By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Through a series of powerful singles like “She’s Outside,” “High Time” and “L.I.E. (Do You Wanna),’ Boston musician Gene Dante explores the daring trails of social reassessment amidst post-pandemic life through the lens of glitzy glam rock on his 15-track monster album ‘DL/UX,’ put out this past fall via H1 Massive.
While Dante delivers lead vocals and plays guitar, he is backed by his band, The Future Starlets, which features Jim Collins on bass/harmony vocals, Scott Patalano on guitar, Tamora Gooding on drums and Erik Andersen on guitar, keys and harmony vocals.
Dante leaves no unpainted corners with the music on ‘DL/UX,’ a juggling act of open-to-interpretation lyricism, pure adrenaline, premeditated seduction, high fashion and just straight-up noise, the only way he knows how.
‘DL/UX’ was recorded, engineered, produced, mixed and mastered by John Eye at Beach House Studios, with some drums tracked at Barefoot Studios or The Record Co..
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with him about ‘DL/UX’ and more.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that made you want to become a musician?
Gene Dante – As a small child, I enjoyed singing in the school chorus, but ever since I received my first two hand-me-down albums – Queen’s ‘News Of The World’ and Kiss’ ‘Alive II,’ I’ve been fascinated by the idea of music and performance. As a child, I struggled to find friends and create lasting, intimate bonds. To me, music was both an escape and a mask. It allowed me to be who I secretly wanted to be and subsequently face the outside world.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for your first single from ‘DL/UX,’ “She’s Outside”?
Gene Dante – In writing “She’s Outside,” I challenged myself to take an incredibly simple riff and create something interesting and enjoyable, but not sugary. Now that the recorded version is out there – thanks to my great band and killer producer, I want it to cut through the static and the world to hear it.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Boston to someone who has never been there before?
Gene Dante – Boston has some wonderful historic sites, but is currently a city suffering from overdevelopment. I suggest visiting sooner rather than later. Before too long, it’ll be nothing more than overpriced empty “luxury” condo buildings and chain stores. Also, I suggest finding an experienced driver. There is little to no logic when navigating Boston city streets.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Gene Dante – I don’t censor myself when writing. There are elements of all the music I love, but I don’t creatively hobble myself by writing for a specific genre. Also, I’m not so completely trained that I get bored with certain chords, intervals, etc.. I do like to keep the core song simple, with one or two surprises in it.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your album ‘DL/UX’?
Gene Dante – Putting together ‘DL/UX’ was a long, but rewarding road. I’m happy with every song on the album. Producer John Eye and I decided on a “no wince” policy when producing ‘DL/UX’ meaning – if you hear anything that makes you wince or isn’t the best it could be, it gets fixed, re-done, or abandoned as the case may be. I didn’t want to apologize for any shortcomings on this album. It was a wonderful learning experience and will certainly inform us on future albums.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Gene Dante – At minimum, the COVID-19 pandemic caused me to lose a job I loved, brought emotional stress, illness and financial hardship upon all my friends and loved ones and caused this album to be “on hold” for roughly a year. We’re in a slow recovery. “Slow” because of the morons who still think COVID-19 a hoax, some kind of conspiracy, or “not that serious.” To think, if America had a leader that didn’t disband the pandemic watch team, listened to the experts and took action based on their advice at the outset of this, we may have seen a much smaller impact. Puting it as delicately and diplomatically as possible – Donald Trump, many elected Republicans and everyone at Fox News – except Chris Wallace – straight up suck and should be in jail.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Gene Dante – Social media is a sword that cuts both ways. Musicians need to embrace and master it to get their stuff out there. Nobody is going to do it for you. Labels are one-hundred percent afraid of failure. You need to build your own fan base, presence, revenue streams, etc. before they’ll even consider taking all your money and owning you.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Gene Dante – I have a perpetual soundtrack that includes the likes of Bowie, Sinatra, Ice-T, The Cars, Blondie, U2, Neil Diamond. Recent additions have been Cliff Notez, Andre Obin’s latest EP and Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Gene Dante – If you’re going through hell, keep going.
Music Bugle – How would you say your 2021 was?
Gene Dante – My 2021 was a slow and steady optimistic climb. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am walking toward it.