Based in Ocean Beach, Dust N’ Bones is an homage to Guns N’ Roses. “We try to sound as much like the albums as possible,” says singer Richard Gwaltney, who founded the band in 2005. “But at the same time, we let our personalities come through. Anyone who thinks they can just go out there and be an actor will fail immediately. You have to be real, be yourself, and do what you want to do, regardless of the fact that you’re the ‘fake’ version.”
Regarding visuals, he says, “All of us go as far as we can to emulate the look of the original Guns N’ Roses members. We go for sort of an action-figure version of what everyone recognizes.”
Gwaltney — who strongly resembles his dimpled doppelganger — says gig offers increased when GN’R’s long-awaited Chinese Democracy album became a reality. “This works in our favor,” he says, “but we’re not trying to be them or anything. We just respect their artistic genius.”
Gwaltney says his resemblance to Rose doesn’t always earn him the attention he desires.
“I saw Metal Skool – now Steel Panther – and they started playing ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine.’ I went up to the front of the stage, kinda hinting at them to let me up there, but a bunch of chicks crowded the stage. Then, during the song, the guitarist thought I was one of the chicks. He was shaking his junk in my face.”
The players all have day jobs and are spread around the county. Gwaltney is the youngest member.