Dust Bolt, on the success of their new album, "Trapped In Chaos,"
We speak to lead singer, Lenny Breuss
“I think that was something that helped us, being really young, getting out on the road, being in the middle of something you might call rock ‘n roll.”
" If you always try to please other people, you won’t create something which is more than standard."
By Abbe Davis, Feb. 2019
In 2006, a group of 15 and 16 year old guys in Germany, jammed on rock tunes because they loved Metal music. They changed their name to Dust Bolt and played alongside of Sepultura and Napalm Death. By 2010, their demo album, Chaos Possession was named "demo of the month" by Metal Hammer. There was also a tour with Six Feet Under and Debauchery.
By 2011, the band participated as winners of the German Metal Battle and won. Soon they were signed with Napalm Records by 2012. In 2014, by the second studio album Awake the Riot, the band broke out internationally. Dust Bolt was seen as "new hopefuls" in Thrash Metal. 2015 was touring opening for Sepultura and Obituary. Yet, it was their album, Mass Confusion in 2016 that sealed them as a worldwide metal band to follow. They began to headline internationally.
Lead singer, Lenny Breuss of Dust Bolt, is being patient on the day of this interview-before we try to record audio and rig the system. Our office has some technical difficulty on this day. He is understanding, and even says he empathizes.
He may be 25, but Lenny Breuss is like an adult, somehow. Wise, grounded, real. These are the types of guys I really enjoy interviewing. He knows what he wants to do, is unafraid of risk-taking, and is being who he is.
Dust Bolt is staying true to their art form of Metal. This band began just wanting to play Metal. They didn’t try to be anything, and it shows on their latest album, Trapped In Chaos. Their influences stem way back from the 70’s to 80’s rock, and classic blues, and those legendary bands before them: Slayer, Metallica. They are not typical, and their music is a crossover type of Metal.
Trapped In Chaos is a great mix and never stays too long on any similar groove. Dust Bolt is making their name, and in Europe, is selling out shows. They are going past genres and stigmas. They are who they are, they put on an exciting, adrenaline-filled live show, they push it and want to, and they are excellent. I can’t wait to hear what else they do ahead.
(We do apologize for the 'interesting audio video' (which you may certainly watch), yet here is the interview transcribed, to make it easier.
We speak with Lenny, and he is easy to talk to, warm, modest and just a cool guy.
TRR: You’re in Germany, correct?
Lenny: Exactly, yah.
TRR: Are you guys going through to the Summer in Germany?
Lenny: Actually, we start and go February to March 30th in Germany. Then we have some festivals in Germany as well, too.
TRR: I love the song Dead Inside, it is awesome! The song, Bloody Rain, on a scale of 1 to 10 how much do you think the song is Thrash Metal?
Lenny (laughing): Good question! To be honest, I don’t care. When you write a song, you don’t think about how you would put it in a certain box of genres, you just go for it! So, we never had the intention to do Thrash Metal. We never sat together to do that. It is just the way that we interpret Metal music. It’s just he way we like to play this kind of music. It just happened naturally.
TRR: What was your intention when you began playing? What did you guys think?
Lenny: Yah, it is just the way we interpret Metal. It’s just the way we like to play this kind of music. Of course, we had listened to a lot of thrash bands, it’s where we found our roots and everything. If someone were to ask me what Metal is like, it is just certain things. Its beat, its groove, its heaviness and the rich, and cool drums. And that’s all we thought about. “How would it sound if we just combine these elements?”
TRR: Sounds like you guys were just songwriting, that’s good. (laughing)
Lenny: Yah, especially on this album. That’s what we tried to do. We tried to just get rid of everything else. Get rid of everything we know, or thought of before, and concentrate on songs and songwriting, and doing Metal the way we wanna hear it.
TRR: It's good to hear that, because when you listen to a lot, you don’t always want to hear the same things. Another Day in Hell is one of my favorites, and I don’t care if Metal- heads think I’m soft. I really don’t care, people!
Lenny: Me either!
TRR: (laughing) Yay! This song brings back a sound from twenty years ago, do you know what I mean?
Lenny: Yah, absolutely.
TRR: Do you like singing a rock ballad more, or a heavier thing?
