Dusted Angel santa cruz band
A&E

Love Your Local Band: Dusted Angel

With loud, heavy riffs full of heart, Dusted Angel is everything a hard rock fan wants in a band.

With loud, heavy riffs full of heart, Dusted Angel is everything a hard rock fan wants in a band. And that’s because Dusted Angel is made up of fans themselves.

“We’re at an age where we play things we’d want to hear,” says lead singer Clifford Dinsmore. “It’s a weird hybrid of everything we’ve ever been into.”

Formed while they were teenagers by Scott Stevens and Eric Fieber on guitar, and Elliot Young on bass, Dusted Angel officially solidified in 2008 when they added Dinsmore on vocals and Steve Ilse on drums. The five friends quickly began writing material and performing around town, even releasing a seven-inch single on vinyl in 2009. Unlike Dinsmore’s other band, the influential Santa Cruz hardcore group Bl’ast!, Dusted Angel is more rhythm driven, with longer riffs and stoner beats. This is for fans who like their Black Sabbath dipped in St. Vitus, and deep fried in Melvins.

“Personally, I feel like Dusted Angel is more ‘age appropriate,’” says Dinsmore. “Where Bl’ast! is so technical and all over the place, with Dusted Angel I give myself plenty of room to breathe.”

Since their inception, Dusted Angel has consistently drawn large crowds whenever they play in town, or on the road with bands like Fu Manchu and, unsurprisingly, the Melvins. Yet to this day, they still have only one recording, and Dusted Angel has become something of a local legend due to the scarcity of their shows. It’s an image the band wants to change, but a couple of years ago, Dinsmore was in a near-fatal car collision that left him with a fractured sternum and a long, drawn-out recovery.

“That’s what really set us back,” he remembers. “Once you get away from the discipline of practicing, it’s easy to let it fade away.”

Since then, the band has steadily picked up momentum, practicing more and playing several shows until another setback hit—Stevens recently learned he will need surgery on his hands, which means they’ll only have one guitar for their upcoming show.

However, not all is lost. Loyal fans can look forward to a new full-length Dusted Angel album they plan to record once Stevens has fully recovered.

“There could be a couple of songs that come out on a seven-inch first,” Dinsmore says. “But things might be on hold for a minute.”


INFO: 6pm. Portuguese Community Hall, 216 Evergreen St., Santa Cruz. $10. 423-7753.

Contributor at Good Times |

Mat Weir originally hails from Southern California but don't hold that against him. For the past decade he has reported on the Santa Cruz music scene and has kept the reading public informed on important community issues such as homelessness, rent hikes, addiction and social injustices. He is a graduate from UCSC, is friends with a little dog name Ruckus and one day will update his personal page, WeirdJournalism.com.

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