The Dust Coda
Do these Appetite-loving Londoners have the world’s best backstage booze stash?
If you’d ambled through the sleepy Cotswolds town of Tetbury back in April, you might have spotted four interlopers spilling out of the pub. “We recorded our debut album in this really chocolate-box English setting,” The Dust Coda guitarist Adam Mackie recalls of making The Dust Coda, “and we stood out like a sore thumb. We spent the sessions drinking like we were on a stag do. We were in the middle of nowhere, so we could make as much noise as we wanted.”
‘Noise’, of course, hardly does justice to the glorious hard rock that this London quartet make. It’s five years since British-born Mackie first witnessed Australian vocalist John Drake performing at full throttle, but he still remembers the epiphany. “It didn’t take long to recognise how good a singer John was. His voice is really something else. He’s got all the stereotypical brash traits that come with being an Aussie, but that lends itself to being a great frontman. We had a lot of common interests – the Gunners, AC/DC, the Stones – and I already had at the back of my mind: ‘I want to do one fuck-off rock band while I’m young.’”
The Dust Coda’s rhythm section of bassist Tony Ho and drummer Scott Miller, Mackie reminds us, brings more to the party than just heavy grooves. “Scott has worked for Bacardi,
Rémy Martin, now he works for BrewDog, so fucking loads of free booze is one of the perks. Y’know, just for the sake of it, you’re necking a bottle of Bacardi. We all love a drink.”
Touring high jinks are a recurring theme in the Dust Coda story.
“We ended up in this bar in Gratz, Austria,” Mackie says. “We’re sitting there hammered and we played them the whole album, back to back, twice. The most famous person we’ve met is [Iron Maiden bassist] Steve Harris. It was nice and quick, but Tony had his tongue out, bless him.”
After a show, Mackie explains, things get analytical.
“One of the highlights of the night is driving home and listening back to the gig. It’s like: ‘That’s the fucking sound.’ It’s that LA vibe, early Guns N’ Roses, the Sunset Strip – that’s what we always wanted to be. Is there still a place for a big riff and a great voice? Oh yeah, massively. Guns N’ Roses’ current tour is the highest-grossing tour of the year. And you’ve got Slash and you’ve got Axl.”
The Dust Coda’s self-titled debut album is plainly running with the baton, with Mackie’s louche, snaky riffs jousting with John Drake’s shriek. But if there were any doubt of the band’s intentions, try the state-of-the-nation address that is Rock N Roll.
“That song is flying the flag,” says Mackie. “It’s our salute to a scene that is very much alive and kicking. We’re not trying to change the past, we’re not repeating it. We’re driving it on. Because rock’n’roll will never die. But from what we’ve heard, we need great new bands to keep that sound going.” HY
“We’re not trying to change the past, we’re not repeating it. We’re driving it on.”