For straight-talking, DUST worship is not a style of music but a way of life that shines like a beacon in pubs, clubs and schools. Peter Bate reports.
Formed three years ago, St Albans-based Dust have already taken their Foo Fighters-influenced Western rock to the Eastern Bloc and appeared at the Cross Rhythms Festival twice. But with the release of their third recording, the four-song 'Spirit' EP, the band find themselves at a crossroads. Singer/guitarist Marc James reveals, "We're pretty pleased with it but we're really praying at the moment about what God wants us to do. Our heart is evangelism -that's the reason we're all doing it."
Dust's itinerary is shaped by the vocalist's day job as a schools worker with St Albans para-church organisation Step. The group, featuring Vineyard church worker Jimmy Cooke on drums and law graduate Josh Jones on bass, have seen God use them while performing in front of youngsters. "Some schools think we're great and other schools don't really understand the music and would probably do better with the Message Tribe!" the vocalist jokes. "We were playing at a school in Epping as part of a mission team with a group called East To West and one night we saw 97 kids making commitments.
"We have also had quite a few experiences with people relating to a song called 'Sister', an old song we re-recorded for the new CD. It's about a girl who got raped and it's written for her - it's a very powerful song. One girl had asked God for a sign saying, look God, if you're real speak to me,' and she took that song, which she heard at an assembly, as her sign. That was just so humbling. It's so amazing to see God doing things like that."
Dust are soon to leave for their fourth tour of the Czech Republic. James feels Europe is ripe for the taking - both musically and spiritually. "The vision is to take our band and other bands as evangelists out to the Czech Republic, Germany and France. I think anointed music is something that can break through," he enthuses. "A lot of the music scene in England revolves around covers bands but people get really excited about original live bands in other countries."
That's not to say Dust don't earn their crust at English pubs where they've also made spiritual dents with their hard-hitting music. "For a band like ours to play in a Christian scene would be to put us in an alien environment," James explains. "There's an electricity to our music when playing to people who aren't Christians. We really want to take Christ into the dark places. That's where our heart is and that's what God's heart is for us. That's our dream - to see people coming to Jesus. We need an administrator with the same vision who can push us into places. We'd like to play with secular bands in a similar vein to us.
"That's something I'd like to see more with other bands," he dreams. "That they would plug in locally and would go be going on with the music scene and go into the world and preach the Gospel."The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.