Dust Bolt are an incredible thrash band that play thrash metal the right way and they just released an incredible new album called here is an interview with band member Lenny Breuss:
How did the band form and were any of you in any other bands before Dust Bolt and did you go through a lot of line-up changes before you came to a solid line-up?
Dust Bolt started back in 2006. Our bassplayer Benedikt and me (Lenny, singer and guitarplayer) went to school together and started to play music together and we wanted to form a band when me met our drummer Nico and our other guitarplayer Flo, living in the same village as Benedikt did. At that point we all were about 13 years old just starting to cover songs of our favourite Punk and Metal bands. But things soon got more serious as we explored our will to write own songs and play shows. We played regional gigs and started doing bandcontests. We always worked on our technical and songwriting abilities and soon got support act gigs before bands like Sepultura and Napalm Death. Dust Bolts music became harder and faster over the time and we soon met the right people helping us to record our first selfproduced demotape called Chaos Possession in 2010 containing five songs. Chaos Possession became the Demo of the Month in German Metal Hammer magazine and Dust Bolt was described as “tomorrow´s hereos”. The band played more and more live shows and soon got lots of attention by the audiences and the media. In 2011 we supported Six Feet Under on a European tour before we won the German edition of Wacken Metal Battle and started to record our first full lenght album “Violent Demolition” in late 2011. With that album we were able to get a record deal with Napalm Records, who released our debut in summer 2012. From that on Dust bolt played many many shows all over Germany and central Europe, Festival shows and tours (e.g. with Obituary) and became an international known act. In 2013 we played shows nearly every weekend, a European tour with Heathen and Generation Kill and a small German tour with Dr.Living Dead before we started recording our second and new album “Awake the riot”, being released in May 2014 via Napalm Records again and being promoted by many set up shows and Festivals in Europe and a coming European Tour at the end of the year.. So Dust Bolt is everyone´s very first band and we didn´t have a lineup change yet and we probably won´t have haha ;) The cool thing is, as far as we all started this together with 12 or 13 years, we are also best friends and really enjoy being together and touring.
How long had the band been around before you started to write original songs and what were the early days of the band like?
As I said, we started playing gigs in school and stuff like that first. But we soon wrote our own songs, I think after a half year of playing together maybe. The early days were very funny but chaotic sometimes haha. I remember the first gigs we had where we didn´t know some lyrics or riffs for example and we also didn´t know what to do during soundcheck. We were just young and wanted to have fun, we probably sounded horrible haha!
In 2010 you released a demo called “Chaos Possession”. What are your thoughts on this release like these days and what was it like going into the studio for the 1st time as a band? Did things go pretty smoothly and how many songs were on this demo and did any of these songs end up on any of your releases?
Well when I look back on this CD I´m very happy about it because it was the first big step we made and it opened a lot of new possibilties for us on the one hand. On the other hand I´m very amused about the songs and the way we sounded, especially my vocals haha. Although it´s only four years ago, it feels like 10 or more. We recorded 4 songs in two days back then. Going to the studio the first time was very impressive and we soon realized what it means to be a good musician technically seen and started practising more and more. The guys who recorded us are the same guys who also recorded our two albums. They also know us from the very first day and we have a great relationship, which makes time in the studio even more funny and comfortable.
We still play the song „Children of violence“ from that demotape live! It´s actually one of the first really heavy songs we wrote but it´s still fun playing it! We´ll probably realease it on some kind of special edition or something like that in the future. We also recorded the song Deviance again on Violent Demolition and had Derrick Green from Sepultura doing guest vocals on that!
What was the response to the demo like and did you send the demo out to many record companies? How did you end up hooking up with Napalm Records?
The demo was just the first step and to have something to give away after our live shows. The feedback back then was very positive which led us to record Violent Demolition on our own financial risk in 2011. After that, we went out to search for a record label with the brand new album and our demo tape in our hands and finally got the attention from Napalm Records. We are very happy to be able to work with them, as far as it opened a lot of gates for us and they are great people to work with!
How did you come up with the name of the band and was many other names thrown around? For somebody that has never heard the band, what would you describe the sound of the band and do you feel you’re an original band?
Before we put out our first demotape we had a pretty silly German band name and we were looking for a new one. Someone of us just came up with Dust Bolt which we really liked and we just chose it because it sounded and looked cool and we kind of liked the idea of having a specific name that has not a certain meaning yet. We definitely play old school Thrash Metal but put it in a new and more modern context, with new young energy. I´d say the Thrash Metal movement from the 80ies and early 90ies build the framework for our music, but we do it in our own way, now in 2014. Apart from Thrash Metal attack, Dust Bolt definitely defines by its songs and hooks that also contain melody and unique rythmwork.
Now in 2012, you recorded and released “Violent Demolition”. How did you come up with the artwork and the name of the this release? Looking back what are your thoughts on this release and are you happy with it and was the band at all nervous going into the studio to record an actual album?
