K*Chele Exclusive! Dustin Walker: New EP Pre-Release, Interviews and More
Listen to the Pre-Release of “I Can’t Do Anything For You HERE
by: Dustin Walker with special guest Rick Springfield
Interview/Convo with Dustin Walker and Jeff Silverman
KChele: Tell me this before Dustin tells me about the song. Are you the one that did the recording and producing of it?
Jeff: I am yes. I’ve done all three at this point.
KChele: So there’s three songs?
Jeff: Three at this point, but there’s going to be more on the way. We’re working with Andy Reese from Hangin’ With Stogie. He’s actively taken an interest in Dustin’s career so we’re all excited about that! His son Tyler is an incredible guitarist who played all the leads on the EP (as well as George Nastos on “I Can’t Do Anything for You”. George played rhythm and leads up to the solo section in the middle of the song out) which you haven’t heard yet. I’m going to send you a copy so you can hear it. Rick Springfield’s singing his usual AMAZING background vocals on it!
KChele: Speaking of Rick, do you know if he would be interested in maybe answering a couple questions about this?
Dustin: Yeah, I could ask him. I think he would. I love Rick so much; he’s my hero and my idol. He’s just so great. If you want to ask him a few questions, just shoot them over to me and I’ll get them to him.
KChele: The song that they’ve announced, what is the title of that song?
Dustin: The song is called “I Can’t Do Anything for You”, which was released before.
Jeff: This version has never been heard before and not only are there great new performances on there from Rick, George and Tyler, but the song has been completely remixed and mastered.
KChele: Did you record this in Nashville or in Illinois?
Dustin: I recorded it in Nashville with Jeff.
Jeff: Tell her the story about how we ended up working with everybody else.
Dustin: Now it’s all remixed and there’s a whole bunch from George Nastos and Tyler Reese playing lead on it too. About two weeks after I asked Rick if he would sing on it, we went to a show and I was telling George that I was getting ready to record another song and I was telling him about signing with Stephen Wrench. He said, “well how about I play on one of the songs”, so I said sure. I let Jeff know so we got him playing on the song.
Jeff: George and Matty Spindel recorded his guitars in LA. I uploaded a basic track – Pro Tools session to them and then they were able to over-dub the parts. Then, they uploaded the session back to me where I proceeded to import the new guitar tracks back into the master mix, comp parts and remix. With Tyler parts and overdubs, we now have this outrageous “studio to studio” hook up” from my studio in Nashville directly to Andy’s studio in Fredericksburg VA. This process was inspired by us working with Andy’s daughter, Christina (Reese) remotely on her new up and coming CD.
Andy and I have worked out a method of recording where I’m running his computer with a program called “Go To My PC”. I’m able to stream stereo audio back and forth through a program called Nicecast and that lets us both monitor high fidelity audio back and forth in real time. I’m mixing and mastering with people all the around the world this way! With SKYPE or FaceTime in the equation, it brings us all as close as close can get, like we are all sitting in the same room together working in my studio! Ya gotta love technology!! The video “Virtual Studio Nashville” will show you the actual Body Bag session in action with this process while doing overdubs with Tyler.
After Rick sent me his vocal parts and we were finished with all the extra overdubs, I then looked at the whole mix and said this has got to be completely re-thought because the energy was just so incredible with all the new “schtuff” that we ALL had added. Plus, I just did a major update to my studio and was able to reach a much higher level sonically. Didn’t hurt to have an army of guitars on there as well including Dustin, Tyler, George and myself!!
KChele: So Tyler plays guitar?
Jeff: Tyler is an amazing, incredible guitarist…I would say its metal meets Leslie West of Mountain. He has the taste of Mountain & Clapton… that era but also adds his blazing speed shredding style into the equation, adding a VERY unique element to Dustin’s songs. He is genuinely a HUGE player in the “new” sound for the Dustin Walker Band! Go ahead and listen to it.
Love – Love – Love this song! It draws you in immediately, takes you for an electrifying ride and leaves you wanting more. The vocals, shredding guitar and production, are all top-notch and hearing Rick is quite the bonus. I’m honored to have been allowed too hear the entire track and proud to share this exclusive, pre-release clip with my fans first. ~K*Chele
KChele: Oh my God that is going to be a #1 hit.
