ZACK DUST: ‘Glasbenik danes več časa tipka, kot pa ustvarja, kar je žalostno.’

Zack Dust (Foto Dino Možek)

Pogovarjali smo se s pevcem, avtorjem in kitaristom, ki sliši na ime Zack Dust.

Na Hrvaškem rojeni umetnik je pred leti deloval v Združenih državah Amerike, kjer je posnel albuma ‘The Other Side of the Ocean’ (2010) in ‘Justice’ (2013), pred kratkim pa se je predstavil z novim projektom ‘Live at Moonlight Sessions’, s katerim je razkril nekaj novih skladb in obenem nakazal, kaj lahko pričakujemo od novega albuma, ki je že v zaključni fazi snemanja. Sledili bodo koncerti.


Zack Dust je country/blues/folk/amerikana pevec in avtor svojih skladb. Prvi album je posnel v Hollywoodu, in sicer pod vodstvom producenta Robija Banerjia (The Rolling Stones, Crosby, Stills & Nash , Herbie Hancock, Jewel, itd). Gostil pa je še kar nekaj znanih glasbenikov, kot so Phil Jones (bobnar pri Tomu Pettyju), Maxayn Lewis (Jerry Lee Lewis backvokal), Fuzzbee Morse (inštrumentalist za Bono Vox, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, etc.) in Tihomir Borošak (bas). Album je čez lužo požel uspeh in Zack Dust se je odpravil na turnejo, kjer je oder delil tudi z imeni Bernard Fowler (The Rolling Stones), Eric Burdon and the Animals, Santana, Solomon Burke, itd. Drugi album ‘Justice’ (2013) je produciral skupaj s kitaristom Marcom Fordom iz zasedbe The Black Crowes.


Povezave:
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Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ZackDust/vi…
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Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/69f0v…



ROCKER.SI: Lepo pozdravljen, Zack! Lepo te je videti, kako si? Kaj si počel v zadnjih tednih?

ZACK DUST: Enako! V zadovoljstvo mi je delati ta intervju! Dobro sem, sploh glede na celotno situacijo, hvala za vprašanje. Zelo sem bil zaposlen, pisal sem nov material, snemal in vadil z novim bandom.

ROCKER.SI: Zelo produktiven si bil, predstavil si dve novi skladbi ‘Forever Free’ in ‘This Living Feels Like Dying’ – odlični skladb mimogrede! Si našel navdih v teh – pa reciva – nenavadnih časih?

ZACK DUST: Sem zadovoljen, da so ti pesmi všeč. Živim takšno življenje, da je človek lahko navdihnjen praktično vsak dan, ampak sem velikokrat preveč len, da bi si vse zapisal. Imam svojo metologijo dela in ustvarjanja. Če ideja ostane v moji glavi vsaj še nekaj let, potem mora biti dobra (smeh)! In ko se to zgodi, vzamem list papirja in jo zapišem. Težki časi so me prisilili, da sem končno realiziral vse te ideje in jih pretvoril v skladbe. Hvaležen sem za to!

ROCKER.SI: Je Zack Dust Band tvoj uradni band? Ali je to ekipa spremljevalnih glasbenikov?

ZACK DUST: To je skupina mojih prijateljev glasbenikov, ki jim je všeč, kar počnem, in so se odločili, da bodo del moje zgodbe. Skladbe so moje, oni pa poskrbijo, da zvenijo, kot si želim.

Zack Dust (Foto Dino Možek)

ROCKER.SI: Glasbena družina je lahko kot prava družina, ali deliš enak občutek?

ZACK DUST: Absolutno prav imaš. Glasbena družina je lahko kot prava družina, če imaš to srečo, da delaš dlje časa z enako zasedbo ali še bolje – če delaš s prijatelji. Včasih ko igramo skupaj, dobim ta občutek, ki ga lahko začutimo le tisti, ki konstantno igramo skupaj. Sploh ne vem, kako bi mu rekel, ampak je prekleto dober občutek! To so trenutki, ki nas povežejo na drugačen način, saj takšne čustvene izkušnje ne moreš deliti z nikomur drugim. To so tudi trenutki, ki me spomnijo, zakaj sploh igram in ustvarjam glasbo.

