Cruz + Jonez

A collaboration a long time coming.

I met Dust during my time at Casper College, what seems like ages ago. He has always been a figure of inspiration in my life, and looking back, I realize how fortunate I am to find myself collaborating with him now. We’ve been trying to start an EP album, with Dust providing his epic guitar playing skills for us to build on (there is really no other way to do this, Dust playing guitar is a supremely inspiring thing). Most of this summer has been a stop and go endeavor, but we’ve been in touch about what kind of songwriting collaboration we want and what is most pressing on our minds. The idea of loss was a constant in our conversations, as Dust lost a friend to suicide last year. Things of such gravity need to be synthesized, and he felt he wanted to honor his friend in this way. With our first single, Black Road, we used a demo of Dust’s as a building block, and I challenged myself to write a story for that recording. When I first heard the track, I knew we could use it as a starting point to capture some of the emotional hardship Dust experienced.

Dust in the studio. In his element.

It happened very quickly, but right now, it’s exactly what we need to get back to creative ways. Sometimes, we shouldn’t overthink the work. It’s our job to do. This recording was exactly what we needed to jumpstart the collab, and now we’re in the process of hashing out the next one! We’re hoping to get back to our Village Inn brainstorming breakfasts to figure out the next creative project. For now, long distance collaboration via email will have to suffice.



  • 11.14.20: Dust sent along an idea to start working on lyrics for our second song. The demo is about minute or so, but strong enough that I can start writing to. Once we have something, we’re going to invite our pal Dane to give us an extra boost. Great sounds unfolding!
  • 11.21.20: Wrote up some lyrics I really like based on Dust’s demo. Tentatively calling it “Cerulean.”
  • 11.22.20: Quick discussion with Dust re: album goals and getting the word out. We’re hoping to have four more songs by the end of the year, and pass on some things for our friend Dane to join the fray. Discussed other song ideas and the possibility of a streamed performance early next year. Also, we probably have to change the collab name to add Dane. Sucks to get a new name, but quite psyched to keep the momentum and bringing a new friend. But so far so good!
  • 12.21.20: December was a month of long days at work for both of us, but we have continued our back and forth. Dane got us his version of Black Road, which was sick. We’re hoping to record some live sessions and so once we have three or four more songs, we’ll be capturing some performances. Worked on a few lyrics for Dust, and we’re emailing off and on about the music part (which I happily entrust to Dust because he’s a musical machine). Wish us luck!


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