Rockers step into the spotlight all alone

By By Justin Jacobs

‘ ‘ ‘ The bands whose singers are part of the Where’s The Band? Tour, together, would make for… ‘ ‘ ‘ The bands whose singers are part of the Where’s The Band? Tour, together, would make for a veritable hall of fame of emocore. But with just acoustic guitars and their voices, they’ll strip things down for an up close and personal take on music that’s about as up-close and personal as it gets. ‘ ‘ ‘ Maybe the least deserving of the emo title is Dustin Kensrue, frontman of California post-hardcore titans Thrice. The band’s been pumping out fast, blaring, guitar-assaulting rock for the better part of a decade now, and it’s gotten better with each record ‘ ‘ ‘ Kensrue’s solo work, though, is straight-ahead singer-songwriter fare laced with his gravelly yell one moment and delicate whisper the next. ‘ ‘ ‘ Kensrue called The Pitt News, on his way to Thrice’s band practice rehearsing songs for the band’s next album. to talk shop. The Pitt News: How will the upcoming Where’s the Band? Tour differ from a Thrice tour? Dustin Kensrue: In almost every way. We’re riding in a van together, which I really like. There’s no band onstage, so these shows will be more relaxed and intimate. It’s more of a gathering than a show. There’s less disconnect between the stage and the crowd. TPN: Do fans often ask about Thrice on a solo tour, or do they focus on your acoustic work? DK: It definitely started with a core of Thrice fans, but fans of my solo work are slowly developing. A lot of people are fans of both ‘mdash; and I will play a couple Thrice songs at each show, of course. TPN: Is it refreshing to be alone onstage, to be more revealed to the audience? DK: I like the fact that there’s not as much going on, dynamically and vocally. I’m a little free to take a song where it feels like going. I can take it down, bring it up, change it all on the fly. It’s also a way for me to really focus on singing. TPN: How has your songwriting developed from Identity Crisis to Alchemy Index and through your solo work? DK: I’ve always been able to write decent lyrics, but I’ve gotten more consistent. There are some songs even on our first EP [1999’s First Impressions] that make me think, ‘Now those are some good lyrics.’ I’m more consistently proud of my writing now, though. Musically, we’ve all gotten into more and more diverse music. It made us appreciate more aspects of music than loud, fast and heavy. TPN: Are there any career goals you’ve yet to reach? DK: We’ve never been a goal-oriented band ‘mdash; even less with me as a solo artist. I don’t want to get caught up in looking at it from that angle. If you have goals, you need to think about what it’ll take to make them happen, and that ends up overshadowing the music. That’s never our priority. But we are working on a new record for the fall, and I’ll be recording a new solo record for this summer. TPN: It’s hard to think about summer now ‘mdash; it’s about seven degrees in Pittsburgh. DK: Jesus, man. It’s about 80 degrees