ROCKER.SI: V Združenih državah Amerike si dobro poznan, kako to, da si se vrnil na Hrvaško? Kje trenutno stanuješ? 

ZACK DUST: Ne bi rekel, da sem dobro poznan, sem bil pa vse naokoli (smeh). Prva dva albuma sem posnel v Kaliforniji, skupaj z ljudmi, katerih delo zelo spoštujem. Vse se je začelo leta 2009, ko sem bil še v zasedbi Voodoo Lizards. Sodelovali smo z Jimmyjem Ripom in Bernardom Fowlerjem, ampak naš album takrat ni bil dokončan. Vseno je bila dobra izkušnja, ker sem spoznal nekaj pomembnih ljudi iz glasbene industrije. Eden takšnih je bil Robi Banerji. Začeli smo snemati album, pri čemer so pomagali še nekateri najboljši glasbeniki iz tam. Odigrali smo cel kup koncertov in prodali veliko CD-jev. Bili so dobri časi. Edino potovanja tja in nazaj so me ubijala, ker nisem mogel dobiti zelene karte. Bilo je predrago, imel sem prevelike stroške in nisem mogel služiti takšnega denarja. Družino sem imel na Hrvaškem in moral sem se vrniti. Doma sem potem začel nastopati, iskal sem zaslužek, toliko da sem preživel. Leta 2013 sem se vrnil v Kalifornijo, kjer sem delal na drugem albumu ‘Justice’ z Marcom Fordom iz The Black Crowes. Nedolgo po tem, ko smo končali album, pa sem se moral ponovno vrniti domov. Trenutno živim na Hrvaškem, sodelujem pa večinoma z ljudmi iz Nashvillea in tamkajšnje glasbene scene. Tudi Slovenijo sem že obiskal in mi je bila všeč. Nisem pa je videl toliko, kot bi si želel. Rad bi obiskal Bovec in reko Sočo. Slišal sem, da je reka Soča čudovita, ampak zelo hladna, kar mi je všeč! Veselim se, da bom ponovno nastopal po Sloveniji.

ROCKER.SI: Kaj se je zgodilo leta 2014, v nekem intervjuju si rekel, da si nehal nastopati v ZDA?

ZACK DUST: Bilo je vsega skupaj preveč. Nič se ne zgodi čez noč, tudi jaz sem moral garati. Velikokrat sem se znašel na cesti, spal sem kar v avtu, naslednje jutro pa sploh nisem vedel, v kateri državi sem. Komajda sem imel dovolj denarja, da sem prišel do naslednjega mesta (smeh)! V tistem času sem imel dva sina tukaj na Hrvaškem, ki sta računala na to, da bo očku uspelo!

ROCKER.SI: Rekel si tudi, da je bilo to obdobje, ko si nehal ustvarjati glasbo? Kako si našel pot iz tega? Prebral sem, da si celo izgubil svoj dom, te je glasba rešila?

ZACK DUST: V tistem obdobju se je počasi vse izpelo. Nikoli nisem sicer nehal pisati ali rasti kot mednarodni glasbenik, ampak bilo je vsega preveč in bil sem tako preveč zaposlen z igranjem za denar, da sem sploh lahko pokril mesečne stroške. Nisem imel več moči, da bi nadaljeval. Nisem mogel biti jaz. To se zgodi mnogim, ampak zdaj lahko rečem, da sem nazaj na pravi poti. Ko se je začel COVID-19, pa se je vse ustavilo. Brez koncertov, brez denarja, brez milosti (smeh)! Ta del, brez milosti, je bil razlog, da sem izgubil svoj dom in sem bil prisljen živeti na ulici. Takrat sem se naučil, kako kruto je lahko življenje. Nekaj mesecev kasneje mi je uspelo najeti malo sobo za vaje na obrobju mesta, tako da sem lahko nekaj časa živel tam. V tistem času sem se veliko naučil o sebi. Začel sem tudi pisati. Skladbe so bile tam, samo zapisati sem jih moral in izdelati načrt, kako bom posnel album. Brez prihodkov in prihrankov ni bilo lahko. Glasba mi je pomagala spoznati, da moram biti to, kar sem, ne glede na vse.

