Founded in early 2005, Fust is the alternative music project of Jon Banks. Fust’s songs are notorious for jumping genre with music exploring rock & roll, alternative, hip-hop, house, punk, instrumental, ambient, electronica, classical, Spanish music, country, folk, freestyle rap, beat-box, trip-hop, pop-punk, electronic sampling, dance, acoustic rock, industrial, experimental, blues, classic-rock, reggae, comedic rock, spoken-word and even “commercial jingle”. As of 2012, Fust has self-released over a dozen albums online and has remained prolific since.
IAA: What is your music background?
FUST: I’ve been rapping since 2000, playing guitar and singing since 2005, and self-releasing albums since 2006. I’m self-taught on guitar, bass, and drums. I played clarinet in high school for a couple years, but I guess that doesn’t really count towards my “musical background” yet.
IAA: What inspired you to pursue music?
FUST: My brain didn’t really switch on to music until I heard the Slim Shady LP back when it came out in ’99. I hadn’t heard anything like it and from that day forth became hopelessly obsessed with writing music of my own. Soon after that, I got into rock & roll, listening to bands like Radiohead and the Beatles, and it only snowballed from there.
IAA: What are your songs about?
FUST: Subject matter for songs is often all over the place. Some tracks are serious and talk about my upbringing in what most might call “the Hood”.Other songs can be lyrical exercises just meant to entertain through pure wordplay and vocal creativity. The rock-oriented tracks are even more out there, talking about everything from caramel apple dip to falling in love with a slut. Ultimately though, I would say the music usually falls into a darkly humorous category that jumps from silly to disturbing at will. Many people tell me that it’s hard to know when I’m joking and being serious. I guess that comes out in the music as well.
IAA: Do you write your own music?
FUST: I write or have a role in the production of nearly every Fust song, but I collaborate also. A lot of the newer hip-hop stuff is being produced by some very talented people I work very closely with, and consider close friends. We all have such different approaches to creating music and it’s always wondrous when we find common ground. That’s when you know you’ve got something.
IAA: Who are your musical influences?
FUST: From the hip-hop side of Fust, I would definitely call Eminem (or at least Pre-“Encore” Eminem) an early influence along with Outkast, Jay-Z, B.I.G, & Kanye. As for the rock side, the biggest early influence was The Beatles and then Radiohead, Bob Dylan, Modest Mouse, & Talking Heads. Honestly though, there are dozens of bands & tracks that leave such large impressions on me; sometimes unconsciously.
IAA: How would you describe your music to people?
FUST: I would probably call us “indie” just to keep it simple. But more specifically, “indie hip-hop/alternative rock”.
IAA: What makes you stand out from other artists?
FUST: In the end, Fust would like to stand out as the first meaningful hip-hop/rock project. Often, I’ve come across the “rap/rock” hybrid groups and I always am left wanting more. The entire genre is a joke at this point, because of all the artists that have trivialized it in one way or another. The main problem is that every group that tries has an obvious lean in one direction or another–either hip-hop or rock. Groups like Linkin Park & Rage Against the Machine are taken more seriously in the rock community than they are in the hip-hop community. The opposite could be said for a group like The Roots. I really would like to believe that Fust has a profound respect and understanding for the importance of rock AND hip-hop. We want to show the hip-hop & the rock crowds that we are not a gimmick–our heart is truly invested in both.
IAA: What are some upcoming projects, you are currently working on?
FUST: The most important thing on Fust’s plate right now is finishing our 6th official album, “The Howards”. We are taking more time in completing this album than we ever have, and I feel like people are going to be very pleasantly surprised with what we’ve come up with. Also, I’ve been working on and off with my musical collective, Loud Mistakes, which is finishing up working closely with Fust.
IAA: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
FUST: If I can leave music a little better than when I found it, I will feel fulfilled. In 10 years, I see myself making music more constantly than I do now. By then, I’ll either still be unknown and getting better or world-famous and getting worse.
IAA: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
FUST: The best way to stay updated on Fust is to find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thisisfust. We’re also on Reverbnation.com/fust and you can find our complete discography at fust.bandcamp.com. You can email us at email@example.com and “tweet” us at @ThisIsFust.