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members present:
Dustin Kensrue

conducted on:
May 2002

by: Rocio Villalobos
official website


PZO: What song off of The Illusion of Safety was the hardest to write?
Dustin: Lyrically or musically?
PZO: Both.
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, I’m forgetting my own track names.
PZO: <laughs>
Dustin: <laughs> Oh well. Do you know which one I’m talking about? The one that goes “love everywhere, exploding, maims and blinds”?
PZO: The lyrics sound familiar but I can’t remember the name either.
Dustin: <starts singing the song> “But surely does not forget…” I can’t remember. It’s 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.

PZO: 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.

PZO: If you bought a personalized license plate what would be on it?
Dustin: For me, or the van?
PZO: For you.
Dustin: Uh…hmm. I had never thought about that. Uh, I don’t know. I’m too bad with that stuff ‘cause I’m too much of a perfectionist.

PZO: What decade do you think had the best music?
Dustin: Ooh, that’s a tough one. Um, I really don’t 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 they’re combining it then doesn’t mean that the people they’re building off of weren’t just as important, if not more. So I’d say you have to appreciate every year for itself.

PZO: 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. I’m kind of bummed on that, they’re kind of a smaller band. I think all their stuff is just on vinyl. But they’re 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.

PZO: If you were given the opportunity to be a spokesperson for a product, what company and product would you choose?
Dustin: I’d probably choose Coca-Cola. <laughs> I’m a big fan of Coca-Cola. Yeah, I could definitely do that with ease.

PZO: 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?
PZO: Yeah.
Dustin: Probably Radiohead and have them cover the song that I was talking about earlier, that we can’t think of the name.
PZO: <laughs>
Dustin: What is it called? It’s 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 Yorke’s vocal stylings on that song, so I think it would be cool to hear him sing it.

PZO: Name 3 bands that you think should receive more attention than they’re currently getting.
Dustin: A band called Frodus, who’s not together anymore. Actually, I’d be stoked if they were back together. But uh, I’m a huge, huge Frodus fan, we all like them, we’re crazy about them. Their last album was just amazing; it’s called And We Washed Our Weapons In The Sea. And that’s F-r-o-d-u-s. That record didn’t get as much press as it probably would have if they were still together. A band called, I don’t know if they’re kind of out-of-the-loop, I’m not sure. <mumbles the band name to where I can’t make it out> They’re very, very cool. Their new record is called…ah, I’m not sure, but it’s very good. I don’t think that many people know about them. But those are just 2.

PZO: You guys are finally going to be headlining some shows; how did you decide what bands would open for you?
Dustin: With Recover we’ve 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 they’d be an awesome band to take out. I think they definitely like, are going to start getting the press that they deserve ‘cause they’re an awesome band. They’re good friends of ours from Austin, so it’ll 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.

PZO: Are there any bands that you’ve been listening a lot to lately?
Dustin: Yes, uh…Radiohead…it’s really hard to think of everything, ‘cause there’s 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 what’s being rocked in the van. There’s more stuff on there if you wanna get more into detail.

PZO: 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 program?
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 it’s 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 there’s 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.

PZO: What’s the story behind your song "See You In The Shallows"?
Dustin: It’s 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 they’re really believing in and what they’re 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.

PZO: When you’re in the studio how much control do you get over the finished product?
Dustin: Well, it really depends on who you’re working with. Sometimes you’ll have a producer who’s just totally hands-off, sometimes you’ll have someone who’s 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 doesn’t work out he’s totally cool with that. I think if you can learn to work with someone who you trust like that, it’s an amazing insight because they haven’t been involved in the whole writing process so they can give you ideas that you might be able to look at ‘cause you’ve 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 don’t know everything, you know, because obviously if I wrote it I see it differently than how others are gonna see it. There’s never a point where we don’t have like final control of what’s going on, though.

PZO: If you could pass a law, what would it be?
Dustin: I don’t know, maybe make it easier to get into and out of Canada. <laughs> All the stuff you have to go through is really annoying.

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