Zack Dust (Foto Dora Kopitar)

ROCKER.SI: Je res, da si imel resne težave z alkoholom? Bi rekel, da je alkohol velik problem v življenju glasbenika, recimo v Združenih državah Amerike? Pogosto slišimo nore rock’n’roll zgodbe o seksu in drogah, je kaj resnice v tem? Stara 80. leta so bila razburkana, kaj pa danes?

ZACK DUST: Vsi smo popivali in vedno več je bilo tega, dokler ni postala navada. Veliko glasbenikov najde uteho v alkoholu in verjemi mi, potrebno je kar nekaj časa, da si priznaš, da imaš problem. Ko ti uspe, takrat se šele začnejo prave težave. Lahko rečem, da sem bil dovolj močan, da sem nehal. Hvaležen sem, da imam še danes ob sebi prijatelje, ki so mi pomagali na poti. Nore zgodbe so ponavadi resnične (smeh)! Pogosto se ljudje ne zavedajo, kaj vse mora prestati glasbenik in kakšen življenjski stil mora živeti, če želi preživeti. Pogosto vodi do drog in alkohola. Tako da so zgodbe večinoma resnične. Žal. Ampak po drugi strani pa je tudi veliko ljudi, ki jim je uspelo preobrniti svoje življenje in so našli nov zagon ter motivacijo v drugih, boljših rečeh, kot sta šport in meditacija. Lahko počneš slabe stvari, vsaj nekaj časa, ampak na dolgi rok ne boš prišel daleč. Tisti, ki še danes vladajo na odrih in nam dajejo dobro glasbo, so bili dovolj pametni in so našli dovolj moči, da so zmagali v tem boju in so se znebili hudiča!

ROCKER.SI: Oprosti, ker sva postala tako resna tako hitro. Greva na glasbo!

ZACK DUST: “Why so serious (smeh)?!”

ROCKER.SI: Od vseh izvajalcev in producentov, s katerimi si sodeloval skozi leta, bi lahko izpostavil koga? Si imel učitelja ali guruja? Imaš še danes koga, ki ti pomaga in te vodi?

ZACK DUST: Od vsakega umetnika sem se naučil nekaj in vsak producent posebej je obogatil moje znanje. Še vedno se učim od teh ljudi. Eden takšnih je Darrell Scott. Vsak dan me navdihuje. Darrell je izjemen inštrumentalist, vokalist in avtor glasbe, zares imam srečo, da sva odpela duet na mojem novem albumu. Lahko bi naštel druga imena, ki me navdihujejo, ampak bi trajalo celo večnost.

ROCKER.SI: “Stara duša v telesu mladega človeka,” tudi to sem prebral o tebi. Misliš, da si bil rojen v napačnem času? Je kakšen čas glasbene zgodovine, v katerega bi se vrnil?

ZACK DUST: Ne bi rekel ravno tako, ampak si pa včasih želim, da bi se rodil v drugem času. Mogoče v ne tako napetem času, kot smo zdaj, v času družbenih medijev in instantnih zvezd. Reciva, da mi je bilo bolj všeč, preden so prišli pametni telefoni. Šel bi nazaj v čas, da bi videl mladega Elvisa, kako kaže svoje gibe in da bi videl izraze na obrazih ljudi, medtem ko to počne (smeh).