We recorded our debut Violent Demolition in 2011 and financed it on our own. Then we looked for a record label and got a deal with Napalm Records fortunately. The songs for that album have been written the two years before we recorded them and we also played them live for a certain time at that point. Violent Abolition and Toxic Attack, the songs we also released official videos for, were the only complete new songs when we went into the studio back then. The reactions for the album have been great and better than we ever expected! It was a really good and new feeling to come to shows and have people knowing your album and your songs when you play them and we were really stoked that it we also got so much international feedback! Violent demolition was about the demolition humanity causes to the earth in general, and on their own. But it also was meant to describe the energy of our music. The artwork was by Andrei Bouzikov who also did the artwork for Awake the riot now! We wanted something that stands out from all the other releases and get people´s attention with it. We definitely were a bit nervous, but also very focused on what we wanted to achieve with the record, and we are still happy with it!
At this point was the band playing many live shows? Who have you shared the stage with so far as a band? What has been your favorite live show and do you think you’re a good live band hand have you done many cover songs live at all? Are there any live video clips of the band up on say You Tube at all?
Yes there are many live clips on the internet! We also have an official video fot Toxic Attack with live footage. We actually played our asses off since the beginning of the band and especially since Violent Demolition. We try to do shows every weekend and have some tours and festivals each year. So we already played shows like Wacken, Metalcamp, Beastival and many more just to name a few. We had a European tour with Six Feet Under in 2011, a small tour with Obituary in 2012, a European tour with Heathen and Generation Kill and a Germany tour with Dr.Living dead in 2013 and played lots of other shows of course.
In early 2013 you appeared on a Tribute to Metallica release called “Jump In The Fire”. Who put this out and what song did you do by Metallica? How did you end up on this release and do you like the job that you did and what were some of the other bands on this release?
It was a Metal Hammer anniversary Tribute CD for Kill em all, with all kinds of bands that covered a Kill em all song. They only were searching for somebody doing Jump in the fire and asked us. We had some time left to do it and Jump in the fire was one of the first songs I played on electric guitar so we decided to do it and we had lots of fun doing it!
You currently have a new album out on Napalm Records called ‘Awake the Riot”. Why did you decide to call it that and how did the artwork for this release and how tough or easy was it to write songs for this release?
Awake the riot arose from two streamings. On the one hand it is about spreading the feeling of a new generation and a critical mass, that won´t just accept everything, whether coming from politics, economy or human relations in general, as blind followers but raise their voices again. The album also contains lots of personal background and we wanted to express a feeling of confidence and that each one of us is able to change something to the better and to say what he thinks instead of following all our selfmade chains and living closemouthed. We wanted to give people an impulse to awake and maybe to start questioning established systems and concepts again. Apart from that it was just a feeling we had when we wrote the songs. We were really hungry to write new songs and bring the band to the next level and compose a good album and we wanted the people to know that a new generation of Thrash metal awoke. That´s why we came up with Awake the riot and it totally fitted.
Concerning the artwork we just wanted to have a old school painted cover artwork again, that expresses the atmosphere of the album and the title. It was kind of a collaboration between Andrei Bouzikov and us. Of course we told him specific things we wanted to have included in the artwork and we also told him what the whole album and its content was about but he actually came up with most of the stuff for the artwork and we really love it!
We went back to the same studio where we already recorded our debut and worked with the same people again! For us it is important to be able to trust the people we work with during the musical process. We all had the aim to make this record way better than the first one. We as a band also developed in a musical and technical way and we really wanted the sound to deliver that. And I think it is way more detailed and defined. You can hear everything each instrument is playing at any time. So we actually worked in the same way we did as for Violent Demolition, but we just worked harder, tried and experimented more often and had an even better relation to our sound engineers which made working on the record a very very good time. We really enjoyed the time being in the studio and we had lots of fun together, although we worked really hard to keep the time schedule
How has the response been to the new album as I think it is simply amazing?
The response has been great so far!! We are really stoked about all the feedback we get, especially from fans all over the world that write us and come to our shows! We are really really happy and thankful about that! It´s a very good feeling to have your music inspiring or touching other people in some way!
Do you hope to do some type of tour for this release and would the band love to come play in the US one day even if it just a festival type of gig?
We do shows every weekend for this year as headliner in small clubs and some festivals in central Europe for the greatest part. We´ll have a European Tour in early 2015, but I can´t tell details on this one yet. We are also planning to come to the US next year, yeah definitely!! It would be a dream come true.
How is the scene over in Germany these days and what sort of fan base do you have there?
The scene is great!! I think you have a very good kind of musical infastructure in Germany with many Festivals and great clubs to play and lots of metal fans. Our crowd contains Thrash metal fans, some who also experienced the old school times but also many young kids that explored Thrash Metal, just as we are actually. But we also have some people coming from the crossover or hardcore scene which is really fuckin cool! I´m also a big fan of hardcore punk on my own! It sometimes depends on the area you play but in general it´s always mixed and that´s a thing that makes it very very interesting!
