San Francisco’s DSTVV has one of the more unique sounds in the Bay. Frontman Joel Cusumano has drawn largely from a wide ranges of seemingly unrelated artists that were popular in the ’90s and ’00s and added his clever, smartass droning delivery to create what he has half-jokingly dubbed “industrial grungegaze.” In anticipation of DSTVV’s show at the Hemlock Friday night with Teams, Snow Wite, and Blood Sister, Joel was nice enough to create a Spotify playlist highlighting some of his influences, or “DSTVV Roots” below. I asked him to go into more detail on a few of his selections. After you soak in the playlist, see how all those influences come together on DSTVV’s “Crush”.
Andrew WK – “Ready to Die”
Joel Cusumano: Pretty much everything that makes the best rock music — loud, goofy, fun. Also fantastically riding a line between metal brutality and bubblegum melody.
Cocteau Twins – “Lorelei”
JC: Hard to pick just one Cocteau Twins song but the thing here is the really hard, hip-hop-y drum machine beating under the tinkerbell production and lullaby melody. I’m a fan of lush stuff to a degree but without something meaty like a beat I can lose interest.
Lil Wayne – “A Milli”
JC: This probably isn’t the edgiest hip-hop pick or anything but I remember being struck at the time this came out at the weirdness of this track. A lot of people tell me they’re reminded of different industrial bands when they hear DSTVV but honestly I think rhythmically and sonically on the percussive front I’m channeling hip-hop even more than industrial.
Suicide – “Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne”
JC: I love Suicide and the way they make those early crummy drum machines so expressive. Also I appreciate that Alan Vega’s not entirely endorsing the lavish lifestyle he’s singing about in this song.
Smashing Pumpkins – “Zero”
JC: Speaking of being a little insincere, I can’t say I entirely endorse the Pumpkins’ safe metal/goth kid thing, but the imagery/sound definitely seem to jibe with what I was doing with DSTVV. I always loved the guitars though.
Swans – “Time is Money (Bastard)”
JC: Unrelenting and brutal, over-the-top lyrics and a rhythm that sounds like it was the pounding of a room-sized cash register. When I wanna make something loud I hope I can create something that approximates the experience of listening to this track.”
Teams, Snow Wite, DSTVV, Blood Sister
February 21, 2014