Dust Of Us

by the partae
Dust Of Us

What is your name and role within Dust Of Us?

My name is Lloyd and I am one half of Dust of Us. I mostly do the synths/drum programming side of things while the other half, my brother Edward, does the live instrument/vocals/lyrics side of things. There are no hard and fast rules though.

Where are you currently based?

We are based out of the Central Coast, NSW, as that’s where the writing tends to happen.

How did Dust Of Us form?
Being brothers, I suppose it formed at the point when we had both become semi-competent at playing and writing music. My brother and I have been making music together for almost 15 years now across a few different bands, and there has always been some writing that happened outside of those with just the two of us. It’s only recently that we put a name on it and decided to actually release music.
What’s been happening recently and how has your Covid Experience been so far?

Same as most people, I’m sure. Just spending a lot of time at home, consuming media that years ago you had flippantly promised to friends that you would “add it to ‘The List'” after they told you about it, but unless there had been a pandemic you probably never would have.

Your new single ‘Punching Bag’ is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting?

For this particular track, the sound and texture side of things just sort of fell together quite nicely. We weren’t necessarily looking to create any one particular soundscape or channel any one particular artist. Simply going fishing with different VST instruments, looking for those sounds that made us go “ooh that’s interesting maybe”.

As for the lyrics, my brother wrote most of them while reading Jess Hill’s ‘See What You Made Me Do’, a fantastic and important book that you should definitely google.
How did you go about writing Punching Bag?

The same way we write most of our music. My brother and I will usually get together for a day and carve out several musical ideas, most of them shit. The ones that we still like after sitting on them for a bit are then expanded on, both together in person and remotely via e-mail/text/phone calls.

For this particular song, the music came together pretty quickly, with the lyrics coming shortly after. We then sent the song to our friend Jess Chalker, who is based in London to sing.

Where and when did you record/produce/master and who did you work with?

Technically, the song was recorded in three places! Most of the instrumentation was recorded at my brother’s place in the Central Coast. The vocals, as I mentioned, were recorded in London at our friend Jess’ home. The song then made its way to Los Angeles where our mixer/masterer extraordinaire Matthew Neighbour put the finishing touches on it.

How did you approach the recording process?

Our approach, generally, is that we write and record simultaneously. As a result, things are abandoned quickly if they aren’t working for us, either as a structural or recorded element.  The great thing about being a two piece, but also being siblings, means there is little to navigate when it comes to creative decisions. There is an open and honest dialogue and no bruised egos. Being able to say “I think that sucks, let’s not go down that rabbit hole” and then move on quickly is key.

Once we got it to a spot where we thought it was ready, we invited Jess and also Matt to let us know their thoughts on what was and wasn’t working and voila.
You’ve just released a Punching Bag remix package, who did you work with?

Our friends and labelmates Fresco Kyoto (Brisbane band) did one and this dude in Melbourne called Super Magic Hats did the other. We couldn’t believe how much love they put into it – both remixes are amazing.

How did the concept for the remix package come about?

It was actually suggested to us by one of our wonderful publicists Sammie. It was a bit of a lightbulb moment and kinda bizarre that we’d never considered remixes ourselves, given a lot of the projects that we modelled Dust of Us on (eg. Massive Attack, Gorillaz, The Avalanches) always get loads of remixes done for their stuff. It’s such a fun way to collaborate.

How was the experience?

Brilliant. A++, would remix again. The whole nature of our project is supposed to be highly collaborative, with different guests coming and going – and remixes are just an extension of that. It was like Christmas came early when the remixes landed in our inbox.

How do the two remixes differ?

They’re super different. The Fresco Kyoto one picks up where the original left off and takes the instrumental into new territory, but still keeps all the vocal melodies intact. And they added another vocal – Robbie Balmer their singer sings the second verse on their version – and he’s an incredible singer, so that was a nice surprise.

Whereas the Super Magic Hats one is totally wild and none of the original music is recognisable. I’m not even sure he used any of the original music other than the vocal, which is heavily pitch-shifted. It reminds me of Aphex Twin or Four Tet. He’s brilliant.

What’s planned for the remainder of 2020 going into 2021?

Just gotta finish our EP. 2 more tracks to go, they’re almost there. Trying to get it ready for Feb release.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Right now just trying to decide on my album of the year. I’ve managed to whittle it down to either Caribou’s ‘Suddenly’, The Strokes ‘The New Normal’ or Fleet Foxes ‘Shore’.

What do you like to do away from music?

Nerd stuff – like build lego, read comics and other similar past-times.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

Japanese cuisine is my jam, and I’ve recently discovered this awesome little Izakaya joint called Nakano Darling in Haymarket, Sydney, which has become my favourite place to be. The food is delicious, the staff are lovely, and the beer/whiskey is plentiful.

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