Take me through how a song is written and what has been the toughest song you wrote so far and who does the song writing and the lyric writing for the band?
We do most of the stuff at home actually when it comes to songwriting. Me and Flo we are writing guitar riffs and often also complete song structures and then we show our ideas to each other and often combine stuff. After that we show it to the others and go into the rehearsal room with that and start practising and experimenting with the songs and the riffs until everyone is content and we have the final version.
I do the lyrics on my own, I could never sing about something I can´t identify with. But I´m often talking with the other guys about the lyrics of course. The heaviest song in my opinion was Distant scream from the new album. I had lots of the parts of the song already written a long time ago and I really connect a lot of feelings with the song. I wasn´t sure about releasing and finishing it for a long time but some happenings made me doing it. I wanted every note on this one to be perfect, as far as the song really describes my personality or at least a certain time for me. So this was a bit exhausting sometimes because I put lots of pressure on my own but we finally managed to bring on tape what was on my mind and I´m totally content with it.
Around how much time in any week is spent doing band related things?
It´s hard to name a certain amount of time, as far as a musician´s mind is always spinning and never stopping doing something or thinking of something. So from that point of view even a newcomer band like Dust Bolt is a 24/7 thing if you do it with 100 percent passion. Apart from that there´s also so much work aside the musical aspects, which takes lot of time so that I often don´t even have time to pick up the guitar and play music. Especially in the time period of the new release it´s pretty hard, as far as everyone of us has to make his living,too because we can´t live from the music and are not even close to that. But to get an impression I would say there´s about 3-4 hours discreet work each day that I spent for Dust Bolt without rehearsal or practising or stuff like that.
Tell me a bit about each band member.
I, Lenny, am playing guitars and doing vocals for Dust Bolt. I started this band together with Bene when we were twelve or thirteen years old and went to school together. I grew up in a musician´s family and was always surrounded by music, but actually not by rock or metal music haha. I explored that on my own and really fell in love with Metal music which is really my passion. But I´m also listening to lots of other music styles and I even went to a Jazz Guitar school for some months for example. I really like to play different styles of music together with friends and improvise but metal is my number one favourite of course, although I´m also a big fan of oldschool hardcorepunk music, as long as it is fast, it´s just good haha ;-)
Florian, the oldest one in the band (22), is our other guitar player. He grew up listening to 70ies Metal and Hardrock and he kind of introduced me into stuff like Rainbow and Scorpions which he´s really into. When he joined the band our music became heavier back then, because he was kind of the first one bringing fast Thrash riffs into the band. He is a great guy to work with and he always comes up with lots of cool riffs and songs that work great when we put our ideas together! Apart from the musical side he is nearly unbeatable in drinking! Nobody was able to get him down so far..
Bene, our bass player, is in the band since the very beginning. He started playing bass with joining the band and really explored a passion in that. He is a real show guy and totally funny and acting like a maniac on stage. Although he is seeming to be the most angry guy sometimes he´s probably the nicest person on earth and studying to become a teacher haha ;-) Musically he listenes to all different kinds of music and of course to lot of groovy and funky stuff, where the bass is the most important. He is a great musician when it comes to rythm, jamming and learning quickly! We often jam together after rehearsal for example.
Nico, our drummer, is a crazy guy who joined the band one year after the foundation. It was really cool for me at that time to find another guy being a total metal maniac at that point. The funny thing is that he was also playing in an orchestra as a percussionist at that time and they even made it to the United states. He is living in the same town as I do and we always hang out together actually every day and play music and do some fun music projects, too!
What are some of the best live bands you have seen so far in your lives?
Going to concerts is a hobby for me and I have seen so many bands live already. Highlight would definitely be Judas Priest in 2011, Iron Maiden, Pearl Jam and Suicidal Tendencies (just to name a few, there would be way more of course!!)
How has it been working for Napalm Records and do you feel you have been treated pretty fairly so far?
To work with them is great and we are really thankful about it.The treat us very well! They are always were excited about our ideas and they really let us do all things the way we want to do it! We have a very good relationship and everybody always knows everything that´s going on around Dust Bolt. They didn´t want to change or form us in any way, but always pushed our identity and the way we are!
Does the band have any goals for yourselves?
Please plug any websites or merchandise you have.
We do most of the stuff on Facebook.com/dustbolt but we´ll have a normal homepage up soon!
For merch you have to go to www.dustboltmerchandise.bigcartel.com or the Napalm Records shop!
Any last words and horns up for the interview?
Thank you very much for the interest and the interview and we really hope to see you all soon at our live shows!! Until then check out our new record Awake the riot , take care and mosh things up!! ;)) Cheers and thank you , Lenny
Interviewed by Chris Forbes