Zack Dust (Foto Dora Kopitar)

ROCKER.SI: Kako bi v nekaj stavkih primerjal delo glasbenika v Los Angeles in na Hrvaškem. Kaj pa snemanje v studiu, si se v Ameriki naučil novih trikov?

ZACK DUST: Povsod rad nastopam, sploh za ljudi, ki si želijo prisluhniti. Ampak moram pa reči, da mi je bolje nastopati v ZDA, ker se ljudje lažje povežejo z zgodbami. To je njihov jezik, navsezadnje! Besedila so mi zelo pomembna in rad vidim, da ljudje poslušajo in predvsem razumejo, o čem pojem. V Evropi še poslušalci težje osredotočijo na besedilo, sploh če gre na njim novega oziroma nepoznanega izvajalca. Glasbeni trg v ZDA je tudi veliko večji, veliko več je prizorišč, glasbenikov, lahko bi igral koncert vsak dan, če bi želel. Hkrati pa je večja tekmovalnost med izvajalaci, kar ti daje dodaten zagon, da še naprej delaš in si vsak dan boljši. Veliko trikov sem se naučil, ko sem bil v ZDA, ampak sem imel res srečo, da sem delal z vsemi temi talentiranimi posamezniki. Večinoma so to triki, za katere sem že slišal, nisem pa vedel, kako jih izvesti. Vsrkal sem vase  znanje in vse ideje, kolikor sem pač lahko.

ROCKER.SI: Trenutno delaš na novi, skupno tretji plošči. Kaj bi rad, da vemo o albumu, preden bo dokončan? Kje v procesu nastajanja oz. snemanja se trenutno nahajaš?

ZACK DUST: Res je in na ta album sem zares ponosen, ker bo vseboval kopico glasbenih gostov. Omenil sem že Darrella Scotta, poleg njega pa še Cowboy Eddie Long na pedal steel kitari, Peter Keys na orglah, Mickey Ralpahel na harpi, Jim Hoke na trobilih, Patrick McAvinue na piščali, Sharlotte Gibson, Mayavn Lewis in Stacy Michelle na backvokalih in moja prijatelja Tomislav Kosic na basu ter Rajko Loncaric na klavirju in mandolini. Snemanje je skoraj že končano!

ROCKER.SI: Je že znan datum izida?

ZACK DUST: Tudi jaz bi rad vedel datum izida! Upam, da bo album končan še to poletje. Dal bom vse od sebe, da bo izdan proti koncu leta. Težko je financirati snemanje brez založbe ali resnega sponzorja. Imel pa sem to srečo, da so glasbeniki z mano snemali zastonj. Samo želeli so si biti del zgodbe.

ROCKER.SI: Res mi je všeč tvoja glasba, pozitivna, ampak umirjena. V Sloveniji bi hitro našel poslušalce. Se ti zdi, da je glasbeni trg vseeno prevelik, ker niti dobra glasba danes ni nujno dovolj. Moraš najti svoje poslušalce, namesto, da bi oni našli tvojo glasbo. Bi se strinjal s tem?

ZACK DUST: To je še eden izmed razlogov, zakaj bi rad potoval nazaj v čas. Glasbenik danes več časa tipka, kot pa ustvarja, kar je žalostno. Vse je instantno, še življenje. Rast glasbenika je odvisna od všečkov in sledilcev. To je strašljivo sranje, ampak to je naša realnost. Ne morem se navaditi na to in verjetno se nikoli ne bom. Težko je, ampak kot sem rekel prej … moraš biti to, kar si, in početi tisto, kar imaš rad. Ne glede na všečke in sledilce. Nekateri blefirajo in se dobro počutijo ob tem. Jaz nisem eden izmed njih. Vesel sem, da je tebi všeč moja glasba in lepo je videti, da razumeš, kako težko je v tem poslu. Upam, da imaš prav tudi glede poslušalcev v Sloveniji! Bom izvedel, slej ko prej! Kmalu, upam!!!

