For a band that’s been performing for over a decade and has over a dozen albums to their name, Dust From 1000 Yrs does a good job of staying out of the spotlight, though it’s not by accident. Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Bone moved from Bloomington to Boston, tried out a new lineup, and eventually figured out how to come into his own. Last year saw the release of the eight-song LP spring. This Friday, Dust From 1000 Yrs will release another record, an EP of experimental rock called Dust 2017, via their label SHYB and DIY label Super Wimpy Punch.
To gear up for that release, Dust From 1000 Yrs is sharing new track “Cowardly Heart.” While several of the songs on the EP have been released prior to this record (but now take on a new, dance pop form), this song is seeing daylight for the first time. “Cowardly Heart” was written with a clutch of other songs in summer 2015 after a bout of sickness. Like most of Dust’s material, it was written very quickly and without much editing, which lends to an unconventional charm.
“I recorded it all by my lonesome, as I do, in my dungeon, where I always seem to end up,” says Bone. “There’s a story behind this, but I’m just gonna give you an embellished, truncated version. In July, I was hit by a car and fucked up my arm. I had shows coming up and I was too much of a badass to cancel a show just cause I was injured. So I had no choice but to figure it out. There was an electronic version of Dust squirreled away that had musical origins in the fuzzy past—like way fuzzy past, late 90s—and was sorta fleshed out in 2015. I could put the music on my phone and sing along to it. Ta-da. It felt a little bit like a con, but thats never bothered me before. So, yeah, this is still the con, in progress.”
With “Cowardly Heart” comes a glitter-fueled music video directed by Boston filmmaker Ethan Long. It’s intentionally rife with fake symbolism, instead swapping substance for heavy-handed lyrics. Though Long filmed it in his backyard, basement, and living room with an assortment of close friends and roommates, it feels like a secret play, complete with weird masks and vibrant colors. “When Bone first started playing his electronic set, I immediately thought about Madonna’s first album, the one that starts with ‘Lucky Star.’ Cut to a few months later, we were sitting in Charlie’s Kitchen watching the video for that song,” says Long. “This was the beginning of a rabbit hole of watching insane 80’s videos such as Paula Abdul’s ‘Opposite’s Attract,’ Tony Powers’ ‘Don’t Nobody Move,’ and of course, Duran Duran’s ‘Rio,’ the latter of which has a man playing a saxophone on a raft at around 3:30 in. It seemed like a lot of these videos used the same formula of having something cool for the kids to look at. That was the MTV era and so visually stimulating shots were key.”
“I spent a lot of money on this video and even made story boards,” adds Bone. “I wanted glitter and gold and bubbles and lasers and chocolate milk, and I achieved all those goals. The only thing I regret is not being able to get a sax man on a boat.”
As eccentric as it gets, it’s important to remember how Dust From 1000 Yrs fits into Boston’s music bubble. Though scratchy at the edges and proudly DIY, the band’s music warrants more ears than they will admit. “Bone is someone whose music I have admired for a long time. Even before he moved out East, I had a lot of respect for him because he’s toured extensively and recorded over a dozen albums in a strictly DIY fashion. The guys from Fat History Month used to get him shows when he toured through and a lot of our friends became familiar with his music that way,” says Long. “He’s the type of person who will mobilize an entire group of people to spend a few days creating something with each other. Even if I watch the video 10 years from now and nitpick, which will happen, I can at least have the memory of creating something with friends. More people should be making videos and not caring if it’s professional, as long as they put effort and emotion into it.”