Jeff: The inspiration for this started out with our new song that we just recorded called “Tonight”. Dustin and I just started talking about the whole idea of Rick’s “An Affair Of The Heart” Documentary, which Dustin appears in (projected release this coming month). This seemed to be the perfect time & reason to write and record something new. We did and then, all of a sudden, one thing just evolved into the next thing and to the next thing. We got Stephen Wrench involved (Muzik and Film Records) and he said “Oh yeah, this is great. I would love to be able to release this.” Dustin and Stephen had a talk about having Rick on it. Wasn’t that Stephen’s idea?
Dustin: Yeah, when Stephen got a hold of my dad, he listened to the two songs. He said “I Can’t Do Anything for You” really sounds like it could be a Rick song, how cool would that be to have Rick on there”. So I asked Rick and he said “Yeah, of course. Just send me the tracks.” I still can’t believe it. Every time I listen to it I’m like “Rick is really singing on my song!”
KChele: Yeah, I don’t think you realize what this is gonna do for your career. The song is amazing #1 and for me, somebody on the outside looking in, it’s incredible to see somebody like Rick Springfield that has not only stuck with you as you’ve grown, but to be willing to go that extra step. That’s reassurance to me and the rest of the world that there are good people out there. It’s got like a whole feel good thing to it.
Jeff: It does. This project is surrounded by that. Everyone involved is clearly going the extra 9 yards for this project because we all want Dustin to get out there in a big way and most importantly, in the right way! It all feels like it’s the right thing to do at the right time and everyone is realizing that at the same time and moving on it as one big team. Carpe Diem!! We are all seizing the moment!
Dustin: Another thing that’s real cool about, it’s like one big family. Everybody that comes into it, it’s like…you can trust everybody.
Jeff: It reminds me of the days when I was signed as an artist to Rick’s Production company, Carman Productions with Joe Gottfried, Tom Skeeter and my dear friend and incredibly talented engineer – producer, Bill Drescher at the helm… there are certain times in your life where you have these magical opportunities. That was one of mine. For Dustin, I think this is one of those moments that he’ll remember for the rest of his life.
KChele: It’s like the right people have surrounded him. It’s almost like everybody has been drawn to him that really believes in him and wants him to succeed. What I was going to say that I wanted Dustin’s dad to hear is, what I find that’s so unique about this situation, and you don’t find this a lot, is that Jeff is a genuinely good dad. You can see that and feel that through Dustin. It doesn’t matter how many times I talk to Jeff, he’s always got the same attitude, no matter what he’s going through. He’s always positive and upbeat, even when he’s down and he’s directly passed that to Dustin and that just makes me want to help and do that much more. To find out that I was the first one to blast the news was like a gift for me to push as hard as I could push to give something back to somebody that gives so much.
Dustin: Thank you, he really is, he’s the best dad ever.
Jeff (Dustin’s dad): Thank you Kim for saying that, it just blows me away that maybe other people notice that.
Jeff: We’ve got to get you hooked up with Tyler because he is going play a big role in Dustin’s band. There are already discussions of co-writing with Tyler and there’s some songs that he has that Dustin and I will be looking into.
KChele: As far as Stephen’s role in all of this, when you say that Dustin is signed with him, what kind of signing deal has been done exactly? Is it just for these 3 songs or 1 song?
Jeff: I believe for 3 songs, isn’t it Jeff?
Jeff (Dustin’s dad): The original signing is for the EP, I imagine there could be some amendments to that. The original signing is for the 3 song EP.
Jeff: Just “I Can’t Do Anything for You”. Everything’s evolved onto an entirely higher level. When Dustin came down here this last Thanksgiving, we recorded a song that was just…It’s got to be one the best I’ve ever written, or co-written I should say.
It’s like another step into another dimension of Dustin’s talent not only writing wise but performance wise. It has elements of the band Apocalyptica, with very heavy cellos to support the heavy low bottom end of the song. We also added strings thanks to the amazing talent of Tim Lorsch, We go from the very abstract to metal to pop.
The song takes us on this musical journey and almost dictated itself into this whole…kind of a cross between “Body Bag” and “I Can’t Do Anything for You”. It’s a merger of the two stylistically and then some! It certainly signifies a growth process in Dustin as an Artist and Songwriter!
