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27/05/2008 – Interview with DUSTSUCKER

The German Rock 'n' Rollers of DUSTSUCKER (official website) have recently released their newest album "Diabolo Domination" of which you can read the review at this location. Two years ago, at the time of their previous record, I also had an interview about the band, the album and more. I had to look a bit what I could ask next to the obvious questions, but keeping a minimum of contact and the few things that happened helped, although it's not easy to keep an eye on every band one has reviewed/interviewed in the recent past. While in October 2006 the answers were provided by Max (vocals, guitars) and Marco (drums), it seems Max had enough on his hands with other interviews or non-band related stuff. So Marco took on the assignment.

Dustsucker logo

It has been two years since "Jack Knife Rendezvous", besides the gigs you did for that album. Did you take a break or something before working on "Diabolo Domination"?

Hi, Tim. First, thanks a lot for your great review on Thoughts Of Metal. To answer your question, we didn't really take a break after the "Jack Knife" album. It is like a flowing process for us and we work almost continuously on new songs, as long as there are some good ideas/riffs to work on. Max and I are working on new material the old school way, meaning we meet in our rehearsal room to jam and try out things just by playing them. We do not really sending each other riffs and ideas through the Internet. For us things had to be more physical and natural, so the songs had more spirit and passion. We never say: let's take a break for about 3 mounth or so. That wouldn't work for DUSTSUCKER.

Dustsucker bandBassist Danny Buster and guitarist Bill Salisbury were replaced by H.U. Vanya Drost and Florian Schulz, although the press release only mentioned H.U. Vanya Drost, probably because Uwe Lulis also played the bass parts, next to doing the production.
a) What were the reasons for this line-up change? Time? Devotion? Musical differences?
b) How did the two new guys get into the picture?

Oh, that's a painful element in DUSTSUCKER's history, the line up! hehehehe. Let's put it this way: there are a few serious problems with Danny D. wich we couldn't ignore anymore and we had to react in one way or another. I don't want to get too personal, because Danny can't answer here, so I am ok with that. With Bill (the American guy) it was a whole different thing. He is a really nice and funny guy, but he didn't fit musically in the band, so he had to leave as well. Those line up changes didn't affect the songwriting process, because as long as the band exsists only Max and me were involved, so it wasn't a problem for us. The new guys then: Vanya is a long time buddy of Max and me, we've known him for decades, so we didn't really search for a new guitarist. We were just sitting in our favorite pub and talked to Vanya about trying to join the band. That's practically the entire story. Florian joined the band at the same time after we put some advertises in music mags. We are still in kind of test phase and I hope it will work out well. We have to play, wait and see.

2004, 2006, 2008.... every two years an album. Is that a coincidence or delibaretely planned like this?

No, that's not really planned. If the songs are ready and our label give us the permission to release it, we try to get things done. Next time it could last longer, or even sooner than you think... who knows. It all depends on our creativity.

Personally I find "Diabolo Domination" a better album than "Jack Knife Rendezvous", which was also a very solid one. The songs are better, they stick more, the sound is also better (thanks to Uwe Lulis). I can of course only compare your last two albums with each other. But since - as you said last time - you've matured in terms of songwriting and as musicians, you must be very satisfied with the result on this new release. Or did you detect a few details to change for the next album?

Yeah, you said it! I don't want to get too cliché-like but "Diabolo D." is the most mature, compact and best album so far. Although I always find things to select, looking back at the recording process. That's a normal thing for musicians...if I were satisfied about all things, there would be no reason for another SUCKER album. So I better find something to complain about on every album, hehehehe. But all in all Uwe did a great job on the album.

Diabolo Domination coverIs everything song a new one or did you browse through earlier songs or ideas that never made it onto any of your albums?

It's all brandnew stuff on the album. This time the sonwriting went really well and fast. We never use old songs for an album. If a song is worth to be on the album, we add it. If not, we throw it away. We have a really big garbage can, so it's no problem.

Talking lyrics: what subjects did you choose for "Diabolo Domination" and why that title?

We always try to avoid the typical Rock 'n' Roll cliché sing a whole album about booze and parties (which is ok, but not for us, we want to reach out a little further). There are some critical songs about modern religion and its manipulative dangers ("Land Of The King", "Live In Sin"). Some other songs, for example, "Dig Your Own Grave" deals with how we treat nature and our enviroment in general and how selfish most of the ignorant people are. There are a few personal things from Max's life, for instance, "Lost And Forgotten". On the other hand, there are a few good time lyrics ("Let The Good Times Roll") as well. So as you see we deal with a lot of different topics. When we thought about an album title, we wanted to have one that sums it all up and sounds really good. After a few brainstorm sessions we somehow came up with "Diabolo Domination" and we think that fits really well and is good to our style of music.

