Hi there, thank you for taking the time to talk to Metal On Loud Magazine, how is the festival season working out for you, I saw you play a lot of festival shows this year!
Hey man! Yeah we are doing quite many festivals this year and we´re actually on the road right now. The festivals are working out brilliant! Really, I´m totally excited how people react to our shows and to the new songs, It was absolutely mindblowing sometimes! Two weeks ago on the release date of Mass Confusion we played even two festivals on one day. Lots of driving and barely possibilities to sleep properly at the moment but it´s really fun!
Your rise to glory actually got a great boost from the Wacken festival. How do you look back at the Metal Battle of 2011?
Honestly I would not give too much credits to the Wacken Metal Battle thing personally. I mean, of course – it was a great step for us back then especially as we were 17 and 18 years old. We won the German metal battle competition and went to play Wacken then. I think we really sucked at that show haha because we played way too fast as we were nervous as fuck. But it was a great experience and the first time for us to play a festival stage like this. But the good thing of course was that people got to know about Dust Bolt and that we could get record labels´ attention. We finally recorded our first album on our own risk right afterwards and luckily Napalm Records liked the stuff we do. In the end it´s hard work and good music that brings a band forward.
What was the most fun festival to play so far?
Puh that´s a hard question.. We really enjoy every festival and I also really like the small familiar ones. But Hellfest in France of course was unbelievable. It´s the best festival I´ve ever been to in that size with the best line up one could imagine. The great thing about Hellfest was, that as a smaller band you though have the possibilitxy to hang out in the same artist area as the headliners do, you can go to the mainstage to watch your favourite bands from sidestage .. I mean, we met Anthrax and watched their show from the side. A little boy´s dream came true in that moment haha. Another I´d like to mention was Devilstone Festival in Lithuania. Great and supernice people, awesome nature and the most beautiful festival I´ve ever seen.,
Do your setlists differ on a festival from the setlists of a regular show?
Yes of course! On festival show you always have ot reduce your set to 45 minutes or sometimes even less, sometimes more.When we play a headlining show we like to play 75-80 minutes. But we change our setlists nearly every show anyway! At least a little bit. I don´t want to play the excact same show twice. I think people feel if you just „push the play button“ and do what you did several nights before. We want to make every show something special and unique.
For the ones that don’t know you yet, how would you describe the band Dust Bolt?
Young, energetic, angry and powerful. The new generation of old school metal music.
What would you say makes you stand out in the Thrash scene?
I think the personality. And the music is a result from our personalities. We are four best friends who started that band as little kids and we´re still together doing what we love and we are as hungry as no one can imagine. We do not pretend to be anything, we just are who we are – and we live it together every single day.
Right from the start you already performed with quite the big names in the Metal world. Sepultura, Napalm Death. Were you just lucky, are you that well connected, or was it all hard work to make those things happen??
I think luck is a result of hard work. If you work hard enough and do things for the right reason and with 100 passion and ambition, things will work out somehow and you´ll be lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Back then we were reeeally young. The first time we played with Sepultura I was 15 years old, so I don´t know if you can already speak about hard work haha. But since we started the band we rehearsed constantly and pushed ourselves every single time to get better and better by time, Luckily we met Markus, who became a friend of the band over the years. He helped us getting slots as support acts so we could play in front of bigger audiences and start growing a fanbase in our home area. To sum it up – I think it´s a mixture of both, but luck comes naturally if you reall work hard.
You are well known for your high energy live performances. How would you describe a Dust Bolt show?
Pure fuckin riot.
You just released your new record: Mass Confusion. What can you tell us about this new release?
We are really happy that the album is released now. I never put that many efforts and work in anything I did in my life. We are still in the growing process as musicians and humans but we learned a lot in the last years. We found the power and our own way to put that into the songs. I think everybody has such a strong relation to each song which really makes it an experience everytime we play them.
This already marks your third full length release. How do you feel this album differs from the previous two?
Well, I think you can hear that we grew up. It´s full of young spirit and youth, but somehow we grew up a little up. Now we exactly know what we want and what we do not want. We experience so much intrest in art in general over the last two years and build a kind of creative collective that writing the album was so much fun. Most of the songs were even jammed in rehearsal room. We didn´t plan, but just let things happen. I think that´s a major difference from the previous two.
