Dustin Smith: Des Moines' Maytag Man

Just a few weeks over a year ago, Dustin Smith started a new project. After having performed solo, and founded Dustin Smith & The Sunday Silos with his best friend Paige Harpin, Smith was ready for the next step in his sound.

“The more I look back at The Sunday Silos and what I was trying to achieve there, I remember constantly feeling at live shows like it wasn't being well received,” he said. “I wanted people to have fun, and I wanted to go on the search for a rock band.”

What he ultimately found, was one of the funkiest, sexiest, liveliest acts playing the city today. What he found, was The Maytags.

“It can be scary stepping out in new directions,” Smith admitted. “But we recorded the EP (“Nova”), put it out in December, and we've played a load of dates along the way.”

“The reaction just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” he continued. “And that's been great. I'm super grateful for the response and the support.”

One of the few bands in town that can be reliably expected to draw a nearly full house every time out, The Maytags owe their success to a number of things. Timing, certainly, is one. There are plenty of good bands in town, but nothing that sounds remotely like Smith and his bandmates.

But the biggest factor to the band's popularity, is the man up front himself. Smith's smokey vocals and super smooth demeanor are appealing to just about everyone. Oh yeah, and he writes some damn good material.

“I do my best to supply the creative voice for the band,” he explained. “So I try to write with the rest of the band in mind, and spend a lot of time with those guys, trying to figure out what fits. But it's mostly me sketching things out and then bringing them to the band.”

Jumping head first into a new venture can be a dicey proposition. Putting yourself out there for the judgment of others can lead to either frustration, or vindication. It is clear which side The Maytags have landed on. Now, with the EP under their belt and a bunch of new songs wrapped up in the studio, The Maytags are set to make this year as good of a time as the last.

“We recorded our first full-length in August,” Smith said. “We're looking forward to releasing that maybe somewhere 'round May. We've got a bunch of dates booked already, and we're just looking to keep things moving.”

Originally appeared in Cityview, January 13, 2016