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Dustin Bates

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Dustin Paul Bates
Born (1985-12-27) December 27, 1985 (age 35)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active2001–present
  • Epic Records
  • Razor & Tie
  • Fearless
Associated acts
  • Downplay
  • Starset
  • Red
  • Live My Last
  • Breaking Benjamin

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Dustin Paul Bates (born December 27, 1985) is an American singer/songwriter. He is best known as the founder of the American rock band Starset, serving as the band's lead vocalist and keyboardist since its inception in 2013.[1][2] He is also the lead vocalist for the American alternative metal band Downplay.[3]

Early life[edit]

Bates was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio by his mother, Marifi, and his father, Tim. He graduated as an alumnus of Ohio University, obtaining a master's degree in electrical engineering. He also studied at the International Space University, where he worked with over 100 space professionals and developed a statistics-based algorithm that can help a robot determine its possible location without the need to use a GPS.[4]



In 2001, Bates formed Downplay along with Brandon Hill, Nick Kiser, and Chad White in downtown Youngstown, Ohio during his college years while he was doing research for the United States Air Force.[5] Originally a cover band, they began performing at bars near campus in 2003.[6] After a brief hiatus, in 2005 they reorganized and released their debut studio album, Saturday. In 2007, Bates established True Anomaly Records, LLC, an indie rock record label under which they recorded their album A Day Without Gravity. In April 2010, Bates and the band signed with In De Goot Management before signing with Epic Records in June of that same year. Since then, they have recorded two additional albums and an EP.


In 2013, Bates formed Starset along with Ron DeChant (who was a previous member of Downplay), Brock Richards, and Adam Gilbert. Before and during the band's formation, Bates created an elaborate fictional backstory for the band, which began in 2013 with a person simply known as Dr. Aston Wise approaching Bates to recruit him into the Starset Society, whom possessed a radio transmission that foretold humanity's demise and the instructions required to avoid that fate. Bates explained:

“[The Starset Society] started with experiments on what technology could look like in the near future. What if amazing technology [was discovered], but was monopolized [...] for the benefit of a few [when] it could easily [...] benefit the many? I wanted to create this [...] project that used scientific and space themes, where the music was the soundtrack to the overarching narrative.”[4]

Soon after performing at SXSW in March 2014, Razor & Tie co-founder Cliff Chenfeld signed the band to a record deal.[7] On July 8, 2014, the band released their first album, Transmissions.[8] On January 20, 2017, they released their second album, Vessels.[9] A third album is currently being worked on and is set to release on September 13, 2019.[10]

Personal life[edit]

He has one brother, Jay, and two sisters, Heidi and Chrystal.[11]


  1. "Starset Premiere Video Trailer For New Album, Transmissions", Revolver. Retrieved on 11 July 2019.
  2. Rys, Dan. "How Rock Band Starset Found Major Success on YouTube, Without Even Trying", Billboard. Published on 9 November 2016. Retrieved on 12 July 2019.
  3. "Downplay", Discogs. Retrieved on 11 July 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Shooner, Pete. "For Russ College alum and Starset frontman Dustin Bates, creativity takes center stage" Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University. Published 3 September 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  5. Sculley, Alan. "Starset leader earned a doctorate, now rocks out in band", Spokesman. Published 20 January 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  6. Schwaberow, Kelly. "Band mixes its 'straight-up' rock with plenty of beer-soaked revelry", The Post. Published 8 September 2005. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  7. Rys, Dan. "How Rock Band Starset Found Major Success on YouTube, Without Even Trying", Billboard. Published on 9 November 2016. Retrieved on 12 July 2019.
  8. Bird, Michele. "Starset sign to Razor & Tie", Altpress.com. Published on 30 April 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  9. Childers, Chad. "Starset Unleash 'Monster' Single, Announce 'Vessels' Album Release Plans", Loudwire.com. Published on 4 November 2016. Retrieved on 12 July 2019.
  10. Divita, Joe. "Starset Announce 2019 U.S. Tour + New Album Release Date", Loudwire.com. Published on 13 May 2019. Retrieved on 12 July 2019.
  11. "Dustin Bates", CelebsTrendNow.com. Retrieved 11 July 2019.

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