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Return To Dust: Raging Grunge Rock From L.A.

Return To Dust: Raging Grunge Rock From L.A.

Return To Dust: Raging Grunge Rock From L.A.

Return To Dust is bringing grunge back to the City of Angels in nothing short of an epic way.  Heavily inspired by the iconic Alice In Chains and other classic bands within the genre, this raging power trio has been making quite a name for themselves locally.   The unveiling of Black Road marks the band’s first ever studio release, produced by none other than Jim Kaufman (Anti-Flag, Danny Worsnop, Night Riots, Helmet). With their remarkable cinematic approach, Return To Dust is on track for an unforgettable year of touring and new music.  Highwire Daze recently caught up with Return To Dust after a shoot with photographer Jack Lue to find out more about this amazing band on the rise.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Return To Dust, and how long the band has been together.
Matty: Hi, my name is Matty and I play rhythm guitar and vocals for the band.

Graham: Graham, I play bass and vocals for the band.

Sebastian: I’m Sebastian and I play lead guitar.

Matty: Graham and I have been friends since middle school, always playing together. The band took its form about 4 years ago, but we only started playing shows/being public last year.

Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
Matty: Where Graham and I are from, there isn’t much of a music scene, we grew up in rural Texas where the only venue was a tiny coffee shop that had open mic every Thursday (we were there every day).

Graham: In LA the local music scene is kinda scattered, there’s bands of all types and genres, but we’ve found a niche playing with post grunge / hardcore bands. There’s a huge scene in the IE, which we frequent often since we’re around the San Gabriel Valley.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the debut single Black Road?
Matty: Black Road is a great debut because it details our thoughts and feelings moving away from our hometown to LA, the culture shock that ensued, and the imminent pandemic that shadowed our trip. In true Return To Dust fashion, Black Road was a bastardization of a verse melody and riff that Graham sent me one day, and a chorus idea that I was inspired to write after hearing it.

You recently released an acoustic version of Black Road? Will there be more acoustic songs, and would you like to play an acoustic set sometime?
Matty: Fortunately, we love playing acoustic, it sometimes feels more natural to me than full band performances. Every song starts out as a baby on an acoustic guitar, which is why I think they translate so well.

Graham: We actually did play an acoustic set! It was very MTV unplugged-like, we recorded and filmed the whole thing so you’ll see it very soon I’m sure.

Who produced Black Road and what was it like working with them?
Graham: Jim Kaufman! He’s awesome. Been there since the beginning. I think he gets the vibe better than anyone and he pushes us to write better and better songs all the time.

Select any other Return To Dust song and the inspiration behind it?
Matty: Belly Up, this song highlights some of our strongest feelings about failure, success, and societal pressure. Not to go all ted kaczynski, but I think people are under more stress to figure out their life path than ever before. Stimulating amounts of modern expectations lead to decision paralysis, and pressures to succeed often have the opposite expected outcome, so no wonder many people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope.

Is there an EP or album on the horizon?
Graham: We’re releasing an EP July 28th! We’ve been throwing around the idea of an album. We have a lot of unrecorded material that hasn’t been tapped into yet so who knows what will happen with that.

Matty: As for an album, we really want to make sure that a body of work is concise, to the point, and well exemplifies Return To Dust as a whole, so it might be in the near future, but no promises.

What could one expect from a live Return To Dust show?
Matty: Expect to move, the EP songs are trudgers, but we have energetic tunes laced between that’ll get you on your feet.
Graham: Something between slamming rage and a sob pit. I haven’t decided yet. I love leaving a show out of breath so hopefully that translates.

If Return To Dust could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Graham: I’ll give a past answer and a now answer. System of a Down in their heyday, and Julie now.  SOAD because those fuckers are CRAZY. It’s all about the energy. And Julie because I think they’re brilliant.  They’re one of the most creative bands I’ve seen as of late both in their art style and music.

Matty: Turnstile, all day every day.

Sebastian: Pantera. They fucking rock.

If the music of Return To Dust was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
Matty: Jelly Donut with sprinkles. I’m the Dough.

Graham: I’m the Jelly…

Sebastian: …and I’m the sprinkles.

What’s up next for Return To Dust?

Any final words of wisdom?
Matty: People will judge you for whatever you do, so might as well do what you love.

Graham: For a long time I’ve struggled with finding my own voice. I think it’s something we’re supposed to wrestle with until we die. So I try to allow myself to have fun in the chaos. You
should do the same.

Sebastian: If you’re taking a senior seminar class, it doesn’t matter.


Return To Dust will be doing an EP Release show at The Viper Room on August 2nd!

(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

Return To Dust on Instagram

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