What song off of The Illusion of Safety was the hardest to write?
Dustin: Lyrically or musically?
Dustin: Lyrically, I think To Awake and Avenge the Dead might
have been one of them. I think it might have been longer and I ended up
shortening it. And
converting the uh
man, Im forgetting
my own track names.
Dustin: <laughs> Oh well. Do you know which one Im
talking about? The one that goes love everywhere, exploding, maims
PZO: The lyrics sound familiar but I cant remember the name either.
Dustin: <starts singing the song> But surely does not
I cant remember. Its like 3 words from
another song and trying to adapt them to the music to have it sound right
was difficult. So that was one of them.
So do you have any disaster stories of things that have happened while
you were on the road?
Dustin: Yeah, actually our trailer is in really bad shape right now; we
hit a deer with it. A few days later a crazed man in a Mercedes Benz was
going a hundred miles an hour, hit the wheel off the other side and shredded
his tire and kept going past us and ended up crashing later and being
ejected from his vehicle. It was pretty interesting, but again, we had
to end up getting a new tire. <laughs> Then it ended up falling
off a couple of days ago. Then the hinge on our trailer door broke that
day, so the trailer is having a tough time.
If you bought a personalized license plate what would be on it?
Dustin: For me, or the van?
PZO: For you.
hmm. I had never thought about that. Uh, I dont
know. Im too bad with that stuff cause Im too much of
What decade do you think had the best music?
Dustin: Ooh, thats a tough one. Um, I really dont think that
you could say that one had the best because the stuff people were doing
at the time were the most important because they were combining things
in a way that had never been combined before. But just because theyre
combining it then doesnt mean that the people theyre building
off of werent just as important, if not more. So Id say you
have to appreciate every year for itself.
Is there a band that you would like to see back together?
Dustin: A band called Orchid is supposedly breaking up and I never got
to see them live. Im kind of bummed on that, theyre kind of
a smaller band. I think all their stuff is just on vinyl. But theyre
very good and I wish I could see them live. Refused, for sure. I wish
I could have seen them before they broke up. I guess those are two of
the main ones.
If you were given the opportunity to be a spokesperson for a product,
what company and product would you choose?
Dustin: Id probably choose Coca-Cola. <laughs> Im
a big fan of Coca-Cola. Yeah, I could definitely do that with ease.
If you could get any band to cover one of your songs, what band and song
would you pick?
Dustin: Any band to cover one of our songs?
Dustin: Probably Radiohead and have them cover the song that I was talking
about earlier, that we cant think of the name.
Dustin: What is it called? Its driving me insane. Oh, oh! "A
Living Dance Upon Dead Minds".
PZO: Ooh, yeah. I like that one!
Dustin: There you go. Anyway, a lot of vocal stylings were definitely
influenced by Thom Yorkes vocal stylings on that song, so I think
it would be cool to hear him sing it.
Name 3 bands that you think should receive more attention than theyre
Dustin: A band called Frodus, whos not together anymore. Actually,
Id be stoked if they were back together. But uh, Im a huge,
huge Frodus fan, we all like them, were crazy about them. Their
last album was just amazing; its called And We Washed Our Weapons
In The Sea. And thats F-r-o-d-u-s. That record didnt get as
much press as it probably would have if they were still together. A band
called, I dont know if theyre kind of out-of-the-loop, Im
not sure. <mumbles the band name to where I cant make it out>
Theyre very, very cool. Their new record is called
not sure, but its very good. I dont think that many people
know about them. But those are just 2.
You guys are finally going to be headlining some shows; how did you decide
what bands would open for you?
Dustin: With Recover weve wanted to play with them for a while,
and stuff just kinda worked out. So once we knew we were doing a headlining
tour we thought theyd be an awesome band to take out. I think they
definitely like, are going to start getting the press that they deserve
cause theyre an awesome band. Theyre good friends of
ours from Austin, so itll be fun taking them out. Brand New is a
rad, relatively newer band from the East Coast that we thought would compliment
the tour pretty well.
Are there any bands that youve been listening a lot to lately?
Dustin: Yes, uh
its really hard to think of
everything, cause theres a lot of stuff that we listen to.
We try to keep a playlist going on our website in the Ramblings section
for the people that are interested in knowing whats being rocked
in the van. Theres more stuff on there if you wanna get more into
I heard that you chose to have part of your album sales go to [a charity
by the name of] A Place Called Home; what encouraged you to help out this
Dustin: Well everything on Sub-City, like Sub-City is a charity label,
so 5 % of retail costs of every record put out on Sub-City goes to a charity
and the band chooses the charity. So for this record we chose A Place
Called Home, which we got in contact through with Louis, who runs Sub-City.
We were telling him that we wanted to work with something that was music-related,
just cause its such a positive influence in my life, and he
was telling us that A Place Called Home has a recording studio for kids
in South Central and that they get to record for free and learn music
stuff. We were just, that was exactly what we were looking for, so we
were amazed that it existed. So we checked it out and theres actually
a lot more going on there now; they help kids who have dropped out of
school get their education and get kids meals. They actually give them
positive opportunities to get them out of gangs and it gives them a better
chance for a good future.
Whats the story behind your song "See You In The Shallows"?
Dustin: Its basically a metaphor for people being followers and
just not really looking into things as deeply as they should before diving
in, I guess. Just not knowing what theyre really believing in and
what theyre really choosing to be a part of. And even when you can
see some of the negative effects that it has on other people, choosing
to make that decision anyways.
When youre in the studio how much control do you get over the finished
Dustin: Well, it really depends on who youre working with. Sometimes
youll have a producer whos just totally hands-off, sometimes
youll have someone whos really involved. Brian McTernan is
now a very good friend of ours
he really works us, but uh, he wants
to be very involved, to be like part of the band. But he also, he basically
wants you to respect his opinion and if he has an idea to at least try
it, and then if it doesnt work out hes totally cool with that.
I think if you can learn to work with someone who you trust like that,
its an amazing insight because they havent been involved in
the whole writing process so they can give you ideas that you might be
able to look at cause youve just been pounding them pretty
much nonstop now. It took me a while to get used to giving up some of
like, my control in a sense, because I would be like dude, I wrote this
stuff, I know how I want it to be. But I dont know everything, you
know, because obviously if I wrote it I see it differently than how others
are gonna see it. Theres never a point where we dont have
like final control of whats going on, though.
If you could pass a law, what would it be?
Dustin: I dont know, maybe make it easier to get into and out of
Canada. <laughs> All the stuff you have to go through is