Latest release: A Dark Place (Independent)Website: www.facebook.com/DisKustband/
Mask-wearing is something that has not only existed since performing and story-telling began, but on a deeper level is a thing we all do at some point both literally and metaphorically. That motif became a theme for the artwork of Nevermore’s albums; literal mask-wearing has become a part of the scenery in the world of rock music in all of its vast and varied forms, and artists have done it for just as wide an array of reasons.
With Kiss it was a straight-up gimmick, for Slipknot it was a way to represent the anonymity of the individual in a conformist society. To the guys in Terror Universal, wearing a mask was probably to hide their identities as guys who played in Terror Universal. Whatever the case may be, wearing a mask as part of a band’s public image – and not just for the sake of it now and then – should come with some kind of creative philosophy.
“It’s just an extension of our music – our music is dark and gritty, so our look is dark and gritty,” explains Bo Antrobus, frontman for south-east Queenslanders DisKust. “Maybe as time goes on, our music might change and our look might change. It’s just how we felt we wanted to look and how we felt the music should look. It’s the physical representation of the music we’re playing.”
Masking themselves was part and parcel of their vision from the beginning.
“It was always part of the plan to wear those,” Antrobus says, before repeating what the band have declared in previous interviews: “I wouldn’t call us a masked band – it’s more of a creative outlet, because we can wear them, or we don’t. We don’t have to wear them and we don’t want to cast ourselves as a masked band because some of us wear half-masks, some of us wear full masks, and sometimes we might not [wear them] at all. It really depends on how we’re feeling, and how we progress and where we’re at, at the time.”
All the masks in the world won’t help your band if the music and performance isn’t there to back it up. As demonstrated on their recent EP release, DisKust’s music is a raging, snarling wrecking ball that pulls from nu-metal, groove and metalcore with an aura of gloom and deep personal angst that makes its title A Dark Place savagely accurate. Most of the songs go back several years now, as it took them some time to get all the necessary ducks in a row.
“It was a bit different to how we would normally do things,” the singer admits. “It did take a bit longer than we thought it was going to. We had that written for nearly two years and we went through a few members so there was a couple of changes. Eventually we felt that we had to get it done.”
While COVID put the brakes on some bands, it seems that DisKust used it as an incentive to step up and get their act together. After a couple of formative years, Antrobus says, “When COVID hit, that’s when we decided to hit it hard. No one was doing anything, so we decided to really get out there.”
Any time they’ve been able to do so over the past couple of years, DisKust has hit the stage, just recently tearing it up on tour in support of A Dark Place. Next month they will be among the legion of acts at what seems to be becoming a hallowed event for the Australian heavy music community, Blacken Open Air.
“We’re just really excited to be there. I spoke to a guy recently when we played at Brightside and he had previously been in a band who had played Blacken, and he said it’s completely different to anything you would expect. I really don’t know what I was expecting in the first place,” Antrobus says with a laugh, “so now I have no idea!”
Not about to rest on their laurels, DisKust will continue to hit the road the year. They’re also working on new material for a full length album, with a good percentage of the tracks already done.
“We just shot a clip for a brand new song. That’s going to be part of an album that we’ve half-written at the moment. We’ve got about seven songs for that at the moment. So, we’re working on the new single and we’ve got another tour coming up. That might tie into that, depending how it goes. We’ll be on the road with Awake in Time, friends of ours from Brisbane.”
Expect to see more of these masked maniacs around the country very soon.