The Refrain Interview: Cheer Up Dusty

Cheer Up Dusty is an electrifying four-piece rock ensemble established in 2019 by the talented vocalist, Justin Humenik.

The band’s inception can be traced back to Justin Humenik using music as a therapeutic outlet. Early on, he collaborated with Nick Silvidio, now the band’s rhythm guitarist, to produce their debut EP. However, the pandemic temporarily halted their progress. Despite the setback, the band eventually welcomed bassist Pat Desiato and released engaging music videos in support of their work. Amidst the pandemic, Cheer Up Dusty launched their second EP, “A Collection of Singles,” and joined forces with guitarist Brayan Marin.

In March 2022, the band made waves with their unforgettable single, “Everybody Hates Me,” which garnered widespread attention across the Northeast. Soon after, Caleb Kerr joined as a full-time drummer, solidifying the band’s lineup. Cheer Up Dusty then went on to support GoalKeeper and Driveways during a spring weekender, eventually headlining the Homies Tour alongside Promise Game.

The band has recently released a brand new single titled “Legacy”. We had a chance to chat with them about it as part of our Refrain Interview Series.

Refrain Music Blog: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. You have a new single out now. What’s it called?

Justin: Our newest single is called “Legacy”.

RMB: What is the song about?

Justin: The overall message of the song is leaving the best legacy we can when we’re gone even if life doesn’t always make it easy to do so. 

RMB: Is this single part of an album?

Justin: Legacy is our first single off our upcoming EP. We had finished recording last year and spent months getting our content together to roll out in 2023. We have more singles coming so keep checking back! 

RMB: How does this single differ from your previous work?

Justin: This single is our first to feature our drummer Caleb Kerr who came right after our last single last year. It’s also our first single from a bulk of work with our guitarist Brayan Marin. We’re hoping it’s the single that lights the spark for us so we can get more serious and hopefully, the project becomes more time-consuming. 

Brayan: With Everybody Hates Me being the first song I was featured on guitar, I’m super excited to provide more of my flavor with all the talent that the rest of the band has. Justin and Pat are great natural musicians, and Caleb is a great drummer who can light it up at a moment’s notice.

RMB: What’s the story on how it was recorded?

Justin: We went into the studio to work with our producer, Pete Zen, for the 2nd time. We did a 1 off single “Everybody Hates Me” and returned to cut our EP. This song was the least prepared and mostly finished in the studio, all starting from an arrangement Brayan already had. This was all done at the end of last summer, it took us longer than we hoped to release.

Brayan: I’ve had a version of this with some more parts I wrote when I first moved to Philly some time ago. When we were in the studio with Pete we had the opportunity for one more song so we were able to get this in, dress it up, and transform it into a much bigger and more beautiful sounding song.

RMB: Tell us a little about the band.

Justin: The band started with our singer Justin who recorded a few songs when he used to live with Nick Silvidio who years later and recently we added on 2nd guitar. After that first release our bassist Pat came on then later Brayan and Caleb. The band has existed since 2019 but became the identity it is today around the time Caleb joined in April 2022.  

RMB: Who are some of your biggest musical influences? 

Justin: Every band member answers different. None of us have the same taste, we all like some things other likes but overall everyone’s taste is different. We’re trying to exit the realm of being a pop punk band and find our own sound. I think this release is a step into us finding that sound but just a step.

Brayan: John Frusiante, The Happy Fits, The Black Keys, John Mayer, Freddie King, Frank Ocean, and Bad Bunny just to name a few

RMB: What’s the one thing you are most proud of in your career so far?

Justin: Being in a band is hard, everyone who’s done it knows the struggles. The fact we’re just still pushing we can be proud of but we have a “never be satisfied” mentality so we want to keep pressing. 

Brayan: Putting out music that people are able to resonate and feel with. 

RMB: If you had to pitch your music to a potential fan in less than 10 seconds, what would you say?

Justin: “Music like all art is subjective. Our music is honest and we did our best. Take the chance or don’t”

Brayan: Listen to Legacy and feel a dopamine rush that’s full of emotion!

RMB: What’s one piece of advice you’ve gotten that you think everyone needs to hear or that has meant the most to you?

Justin: When you put something you made out in the universe you have to be prepared for negativity, especially in the internet era. You have to decide what’s more important- your feelings or getting your creation out there.

Brayan: Growing up Latino, my parents would always tell me about having to work 3x harder than my peers for the same result. I like to carry that here so we are going to try 3x harder for our live shows, videos, songs, etc

RMB: If you could go back in time, what’s a piece of advice you would give to a younger you?

Justin: Just because you want something, just because you have a dream doesn’t mean it’s coming true. Life’s not a movie. Decide if the journey itself will be a life well spent, then go live. 

Brayan: Consistency isn’t a short term thing, it’s a long term commitment. Keep going at it every day like you’re doing and it’ll pay off.

RMB: What’s coming up next for your musical project?

Justin: More songs, more videos, new merch, more shows, more tours, we’ll try to be as busy as possible I’ll tell you what.  If you listened and enjoyed Legacy please take a look at our old material you may find something in there too. And please check back for more songs being released in 2023 very soon. All our socials are @cheerupdusty if we passed your test come on our journey with us.

Brayan: Please enjoy Legacy, we hope it moves you, excites you, inspires you. Follow us @cheerupdusty! Support local shows and go see your friends’ bands! Support live music where you can! Love everyone!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s