ROCKER.SI: Kaj je tisto, kar te vabi in kliče pri poklicu profesionalnega glasbenika, pa čeprav nikakor ni enostavno? Včasih se mora zdeti zelo nehvaležen način preživljanja?

ZACK DUST: Kaj pa vem, jaz v resnici nikoli nisem imel izbire. Že od majhnega sem vedel, kaj si želim početi. Seveda sem imel pomisleke, še danes jih imam, ampak če imaš rad, kar počneš, ne smeš pobegniti stran od tega.

ROCKER.SI: Kako se soočaš s pritiskom industrije, da je treba nenehno ustvarjati novo glasbo?

ZACK DUST:  Če sem iskren, nikoli nisem bil del organizacije, ki narekuje, kako in kdaj bi moral izdati glasbo. Tako da nikoli nisem čutil pritiska pisati, igrati ali izdati. To mora biti grozno, ampak vem, da se pogosto dogaja. Vsi smo že slišali slabo glasbo od dobrih bandov, ravno zaradi tega. Upam, da se nikoli ne znajdem v takšni situaciji.

ROCKER.SI: Kje najdeš svoj trenutek miru? Kam “pobegneš”, ko se želiš skriti pred vsemi?

ZACK DUST: Rad se umaknem v naravo, sploh če je zraven voda. Reka, jezero, morje, ni važno. Še vedno sanjam o majhni leseni hišici blizu vode, z vrtom zadaj in lepo verando, kjer bi lahko igral na kitaro!

ROCKER.SI: In kje te ne bi nikoli našli?

ZACK DUST: Hmmmm….. nikoli me ne bi našli na Tik Toku (smeh).

ROCKER.SI: Naštej tri stvari, brez katerih ne moreš živeti.

ZACK DUST: Glasba, ljubezen in cigarete (upam, da kmalu nadomestim to zadnjo)

ROCKER.SI: Naštej aktivnost, ki je ne preneseš.

ZACK DUST: Nakladanje.

ROCKER.SI: Kakšen tip osebe mora biti posameznik, če se želi preživljati z glasbo?

ZACK DUST: Odvisno od tega, kako daleč želiš priti in koliko si pripravljen za to žrtvovati. Nekaj vem zagotovo, in to je, da moraš verjeti v to, kar počneš. Moraš vztrajati, pa naj se zgodi karkoli!

ROCKER.SI: Kaj pa drugi glasbeniki, je kdo, ki je vzbudil tvoje zanimanje?

ZACK DUST: Seveda je veliko mladih glasbenikov, ki so mi všeč in me nenehno presenečajo s svojo glasbo. Izpostavil bi izvajalce, kot so Lukas Nelson, Tyler Childers, Billy Strings in Sierra Hull.

ROCKER.SI: Kje nameravaš imeti koncerte, ko bo priložnost? Kdaj te bomo lahko videli v živo?

ZACK DUST:  Oh, upam, da bom kmalu dobil priložnost igrati, saj je trenutna situacija nevzdržna! Igral bi čim več po Evropi in v ZDA, bomo videli! Slovenija je del mojega načrta, definitivno!

ROCKER.SI: Želim ti vse dobro in upam, da se vidimo na kakšnem koncertu! Dobro bodi!

ZACK DUST: Hvala, da si me kontaktiral in se vidimo kmalu v Sloveniji!


*Angleška verzija intervjuja

ROCKER.SI: Hello, Zack. Great to see you! What you’ve been up to these last few weeks?

ZACK DUST: Hi there, it’s my pleasure to be doing this interview! I’m doing fine considering the whole situation, thank you for asking. I’ve been keeping it real busy for the last couple of months, writing new stuff, recording and rehearsing with my new band.

ROCKER.SI: You’ve been really productive, with two songs ‘Forever Free’ and ‘This Living Feels Like Dying’. Great songs, by the way! Did you find inspiration in these – let’s say – strange times?

