Dust Biters is a Chicago-based indie alternative 4-piece post-hardcore metal band who savage the speakers with a spellbinding reaction on each one of their heavy tracks. They speak to us about, coffee, risk-taking, Progeny and much more.
Hello there Dust Biters. We appreciate you having a chat with us today. Where in the world are you located as we speak and what did you all have for breakfast?
Dust Biters: Hi! We’re from Chicago. We’ve all had lots of coffee and need more.
Let’s start at the beginning. Where/how/when did the band start and who are the current members?
Dust Biters: Nick Miller and Nick Kinsley actually met back in high school in Michigan. Kinsley was a fan of Miller’s technical metal band, Flesh and Blood Robot. They became friends and started writing music for a new project. Kinsley ended up moving to Chicago and Miller ended up moving to Pittsburgh, but a decade or so later Miller relocated to Chicago and convinced Kinsley to pick up the guitar again. They started writing 80’s hair metal riffs on Miller’s couch which became the foundation for the songs “Unholy Gospel” and “Creature Man”. Initially, the idea of the band was to write songs that were straightforward 3-chord punk and rock, but that didn’t last very long. Nick Miller and Tommy van Arsdale were colleagues and had talked ad nauseam about music and Tommy’s previous bands in which he played drums, guitar, and piano. Miller asked Tommy to session with them on drums and the three booked time at a studio in Chicago. It became clear after the first session that this was something to pursue, so they found a permanent rehearsal space and began practicing as a trio. Bryan Fonseca joined Kinsley’s work, and again through the serendipity of talking about music learned that Kinsley was looking for a bass player for the new project. Bryan, traditionally a guitarist, was quick to pick up the bass and learn the parts. Bryan’s personality fit seamlessly with the group so we decided to move forward and thus Dust Biters was formed.
Please let us more about your latest single Progeny and the vision behind the release.
Dust Biters: “Progeny” is a song Nick Kinsley wrote about his kids. It’s a song about redemption, forgiveness, and growth. We just released a companion music video, and in contrast, the narrative revolves around a narcissistic cult leader who grows tired of the perpetual, blind worship of his harem and secretly poisons them in a final move of selfishness and desperation to start a new existence. You can watch it on our YouTube channel now.
Guilt is the name of your new 12-track album. Please guide us into the process of completing the project in the way you wanted.
Dust Biters: The first and most important step to getting Guilt recorded was finding an engineer that understood our songs and the goal for our sound because we didn’t really know what we were trying to do. Once Alex Lackner (Accelerated Sound Studios, Lazarus AD) was signed on to engineer the record, it was full steam ahead. We tracked a majority of the record in our studio while the vocals and finishing touches were recorded at Alex’s studio. We spent a lot of time getting the mix right. Guilt is a record that we are very proud of and we’re excited that people are responding so positively to it.
What’s an important piece of advice you’d recommend to anyone working in the music industry?
Dust Biters: Be genuine and ruthless with your art. Take creative risks. Embrace limitations. Practice consistently. Make real connections and support others. Seek feedback and consider all forms of criticism. In 2023, writing good music is only half of the work to get noticed. Be ready to put yourself out there.
What is the vibe like at the local underground music venues in your local area after all the closures previously due to COVID?
Dust Biters: We’re lucky. Chicago has a great, supportive local scene and awesome venues like Empty Bottle, Live Wire, The Burlington, Liar’s Club, Cobra Lounge, and Reggie’s which thankfully all weathered Covid. Like many of our friends, we spent the majority of lockdown writing and practicing so that when it became safer and venues began opening up, we were hungry and prepared to get on stages and play live.
Last, if you could tour with any band in the world, who would it be and why?
Dust Biters: Ha! I think we would all answer this differently, and I don’t think we could decide on just one without a lengthy debate, but if we had to name two bands it would be Glassjaw and a resurrected Every Time I Die.
Interview by Llewelyn Screen