Dasterds Album Release
Saturday, July 13 @ 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. 21+, Free, 9 p.m.
After releasing a small stack of EPs over the past few years, Dasterds are finally issuing a full-length LP, “Cherophobia.” The Lansing-based band masterfully unifies alt-rock with post-hardcore and throwback metal into one eclectic blast of punk rock — and this new album showcases that mixture in all of its guitar-shredding glory. Think Weezer meets Mötley Crüe.
This weekend, the band — Cody Hobbins (lead vocals and guitar), Myke Shaw (guitar and vocals), Ari Zanoni (bass and vocals) and John Thompson on drums — releases the new disc at The Avenue Café. The Saturday evening bill also includes The Quirk, Alright, Singing Lungs and Scary Women.
Hobbins, 28, Dasterds’ chief songwriter, just returned from a mini-tour spanning Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. Over the years, the Lansing music scene vet has also spent time gigging in a few other local bands, including past stints in Banned & Burned and Dead Hour Noise. The Eaton Rapids native also currently moonlights as bassist in The Hat Madder. Here, he discusses his new Dasterds record and how it came to life.
The new album, “Cherophobia,” is finally here — any favorite tracks?
Cody Hobbins: Mine, personally, is “Spoiled Rotten.” It has a super fun hook to sing, the flow is great and that Thin Lizzy-sounding guitar harmony towards the end is easily my favorite part on the record.
That old-school, hard-rock sound looms over many of your songs, especially in the guitar solos — was that on purpose?
Heavy metal has definitely been the biggest influence on my playing. Myke and I cut our teeth on all that new wave of British heavy metal stuff, so we’re big time on the guitar harmonies. Almost every band I’ve been in has been a heavy metal act. Dasterds is the first band I’ve been in that hasn’t been at all heavy, but I try and slip in as much of that as I can. From my guitar amp choice to my choice in guitar pickups, it’s all influenced by heavy metal. I really like tweaking that stuff to fit within a more punk and pop context.
Would you say you’re meticulous about the entire songwriting process?
I’m constantly writing and getting rid of songs. I feel like you almost have to dig through the bad stuff until you come across something special. I’ll know if something is worth keeping and working on if John, Myke, and Ari get really stoked about a song, otherwise we’ll practice a song once or twice and dump it if there isn’t a certain feeling in the room about it.
Since Dasterds formed in 2015, you’ve released three EPs, a bunch of singles and have been a part of some compilations — how was it working on the new full-length album?
“Cherophobia” was recorded at Smog Moon Recordings in Lansing. Recording this record was really fun, but I was stressed the whole time. It’s a departure in a lot of ways from what we were doing, so we did our absolute best to get every little detail right. Thankfully, [producer] Nate Iversen was incredible to work with and brought this record to life beyond any of our expectations. This album is also John and Ari’s first record with the band and they did an incredible job, given we hadn’t even been playing together for one full year yet.