Dennis Condusta never even meant to pick up a guitar. Instead, he started playing out of boredom as a result from injuries that disabled him from biking. Since that fateful day, he has been a part of a creation that has gained wide popularity in the local music scene, as well as in the indie rock scene.
Known for their gothic style videos and dark musical style, Astorian Stigmata incorporates beauty and theatrics into the music that they create. With strong influences like Modest Mouse, The Cure, and H.I.M., the band is definitely a walk down a different street when compared to the usual metal and rock bands that are popular today.
During a typical performance by Astorian Stigmata, many unique things can be expected. The band paints their bodies, hangs extra lights and decorations, and even brings their mascot Max, a doll that Condusta made that appears in every band photo and video, to create an entirely strange scene for their audience. Red and black stripes painted on Condusta's arms would not be something that is out of the norm for live appearances.
The band typically plays shorter sets at their shows, cutting it off after about forty minutes. This tactic is different than a normal set time for bands, which can be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour or two.
“I kind of feel like people get the point after a while,” explained Condusta.
Since 2009, the band has performed many live shows, toured outside of the area, and recorded over five albums of original music.
A sixth album titled “Ashes of Angels” was just released by the band on April 20. When talking about the feel of this album as compared to past records, Condusta described it as an all-around heavier album in the style of dark wave '80s music.
After just four short years, the band has collected their own following entirely by themselves. Many bands that gain huge success like this have to answer to a record label or promotion company; Astorian Stigmata, however, like most things, do things differently. The band is a completely independent, do-it-yourself kind of group.
Condusta, DJ Laury, Kyle Drevenik, and Matthew Gobbler work together to promote their band and create merchandise, making all of their products on their own, including t-shirts, stickers, buttons, a website, and their records. They even ship out their merchandise to fans by themselves.
Although rewarding, Condusta talked about how the workload can sometimes be a burden.
“It's insanely overwhelming,” Condusta said. “Playing live is so much fun, but just getting there is the hardest part. It's harder than writing a song.”
Nevertheless, Astorian Stigmata does not plan to give in anytime soon. They are in it for the long run and know that their hard work will pay off.
“The hardest part of all is staying with it,” Condusta said. “People have personal lives, and things happen, but you can't ever stop.”