Dustin Kensrue

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Dustin Kensrue
Dustin Kensrue.jpg
Dustin Kensrue performing at a Fopp instore signing in Southampton, UK
Background information
Also known as Ursus Veritas
Born (1980-11-18) November 18, 1980 (age 35)
Origin Orange County, California
Genres Post-hardcore, experimental rock, folk, CCM
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, harmonica, vocals
Years active 1998–present
Labels Vagrant, BEC
Website www.dustinkensrue.com

Dustin Michael Kensrue (pronounced KENZ-roo) (born November 18, 1980) is a vocalist, lyricist, and rhythm guitarist in the Orange County, California post-hardcore/experimental rock quartet Thrice, as well as a solo artist.

He has a tattoo of Proverbs 9:10a ("The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom") written in Hebrew on his left forearm.[1] Many of his lyrics are also drawn from the Bible, such as the pre-chorus in Vheissu's song, "For Miles" ("There is no greater love, than that one shed his blood for his friends"). Similar lyrics are spread throughout Kensrue's music, both in Thrice and in his solo works.[2]

Kensrue designed the album artwork for all parts of The Alchemy Index - Thrice's fifth studio recording.

Kensrue has been working on a project called The Modern Post and has released the EPs Grace Alone in 2012 and Lowborn King in 2014.

Solo projects[edit]

Ursus Veritas was the former alias for Dustin Kensrue's solo side project. The name was a play on words from Latin: ursus meaning bear, and veritas meaning truth, combining to mean "(to) bear truth". Kensrue has always expressed an interest in discovering truth, and has also said he likes bears, which lead to the play on words. However, at some point he decided to drop the name in favor of simplicity since "people have enough trouble just pronouncing [his] last name to begin with."

2007: Please Come Home[edit]

On January 23, 2007, Kensrue released a solo album titled Please Come Home on Equal Vision Records. He wrapped up the recording and mixing of the album at the home of fellow Thrice member Teppei Teranishi. The album opened at 142 on the Billboard 200 with 5,800 copies sold the first week.[3] He supported the album with a solo tour including stops on the Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Fuse Network. Please Come Home met with mostly favorable reviews from critics, who have compared Kensrue musically to singer/songwriter Ryan Adams and Johnny Cash.[4][5][6]

Kensrue intends to donate 5% of the proceeds from Please Come Home to a non-profit organization called To Write Love on Her Arms. In the press release, Kensrue explained the choice:

"To Write Love on Her Arms is a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for those struggling with clinical depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. To Write Love on Her Arms began in March 2006 as a written story and an attempt to raise money for one girl's treatment. T-shirts were printed and a MySpace page was created to serve as home base for the story. Excitement spread quickly throughout MySpace and the independent music community. For 2007, TWLOHA is aiming to raise $100k for treatment and recovery. This comes in addition to online counseling and continued efforts to creatively present hope and raise awareness.

TWLOHA is a fitting choice for Please Come Home. The album lyrically exudes redemption, personal worth, love, acceptance, and hope. “I try to be an artist who aspires to find hope even in dark places: If I’m down, I don’t want to bring people down to that place with me. I’m looking for a way out," says Kensrue.[citation needed]

2008: This Good Night Is Still Everywhere[edit]

On October 14, 2008, Kensrue said this on the official Thrice website - "I just finished my Christmas record. I haven’t really mentioned it because (a). I’ve been spending all my time working on it, and (b). I wasn’t totally sure I would finish it in time to come out this year. But, last night I finished it up and Teppei is finishing the mixes tonight. It’s going to be an online release only and will hopefully be out in mid-November sometime. The title is “This Good Night Is Still Everywhere” and it contains 8 covers and 2 Christmas originals. I love Christmas music so it was a lot of fun to do this and I’m glad I get to share it with you guys."[7]

Kensrue also added vocals in the song "The Contender" on the album "Pierce the Empire With a Sound" by experimental act The Out Circuit released on February 12, 2008.

2013: The Water & the Blood[edit]

On October 1, 2013, Kensrue released his third studio album The Water & the Blood, which includes the song "It's Not Enough".[8] The project is a collection of mostly original corporate worship songs written while he was the Worship Pastor of Mars Hill Church Bellevue and intended to be sung at church.[9] According to Kensrue, "all the lyrics of the record are very, very rooted in Scripture", and added: "There is power in the Word of God. As much as you stick close to that, there is power in the lyrics as well."[10] The album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Christian chart and No. 52 on Billboard 200, selling 7,000 copies in its first week.[11]

2015: Carry the Fire[edit]

On April 21, 2015, Kensrue released his fourth solo project, Carry the Fire,[12] which includes the song "Back to Back".[13] The album debuted at No. 110 on Billboard 200, and No. 18 on the Top Rock Albums chart.

2016: Thoughts That Float on a Different Blood[edit]

His fifth album, a live album of cover songs, Thoughts That Float on a Different Blood, was released on March 18, 2016, with Vagrant Records, and this album charted on three Billboard magazine charts.

