Interview with Ground to Dust

Ground To Dust!!!

Dj Rex catches up with the freshest thing on New Englands alternative circuit – Ground to Dust .. heres what they had to say for themselves!!

Tell me about the journey to become Ground To Dust…
I’d been making music on my own for years, a sort of blend of electronic, pop, ambient, rock, Industrial, etc. and wanted to do a project where I focused more on the edgy Industrial/ebm stuff that I enjoyed listening to. Ground To Dust was just an idea that sat in the back of my head for months before it all fell together in a couple days.
Not long after I passed a copy of the EP to a local DJ with the intent of getting some tips and feedback, but it wound up getting my music out there, and made way for everything that’s happened since. Club play, shows, a singer, an album. Things that I once thought of as ‘one day’ are now happening. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.

What music are you listening to right now? Apart from your own.
Probably the two artists I’ve listened to the most over the last couple weeks are Tactical Sekt and Saul Williams. I don’t know how well those two mix. I’ve also been enjoying Aesthetic Perfection and Cybo lately.

Do you like to sing in the shower?
I only sing in the car, and then its either older VNV, God Lives Underwater, or I attempt to sing Rammstein phonetically. I should never do that with anyone who actually speaks German.

What genre of music do you consider your work to be and who would you say are your major influences?
When I have to, I guess I call it aggressive synth-pop, but I don’t find that accurate. I try to avoid the labels, not for the usual “don’t label/pigeonhole me” reasons, but I just find that they mean different things to people , and I haven’t yet found one that I feel aptly describes my work.

Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode have been big influences for me over the years, being able to mix a good “Song” with music that is creative and engaging. Then there are acts like Download and Juno Reactor that do engaging instrumental excursions, that I try to offset with VAST and bands that do just straight ahead songs. I’m fascinated by Einsturzende Neubauten and how well they walk the line between.

Whats the most embarrassing single or album you own?
They’re probably in storage somewhere but I have both Too Legit To Quit and Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em by MC Hammer. And boy, did I love them at the time.

How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
Leanne and I met a couple years back, as a friend of a friend. I would see her around from time to time, had forgotten her name, and I don’t think I even knew she sang. The weekend before we held auditions I got a Myspace add request from her to the band, I believed ‘just because’, and I checked her out. I saw she was (or had been) in a band, and took a listen. At the time I remember thinking “wouldn’t it be funny if she tried out?” And then a couple days later she walked into the audition. That was about 9 months ago. We had a show already booked to open for Seabound and De/Vision, and she officially joined 9 days before the show. She was able to get ready in time and we did our best show to date.

What can you tell me about your instruments? (i.e., are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever’s available? If you?? What made you choose the instruments you have now?
I’m a software guy. I don’t like hardware instruments at all. I’ve had a long history with several Propellerhead products (ReBirth, Reason, Recycle), and more recently have gotten deeply into Native Instruments (Reaktor, Massive, FM8, Absynth). I’m the sort of person that likes having one stop for all my needs, rather than this product over here from this company, and then something over there from that one.

That said, sometimes when you talk shop with other artists, they can point you to something obscure that is worth it. One of the guys from Colony 5 told me about uTonic from Sonic Charge, a drum synth that I’m glad to have picked up.

Which songs do you perform most frequently?
‘Digging My Way Out’ and ‘Separate’ have been pretty popular in the clubs, so I like to throw those in the set to help connect the dots for an audience. They can be enjoying a set of things they’ve never heard, maybe not fully aware who we are, and then they here something and have an “A-ha” moment of recognition. Our new track ‘DeViate’ has worked pretty well live, so that will be in our shows often going forward.

Do you ever play any covers and if you do, what made you choose that particular track to cover?
We haven’t done any covers yet, but will. I think there’s a right way to do a cover, by keeping enough of the original to be familiar, but doing it differently enough to make it your own. I haven’t found a track yet where I’ve been able to find that balance and make something of quality, so we’ve held off.
One day I really want to do “Everything’s Cool” by Pop Will Eat Itself.

Who writes your songs?
So far I’ve written all the music and Leanne has written the lyrics. Those are each our strengths, but I like to think that there’s more a of a gray area between than a strict line. When a good idea comes along, it doesn’t matter whose it is, so in the future I hope we’ll each make some contributions to both sides.

Could you briefly describe the music-making process?
I basically just throw random ideas at the proverbial wall and see what sticks. Sometimes its a drum beat or a loop, other times its a bassline or a chord progression. Then I flesh it out into the rough section, either a verse or chorus and get a sense for what the song is going to be like. Is it fast and sharp, or is it slow and round? Crowded or open?
Once I have a solid start together, I start to map out the arrangement of the song, spin off other sections, etc. until I have a version of the track that estimates a beginning, middle, and end.
This is where the development of lyrics would come in, along with associated melodies.

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a CD?
We will have an album out this fall, certainly available at shows and on iTunes, eMusic and Amazon. There is already an EP of instrumentals up on those sites. There are also some clips and songs available on our Myspace page
We’re still working on the Website, but hope to have some songs available to listen to there as well.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge for giving you support over the years?
All the DJs in the Boston and New England scene have embraced the project from the start and been very supportive. We wouldn’t be here without their help. DJ Mothra specifically has done a lot to get people listening, get us on stage, and to spread the word to other DJs. Amy from Gothic Maine  has also done a lot. The Ungodly Hour (RIP) was very awesome and gave us some airplay too.

Ok, some silly questions –
On line or real shops??
Clothes: Real Shops
Everything else: Online

What is the one, single food that you would never give up?
Barring developing lactose intolerance, cheese.

What do you dream about?
Losing teeth, buildings falling over, being inside video games. Strangest thing a fan has ever told you
Just having fans is strange to me.

What scares you the most and why?
Being wrong, because every choice is permanent.

Do you scream on roller coasters?
If you got me on a rollercoaster, I probably will already be screaming.

Do you like rainy days or snowy winter, summer days or spring time?
Fall and spring (at that point where you can’t tell which it is), crisp, slightly breezy, where your light jacket just barely misses keeping you warm. At about 9 am.

What makes you bored?
Most of the conversations I hear on the train/subway.