Lenny: I totally like it. That’s the whole reason the song was written, because I just love things like that for myself and my free time; to play acoustic gigs. A grunge spirit sometimes. I just wrote that song and I showed it to our drummer, and we started jamming on a metal version. We did it like four or five times in the rehearsal room, jammed to it, and that was it.
TRR: It’s great, it’s in my head. I love it, I only heard it once, and then I was singing the chorus in my head.
TRR: The 4th Strike kicks it hard into that Metal sound. What do you think your audiences want from you, when they say you can sometimes get too light?
Lenny: Honestly, I try not to care. A big part of me doesn’t care, and then another part of me, of course, does care, and reads all of this stuff. But, whatcha gonna do? If you always try to please other people, you won’t create something which is more than standard.
I’m not afraid of people not liking it. I am totally cool with that. In some ways I can understand it even but, it’s just, it’s just, the fourth album, and it’s something you gotta do as an artist. I gotta think for myself, we released three albums, so what am I gonna do to do a fourth album to make it worth existing? Why does the world need another Dust Bolt album? What I think as an artist, I am going to do something that might annoy some people, but it might open doors to other people.
I don’t think as an artist it is our job to think about what is expected of you. The only thing is to do really what you feel is right.
TRR: You sound wise beyond your age. I hear a wisdom from you. Who has been your mentor, or the person who has taught you the mature aspects of Music? Anyone help you to settle into being in rock music, and being true to yourself or did you come to it on your own?
Lenny: I haven’t met all of them personally. We started about 10 years ago, we were kids back then.
TRR: How old are you?
Lenny: I’m 25 and the others are 26, we began 12 years ago, really. We were on tour really early and we met so many people and so many musicians, bands, and people in the rock n roll business. So, you meet a lot of people, and you make so many friends, and you have a lot of experiences and stories that you listen to, that you kind of learn something from everybody. Then you try to make up your own way. What you think of from that information is the best way to do it for yourself. I think that was something that helped us, being really young, getting out on the road, being in the middle of something you might call rock ‘n roll.
TRR: Yah, it’s called sink or swim, right?
TRR: What is the worst shit hole you’ve played in?
Lenny: You know, I love “shit holes” cause those shit holes can become a punk sort of, chaotic thing.
TRR: Has anyone gotten hurt at your shows?
Lenny: Yah, definitely, like everybody got hurt. If you don’t give more than 100% then you can’t expect people to give 100%. So, you have to give like 120% and then you can expect something from the audience.
TRR: I’m gonna play a game now. I will do this in German, my mom was born in Vienna, my German is not that good, but I figured this was be fun, cause usually I sling questions quickly, so I will try to ask you questions in German, and you have to answer in English.
TRR: The game is: Ish verduh dir eine Frage stellen unt du musst sehr schnell antworten, bist du bereit? Ya?
Lenny: Yah, yes.
TRR: Was that terrible? (laughing)
Lenny: No, it’s good!
TRR: I’m trying. Glaubst du, deine Songs sind manchmal vee Slayer?
Lenny: Uhhh, it’s an influence for sure, but I don’t think the songs are actually like Slayer, they compose it in another way, but Slayer is surely an influence, and I have no problem to say that.
TRR: Vird auf Tour fiel Sex angeboten? LOL! (I’m asking him if he gets offered sex a lot out there on tour) (laughing)
Lenny: It depends. I mean, people don’t speak it out that clearly. I mean, it doesn’t even get that far. (I’m literally, getting embarrassed by now, because he is so nice, and serious and real so I’m feeling very much like a little kid). (yah, let’s get out of this idea here, he is too cool for these questions).
TRR: Belestik dash shun? (I’m asking him if this is annoying him, yet I can’t say it right, so he corrects me by blending it all quickly)
Lenny: OK, one more time? Ah, beleshtishdash shun! No, not really. It’s ok. (I love this guy, he is SO easy going and cool!)
TRR: OH_I can’t say it together, I was supposed to BLEND. OK, look, let’s go to back to English, it’s too much for me.
TRR: Do you feel this way when you speak English? What’s easier for you?
Lenny: I like speaking English.
TRR: When did you learn to speak in English?
Lenny: I don’t know, watching English movies, listening to music, and at school, of course.
TRR: Oh! I wish we would blend more languages here. Usually it’s Spanish here in the States.
