Rusty Pacemaker – A One Man Doom Act Out of Austria
Sometimes a band isn’t what it seems. As we’ve seen with many black metal acts through the years it can only take one man to put out music. This philosophy resonated well with Austrian-born solo artist, Rusty Pacemaker, and he hasn’t looked back.
Based in Lanzenkirchen, Austria, the man going by the stage name of Rusty Pacemaker first began learning the guitar in 2003 at the age of 29. Over the next seven years Pacemaker taught himself multiple instruments and the arts of singing and songwriting, eventually culminating in his self-released debut album ‘Blackness and White Light’ and his independent label, Solanum Records, in 2010.
Taking his project name from his longtime nickname of Rusty and combining it with Pacemaker to give the project a name that sounds metal, but also fits the music and has a lasting appeal, Pacemaker attests to a variety of influences for his project.
“I’m into heavy music and I have a pretty large collection of albums at home. I love all music from Black Sabbath to Moonspell, Bathory to Tiamat, and Anathema to Enslaved, their music might have influenced my creations,” Pacemaker says, giving a glimpse of what inspires his style of music. “Sometimes, when I discover a certain atmosphere or feeling in a specific song I try to recreate this atmosphere in my own style, but generally I’m inspired by the whole world and by myself, my life, and my own feelings, which I try to give a soundtrack with my music.”
Playing a unique form of “dark alternative rock/metal,” Pacemaker handles almost every aspect of the project including guitars, bass, vocals, songwriting, programming, production, and even promotion. Rather than rely on programmed drums, however, he collaborates with professional drummer, Franz Löchinger. To add a more depth and variety to his music, he also collaborates with The Mysterious Lady K, bringing female vocals into the mix. Through these collaborations, Rusty Pacemaker has created a thought provoking, emotional thrill ride with his music. While it certainly isn’t for everyone his doom metal meets alternative rock style is certainly worth checking out, especially after considering his explanation of his thought process going into the project.
“The dark and pessimistic atmosphere of my music is expressed lyrically. Thematically, I try to describe humanity’s weakness and frailty. I write about the human being as an egoist and I think that the source of his weakness resulting in his evil behavior is the fear of death. But at the same time it is very important for me to show that there is hope, light in all the darkness and that is love. This might sound strange for someone but I actually use darkness to try and make the world a better place, if you know what I mean. Being an artist I consider this as my responsibility.”
Certainly not short on inspiration or creatively, Rusty Pacemaker’s greatest challenge is one that all musical projects face at some point- money. And though it’s the dream of every musician to write and play their music full time, this just isn’t the case. Regardless, Pacemaker is staying strong and working his musical career around his day job and family life. Another challenge is the fact that the band does not play live and has to rely completely on marketing to achieve and maintain an audience.
“I never performed live and I’m afraid it won’t happen in the near future. Rusty Pacemaker is a studio project and I don’t tour for several reasons, which I don’t want to discuss here at this point as most of the reasons are of private nature,” explains Pacemaker. “On the other hand, never say never. If there are fans out there who want me to play live maybe I’m gonna hit the stage one day.”
Though it’s unlikely Rusty Pacemaker will ever make it out to the USA, should he ever decide to take the project to the stage, fans can certainly experience the Rusty Pacemaker through social media. As of this writing, both of Rusty Pacemaker’s albums ‘Blackness and White Lights’ and ‘Ruins’ are available for purchase and sampling through the band’s official Bandcamp page. And though ruins came out in 2015, Pacemaker is already hitting the asphalt on his next release.
“At the moment I’m still promoting ‘Ruins’ but my head is already full of ideas for my next album. Soon I would like to start songwriting and preproduction,” says Pacemaker, but his third album might still be a ways out.
“Composing and songwriting is nothing but pleasure for me. To be creative is extremely satisfying. Recording is always a bit challenging as I want to achieve a good quality record,” explains Pacemaker regarding the long lengths between his first two albums. “I actually think that if Rusty Pacemaker would be my profession I would be able to release an album at least every two years. I’d love to… but again it is a question of money!”