Tue, 05 Aug 2014 09:36:08
Starset take hard rock into outer space with Transmissions. The group's debut is an artfully crafted and expertly woven narrative of epic proportions blasting off on energetic guitars, entrancing electronics, and booming percussion. It's unlike anything out there—living on a planet of its own. That's what makes the album so refreshing and ultimately thrilling.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Dustin of Starset talks Transmissions, his influences, and so much more.
What threads Transmissions together for you?
People started calling the sound, "cinematic rock". I totally dig that moniker. I set out to create a rock soundtrack to a sci-fi blockbuster movie. I definitely wanted it to be one piece. It all comes back to our overarching movement with "The Starset Society". This is sort of a soundtrack to that. I really wanted to thread the songs together into a whole album using the different cinematic interludes. I was hoping to make a full record. In today's world, people are very singles-driven.
What's the story behind "Rise and Fall"?
Much like the rest of the album, that song is about overcoming. There are different elements that I allude to overcoming whether they be love lost or resistances to what you're trying to achieve. It takes on more of a political stance in my own head in terms of the larger "Starset Society".
Where did "Dark On Me" come from?
By the way, there will be a lot more information on "The Starset Society" with a novelized report that's over 300 pages. You'll see how many of these songs tie into that. There's the story of Thomas who actually brought the message to "The Starset Society". His life story is incorporated into this record. It's definitely in "Dark On Me". Obviously, I wasn't able to keep my own self out of it. These songs are inspired directly or indirectly by my own experiences. That's a song about love lost and losing someone at an inopportune time or a place that makes it even more painful. It's a surprise loss. I think everyone has experienced that—not just Thomas or me. Most people can relate to it.
Elaborate about Thomas...
He provided the message to the "Starset Society". We're going to have print-outs of the graphic novelized account of it at our shows soon.
What artists shaped you?
It really runs the gamut. Metallica is who made me want to be in a rock band. I feel in love with Weezer's The Blue Album when I was a kid. That made me want to write songs. My mom got me into music. She was big into Phil Collins and Michael Jackson. Then, I discovered grunge music and Metallica. From there, I became obsessed. My bedroom quickly turned into a "rock room" of pure annoyance for my parents after that [Laughs]. I'd just jam out on the drums and go work on my college.
What influences you outside of music?
I directly or indirectly drew from rock influences like Deftones, Muse, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and Breaking Benjamin. The cinematic style is inspired by Hans Zimmer and Sigur Rós. I was also drawing from electronic acts I like such as Nine Inch Nails and Owl City. That created some of the dichotomy on the record. In terms of novels, I'm a huge Stephen King fan. I just finished Doctor Sleep his sequel to The Shining. I'm really big into him. There are other sci-fi writers as well as Michael Crichton. I get every Stephen King novel that comes out. I'm into everything Philip K. Dick has written. My favorite director would have to Stanley Kubrick.
Have you heard Starset yet?