The EP will probably be mixed, hopefully, in the next few days. I think what Stephen’s going to do is release the single first, Jeff do you have any idea when that’s gonna be?
Jeff (Dustin’s Dad): It’s going to be single first. He said as soon as the website gets launched, then they want to put the single out. So he’s thinking, with the timing and everything, probably 4 weeks on the single.
KChele: So there’s a new website being launched?
Jeff : Yeah, everything old that’s up has been taken down. “Talking to Strangers”, the other songs have been taken off of iTunes. We are right now taking things off of YouTube. So everything’s going to be fresh and new and all the old stuff is going to disappear.
KChele: So everything’s being completely redone and upgraded. So people can expect the song to be released in approximately 4 weeks, 4 to 6 weeks?
Jeff : I’d say that’d probably be safe by the time it gets up on YouTube.
There’s a little bit of a story, Dustin was having some issues and we were almost going to cancel the Thanksgiving trip because of his condition and Dustin said no. I said we can postpone this for a couple weeks and we can do this again. He was so determined to come down. It’s just his very typical positive, forward motion, passionate drive. He said no I’m gonna make myself feel better and we’re gonna do this.
Dustin: When this whole deal came about with Stephen, he said he wanted a 3rd song, so I immediately began writing with Jeff. We were on Skype one day and we thought it was going to take a couple Skype sessions before we got the song done and it took one. We Skyped one time and stuff just kept flowing.
Me and Jeff work very, very good together. Stuff just keeps bouncing back and forth, its stuff that we wouldn’t come up with if we were just by ourselves writing. Stuff just kept bouncing back and forth and we wrote the whole song in one night. We wrote it on a Sunday and for that whole weekend I was having these weird pains in my left side of my stomach.
Jeff (Dustin’s Dad): 2 hours after you guys finished writing we were in the emergency and he was getting a CAT scan.
Jeff: But he wouldn’t show it. I think it was going on while we were writing. He was looking like he was so excited and enthusiastic and the next thing I know, 2 hours after we’re finished, Jeff e mails me to say Dustin’s in the hospital!
Dustin: That’s what happened. I was in the hospital after we got done writing the song and they took me and did a CAT scan and they came back and said I had a horseshoe shaped kidney, from birth, and that I should have been drinking tons of water and because of that I developed an 8mm kidney stone and I couldn’t pass it. They sent me to an urologist and I was in tons of pain on tons of pain medication, just out of it.
The week after that I was supposed to be going down to Nashville and the doctor said, “Well it’s not anything that’s going to cause any problems, there’s no life or death thing but it’s going to keep causing pain and we need to get it out”. I said “well give me some pain medicine and send me down to Nashville, give me enough pain medicine for the next couple weeks and then I’ll come get the stone removed”.
Jeff: We worked really hard when you were here. The new song was written very quickly but it also had a huge evolution to it when we were actually in here recording. Before Dustin arrived, I had the idea sketched out on drums, bass and acoustic guitar but left lots of room for him to come up with his electric guitar & final acoustic parts. We spent the whole entire day just doing nothing but guitar parts. It was a day to experiment and try different things and without a doubt, it took on this whole adventure. The next day, it was heads down with vocal time and Dustin was at 150%. He was singing great and everything was moving along even better than anticipated. At the end of the session I hear from Jeff that he’s sick. Little did I know he was having issues when we were recording! And was in so much pain during much of the recording!!! I would have never known that because you were so up and enthusiastic!
Dustin: Yeah that’s exactly right and the comment Jeff actually made in the vocal room was “Man, you’re singing so good and powerful. Now don’t push your kidney stone out on me.”
KChele: That’s determination. That’s the heart of somebody that really wants it.
Jeff: That’s how I was when I was his age. I could taste it. And that’s exactly what Dustin’s got.
KChele: Dustin since you’ve been through that you’ll understand what I’m getting ready to say. My condition that I live with cause’s chronic pain 24/7, it never stops. When you have something like that, but you also have a dream, you take that pain and you twist it and you spin it and you use it to your advantage. So, it sounds like Dustin put that pain into his performance and it made him even better.
Dustin: I completely understand that. I never really thought about it that way…I ask myself, how did I do that? I think now that you said that, that’s what it really was. I think that was part of it, I really do..
