SDP: Should we bring those back?
Dustin: I think Saturday is the night.
DeVito: Saturday it is. Dead baby jokes.
Dustin: I’ll slip one in there.
San Diego Punk sat down with Dustin and DeVito from News From The Front for a snappy interview at Rudfords Diner on El Cajon Blvd. News From The Front is playing at The Ken Club on Saturday March 12th.
SDP: Who are you guys?
Dustin: I am Dustin Blackwell, or Cheetah Head. I play bass and do vocals in News From The Front. San Diego punk rock.
DeVito: I’m DeVito. I’m the life of the party. I do most of the networking, and I drum.
SDP: How did the band start?
SDP: Did you all start looking separately, or at the same time?
DeVito: We started separately at the same time. Me and one of the guitarists, Chris, started playing together.
SDP: Is he the one who sings, mostly.
Dustin: Yes, he’s the one who sings mostly. I stopped playing. I was in another band called New Age Heroes. I stopped playing in that for various reasons.
DeVito: It’s funny, I got an email from Dustin who was looking for a drummer at the time. But I wasn’t really interested, because I didn’t like his hair.
SDP: His current hair, or did he have previous hair?
DeVito: I think he has always had hair.
Dustin: I used to have a Mohawk. But the music was a lot tamer. I used to call it pop punk.
DeVito: It wasn’t really my cup of tea. But we connected through that. And I was jamming with the other guitarist. And Chris hits me up through Craigslist, and asks me to come over and jam. So I bring the other guitarist. We threw down some tunes, and we like them. So that’s how it came to be.
Dustin: I was playing with Chris that whole time.
DeVito: I got ice in my mouth.
SDP: What’s the story behind the name of the band?
DeVito: We were going through a million names. It just sort of stuck. Plus we are all really big Bad Religion fans
Dustin: It is sort of a tribute.
DeVito: We wanted something that goes with our music. What we sing about is everyday life, or what’s going on in the world. Our society. We figure that we are pretty much on the frontlines everyday.
Dustin: That pretty much sums it up.
SDP: Tell me about the music you play.
DeVito: Loud. Fast.
Dustin: Constantly trying to be faster.
SDP: Is there a consistent message or theme you guys want in the songs?
DeVito: Chris writes most of the songs…
Dustin: Well, I think… I am writing more of the songs… not more as in quantity, but I am writing more of the songs.
SDP: More than you did before…
SDP: When you were writing no songs.
Dustin: That’s right. Exactly. I look a lot to the news and to what is going on in the world. I think there is a lot to be said about what’s going on. Everyday life outside of ‘my girlfriend dumped me’.
DeVito: It is very politically and socially based.
Dustin: But not too preachy.
SDP: Do you ask the questions or try to answer the questions?
Dustin: We don’t give you the answers. It is up to you to find the answers. All you can do is lay out the question for someone. If they want to answer it, then they are going to find the answer to it. You can’t escape personal bias. And some of it comes across in our music. But even when it does, it isn’t ‘Fuck you for not thinking how I do’. It’s more of ‘This is my stance. This is how I feel’.