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Music and Money with DUST PROPHET

Holy Dio, is this really our first post since May??? Glad it's with a really cool band, my fellow New Englanders Dust Prophet. This doomy trio is set to release their new album One Last Look Upon the Sky on January 27th, 2023.

The band says of this impending opus, "One Last Look Upon the Sky is a huge milestone for us. It’s taken us four years to get to this point, and we had a lot of sidesteps and roadblocks along the way. There were times we weren’t sure we would ever make it -- and now, finally, here we are! Releasing this album is a huge moment for us as a band- it represents all our hard work and the sacrifice each one of us made to bring this project to fruition."

Guitarist and vocalist Otto Kinzel sat down with our epic form interview -- and now I have to know, did the band really make bowling balls?? Please tell me that part isn't true, talk about something heavy to haul to the merch stand!

See what else Otto has up his sleeve...

Dust Prophet from left: MacPherson, Kinzel, and Wappler.

Tell our readers all about your band! Where are you from and when did you get started? What is your music like?

We are based in good old Manchester, NH (Manch-Vegas as the locals like to refer to it). Sarah (Wappler, bass/keyboards) & I started Dust Prophet in 2018 but it took a little while to get everything going. It wasn’t until COVID lockdown that we found Tyler (MacPherson, drummer) and finally got some momentum. Once Tyler was on board, we had a consistent lineup and started writing & recording.

We play Stoner/Doom Metal but have a big psychedelic/progressive rock influence that we try to let fly whenever possible. We all love “riff” focused music, and Sarah is our in-house Queen of the Riff, as she writes a huge chunk of the music.

What are your goals for your band?

I’d like to be more successful at lip-synching than Milli Vanilla but worse than Tim Lambesis at hiring a hit man to kill my wife. It’s a tough balancing act but with hard work and dedication I know we can do it. Oh, and if I could get an endorsement from Valtrex, that would be the icing on the cake.

What do you do for a living?

I split my time between sitting around and waiting for the phone to ring with offers I can’t refuse, and working on my new website, which is a fetish site for people who get off on feet. But the twist is, this site is only men’s feet. I figured the internet already has the market for fetishizing women’s feet cornered, so why not try to market men’s feet. Am I right??

How do you balance your work and personal life with the band?

I generally beg my wife to let me go play “rock star” and then she entertains me by pretending to be interested in listening to me talk about it. But in all seriousness, it can be a very difficult balance. I not only have the band but I have a family with two young kids as well as a professional career completely outside of anything related to music. I have to be very diligent with my time and how I use it. It’s all about staying organized and keeping a very tight calendar.

What do you consider to be the best investment you've made, music-wise?

PR, without question. Investing in a great PR company like C-Squared has been a game changer for us. In the past I always tried to conduct my own campaigns, and I finally realized that no matter how good I think my contacts were, its never going to be a match for a company like C-Squared, who is ultra-professional and does this for a living. They have made the entire process so much easier that it’s become a no brainer for us to use them moving forward.

What's the worst or least helpful thing you've ever spent money on as a musician/band?

Have custom Dust Prophet bowling balls made. In hindsight, it was a very bad move. We don’t have a lot of passionate bowling fans.

What kind of merch sells the best for your band? And what do you purchase most often as a music listener?

Out red colored t-shirts, with the album artwork on it, tends to sell pretty well. Every band and their mother have black shirts (including us as well), so offering an alternative color tends to catch people off guard, but in a good way. I typically buy shirts and physical music (CD’s, Vinyl etc.).

Can you share some tour budgeting tips?

If you’re staying at a hotel or motel that offers any type of breakfast, steal as much of the food as you possibly can. Anything that is non-perishable is a must. Even if it’s just dry cereal in a zip lock bag, you need to keep expenditures to a minimum. And if you’re going to be on the road for several weeks at a time, I’ve found that it’s easier to buy cheap socks and underwear in bulk from a BJ’s or Sam’s Club BEFORE you leave on tour. That way you can just throw them away after they’re dirty, instead of worrying about doing laundry.

Which online music or social media platforms are most helpful to your band?

Metalhead Money of course! It’s very helpful for budgeting and helping me to keep my checkbook nice and tight.

I also follow Matt Bacon on Instagram. He always has incredible advice on how to grow your fan base or increase your engagements with fans.

What does "making it" mean to you, and what do you think a band needs to make it in 2022?

To me, as long as I’m still doing this (releasing music, playing live etc.), I consider that “making it”, at least in a small way. I have so many friends who were once musicians; then they got married, bought a house, had a family, a career outside of music. They all end up quitting and putting their instruments in the attic. Or even selling them. I’m proud that I’ve been able to stay in the game and keep going. I’m obviously not rich but I get tremendous fulfillment both spiritually and mentally from doing this. I love it so much. Maybe that is the type of “making it” we should be focusing on.


Interview and band photo courtesy of C Squared Music.

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