AN ARTIST AT THE POKER TABLE
A DISCUSSION WITH DUSTIN KENSRUE
Growing up in Orange County, one is automatically issued a guitar or haircare products. Thank god Dustin Kensrue picked up the former. Early on, Dustin was drawn to music from his parents’ extensive collection of classic rock albums. Listening to such greats as Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, and the Beatles, Kensrue grew to admire the style and drew inspiration from these legendary luminaries.
Beginning his musical endeavors playing in punk bands, Kensrue quickly evolved, with the help of life-long friend Teppei Teranishi, to form Thrice, while still in high school. Although Dustin has never considered himself a “guitar guy,” he has been one of the most inspirational figures in hardcore music, and even rock in general. His songwriting ability, amazing vocal prowess, and strong stage presence have made him a venerable force in music today.
Stepping out of his comfort zone of the band he’s been in for the better part of a decade, Kensrue picked up his acoustic and began performing solo over the last year, playing sporadic shows around Southern California and New York. After deciding to release a solo record, Kensrue approached his label representative to present the idea. Uncertain he could give the album the attention it deserved, Kensrue’s A&R representative gave his blessing for Dustin to pursue another label to release the album.
Dustin turned to New York’s Equal Vision Records, and a short time later, Please Come Home was released to overwhelmingly positive reviews from the press, and more importantly: his fans the world over. Please Come Home shows a side of Kensrue that his public may not see, but has always been portrayed through his songwriting.
Kensrue is a very heartfelt and sincere songwriter. In particular, the Thrice album, The Artist in the Ambulance, is a beautifully crafted work that displays Kensrue’s appreciation for an individual that saved his life, and his desire to make the same person—a total stranger—proud for his endeavor. The same admiration and respect is show in spades in Please Come Home.
What’s next for Dustin? A recent stint on The Late Show with David Letterman has helped gain Kensrue national attention, and a summer tour will keep the troubadour busy while his band mates in Thrice rest from the group’s current effort: a four-disc, twenty-five song album based entirely on the four classic elements–wind, water, earth, and fire.
Promising a huge array of styles, a paradigm shift from the bands recent release Vheissu, out on Island Records, this album, according to Kensrue, “…definitely goes further in different directions than we’ve gone before. Disassembling a normal Thrice song, breaking them further than we have, messing around with them…”.
An amazing songwriter, a non-stop workhorse, and an avid poker player, Dustin Kensrue has become one of the most inspirational, prominent figures in music today, and continues to make friends and fans the world over.