The Modern Post[edit]

In 2012, Kensrue formed the band The Modern Post at the Mars Hill Church in Orange County, California.[14] The band members include brothers Phil and Lee Neujahr on bass and drums, and Jonny Sandu on keyboard. They released the EPs Grace Alone in 2012.[15] The band also re-recorded the songs from Kensrue's solo project The Water & the Blood in a live setting, and released as The Water & the Blood (Acoustic Sessions).[16]

In July 2014, Kensrue announced that he was working on a follow-up to This Good Night with a five-track Christmas EP including a re-working of "This Is War". The EP, titled Lowborn King was released from The Modern Post on November 24, 2014.[17]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Album details Chart positions Sales
US
[18]
US Christ
[18]
US Indie
[18]
US Rock
[18]
Please Come Home[19] 144
The Water & the Blood[20]
  • Released: October 1, 2013
  • Label: BEC Recordings/Mars Hill
  • Format: Digital download, CD, Vinyl
52 4 8 17
Carry the Fire[22]
  • Released: April 21, 2015
  • Label: Vagrant Records
  • Format: Digital download, CD, Vinyl
110 10 18
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Christmas albums[edit]

Title Album details Chart positions
US Heat
[18]
This Good Night Is Still Everywhere[23] 31

Extended Plays[edit]

  • 2012: Grace Alone EP (The Modern Post)
  • 2014: Lowborn King EP[17] (The Modern Post)

Personal life[edit]

His younger brother, Chase Kensrue, played guitar and piano for the band Eye Alaska.[25]

In 2012, Mars Hill Church announced that Kensrue would become the worship leader for the campus located in Bellevue, Washington.[26] However, Kensrue resigned this position in October 2014 amid controversy surrounding pastor Mark Driscoll.[27] He moved back to California with his wife and three daughters.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Confessions of an Idol Worshipper". Retrieved October 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Thrice: The Orange County hard rockers exploring The Alchemy Index - Thrice". Crossrhythms.co.uk. June 17, 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ Harris, Chris (January 31, 2007). "Pretty Ricky Keep The Shins From #1". Mtv.com. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  4. ^ Matthew Hastie. "Dustin Kensrue - Please Come Home Review". Antimusic. 
  5. ^ Bryne Yancey (January 30, 2007). "Dustin Kensrue: Please Come Home (2007)". Punknews.org. 
  6. ^ "Interview: Dustin Kensrue". Relevant. 
  7. ^ "Dustin Kensrue (of Thrice) - "This Good Night Is Still Everywhere" (Digital Release)". November 18, 2008. 
  8. ^ Cassie Whitt (August 15, 2013). "Song Premiere: Dustin Kensrue, "It's Not Enough" - Alternative Press". Altpress.com. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ Justin Sarachik (September 18, 2013). "Dustin Kensrue's Mars Hill Album: 'The Water & Blood' Makes Worship Art (INTERVIEW)". Christian Post. 
  10. ^ Jonathan Nelson. "The Sound of Satisfaction". HM Magazine. 
  11. ^ Nici Arsenault (October 10, 2013). "Dustin Kensrue's The Water And The Blood Debuts Strong, Selling 7K Copies". Substream Magazine. 
  12. ^ Tyler Sharp (April 20, 2015). "Stream Thrice frontman Dustin Kensrue’s new solo album, ‘Carry The Fire’". Alternative Press. 
  13. ^ Chris Payne (February 10, 2015). "Exclusive: Hear Thrice's Dustin Kensrue Premiere Solo Song 'Back to Back'". Billboard. 
  14. ^ Jacob Tender (August 15, 2012). "Dustin Kensrue Explains His New Band, The Modern Post". 
  15. ^ "The Modern Post - Grace Alone". BEC Recordings. 
  16. ^ "The Morning Post - The Water & the Blood (Acoustic Sessions)". BEC Recordings. 
  17. ^ a b "BEC Releases Christmas EP "Lowborn King from the Modern Post This Week". Jesus Freak Hideout.com. November 25, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b c d e "Billboard.biz".  Search under Charts for Dustin Kensrue
  19. ^ "Dustin Kensrue – Please Come Home". Discogs. 
  20. ^ James Christopher Monger. "Dustin Kensrue: The Water & the Blood". AllMusic. 
  21. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. 
  22. ^ Matt Collar. "Dustin Kensrue: Carry the Fire". AllMusic. 
  23. ^ "Dustin Kensrue: This Good Night Is Still Everywhere". AllMusic. 
  24. ^ "Dustin Kensrue – Christmas Album "This Good Night Is Still Everywhere"". Drivebymedia. 
  25. ^ Kelli Skye Fadroski (May 7, 2009). "Orange Pop: Eye Alaska tackles its next frontier". The Orange County Register. 
  26. ^ The Kensrues Are Moving To Bellevue, Mars Hill Church, June 21, 2012, retrieved January 25, 2013 
  27. ^ Lodge, Carey (September 5, 2014). "Seismic shift in Mars Hill leadership as three more pastors step down". Christian Today. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  28. ^ Tim Karan (April 14, 2015). "Dustin Kensrue of Thrice on His New Solo Album, ‘Carry the Fire’". Diffuser. 

External links[edit]