Local music notes: Rusty Maples’ future, Echo Stains’ schism and a new Vegas record label

Former Echo Stains man Jordan Collins is focusing on newer project WNTRBRK.
Photo: Mikayla Whitmore

DEWANE CHECK Wondering where Rusty Maples has been lately? The Vegas-scene mainstays last played a show—a benefit for the Oakland warehouse fire victims—back in December, and haven’t been heard from since. We caught up with frontman Blair Dewane, who says he foresees no specific time when the band might get back onstage—“We’re not doing anything,” he says—though he stopped short of classifying Rusty as officially broken up. For now, Dewane is focused on his dance-rock project, The Slept-Ins, which dates back to a few-years-old studio collaboration with local producers John Kiehlbauch and Luke Freeman. Dewane is putting together a band, whose first live show is scheduled for March 5 at Downtown hair salon Raw Remedies.

Meanwhile, Blair’s brother, Rusty guitarist Ian Dewane, has relocated to LA’s Los Feliz neighborhood, where he lives with Swedish producer Daniel Ledinsky. The two are collaborating with major names (we’re sworn to secrecy, but trust us, you know ’em). Ian Dewane is also working on solo material, which he describes as a “melancholy, electro/synthy thing.” And the Dewanes mentioned a duo project—tentatively titled Jersey Dad—intended to write and sell Top 40 music. As for the Rusty’s future, Ian Dewane sees his current gig as a step toward a possible return. “I feel like it’s a ticket into the business and to becoming financially stable. It’s only going to help Rusty Maples.” –Jason Harris

SOLO ECHO Just three months after Echo Stains released first full-length Prom, frontman Jordan Collins has parted ways with the synthy Vegas group. “I’m just not passionate about it anymore and want to focus on other skills and creating more personal art for me and others,” Collins, who handled vocals and keyboards, announced on Instagram.

In an interview with the Weekly, Collins has elaborated. “Making that album kinda killed me,” Collins says. “I was just not feeling it anymore.” Although the split seemed abrupt for a band that opened for Health in October and was featured by U.K. magazine tmrw in December, both Collins and Echo Stains (which has indicated it intends to continue on without him, but declined to comment for this story) expressed love for one another on social media.

Collins is now concentrating on newer endeavor WNTRBRK, which he says will travel a more experimental, electronic path, apparent from moody, just-released track “untitled (water).” Collins describes the project as basically “throwing up” his emotions. “In a sense, I was releasing what I was feeling without any sense of control,” Collins says. WNTRBRK is also a means for Collins to learn all aspects of musical creation—from composition to instrumentation. Next up: an EP Collins plans to construct like a diary and pair with videos. “[Music] is necessary for me to live,” he says. –Norma Jean Ortega

RUNNING MAN If there’s one guy that understands the ethos of the punk scene, it’s Las Vegan Bobby Franks. A ’90s hardcore kid at heart, Franks spent his young-adulthood scouring record stores for rare vinyl, going to shows and playing in the now-defunct Of Faith and Fire. Now, Franks wants to keep that scene moving forward with his own label, Running in Place Records, set to launch this summer.

“It’s going to be small DIY stuff, focusing on younger punk bands that exist regardless of coverage or spaces to play in town, because that’s the scene that I come from,” Franks says. “There’s a lot of younger punk or hardcore bands in town that thrive in their own way—that spirit of pick up and play. There’s a lot of good sh*t coming around town.”

Franks, 36, has lined up Vegas acts Brett Vee, Dark Black, Moon Blood and Oversight for his first wave of 7-inch releases, with plans to press 500 copies of each. The goal: to shine a wider light on the Vegas punk scene. “I’m more interested in a band’s story and what they represent over how many records they sell,” he says. “There’s nobody representing that in town, and I’m in a spot in my life where I can do that.” –Leslie Ventura

Nancy Whiskey (aka Tristan Moyer)—former, longtime fiddle player and singer for Darby O’Gill and the Little People—returns to Las Vegas from her new home in Memphis for a one-night only reunion with Darby, February 24 at 9 p.m. at McMullan’s Irish Pub … Alt-rock duo Almost Normal will celebrate the release of new EP Manta February 25 at 7 p.m. ($5-$10), with support from Avalon Landing and Gregory Michael Davis.

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