ZACK DUST: Thank you for liking my songs! Well I live the kind of life where a man can easily get inspired almost every day, but I am often too lazy to write it all down. I guess I have my own methodology in creating. I say to myself that if an idea sticks around in my head for at least a couple of years then it’s got to be good, hahahaha. And when that happens I grab a piece of paper and write it down. These hard times definitely forced me to write my ideas down and turn them into real songs. I am grateful that happened!

ROCKER.SI: Is Zack Dust band an official band of yours? Or is it a group of supporting musicians? Do you create music together ror are you the only author?

ZACK DUST: It’s a group of friends and musicians that like what I do and they’ve decided to be a part of my story. The songs are mine but they do a great job making my songs sound the way I want them to sound.

ROCKER.SI: Music family is almost like a real family – do you share the same feeling?

ZACK DUST: Well, you are absolutely right. It is a family if you’re lucky enough to be working with a steady band or even better with your friends. Sometimes while playing together you get that feeling that only people playing together constantly can feel. I don’t even know what to call it but it’s a damn good feeling. Those are the moments that can connect people in a different way because you can’t share that kind of an emotional experience with nobody else. Those are the moments that remind me why I am playing and creating music in the first place.

ROCKER.SI: You are well known in the States, what is your history with the land over sea? How come you decided to return back to Croatia? Is that where you’re currently staying? Do you sometimes visit Slovenia?

ZACK DUST: Hahahah. I wouldn’t say I am well known in the States but I’ve been around. I was lucky enough to do my first two albums in California together with people whose work I admire. It all started back in 2009 while I still had a rock and roll band called Voodoo Lizards. We worked with Jimmy Rip and Bernard Fowler but our record was never published. It was a good experience and I’ve met a lot of people in the music business that liked what I was doing. One of them is Robi Banerji, producer of my first album. Right after my band broke up I’ve sent some songs to Robi and he invited me to California. That’s when it all started. We recorded my first album together with some of the best musicians out there. We did a bunch of concerts after that album and I’ve sold a lot of CD’s. It was looking good. The thing that was killing me is that I had to travel back and forward all the time because I couldn’t get a green card. It was just too expensive, I couldn’t earn that kind of money. My family was in Croatia and I had to return home and start playing gigs as much as I could just to earn enough to get by. I went back to California in 2013 to work on my second album “Justice” with Marc Ford from The Black Crowes. Not long after finishing the album I went back home again , for the same reasons. Currently I live in Croatia, but I work mostly with people from Nashville’s music scene. I’ve been to Slovenia a couple of times and I liked it. I haven’t seen much of it but my desire is to visit Bovec and river Soča.  I hear that Soča is beautiful but very cold!!!  I like that! I am really looking forward to play my music all around Slovenia!

Zack Dust – Moonlight press

ROCKER.SI: What happened in 2014 – you said in some interview that was when you stopped performing in USA?

ZACK DUST: Yeah, like I said before, it was just too much to handle. Nothing happens overnight, you have to work for it hard. A lot of times I found myself on the road, sleeping in the car, waking up the next morning not even knowing in which State I’m in and I barely had enough cash to get me to the next town. Hahahaha! At the same moment I had two sons back home in Croatia counting on their daddy to make it!

ROCKER.SI: You also said that in that time you weren’t creating new music. How did you get over that? And how did you find something to sing about? 

ZACK DUST: Well that period was a slow fade out. I didn’t stop writing or growing as an artist intentionally. It was too much all together and I was so busy playing around earning money for my monthly expenses that I simply didn’t have the time or strength to continue being who I really was. That happens to a lot of folks but I can say that I am back on the right track once again. When Corona started everything else stopped. No concerts, no money, no mercy, hahahah!

ROCKER.SI: You lost your home, I’ve read?