I get a real anthrax like vibe from your sound on the opening track on this album, sick x brain. What are your influences at the moment?
Haha, cool man! Of course still all the US Thrash bands from the 80ies and early nineties. But we listen to so much music in general. All genres. As long as it´s passionate and real. But something we listened to way more intense the last two years was hardcore punk and crossover stuff such as Suicidal, Uncle Slam or Excel. Trash Talk would be a newer band that inspired me a lot. Especially when it comes to lyrics.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the intro on the song Allergy. I almost expected a ballad!
Haha. I also play lots of different other guitar styles next to Dust Bolt. The intro for Allergy is something I came up with on the acoustic. I think it´s quite mystical and builds a great contrast to everything that follows up later in the song. But the theme of the intro is repeated in the middle part of the song, just with a few harmonies that change. But the song Exit on the album actually is close to a „ballad“ . At least that´s what people call it all the time haha.
Where do you find your inspiration usually when writing songs, how does your creative process work as a band?
As I said, we don´t plan anything. If you are a creative person ideas come to your mind all the time and you sometimes lose control. But that´s excactly what you have to do in that moment. Let go all control and just let things happen. That´s what we did when we went into the rehearsal room every night jamming together. In all different moods and states. For example, I knew lots of people would be upset by the track Exit because it´s something the didn´t expect or even didn´t want to hear.
The artwork on your latest album, Mass confusion, somehow really reminds me of the album art for Testament’s Practice What You Preach album, was this intentional??
Not really. The thing we had in mind was to continue with the style of the first two albums and make the trilogy complete. That´s why there´s the main character in the middle of the picture again. What we wanted was the contrast to the other empty faces standing around him and the wide panorama which creates some kind of mystic. The character gets hit by lightening, struggling, but full of energy.
Who did the artwork, it looks great!
It was once again made by Andrei Bouzikov! He also worked with Municipal Waste, Violator and several other great bands. He just easy and great to work with and we love his style. I would never want a computer animated cover artwork or something like that. I really love Andrei´s paintings and the way he combines bright and crazy colours with horrific content.
You originally started out under the name Die Letzten (the last ones) playing mainly punk covers. How much of that original punk spirit would you say you still have in you today?
Hahahah oh my god.. that´s long ago..haha. Well I think we still have lots of that punk spririt, totally! One of us always goes into the crowd for as song during the set, we don´t have any podiums to stand on top and pose., we get the audience on stage to go crazy with us... I mean we still travel in our fucked up van on our own and want to continue that way, because that´s all we ever wanted. A bunch of best friends travelling around and playing music, that´s what it´s about. I hate bands that´s behave like rockstars though they´re not. Just because you stand on a stage it doesn´t mean your any shit better then anyone in the crowd. We are all music lovers and want to have a good time going crazy to our favourite music. Therefore you need no barriers, borders or anything like that. I sometimes feel many metal bands forgot about that.
What triggered the switch to classic bay-area style thrash metal?
It just came naturally and wasn´t really intentional. I mean, the whole punk cover thing was in the VERY beginning. This was the first time we took our instruments in our hands. We couldn´t play shit and just jumped around all the time. By time we were introduced to heavier music and finally we explored Slayer. Suddenly we started practising, our music became fast and aggressive and we turned out playing Thrash Metal.
Are there other influences of styles in your music as well?
Of course! We´re music lovers. Music, or art in general shouldn´t have any boundaries or categorizations. I mean, music is a expression of feelings and emotions and you can´t categorize feelings. We are not afraid to deal with other styles.. Me personally, I´m totally into Blues and also some Jazz next to all different styles of Rock and punk music. We live together in a apartment full of musicians and we jam nearly every day. The intro for Portraits of decay was jammed totally drunk in the middle of the night in our living room with E-drums and an acoustic.
If you were to ask to do an unexpected cover today from a non-thrash band, which song would you pick and why?
Oh haha.. that´s pretty hard.. there´d be lots of thing coming into my mind.. Let´s try this: My brain is hanging upside down by The Ramones, Stoned and Starving by Parquet Courts or Intoxicated by Obituary.
