High school is a time of self-discovery, where students learn what they like and how to express themselves. Some do that through rebellion against established authority, while others express it through music and other creative endeavors.
In the case of 2 Dust, a band formed by Palisades Charter High School students, they chose both, and have been taking Southern California’s punk scene by storm.
The band was formed in May 2022 by Pali seniors Michael Gatto (vocalist and lead guitar), Zephyr Gudlow (guitarist), Stellan Jones (bass) and Malin Bird (drums).
Most recently, 2 Dust played from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. on September 16 at Sheldon Skate Park in Burbank.
If you’re wondering how they got the permit for that, don’t bother. Inspired by bands like Black Sabbath, Fugazi, and Black Flag, 2 Dust sticks close to the roots of punk rock by toeing the fine line of the law, setting their own rules along the way.
“None of us have plans for after graduation. We’re just trying not to go to jail,” Gatto said. “We’ve had a couple of close calls, but it’s okay. Our slogan is ‘we are the law’.”
Despite being lead guitarist, Gatto denies any position of leadership.
“No one has more power than anyone in our band,” Gatto said. “We only make decisions we all can agree with.”
Some 2 Dust shows are “do it yourself,” meaning that 2 Dust sets up at a certain spot and attempts to play as long as they can before someone tells them to leave.
“One of our shows went for eight hours,” Jones said. “It was so awesome.”
Of course, “skirting the line” means that their venues have no security, leading to more than a few scary situations.
“While we’re not responsible for our fans’ actions, they can get a bit rowdy,” said Jones. “Our shows aren’t for the faint of heart. Show up only if you think you can take it.”
The band 2 Dust is popular to the point where many Pali High students can be seen wearing merchandise from the band’s online shop, linked to on the band’s Instagram. Many students have given their shows rave reviews.
“No one is doing it like them,” one student said.
“I think I partied harder than I ever have, like, ever,” said another.
If these reviews have sold you, 2 Dust will be performing (at a venue) in Compton on September 29. Entry is only $5, so all those interested should show up at 16323 S. Bradfield Avenue.
And for those who can’t make this concert, 2 Dust will be releasing a single, Anomaly, on all streaming platforms before the end of the year.
“We’ve made a lot of great connections and getting to play like this is, like, crazy,” Gatto said. “It’s like a high school dream, you know?”
“If you wanna have a good time, come on down to our Venice show,” Gudlow said. “We’re holding one in Venice on October 29. More details on our Instagram, 2dust.band.”