Black Bolt – Interview
Interview with Dustin (Guitar and Vocals) from Black Bolt and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
D: Hi, my name is Dustin. I sing and play guitar in a band called Black Bolt from Boise, Idaho in the United States. Nominally, we’re a punk band, but you could probably also call us a garage rock band or an indie rock band.
We’re a four piece band. We’re loud, and we play uptempo but not thrashy. Gruff. Rough around the edges. But there’s a little bit of glitz and glimmer under the dirt and grime, too.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
D: We started in either 2010 or 2011. No one really knows because calendars are for sellouts. We started as kind of a pop punk band, and recorded an EP in our friend’s converted warehouse space, where he also played and recorded music.
Around that time, we finally got a bit better at playing shows and found our band’s “voice.” We’ve since recorded another EP, a few singles, and have a full length album on the way for next year.
We also just released our first ever music video, a jingle/tribute for the hard seltzer known as White Claw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxCHLd3pQDs
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
D: Since we are four individuals, we are sort of all over the place as far as influences go. I’m one individual person doing his best to speak for three others, but I’d say our main influences would be Leatherface, The Pixies, Nirvana, Jawbreaker, Archers of Loaf, The Lawrence Arms, Ramones, American Nightmare, FIDLAR, Bad Religion, L7, Every Time I Die, RVIVR, The Coathangers, and probably a billion more?
As far as non-musical influences, liquor, beer, and White Claw are up there. We’re also influenced by cats, dogs, all sorts of sports (baseball, hockey, American football), comic books, bad 90s comedy films, bad 90s science fiction films, Garfield, Mario Kart, and the beautiful people we interact with every single day. Lots of political and philosophical influences, too, but those don’t make for polite dinner table conversation.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
D: Our goal is to just keep writing cool songs until we’re too square to write cool songs anymore. We’d maybe like more people to hear those songs at some point, but that’s not really the drive here.
This is just our collective creative outlet and we’re all very grateful to be doing it.
Also, someday we’d like to meet (and even tour with) Mr. T.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
D: I usually write the lyrics and vocal melodies, but everyone contributes riffs, chord progressions, and song structures.
Our songs are sometimes very political, and usually about the feeling of screaming at a wall in a Red State. When you live in one of these Red States or “flyover states,” people on the right hate you for being on the left, and the people on the left in the rest of the country hate you for living in a Red State. All the while you’re trying to roll a giant fiberglass potato uphill. It’s an eternal struggle.
We also write songs with introspective and/or interpersonal themes and songs about partying.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
D: We just do the usual, I think– paper flyers and social media posts.
Though I did get stickers printed up to promote our new song and music video, which is something we’ve never done before:
The next natural step is partnering with fast food chains and giving thinly-veiled promotional TED talks.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
D: I grew up in the Napster generation, which became the Kazaa and Limewire generation. I was there in the trenches when Metallica threw a fit.
As for our music– I don’t give a care. Anyone can have it for free at any time.
I can’t tell other people what they should do with their music and how much their music should cost. But, on the one hand, the arts are often inaccessible to people without a lot of money. And, on the other hand, paying working artists in “exposure” is bullshit. We all have to scrape by somehow in this capitalist hellworld.
Art is valuable and artists are valuable. But I’m not inherently against downloading music, even illegally. I just think it’s up to the artist to communicate with their fans (which is easy to do by setting prices on Bandcamp, etc) and make their stance known.
In an ideal world, we’d all have enough money to buy all the music we wanted. As for my music, you can have all of it you want for free. But, check with another smaller, indie artist before you go downloading their entire catalog for free– maybe throw them $5 or something?
I’m sure Maroon 5 can take the hit, though.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
D: I’m going to go with “Words of Wisdom” by Snuff. It’s got such a beautiful and catchy vocal melody and an interesting structure, but it’s also fast and razor sharp. It makes you feel something. It’s both a hellraiser and a tearjerker– what more could you ask for?
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
D: My biggest music-related pet peeve is when a local band plays a 45+ minute set on a multi-band bill. Like they’re playing first or second, and the headlining touring band is gonna play 35 minutes maximum, but the opener just has to play almost an hour because everyone is too polite to confront them about it. That’s probably just me, though. I could be seeing my favorite band in the entire world and a 25-30 minute set would be ideal for me.
I am also quite irked by people who are rude to servers, cashiers, or customer service people.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
D: The release of our music video is up there.
Also, we once got our set cut off at a DIY music festival in the desert for “taking too long” because we asked the crowd to help some kid find his glasses. I think we were only on stage for 15 minutes before we got cut off. So we played one more song and mosied off the stage– and then there was a two hour wait in between bands a little later that night. So we obviously could have played the remaining 7 minutes of our set without an issue. But sometimes it’s the little victories that put a smug smile on your face.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
D: We’re currently working on our full length album, which will probably be called “The North End.” It’s due out sometime in the Spring of 2020. We’ve recorded 8 songs and we’re going back for 3-4 more.
We’ll have another single out soon, and we hope to do a music video for that one, too.
After that, we’re going on a short tour in May with our friends Get Wet +.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
D: We honestly don’t have much coming up at the moment. Maybe we’ll see you at some low key show here in the next couple months, maybe we’ll see you at Treefort Music Festival, and maybe we’ll see you with Get Wet + in May!
And you should be there because our set is always short, our jokes are usually funny, and we’ll for sure have a drink with you either before or after we play.
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