ZACK DUST: No mercy part is why I lost my home and was forced to live out on the street and I learned once again how cruel life can be. A couple of months later I’ve managed to rent a small practicing room on the outskirts of my town so I was able to spend nights there. I’ve learned a lot of things about myself in that period and I started writing a lot. The songs were already there, I just had to put them on paper and make a damn good plan of how to make a record with no income and no savings. Music helped me to realize I should be who I’m supposed to be no matter what. That is the hardest job.

ROCKER.SI: You were drinking your life away, I’ve also heard you say. Do you find that alcohol is a serious problem in general in a life of a musician. We often hear these crazy rock’n’roll stories from the 80’s, but what about nowadays? Is there some truth in all of this? In the USA maybe?

ZACK DUST: Yeah, something like that. We were all drinking more and more until it became a daily thing. A lot of musicians found comfort in booze and believe me it takes time to really realize and to admit to yourself that you have a problem. When you manage to do that, that’s when the real troubles start. I am happy to say I was strong enough to quit and I am grateful for having friends that helped me along the way. Crazy stories are always true, hahaha! A lot of times people don’t know what musicians have to go through and what kind of life they need to live in order to make it or to simply make a living. A lot of times that leads to drug and alcohol usage. So the stories we hear are mostly true, sadly. On the other hand a lot of people completely changed their lives and found their drive and motivation in other, better things like sports and meditation. You can maybe do bad stuff for a while but you won’t get very far. People who are still out there rocking the stage and giving us good music were smart enough and strong enough to win their fights and get rid of the devil!

ROCKER.SI: Sorry we got so serious so quickly! Let’s talk about music! 

ZACK DUST: Why so serious? Hahaha.

ROCKER.SI: From all the artists and producers you worked with over the years, is there someone you would put forward? Someone that stood out? Did you have a teacher, a guru? Do you still have someone that helps you and guides you?

ZACK DUST: I learned a lot from every artist and every producer I’ve worked with.  I am still learning from people I work with these days. One of them is Darrell Scott. He inspires me in every way, every direction. He is an amazing instrumentalist, vocalist and a songwriter and I am lucky enough to have him singing a duet and playing pedal steel on my new album. I could go on naming people that inspire me, old and new artist but that would take forever.

ROCKER.SI: “Old soul in a young man’s body”, do you agree with that? Do you feel like that? And do you feel you were born in the wrong time?

ZACK DUST: I wouldn’t put it that way but sometimes I wish I was born in a different time, more easy going time, especially in the time free of this social media craziness and instant stars. Let’s say I liked it better the way it was before smartphones came along. I would like to travel back to see young Elvis showing of his moves and to see the looks on people’s faces while he’s doing it! Hahahaha.

ROCKER.SI: How would you compare working as a musician in the States, let’s say Los Angeles, and in Croatia. What about recording in the studio – did you learn some trick there?

ZACK DUST: I like performing everywhere if there are people who want to listen but I have to say I felt better performing in the States because people can relate to your stories much quicker and easier. It’s their language after all! I find lyrics very important and it matters to me when people listen and understand what I’m talking about.  Almost everyone understands English these days but I believe most people in Europe still don’t have the habit of concentrating on lyrics while they are listening to an artist that’s new to them. The market in the USA is bigger, much more venues, musicians, hell if you want you can play a gig every day. Sometimes even two or three per day. The competition is bigger but that gives you an additional drive to keep on doing what you do and to become better every day! I’ve learned a lot of tricks while working in the studios in the USA because I was lucky enough to work with people whose work I admire. So, those were mostly the tricks that I’ve heard before but I didn’t know how to pull ’em off. I was just soaking it up man, all of the ideas and as much knowledge as I could.

ROCKER.SI: You’re working on your new record, what do you want us to know before it will be finished? Where are you in the process of recording it?

ZACK DUST: Yes I am! This album is something I am really proud of and there are a lot of musicians on it that I’ve admired and still admire! I’ve already mentioned Darrell Scott but next to him I have Cowboy Eddie Long on pedal steel, Peter Keys on organ, Mickey Raphael on harp, Jim Hoke on brass and some steel also, Patrick McAvinue on fiddle, Sharlotte Gibson, Maxayn Lewis and Stacy Michelle on background vocals and my friends Tomislav Kosic on bass and Rajko Loncaric on piano and some mandolin. Recording is almost done!

