Philadelphia pop-punk band Cheer Up Dusty comes steamrolling into the scene this year brand new and improved with their nostalgic, high-powered, and meditative single, "Everybody Hates Me."
Following their Sophomore EP, A Collection of Singles in 2021, Philadelphia native pop-punk band Cheer Up Dusty comes steamrolling in with their new high-powered and meditative single, "Everybody Hates Me," produced by multi-genre music producer Pete Zen (Picture Perfect, Hang Tight, Jet Jag). Founded by Justin Humenik after a fallout with another band previously, this new creation would grow with the addition of longtime friend and bassist Pat Desiato and new members guitarist Brayan and drummer Paul Berthold.
“I had the lyrics complete, but tweaked them with our producer, Pete Zen, who kinda put me against a wall to get out what was in my head. I have anxiety constantly, and I feel every mistake is looked at. I feel that all my shortcomings are out there for all to see. I'm constantly overthinking that “these are the things everyone hates about me.” It replays a lot in my head. That was put into words and I feel it came out strong. ” - Justin H. (vocalist)
Since then, the Philly band has cultivated a sense of aggressive and lively mentality toward their music moving forward. A gritty, nostalgic return to the golden days of pop-punk, "Everybody Hates Me" brings our auditorial senses back to memorable times while tackling heavy themes of feeling like you are not good enough and the emotional weight that comes with that.
While the pop-punk rookies are just getting their feet wet in the scene, their new single proves ten-fold that they are ready to go the extra mile. Sometimes when something falls apart, you gain something better from the ashes. With Justin Humenik, from emotional struggles and a fallout with a band, a fresh start emerged and blossomed into something more. In times of struggle and uncertainty, sometimes that is what you need to get your foot back in the door to what you love doing. Cheer Up Dusty is one of those success stories.
How did Cheer Up Dusty get started?
Justin H.: I started Cheer Up Dusty after quitting my last band due to a bad creative environment. The goal was one EP, a music video, and a few shows. Then the pandemic hit, and it steered me in a course to recruiting my longtime friend Pat on bass then meeting Brayan for guitar, who knew Paul. He rounded it out, and now we’re set for a 3rd EP, crazy how it all came together honestly.
What are your musical influences? I know you guys ride the vehicle of pop-punk, but there is also this slightly heavier gritty feel to it. How did those influences make their way into your new single, "Everybody Hates Me?"
Justin H.: I love pop-punk, I loved Warped Tour. Blink 182 is my favorite band and it’s made me who I am. But what I like is that the guys all have their favorites. So while my pop-punk influences come out as we’re writing and creating together, we are set to be so much more than just a pop-punk band. The heaviness from EHM came from us collectively, it just came out naturally and I’m stoked for the next songs.
How was this process creatively different from the rest of your singles up to this point?
Justin H.: The process was very different haha. This song is our first featuring all four of our members. It's also our first song written by all four of us and our first working with producer, Pete Zen. This song is all of us collectively instead of just one or two of us, so it’s special to us and pinpoints a new era.
Can we talk about the lyrical context of "Everybody Hates Me?" I know it ties into some relatable themes of dealing with that out-of-body experience of people's personal opinions, of feeling like everyone has a negative conception of you when you already are not at your best. Can you guys share more on that? What made you guys want to write this track?
Justin H.: I had the lyrics complete, but tweaked them with our producer, Pete Zen, who kinda put me against a wall to get out what was in my head. I have anxiety constantly, and I feel every mistake is looked at. I feel that all my shortcomings are out there for all to see. I'm constantly overthinking that “these are the things everyone hates about me.” It replays a lot in my head. That was put into words and I feel it came out strong.
I know you guys just released this new single, but what else can we expect from you guys this year?
Justin: We’re gonna get on stage more and try to up our merch selection. We are definitely getting back in the studio. On top of all of that, we’re just really trying to be heard and climb that ladder now.