Dustin: “Tonight” is definitely my favorite. I love all the songs but “Tonight” has just got this passion behind it.
Jeff: It comes from a true story, which we’ll get into later.
KChele: Who wrote these songs?
Jeff: Dustin and I
KChele: All 3 of them right?
KChele: For people that haven’t heard it yet, why should they listen to them?
Dustin: This has always been my dream and I would do anything to make it happen. I love everybody who listens, it’s just me writing random songs. This is stuff that comes from my heart, it’s me. I put everything out there, I don’t hold anything back. Anything that I want to write about, I write about it. What I’ve been through can help other people too, that’s another reason.
Jeff: I think “Body Bag” sends out a great message that can help people that are really down and out. The whole concept of the song is don’t grab that body bag. Don’t give up, don’t give up on life or commit suicide or cut yourself or feel like there’s not way out of those”dark places”. There’s always hope. as long as you don’t give up (and grab that Body Bag!). This song brings to light a dark and personal subject that’s very prevalent today with not only kids of Dustin’s age, but all ages.
“Tonight” came from a true story that we grabbed onto for our storyboarding. Something that really affected Dustin and even his lovely family. It’s really important to put these feelings and events into words, and what better way to write a song than when it comes from a real experience. It was fascinating to me because we had a pertinent subject matter. To me, writing is like a watching a movie. It’s a story with a beginning, middle and end. Pulling from real life experiences is a great motivator and is the perfect GPS to a great lyric.
KChele: So if you, as the co-writer or producer, if you had to make a one sentence quote about this overall experience with Dustin and with these 3 songs, could you even sum it up into a one sentence quote?
“I’m inspired by Dustin’s ability to grab his dream.”
Jeff: He’s already grabbed it. It’s just a matter of letting the rest of the world know about Dustin Walker! In the beginning of us working together a few years back, he had the passion, but not enough focus or direction. The first thing that we did together was… I helped him find his direction. That’s what a good producer does. He brings the best out of an artist and their particular vision. The artist is ultimately responsible for making the final decisions and finding it in themselves. My job is to help and advise along the way.
I’ve done nothing but music all my life except for maybe a 10 year hiatus where I was mainly into music editing for film and television but I always loved music (writing, performing, engineering and producing) first and foremost. I could taste it then and I can still taste it now.
That’s what I see in Dustin. A passion that will never die. He is not only a great human being, he is his music. I watched him go from wanting to be a lead singer to actually being a lead singer in a matter of 3 months from the time we started working together. That was pure determination and “tude” and a willingness to listen, learn and most of all trust in me and in what we were doing together as a team.
“I Can’t Do Anything For You” is his first vocal ever in the studio, done at the age of 14. Body Bag was done at the same time. When I updated both mixes, these vocals still stood up to the test. I believe you’ll hear what I hear. I hear a singer that COMPLETELY believes every single word they are singing and with a pure unadulterated drive and determination. That translates to me as ROCKIN’!. I feel the vocal on Tonight goes yet even further to another level, and there is a growth that you will hear but.. the same Dustin Walker that “sells” these song in the way they should be.
I see where Dustin’s going to be this incredible artist that’s going to maintain, grow and prosper financial and musically for many, many years to come, no different from Rick Springfield. The project with Dustin not only brings me satisfaction as a producer & co-writer, but I feel very proud (feel like the proud Father but J2 has that covered!! to be an important part of his journey.
Dustin: Thank you so much Jeff. You’re really more than just an important part; you are the reason I am where I’m at today. You are the one that brought me out of my shell and made me realize that my voice was an instrument too. I tell everybody that. You helped me find my star and what direction I wanted to go and helped me with so much writing.
KChele: How did you meet Dustin and Jeff, and come to be involved in this project?