As mentioned above, REBELLION guitarist Uwe Lulis was behind the buttons, while R.D. Liapakis did it for the previous album. I have to say you pick the right man for that, as he gives the instruments a powerful, yet clear, sound. what was it like working with him? Did he let you do your thing or was he allowed to give advice on this or that?

First of all, Uwe is a really easy-going, nice guy.We have a different producer on every album (it seems like that's not so easy with the Suckers, hehehehe). Uwe was the one who let us do our thing and was almost more an engineer than a producer for us. Especially for me as a drummer it was the most relaxed recording session ever. We are always open for a good advice, but this time the songs were well prepared, so the studio work was not that difficult. Maybe Uwe will produce our next album as well...for the first time in DUSTSUCKER history. Who knows...

On "Jack Knife Rendezvous" I noted that "Wasted Times" had similarities with DIAMOND HEAD's "Helpless", or the METALLICA version. This time it's "Ignite To Burn" that can be connected to that classic, or even to BUDGIE's "Breadfan". Either you're fans of both bands or this similarity was unintentional and pure coincidal. What shall it be? ;-)

You may be right about that. First, we like both bands a lot. Max and I are fanatic record collectors, so we had a lot of infuences and BUDGIE and DIAMOND HEAD are two of them. The similarities are just unintentional..I swear, hehehehe!

I noticed that there are 12 songs on the album, just like before and one "Hookers Planet". Is there a reason for this, like finding 10 not enough and wanting to give the fans enough music for their money?

We have not planned that there have to be 12 songs on the albums. When we collect the songs for an album, it's only the quality that counts. There are some bands that put out 60 or more minutes CDs, but most of the time they can hold on to the quality. It depends on the style of music as well. For example, 70s Rock/Psychedelic bands put out really long records and it's ok for that music. By the way, "Diabolo Domination" is our longest album so far.

Which songs on "Diabolo Domination" stand out for you? You'll say "All of them.", hahaha, but for you personally, what are the highlights?

Ok, my favorites are "Lost And Forgotten", "Dig Your Own Grave", "Land Of The King", "Let The Good Times Roll". I am sure you would say it's totally different, hehehehe.

Dustsucker bandApparently you could convince Jeff Waters (ANNIHILATOR) to play a guest solo. How did that happen?

Jeff is a good friend of Uwe and we thought of asking him if he would like to play a solo for us, but we didn't really believe that would ever happen. We are sure he has never heard of DUSTSUCKER before. But when Uwe asked him and sent him the song, he liked it and said yes. So we are a little bit proud to have a real guitar legend on our album.

Speaking of guest musicians: it's always nice, of course, if you can have one or more colleagues/friends helping out. Labels find it useful as marketing tool, to increase album sales. How do you see it? Just for fun or also the fun-marketing link?

I am not sure if the album sales really increase because of a single solo...hhmmm... maybe. For me the fun is the main point. Furthermore, you can tell all your friends/guitarists and I am sure they'll get really jealous, heheheheh.

Any tour plans? And with whom?

We are going on a tour in November 2008 with local support bands from those cities. A few dates are confirmed now, but we are working on further dates at the moment. Just check out our MySpace site and come to our shows. Satisfaction garanteed.

Since you love going to gigs, which - so far - have you enjoyed the most in 2008? And which are you looking forward to?

Yeah, I love going to gigs, but until now I haven't got the time to see a lot of shows ths year. There are a lot of great shows in the next weeks I am going to see: TED NUGENT, ALICE COOPER, DIE ÄRTZE, ADOLESCENTS, WHITE FLAG. That s gonna be great.

Also, do you pay attention to how other bands do their thing on stage and see if there's anything for you to keep in mind for DUSTSUCKER?

I always look at other bands, how they do their thing, but there's so much to adopt for DUSTSUCKER: Every band has to do their own,if possible unique, thing on stage. But wait, I saw a TED NUGENT DVD where he rides a buffalo on stage. That would be a nice show effect. DUSTSUCKER on buffalo. I like that image, hehehehe.

That's it for me. Vielen Dank fürs Antworten und vielleicht können wir es nächsten Mal auf Deutsch machen. ;-) Aber dafür brauche ich Zeit und Übung. Anyhow, thanks again, all the best to you and feel free to add the (un)holy final words.

We want to thank all you maniacs out there who supported us in one way or another. It is you who keeps the spirit alive!! Hope to see you on tour in November!!

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