ROCKER.SI: Do you have a release date?

ZACK DUST: I wish I knew the date, I really hope I will finish it during this summer and I will do my best to release it by the end of the year. It is really hard to finance it all without a label or a serious sponsor. But I was lucky enough that most of the musicians recorded for free because they liked my songs and they simply wanted to be a part of it!

ROCKER.SI: I really like your music, it is upbeat but also mellow, in Slovenia the crowd would love you. Do you feel sometimes that the music market is too large, because even good music today is probably not enough. You have to find a way to be heard, you have to find your listeners instead of them finding your music. How do you feel about that?

ZACK DUST: Yeah, that’s one more reason for travelling back in time. Artists really have to spend more time typing than creating these days! That’s sad. Everything is instant, even living. Your growth as an artist depends on likes and followers, scary shit but it’s our reality. I still can’t get used to that and maybe I never will. It’s hard but like I said before…you gotta be who you are and gotta do what you love. No matter how many followers or likes. Some people can fake it and feel good about it, I’m not one of them. I am happy you like my music and it’s nice to see you get the picture of how hard it is! I hope you are right about the people in Slovenia liking my stuff, I guess we’ll have to find out! Soon, hopefully!!!

ROCKER.SI: What is it about being a professional musician that call you? Even though it is not a perfect job, because it must feel like an ungrateful occupation sometimes? 

ZACK DUST: What is it about being a musician that (even though it is not an easy job) … I guess I didn’t have a choice. I knew what I wanted to do since I was a kid. Of course I had second thoughts, and still have them from time to time but if you love it like I do you can’t run away from it.

ROCKER.SI: How do you deal with expectations and the pressure in the music industry that you have to release new music every few months, album every two years and so on …?

ZACK DUST: To be honest, I was never a part of an organization that dictates me how and when to release. So I never felt the pressure to write, play or publish. That must be horrible but I know it happens a lot. We’ve all heard really bad music coming from a lot of bands we like, because of that. I hope I’ll never find myself in a situation like that.

ROCKER.SI: Where do you go to run away from it all? Where do you find your peaceful moment? And where is the place we would never find you?

ZACK DUST: I love spending time in nature, especially if there’s water nearby. River, lake, the sea, doesn’t matter. Still dreaming of having a small wooden house close to water with a garden in the back. And a nice porch where I could write and play! Hmmmm….. you would never find me on Tik Tok hahaha.

ROCKER.SI: Name three things you can’t live without.

ZACK DUST: Music, love and cigarettes (hope to replace that last thing soon)

ROCKER.SI: Name an activity you “hate”.

ZACK DUST: Bullshiting.

ROCKER.SI: What kind of person do you think one has to be for being a good musician? 

ZACK DUST: It depends of what your goal is and how far is one ready to go and how much you are willing to sacrifice. One thing I know for sure is that you have to believe in what you do and keep on doing it no matter what!

ROCKER.SI: What about some younger bands and artists – is there someone who got you excited? 

ZACK DUST: Of course, there are a lot of young guys/girls out there that I like and that constantly surprise me with their new music! People like Lukas Nelson, Tyler Childers, Billy Strings, Sierra Hull and many more!

ROCKER.SI: Where do you plan to perform when you get the chance?

ZACK DUST: Oh, I hope that chance will come soon because this whole situation is becoming unbearable! My plan is to perform as much as I can, Europe and USA, we’ll see! Slovenia is a part of the plan definitely!

ROCKER.SI: Thank you so much for taking the time. I wish you all the best and I hope to see you in a concert real soon. Take care!

ZACK DUST: Thank you for reaching out to me and I’ll see you soon in Slovenia!