Dunsmuir is the new band and CD featuring Neil Fallon of Clutch, Vinny Appice of Sabbath and Dio fame, Brad Davis from Fu Manchu and Dave Bone from The Company Band (see a review of the album here). I hate to use the word super group, but in the world of heavy rock, this is as close as it gets. Raw, powerful and just…well, super. Guitarist Dave Bone answered 20 questions about the band, himself and everything in between.
- When and why did you pick up a guitar?
Around 5th grade I got a guitar because my obsession with just listening to rock and metal had already overflowed. I needed to be a participant, even if it was sitting on the edge of my bed and stumbling through clumsy renditions of “Back in Black”.
- What was your first guitar?
Aria Pro II was my first guitar. The saddle screws stuck out and tore my hand up whenever I tried to palm mute. That guitar was really difficult to play even aside from that but I didn’t care. It didn’t matter if it was a bad or good guitar because it was a guitar!
What do you play now?
Now I play a Les Paul custom and a Silverburst RD (Gibson).
- Who was your biggest musical influence? (I hear a Maiden influence on some of the tracks)
Yes, Iron Maiden are definitely an important influence – also Judas Priest, John Christ from early Danzig, Ace Frehley, Mick Mars, Schenker, and NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) in general. I could keep going…
- Can you remember your first gig?
It was in LA playing party rock covers at a bar. We were supposed to play at a decent hour but it kept getting pushed. By the time we went on, most of the band was wasted. I didn’t drink but I probably sounded wasted on lack of experience.
- For those who are unsure about who you are, give us a brief history of Dave Bone?
A brief history… I started out as a hard rock / classic metal digger, and now I’m a hard rock / classic metal picker. When not doing that I like to watch horror movies and read. I wrote a novel called “Styrofoam Throne” about a kid growing up in a haunted house attraction. I am now working on a second book.
- How did Dunsmuir get together?
Neil (Fallon), Brad (Davis) and I all wanted to do an aggressive, heavy project and asked our dream drummer, Vinny (Appice), if he was interested. He said yes and we hit the ground running from the first jam. Clicked instantly.
- Where did the name Dunsmuir come from?
It’s the real name location of the mausoleum in the movie “Phantasm”.
- The new album is kick-ass. I love every track. Can you take us through the writing and recording process? (Order the limited edition LP at http://www.indiemerch.com/Dunsmuir/)
We wrote the album over two years, and spent, off and on, about a year recording, mixing and mastering it. No wine before its time! The songs can come from anywhere but usually a riff from me or Brad kicks it off and then everyone’s input comes in and makes it a developed song.
- Dunsmuir is a concept album. What’s the story and where did the idea came from?
It’s about a 19th century shipwreck that spills out onto an island where all hell breaks loose. Neil came up with the idea and does all the lyrics totally himself.
- How much of the guitar on the album is you and how much does Neil Fallon play on?
I play all of the guitars on the record.
- Is there extra pressure on the band when you know one of the members used to play with Tony Iommi and Ronnie James Dio?
It’s inspiring. I practiced more than ever and got a lot of good out of it, creatively as well as technique-wise. It’s smart to surround yourself with people you respect because it pushes you further.
- Are there any plans for a tour to support the album?
Hopefully in the future. We all want to, it’s just a matter of juggling four different schedules. It’ll happen.
- You were in another band with Neil and Brad called The Company Band. Is it finished now or will you revisit it in the future? And how does Dunsmuir differ, aside from a new drummer?
We did what we set out to do with the Company Band. Now we are getting more restless and wild. Dunsmuir is different in that the addition of Vinny makes the chemistry very intense and powerful. It’s not “just” a different member – it’s a totally new elemental force being added that changes what we play and how we do it. But it’s similar in that Dunsmuir includes the same creative core as the company band – with the addition of Vinny’s huge sound and creative vision that he brings.
What’s your secret weapon on stage, aside from your guitar?
- Name the three most important things a guitar player should know?
These aren’t technical guitar tricks but attitude tips: Teamwork. Persistence. Mellow ego.
- How tough is it to be a musician with the music industry the way it is now?
Some things are easier and some things are tougher. But there are far more things to be grateful about instead of complaining.
- List 5 albums that you think every guitar player should own?
- Unleashed In The East by Judas Priest,
- The first Danzig album,
- Strangers in the Night by UFO,
- Alive! by Kiss, and
- The first Black Sabbath album
- What is the one song you wish you had written?
Balls To The Wall by Accept
- My brother owns a school of rock in Ottawa, Canada. He teaches a bunch of kids how to perform in bands. What advice would you give to these kids about being a musician?
Listen to things closely. Not just yourself but your bandmates. At first your observations will be obtuse and primitive, but eventually they can become accute, educated and internalized.
- What’s in the future for you and Dunsmuir?
There will be another Dunsmuir album and we will stay busy working up a new level of riffs for it!