You were featured on the Kill ‘em All tribute released by Metal Hammer in 2013, playing Metallica’s Jump In The Fire. How big an inspiration was this iconic album for you guys?
Really big! I remember, my friend Jimi who is guitar player in Toxic Waltz showed me that album. He was the first one with an own car. So we drove 5 people in his fucked up car listening to kill em all while singing every word and headbanging out of the window haha. In some ways this album is the definition of metal to me. It´s full of youth, anger and garage-sounding punk attitude - I love it.
Is Metallica overall a big influence on you? How do you look at their more recent work?
It definitely was and somehow still is of course! The first four Metallica albums made me start to practice guitar like crazy as a kid. The songs and the riffs on that albums are just unreachable. I think they probably just were the best band at that time. I can´t tell how often we watched the 89´Seattle concert. Sometimes even three times in a row. But honestly I don´t dig their recent work. I saw them live 2011 and I was totally disappointed. It has nothing to do with their old garage band, fucked up punky spirit they had. For me, they defined metal, but maybe now the just should stop.
If you look at the current Thrash metal scene, which bands out there do you identify with the most?
There are some! My favourite would probably be Warbringer or Violator. They put out great albums and somehow initiated the revival of Thrash Metal few years ago. Dr Living Dead who are friends of us, would also be one!
Are there any bands out there that you think don’t get the recognition they deserve?
Yes. Too many actually. But there also some bands that do not have the recognition yet but where I´m sure they´ll get it some day ! We´ve actually some good bands coming from Germany now such as Pripjat, Toxic Waltz or Battlecreek (just to name a few). I hope all of them will have a bright future.
You seem to have a great relation with Metal Hammer! You were on the Kill ‘em All tribute released by them, but earlier in 2010 your first demo “Chaos Possession” was already demo of the month in their magazine. How did you land on their radar?
When we started as a band and playing support shows, Metal Hammer Germany was still located in Munich. All their people hung out at the same venues to watch shows as we did. With the demo, it was quite the old school way. We just ran to the chief Editor (who later one became a close friend of the band) and gave him our demo tape and hoped for the best haha.
How important have they been in your career?
Being Demo of the Month with our first release surely was really important at that time. It was the first time people outside of Munich got aware of a band named Dust Bolt. And we had great times on festivals hanging out at the Metal Hammer booth drinking beer ;).
When you search for the band on the internet, it seems most of the information you find originates in Germany. How are the plans for world domination taking shape?
We´ll we just released the album and so on we will tour Germany first of all. But we also have shows set up for Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Spain and few other countries. We still manage lots of things on our own, so we are just waiting for the right possibilities to go further in foreign countries. But I´ll promise world domination with Mass Confusion within the next 2 years! ;)
Being founded in 2006, this year is your 10th anniversary. To stay in thrash terms, it marks your Decade of Aggression. How do you look back at 10 years of Dust Bolt, can you believe it’s already been this long?
In some ways yes, in some ways no. I mean, we are still exactly the same four kids. Sometimes we wonder and ask ourselves „would we have ever thought to be a touring band someday?“ haha. But Dust Bolt has always been a band of friendship for us. It´s something we are working on and putting so much effort and energy into it since years now – but for one reason – because we love doing it. We are really thankful for the times and experiences we had and especially for all the wonderful people we got to know. And there´s still more to come.
What’s your favorite band related memory so far?
Hugging and holding each others while crying as it was the end of the tour and I didn´t want to get back home at that time.
What’s on the wish list for the next decade?
That our van won´t break down too early and a string endorsement, so we do not need to spend all our money on strings and cables all the time haha.
What will the rest of the year look like for Dust Bolt, what happens after festival season?
We start touring clubs in September and will be doing that until the end of the year. We only can play at the weekends from Thursday on, because everybody of us has to make his living the other days. We´ll tour Germany and a few other great countries. But we also plan a nightliner tour as support act fpor 2017 through hole Europe.
Any last words for our readers?
Thank you for reading, see you all soon. Realize your dreams, even if there´s people telling you it can´t be done. Show them you can. Cheers!