Tyler: I first met Jeff nearly a year ago; he was producing an album by the pop/country band, Hangin’ With Stogie, who I was working with at the time. I flew down to Palette Studios in Nashville last spring to record some of the guitar parts on a handful of the songs. During the session, me and Jeff definitely hit it off, and had a lot of fun working together! I stayed in contact with him through many of the concerts/events that occurred with that particular band, which by then we had definitely become good friends. Recently he’s had me do session work with him, playing on a bunch of songs from different artists he’s been producing that I would fit well on; one of those artists was Dustin, which is how I initially met him. I had seen the documentary on Rick Springfield, so I had definitely heard of Dustin, his talent, and knew what he had going, so it was very exciting to meet him and start working with him! After playing on some of Dustin’s songs, Jeff and Dustin decided that I definitely should be a part of the project! I’m very excited for what’s to come, and have very much enjoyed working with Jeff and Dustin together!
KChele: When did you start playing guitar and what inspired you to wanna play?
Tyler: I first started playing the piano around age 3, which is where the music began for me. Around age 10-11, I was very much into rock and blues music that was guitar driven, which not only inspired me to play the guitar, but helped me realize that I could express myself through the guitar to a new extreme. Age 12 is when I became extremely serious about the guitar, and started practicing/studying music obsessively.
KChele: This is all very exciting and you’re an extremely good guitarist! What are your future goals, beyond this?
Tyler: Thank you so much! My goals beyond this project are to keep working with as many different projects as I possibly can, taking any opportunities that come my way; to continue staying as busy as I can get playing wise, playing shows, doing session work, and even teaching. Doing all that I can so that I can pay the bills doing what I love, and to always continue learning and furthering my knowledge of the guitar and music along the way from the various people I meet, and different musical experiences.
KChele: You and Dustin make a great pairing as well. When did you know that y’all were on the same wave length?
Tyler: When I first met/talked to Dustin, we immediately hit it off! We shared and talked a ton about our musical influences/interests, and it was definitely apparent that we had a bunch of similar rock/metal influences. Plus the fact that we’re both obsessed with guitar in general is fun! He’s extremely talented, and a very nice guy; I’m very thankful that I’m able to work with him and be a part of his project!
KChele: What are you most excited about, regarding this project?
Tyler: I’m very excited about many things regarding this project, writing/collaborating, more studio sessions, the success of the songs, but I’m most excited for the shows to be played with Dustin down the road, once things take off.
KChele: Tell me a little about the creative process in working with Jeff and Dustin, and feel free to share some of the memories made.
Tyler: Working with Jeff and Dustin has held many great experiences for me. We are all so open to different creative ideas when it comes to describing different parts of the songs. Sometimes it’ll mean singing out different rhythms/melodies to each other to describe certain parts. As far as our musical influences, our roots collectively are pretty similar, so we know where each other is usually coming from. When working on the songs, whenever we get a good take, Jeff laughs! It’s certainly been a fun ride so far, and I’m looking forward to working with them collectively more and more!
Andy Reese – Tyler’s Dad, Had This To Say
Tyler is excited to take on the role as Dustin’s lead guitarist. He is currently a second year student at the Berklee College of Music, but may have to take some time off in the fall to pursue opportunities in front of him such as this very project. I speak with Dustin every other night or so, great kid, great attitude. Like you, I am excited and honored to be a part of the project.I am happy to stay quietly in the background and just be a supportive parent. Thanks, Andy
KChele: How did you get involved with Dustin?
Stephen: Jeff Silverman of Palette Music – Studio – Productions introduced us. Jeff has known Rick for decades and used to be a guitar player in his band.
KChele: What is the plan of action moving forward, beyond the pre-release?
Stephen: We are planning a world release in mid Feb 2013 via Universal distribution and will release the debut single “I Can’t Do Anything For You” with special guest Rick Springfield via our world radio promotion to approx. 25,000 stations including syndication about 42,000 stations we have already spoke with Sirius and they want to air it also.
KChele: I understand you’ve signed Dustin on your label. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Stephen: We signed Dustin to an exclusive deal.
KChele: What is your relationship with Tyler… are you working with him on other projects?
Stephen: Yes. Tyler is one of the best guitar players we have ever worked with I am sure the world will be hearing a lot more of Tyler.
KChele: How long has Musik & Film been around?
Stephen: MAF has been around a few years and its principals and associates have been in some pretty famous groups over the decades; see the about page on our site for details.
Behind the Scenes Look
Jeff Silverman / Palette Productions is proud to announce the release of Dustin Walker via Musik and Film Records. The EP is consisting of 3 original songs written by Dustin and Jeff. The first single to be released is a remix of “I Can’t Do Anything For You”. Rick Springfield is now singing background vocals with Dustin!
