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Interview: Dustin Kensrue

News

Interview: Dustin Kensrue

Nathan Armstrong

Stone: So how is it going, how is the tour going?

Dustin: The tour is going great. Friends and mellow show, always a good vibe. It's a bit more relaxed and interactive.

Stone: Cool. You and Andy played together. What's that friendship like? I want to imagine that you all are like stepbrothers, like best friends, but I don't know, I just feel, well, let me ask about it. I feel like you have been good friends for a while.

Dustin: Yes, we are good friends. We are very different people and we realize that it is a good contrast. Because he makes me laugh a ton...

Stone: What's it like having Thrice back together and doing stuff?

Dustin: It's great, it's a lot of fun. I miss doing it and glad we are back at it.

Stone: From your first album to now, it sounds like you have matured as a musician. You almost sound like a different person, I was just kind of curious if that was on purpose.

Dustin: Yes, it definitely sounds different. I guess you'd have to ask in which sense “is it on purpose.” I think  there are multiple things at play - a) I'm getting older from being 17 when we started the band, next year will be 20 years so that's going to change a lot of stuff. I showed my kids our first video the other day and they came and talked to me and said they could not believe it was me.

Stone: So on your latest release, the acoustic one with all the covers, was there any method to pick which songs you are going to play?

Dustin: Yes. I mean, there is a method that is kind of in place overtime as I would have been playing a lot of those songs live over the years. And I kind of was looking for something that was going to have good dynamics, because I'm just playing with an acoustic guitar and I want to be able to take it really big and quite it down and let it be something that is interesting and exciting all by itself. 

Stone: You said growing up has changed your voice and the way you sing. Has it changed the way you write music?

Dustin: Yes, for sure. For me ideally, want to be making art, you're going to be doing that. I would just say everything in your life, experiences, things you learned are kind of coming into it in one form or another so I think it can help make change in that sense. And then I think the more you practice your craft it's going to naturally change how you do it.

Stone: Has today's society and political climate inspire anything as far as music goes in your life?

Dustin: The last record is fairly charged.

Stone: Yes? In what ways? For someone who is maybe not listening to your album.

Dustin: There is a lot of intensified in Blood on the Sand and it's just really reflecting a lot of what was going on in 2015. And when I was writing it, that's the beginning of what we are in right now, and not the beginning but kind of the beginning of the tension that exists right now. And that song death from above was about drone strikes. 

Stone: I feel like Christians have a reputation right now as people who are not saying anything about what is going on unfortunately. And also people associate that with a lot of what is going on plus Christianity. In your Christianity, being a believer and you writing the music that you do, do you see that getting in the way of being around other Christians, or being around other believers?

Dustin: As far as our...

Stone: Like friendships is what I kind of mean

Dustin: There is a lot of tension with a lot of people that I call friends. I haven't been on social media really until recently I started doing facebook stuff to be able to just share stuff with my wife and to be more in the know and just share more of our life. I am seeing the huge divide that exists right now, and I don't feel anything personal, like something is weird with me, but I do feel like that strangeness of like, "Man, what's everybody thinking?" I don't understand how you're coming to these conclusions or how you are sticking by this thing. The key really is to be trying to listen to those people because the shouting matches don't help anything, it creates further division. And generally, most of the people I think who are going to disagree with you and stuff, it's not because they are trying to be hateful or whatever. There is legitimate feeling or concern there and you can talk about whether the things that they are believing are actually true. I mean for instance the people who are worried about terrorism and that sort of influences the way they look at immigration or something similar like that. You can actually talk about like, oh, let's look at statistics. If we look at these things and comprehend them we see, 'okay, there actually hasn't been the percentage of Americans killed by people who have immigrated here.' There are all sorts of other problems they are having. So should we really be stirring this future hornet's nest with our foreign policy for something that really we can't control in the end anyway. So you can have those conversations, they are hard to have but if you are patient you can have those, and that's really the only thing that is going to change someone's mind. And it's hard because you have to be patient. If you see something and you want to react just really quickly, it just creates further division. So for people on all sides for not demonizing the other person; the other person is not your enemy, there is something that you guys can talk about and learn together. There is really a lot of that going, and this existed before the last couple of years, but there has been a huge lack of dialogue; friendly, respectful dialogue. I love this guy named G.K. Chesterton, the British writer. He would have such strong debates with people and George Bernard Shaw was the guy he would debate a lot in public then they would go get a drink afterwards. Another example, Christopher Hitchens was an atheist before he died. He was touring around with, I can't remember who it was. It was a Christian apologist and they really developed a great friendship and did these speaking tours together.

Stone: Oh yeah, for sure.

Dustin: It's super encouraging to see stuff like that, so the more of that, the better.

Stone: Well, Dustin, I appreciate you taking the time to talk today. Good luck tonight

Dustin: Thank you guys for having me!

- @StonePannell