TRR: OK, so let’s go now. We’re gonna do another game, but you have to answer everything fast, ok?
Lenny (says quickly) OK!
TRR: The hottest thing about a woman is:
Lenny: Intelligence and humor.
TRR: Cool. When you write a song, it feels:
Lenny: Painful and joyful at the same time.
TRR: You wanna explain that?
Lenny: It’s hard to explain, it’s just the way it feels. (This guy is awesome)
TRR: Megadeth is__
TRR: The best person in Thrash Metal besides you guys, or the best group is____
Lenny: The best group? Ah….um.. Metallica.
TRR: The best. The one thing you cannot live without is:
TRR: The one person you wanna meet in music is:
Lenny: Jack White
TRR: I don’t blame you. We do, too!
TRR: The one word you would use to describe Dust Bolt would be what?
TRR: I agree!
TRR: If you could put together a band of legends, dead or alive, of anyone, who would it be?
Lenny: Oh, okay, like for every kind of instrument? OK, so vocals, no question at all, it’s Ronny James Dio. On guitar we would have Stevie Ray Vaughan. I mean, him and maybe DimeBag or maybe Randy Rhoads. Drums would be John Bonham.
TRR: And then who else for bass?
Lenny: Oh, that’s a little bit hard. He also can be alive, right? Um, bass player, most I appreciate are not in Metal.
TRR: What about Flea?
Lenny: He’s good. I like Thundercat (Stephen Lee Bruner). He’s a good bass player.
TRR: So, who did you listen to growing up? SRV, right off the bat, but who else did you listen to growing up? Who else in blues and rock?
Lenny: Oh, there are so many. I mean, Gary Moore, might be another one. I really love to listen to the 70’s stuff, and to the basic rock stuff, where it all comes from: Thin Lizzy, Sabbath, all those bands. When it gets more into blues there are different kinds, like Sun House, the original blues.
TRR: Aw, like Hound Dog Taylor? Those old cats from way back?
Lenny: Yah, like so many, Muddy Waters, BB King of course for a guitar player. Just so much good music, it doesn’t matter what genre.
TRR: Why do you think Metal has a larger fan base in Europe. Is it different or not?
Lenny: It’s hard to compare, because, all the people are more concentrated in Europe cause it is just smaller. In America, because it is so huge, it is spread out, so it’s not easy to get all the people who listen to it (Metal) in one place. In Germany we have so many festivals where everyone meets, which is really cool, and that is not as common in the States. So, when we’ve been in the states and done shows, I really had the feeling that the people were totally into it. Sometimes I thought that the crowd in the states was wilder and louder, and a little crazier. It was really fun to entertain the people in the States cause they were so into it. The last tour was five and half weeks in the U.S., and then we went back to Germany, so we were used to the crowd in America, where everyone was into it. Then, we go back to Germany, and we open for Exodus- in a packed stadium, and the people are just standing there having their beer, and we are like “O.K.”
TRR: Do you find you scream out to them? There was this festival in South Florida recently, and the guys on stage were like screaming at the audience “Come on, motherfuckers!” to get them all riled up, they had to really work for it. Do you find you have to do that, sometimes?
Lenny: Yah. Sometimes I even like it. Sometimes I like it because it’s a challenge to see what you can get out of them. Sometimes you can break the wall, and people start cheering, people start cheering and you’re like “Yes!” But I try not to do it that much by screaming at the people. We try to push ourselves harder and harder in order to show the people that we are serious.
TRR: So, when are you coming here to the States?
Lenny: I wanna come as soon as possible, the best thing would be tomorrow, cause it’s cold here, and it sucks.
TRR: I know, it’s sooo cold here at like 70 degrees here, it is SOOO cold.
Lenny: In Florida? I don’t know what that is in Celsius.
TRR: (laughing) Oh, it is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s hot, (laughing) It’s nice.
Lenny: (laughs) I don’t know when we will be in the States. We are working on getting over to the States and I hope it is as soon as possible.
TRR: I would love to see you over here at the festivals and I know people would love it. Thanks for talking to us and again, I feel you are beyond your years. Thank you for your time.
Lenny: Thank you.
Bassist Bene Münzel and guitarist Flo Dehn at Rockharz 2016