All Songs are co-written, produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Jeff Silverman at Palette Studio, Nashville TN.
This video shows the process (available at Palette) of remote recording and is what I am calling Virtual Studio Nashville. This shows how we conducted a real time session in 3 different locations while doing guitar overdubs in real time. More info at Palette Music – Studio – Productions via link below.
Jeff Silverman /Palette Studio is based out of Mt. Juliet, TN (Nashville), Dustin is located in Channahon, IL (Chicago) and Tyler is based in Fredericksburg, VA (DC). Tyler is doing lead guitar overdubs to Dustin’s new version of “Body Bag”. The three songs on the EP are:
Vocals and Electric Guitars by Dustin Walker
Lead and Electric Guitars by Tyler Reese
Background Vocals by Dustin Walker and Jeff Silverman
Drums, Bass, Acoustic Guitars , Keyboards by Jeff Silverman
Vocals and Electric Guitars by Dustin Walker
Lead and Electric Guitars by Tyler Reese and George Nastos (Tyler is playing the middle lead section and outro)
Background Vocals by Rick Springfield, Dustin Walker and Jeff Silverman
Drums, Bass, Acoustic Guitars by Jeff Silverman
Vocals and Electric Guitars by Dustin Walker
Lead Guitars by Tyler Reese
Background Vocals by Dustin Walker and Jeff Silverman
Drums, Bass, Acoustic Guitars by Jeff Silverman
For more information, please go to:
Dustin Walker is an accomplished musician, songwriter and actor with stage, film, television, recording studio, and voice-over experience. He has accomplished all of this and is only sixteen years old. Dustin, who began playing guitar at the young age of five, crafts his songs drawing from his strong influences obtained from performing with Grammy-Award-Winner Rick Springfield. His songs combine Dustin’s love for the sounds of the 80s with a more modern twist and heavy guitar influences. Dustin credits Ronnie Grinel for giving him his first big break on stage at the age of two. Dustin has been writing songs all throughout his life, and his first commercial releases were co-written and produced by Jeff Silverman. Jeff is a veteran producer, engineer, songwriter, accomplished musician, singer and music/audio editor for film and television. In 2010, Dustin performed onstage playing lead guitar for Rick Springfield. This performance was filmed for a documentary film about Springfield called “An Affair of the Heart” by Yellow Rick Road Productions (www.rickspringfielddoc.com). In addition to Rick Springfield, Dustin has performed with Joe Taylor (www.joetaylorofficial.com) for his CD release tour–and the popular Canadian hard-core rock band Comeback Kid (www.comeback-kid.com).
Over the years Dustin has had the incredible opportunity to form friendships with and learn from some of the best artists in the industry including George Nastos, George Bernhardt, Rodger Carter (Rick Springfield Band), Glenn Symmonds, Tommy Girvin, Lee Beverly, Chris Grove (Eddie Money Band), Matt Bissonette (Elton John Band), Derek Hilland (Foreigner), and Don Mancuso (Lou Gramm Band). Dustin’s music has been featured world-wide on the Rowdy Ron Radio Show (www.rowdyron.com) and the U.S. Military Radio Station Hooah Radio (www.hooahradio.com) by DJ, Dee McNeal. Dustin has been mentioned (in reference to the “An Affair of the Heart” documentary) in publications including the New York Times and Variety Magazine. Dustin is an active member of SESAC as an artist and songwriter (www.sesac.com). Company President Stephen Wrench recently announced that Dustin has been signed to Musik and Film Records and he is also proud to be working with Tyler Reese (www.tylerreesemusic.com).
A few of Dustin’s influences include: Rick Springfield, Eddie Money, Whitesnake, Alice In Chains, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slash, Alter Bridge, Cheap Trick, The Ramones, Asking Alexandria, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Sleeping with Sirens.
Posted on January 25, 2013, in Interviews, K*Chele Magazine, Music News and tagged An Affair of the Heart, Body Bag, Dustin Walker, I Can't Do Anything For You, Jeff Silverman, Joe Taylor, Musik and Film, Palette Productions, Rick Springfield, Ronnie Grinel, Tonight, Tyler Reese, Yellow Rick Road Productions. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.