Dust Prophet Q&A
New Hampshire stoner rock band released their debut album 'One Last Look Upon The Sky' in January; a fine collection of nine riff-heavy, fuzzed-up slices of psychedelic doom and stoner rock. Guitarist and vocalist Otto Kinzel took some time out to answer a few questions for 'Ballroom Blitz's Man At The Back' about the band, the album, gigging and their plans for 2023. Check out the Q&A below and be sure to check out the album with its glorious mix of thundering drums, fuzzed-up bass and suitably heavy guitar tones.
Dust Prophet are Otto Kinzel (Guitar / Vocals), Jason Doyle (Guitar), Sarah Wappler (Bass / Keyboards) and Tyler MacPherson (Drums / Percussion).
Debut album 'One Last Look Upon The Sky' ( Jan 2023) is available on all the major digital sites; CD copies can be picked up from the Dust Prophet Bandcamp page - www.dustprophet.bandcamp.com. Singles 'The High Capital', 'Hourglass' (2021), 'When The Axe Falls', 'Dear Mrs Budd', 'Song 4', 'Put To The Question' (2022), 'A Storm Of Time And Space (Pts1 & 2)' and 'Bury Me Before Noon' (2023) are available on all the major digital sites.
Hi Guys, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for 'Ballroom Blitz's Man at The Back'. First off, for those readers who might not be familiar with Dust Prophet, could you give a short history of the band?
We are based in good old Manchester, NH (Manch-Vegas as the locals like to refer
to it). Sarah (Wappler, bass/keyboards) & I started Dust Prophet in 2019 but it took a little while to get everything going. It wasn’t until COVID lockdown that we found Tyler (MacPherson, drummer) and finally got some momentum. Once Tyler was on board, we had a consistent lineup and started writing & recording. Adding Jason (Doyle, guitar) was the final piece we needed. He came on board at the very end of 2022. We initially hired him to do all the mixing & mastering for 'One Last Look Upon the Sky'. When we decided we needed a second guitarist live so I could focus on vocals, he was our first choice.
And who would you say were the main influences on Dust Prophet?
We all love “riff” focused music, and Sarah is our in-house Queen of the Riff, as she writes a huge chunk of the music. We’re equal parts inspired by Clutch, Acid King and Kyuss, as we are Opeth and All Them Witches. We all have very different influences, and at the same time we all have similar influences. Sarah is hugely influenced by Frank Zappa and prog-rock for example; Tyler & Jason are influenced by NIN, Tool and other 90’s artists; I’m influenced by Ministry and lots of Industrial-Metal. So, there’s all these different aspects that go into how we as individuals write and perform
You've recently released a new album - 'One Last Look Upon The Sky'; do you have a sense of how it is doing out in the 'big wide world'?
So far it seems like it's doing well. It’s been getting great reviews from lots of different press outlets, and it debuted at number 13 on the Doom Charts for the month of
January. All success as far as we’re concerned. At the end of the day, we just hope people like what we do and don’t think we suck, hahaha.
Where did you record the album - somewhere you've recorded before?
We all have home studios. The drums were tracked at Tyler’s studio. He has a “studio only” drum kit that is setup, fully mic’d and ready to go. It's in a nice big room that is acoustically treated and has high ceilings, as well as a control booth and a bunch of wire snakes around, so its essentially “plug and play”, so to speak. All the guitars, vocals, and bass were recorded at my studio. And then for post-production, Jason has his
own studio where he does mixing and sound editing for his clients. We wanted to layer lots of drums with additional percussion; guitars with organ and synth. We wanted to create an album that would be ideal for headphone listening & give the listener a real mind f*ck, with lots of melodies and even noise. The goal was lots of dynamics within each song
Do you have any particular favourite songs on the album and if so, why?
Personally, my favorite songs to play live are 'When the Axe Falls' and 'Dear Mrs. Budd'. I love to perform those, the energy we put into them live is like nothing else. They’re just a lot of fun.
Were there any songs that didn't make the cut for the album that we might hear later on?
Actually, yes! We had two songs that did not make the final cut for 'One Last Look Upon the Sky', and that is primarily because they were not far enough along in their development. We recorded them but held off on including them on the final album. We wanted more time to play them live and work out some of the kinks. It’s paid off. We’ve been able to flesh these songs out more and are ready to re-record them. They will be on the next album.
What is the writing process within Dust Prophet? Does somebody come in with a strong idea of how the song should go or do they come out of a more 'jamming' scenario?
Typically, one or two of us will have some riffs pre-written and will “bring them” so to speak to the rest of the band. Sarah is a huge part of the writing process and she is responsible for writing probably 90% of the riffs on the album. She will bring a riff to practice, and she might have some additional parts and/or changes. We will jam on it
and all three of us will craft and form those parts into a complete song. Although while one individual might be the source of the song writing, all three of us are involved when it comes to the completed version as its recorded. For the lyrics however, those are all me. I write all of the lyrics.
Do you have any live shows coming up where people can come and catch you?
Tons of live shows. We have already played several shows since the beginning of 2023. People can follow our live schedule at any of our Social Media pages. We are always updating our schedule of live shows.
And what are the favourite parts and least favourite parts of gigging for you?
My favourite part is being on stage, and that 45 minutes or so of losing myself in the music, pouring all my energy into presenting the most energetic and compelling performance I can. It’s a drug that you can’t buy. You have to live it, and live it in the moment. That interaction with the audience is like nothing else; you can’t describe it to
someone who has never experienced it before.
My least favourite part is the travel, all the down time, the “hurry up and wait” aspect of the show. Other musicians know exactly what I’m talking about.
Are there any particular highlights you've had as a band since you've formed that springs to mind?
Having the album chart on the Doom charts was huge for us. Considering our album is self-produced and self-released, we consider it a major accomplishment. Also, having singles premier through Decibel Magazine, performing at the Maryland Doom Festival, getting booked at some of these other larger festival appearances…there’s been a lot of really cool experiences we’ve had so far. I hope there’s many more to come!
Do you feel that there is a good rock & and metal scene in the US North-East at the moment? Any particular bands you'd recommend to readers?
If people follow us on social media, we’re always plugging the other bands we play with. That’s a great place to start. We try to promote the other bands we cross paths with and do our part to help the underground.
And finally, what plans for Dust Prophet in 2023?
We plan on playing out a ton to support this album. We already have several shows for the early part of 2023 booked, and we’ve been confirmed to return to Maryland in June for the 2023 Maryland Doom Festival. There will be a lot more stuff getting booked as we continue to fill our 2023 schedule.