Starset's Dustin Transmits Music Into Words Into Further Experimentations


In the early hours of New Years Day 2013, a radio astronomer at the Allen Telescope Array in northern California discovered a mysterious signal emanating from a star within the Ophiuchus Constellation.

Contained within the signal was a Message--of human origin--foretelling the details of man's imminent demise. The Message was brought to The Starset Society, who quickly realized the importance of its immediate publication. Risking extreme danger, The Starset Society commissioned a group of musicians and scientists to assist them in spreading the knowledge to a broader audience. This group became known simply as STARSET.

Please hold. STARSET will begin the TRANSMISSION of the Message to the public shortly. Frontman vocalist and song writer Dustin Bates discusses about their latest album "Transmissions" and who these guys are and what they can do!


1. First of all, who are you, and what do you do in the band?

Dustin: I am Dustin Bates and I am the singer and songwriter of STARSET.

2. Can you give those of us who aren't familiar with Starset a brief history of the band and can you please describe your sound for those who have yet to hear your music?

Dustin: STARSET was created in early 2013 when Dr. Aston Wise approached me with the idea of creating a rock band to help promote a specific Message to the public.  The Message is, in part, a warning of the perils of manipulated technology in the future, and was the initial inspiration for the record.  I describe our sound as Cinematic Rock.  It is essentially the rock soundtrack to a summer sci fi blockbuster movie.  Or so I envisioned when setting out to do the record.

3. Where does the band's name Starset come from and represent?

Dustin: It is a derivation of The Starset Society, the group that spearheaded our formation.  STARSET alludes to the planet PROX, which does not rotate and is thus in eternal sunset, or starset, in the temperate regions where future colonization will occur.

4. What would you say are the bands biggest collective musical influences, and also individual ones that you feel can be heard in the record?

Dustin: Cinematic influences would be Hans Zimmer and Sigur Ros, while the electronic elements could be inspired by anyone from NIN to Owl City to Deadmau5.  For the ever-present rock element, inspiration came from many bands, but most people mention bands like Deftones, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Breaking Benjamin.

5. You have released your debut album on Razor and Tie Records. Are you happy with being a part of the label, and what are some of your favorite label mates?

Dustin: Taylor Momsen…If you are reading this, we are SOUL MATES and we are perfect for each other and I know you were meant for me and I know we've played shows together and I know you aren't aware I exist but please, I KNOW we were born for each other.  Taylor, TAYLOR, please don’t get that restraining order.  Please, Taylor, are you there?!?!?!?

6. Could you take us through the writing process of Starset? How does one of your epic songs come to be?

Dustin: First, there is the writing.  I found inspiration in Thomas Bell’s Message and his life’s story, which is amazing.  Using the two in tandem not only provided the elements of space, time, technology, astronomy, and the universe, but also light, dark, love, and adversity.  I think it came together to provide a nice dichotomy which is hopefully relatable to most anyone.  I’m realizing now that I also inadvertently incorporated my own life into it as well.   Much of the “epicness” then came from the production itself.  Rob Graves, the producer, was a critical element in that.  He sort of already lives in the cinematic world where STARSET exists, so it was natural.  Also, we recorded a real orchestra for the songs, so that doesn't hurt.

7. What does Transmissions mean to you all?

Dustin: Overall, it is a positive album about light overcoming darkness.

8. How does the album art relate to the music on the album?

Dustin: Everything relates to the Message.  The graphic novel that comes with the digital album begins to explain the Message, but a thorough report will be released in the form of a novel later.

9. Can you tell us why you wanted "My Demons" as the leading single of choice?

Dustin: Because it is a hit song.

10. Which song off this album would you say is your favorite and why?

Dustin: I guess I would say, right now it is The Future Is Now.  I just really love how the vibe turned out for that one, and the bridge is the culmination of what I wanted STARSET to be.

11. Do you think there is an element of the band’s sound that you would like to push out further on the next batch of songs? With so much going on in your sound, obviously there are elements that might get further explored?

Dustin: I intend to take the three elements—cinematic, rock, electronic—and develop and push them as far as I can. I have formulated much of the approach for the next record, but don’t want to spill the beans yet!

12. What does the band have planned for the rest of this year?

Dustin: Tour. Endlessly tour.

13. Anything else you want to say to the fans?

Dustin: We look forward to meeting you at a live demonstration soon.

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