In times of trouble, music has been that one constant element that doesn’t let you down, you can always count on it. It has been influential in times of disarray and it has ignited passions and empowered people. Music provides the soundtrack to our lives for vital moments. But maybe more importantly, music provides a release. In this pressure cooker of a world we live in, I was able to experience some of that release with Dolt, a hard rock band out of Ft. Myers, Florida. Concertgoers and myself, were able to forget about all the issues awaiting on the other side of the doors of Jannus Live, even if only for an hour. This time spent allows you to become re-centered and recharged.
Dolt consists of singer/guitarist Tyler Kluesner, guitarist Paul DeGuerre, drummer GJ Gosman, and bassist Troy Maloney. When asked where the band name came from, Tyler said that he was watching a Denis Leary stand-up special, where the comic exclaimed “… you f***ing Dolt!…”And there you have it, the birth of a name.
1. a stupid person.
Sometimes things come to you when you least expect them. The band originally formed in 2001 and played until 2007 when they went their separate ways. When 2012 came around, Tyler, tired of playing in cover bands, decided to start re-recording their old songs and the itch to get the band back together had emerged. It took about 4 years to get the original line-up together, bassist Troy Maloney being the last man added to complete the quartet. Since then, they have been re-establishing their brand of rock, have an EP out titled The Road, and they are working on their full length album in Tyler’s studio right now.
When I arrived at Jannus it was about 5 pm, just as Dolt was setting up. After formally introducing myself to the band, I began to snap some pictures of all the guitars, pedals, mics, and drums. It all had a magnificent chaos to it. I had fun trying to find different vantage points and angles with all the toys. It didn’t take long to understand this quartet. These guys are veteran rockers and have traversed the rock landscape for some time, and their demeanor showed that. The atmosphere was laid back and a strong sense of family was evident. No egos, no high maintenance antics, just professional musicians there to do a job.
Before their set, the anticipation was building up. As they walked up on stage, hugs went all around, as if it were an unspoken “I love you, and let’s rock this shit” before they started on this musical journey together. Their set list read like an epic poem, 11 high powered songs starting with “End” and finishing off with “Garbage”. I was happy to see that my favorite song, “Silence” was included. I love the intro to the song. It gives me a sense of the calm before the storm, then it hits with force. The song continues to supply great riffs and verses throughout. The breakdown in the outro has me demanding for more before it ends.
There was a beautiful fluidity to the way they played, almost like a rock and roll haiku. Every song fed into one another seamlessly. A palpable intense energy flowed through the air, almost like arcs of electricity passing between through each band member as if they were conductors for some powerful machine, transferring raw energy to the crowd. All that mattered was the music, and every person there was lost in that moment in time.
After the show, I asked Tyler “What does it feel like to be up there on stage doing what you love?” He replied “High, high as a kite. I can be normal down here talking to you, but when I get up there (pointing to the stage) I become a different person.” And that makes sense; you could allow this alter ego to come out and play for a little while, get away from yourself and just live in the moment. The rest of life will be waiting for you when you come back down.