys. For anybody who’s around, check them out Nov., 4th in Milan, alongside Green Like July.


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