Readers Sound Off: Ov Dust
Sometimes our readers send us their music and sometimes we want to talk about it! Today we’re listening to Ov Dust.
Based out of New York state, Ov Dust have been creating raw thrashy metal since 2008. Their latest album Crushing the American Christ will make you feel grimy in a very good way. My favorite track is “Scourge of the Unwashed” – I highly recommend you check it out.
I had a chance to ask a few questions of Ov Dust drummer Dario Sixsix. Listen to Crushing the American Christ and read the interview below.
Who are some of your influences? Who is the most exciting current band in metal?
Our personal influences are very wide. I mentioned a few non-metal influences above and metal wise they run the gamut. We like bands from most every metal genre: thrash/power/death/melodic/
As for current bands? Man, there are so many good bands out there. I’ve heard a few new ones I really like right on The Toilet: Tempel, Hexer, Emptiness. I’ve also really been into Vhol and Deafheaven recently. There’s a couple bands from western NY that are outstanding as well: Cain, Vile Tyrant, and of course Enthauptung, who really impress me as a band that hits its mark perfectly.
Your latest record “Crushing the American Christ” was recorded and engineered by NYHC legend Don Fury. I can hear similarities in the recording to some of Don’s classic material like “New York Crew” by Judge. This is definitely a metal record but are you influenced by hardcore?
That’s a very interesting question and not as easy as you’d expect to answer! First off Don Fury: He is absolutely a NYHC legend, being one of the pioneers of the scene, recording and producing all those classic records and bands. It’s astounding to see the catalog of records he has been involved with and to walk into his place and see some of the posters/artwork/records he has produced over the years. Of course, he is also really down to earth and cool to talk to. He doesn’t act at all like the legend he is. He’s a class act and great producer to work with. What a lot of people don’t know is he also has a huge volume of work outside of NYHC as well. Rock/Alternative/punk/etc etc etc. Even bands like Warriorsoul have worked with Don. He has a well rounded resume. The one constant in Don, and the main reason we work with him, is he has an ability to hear what a band should sound like; what sound you, as the musician, are looking for. He can hear it and he works to get you there, and be the best that you can be while doing it. You can hear his influence across all his records, but none of his records sound alike. The drum sounds, guitar/bass sounds, vox, they all have their own characteristics. One of the things that was important for us was for OV DUST to sound like OV DUST. We all work hard to develop our individual and unique voices through our instruments, and Don hears it and very effectively captures that aspect. In the past we’ve worked with producers that will try to craft your sound into THEIR sound, and as a result every record of theirs sounds the same. It was really important for us NOT to do that. Also, Don’s studio is old skool. He doesn’t do a lot of over-producing. There is no Pro Tools, grid mapping, excessive compression, click tracks, overdubs, or any of that. It’s very much a raw, analog-esqe recording experience. Obviously metal is a very, very wide genre and those techniques work for a lot of bands playing different styles, but for us, we strive for a balance between the stripped down, raw, *necro* type sound and clear sharp instrumentation, and there’s no one better than Don for that.
Which leads us to the question of hardcore influence. D. is def a huge fan of NYHC. He loves all those bands: Sheer Terror, Sick of It All, etc etc etc. I myself am not such a big fan of that type of hardcore, but I do like a lot of older crossover hardcore: D.R.I., C.O.C., Cryptic Slaughter, etc. That said, D and I don’t explicitly try to bring any of those influences into our music. When we write, we really just write what feels the best. The only broad direction we strive for is a blackish/thrash blend. But it is a wide target and we dont try to mold anything we do into any particular narrow path. From time to time you can hear different influences here and there, but it’s more of an organic effect, rather than intentional insertion.
How did the band get started?
Ov Dust was formed by guitarist D. Von Staub and myself in winter of 2008. He had approached me about playing some drum tracks on a solo project he was working on. At the time I was just starting a Celtic Frost tribute band (just for some fun/nostalgia and def provoked by the release of the awesome Monotheist album) with another guitarist from the remnants of a former band that had just dissolved. I brought D. in and we shifted away from covers and started writing new material as Ov Dust, which was the name of D’s solo project. We never did work on or record any of the original demos he had, although we continue to play Dethroned Emperor (which we also recorded) as part of our live set.
We went on to record a 3 song demo as a three piece with D. and the second guitarist sharing vocals and bass duties in the studio. Shortly thereafter we attempted to bring in a couple friends to round out a live lineup and played a handful of shows before D. and I realized we were not moving in the direction we wanted. At this point we decided to excuse the rest of the guys and continue on ourselves, at the time content to proceed as a studio project. We had a good portion of material written for a full length at this point, so we finished writing (and rewriting) the rest of the material we had and went in and recorded our debut full length Resurrection of an American Heretic, with D. taking on all guitars, bass, and vocals on the record. It was recorded in a local studio, Overit Studios, produced by myself and ultimately mastered By Don Fury.
After the record came out, we started to get the itch to play live, but knew it was going to be difficult to find guys that would fit with what we wanted to do. We had tried a few unknown metal bass players in the past and they just didn’t understand us or our approach, so we looked at other options. We both knew Jason Jette from the local music scene (I had also played with him briefly in art/prog rock band Sunset Aside) and while he was not a *traditional* metal bass player, we thought he would bring the type of bass sound and presence we wanted. He was the first addition to the band and we rehearsed a short two months and played a couple shows as a 3 piece. His gritty, thick bass really worked for the direction we wanted.
In the studio D.’s vox were everything we wanted, but live we felt we could use a bit more; a focal point and front man to ‘lead the charge’, so to speak. Ndru is yet another guy we knew from the local *music* scene, as opposed to the local *metal* scene, and seemed like an obvious, and really only, choice. Ndru fronts the industrial project Doomsday Virus and having seen them live we knew he could scream like a banshee and was an engaging performer on stage. Initially he was a bit reluctant, figuring we were ‘just a standard metal band’, but soon changed his mind after listening to the ROAAH record and realizing we were shooting for something different. He came on and after a few short months we recorded the two song EP Stir Ov Echoes at Don Fury Studio.
A few months later we refocused and started about writing what would become Crushing The American Christ, which was released last fall and brings us to where we are today: Playing shows when we can and trying to get the word out.
What message would you like to get out to listeners?
As a whole, Ov Dust doesn’t have a singular message or meaning. The band fulfills different purposes for each of us as players, and I’d suspect the same goes for anyone bothering to listen to us. We play music we enjoy and hopefully other people do as well, whatever they may get from it.
I will say that as the main lyricist for the band, I do have a lot to say and my lyrics reflect many of my attitudes and thoughts on various topics, but I attempt to write in such a way that song meanings are somewhat implied, letting the listener make their own interpretations of what they might be. Rather than lecturing, I prefer to write from a more provocative standpoint with the hopes of eliciting some type of reaction from people. It seems today too many people have grown complacent and compliant and I would like to see them rise up and revolt more often, against whatever oppressive factors might be quashing them. I draw a lot of inspiration from a (non-metal) band like Atari Teenage Riot, with their ability to provoke a response and energize listeners. I leverage a lot of their style when writing lyrics for Ov Dust, utilizing calls to action and militaristic cadences, for instance.
That said, the definitive meanings and ideas are in plain sight for anyone that wants to hear them. I write for the like-minded, not to produce converts. I’ve never liked bands that preach, so we try to avoid that, while still having some substance to our songs. Of course, it’s the metal that matters the most and hopefully people will like what they hear.