Dirty Dirty is a Seattle punk band with fuzzed-out edges.
Ian the front-runner, and Drew, the drummer, are making waves as a heavy music duo. They were recently featured in New Noise Magazine; big on the music scene in Seattle– and they are releasing a new album: Emotional Whatever Things.
We interviewed with them about their early performances, being unique and inspirations to keep going. They get real with the process of creating. Have a read – and a heavy, fuzzed-out listen.
Words & Photography by Jady Bates.
Tell us about your earliest performance as a duo. How did you meet?
The band has been a duo since its beginning. Drew joined the band about two years in, after former member Mark Knowles left the project. We saw each other from afar and after slowly getting to know each other decided that we shared a sympathetic approach to expressing ourselves in music. Our earliest performance was planned before we even began practicing and writing together; a solid local line up at the Tractor Tavern was pitched for Dirty Dirty to join. It was clear early on that our workflow and taste complemented one another, and the gig didn’t suck, so we kept playing the songs for people.
You just came out with a new album. What was the inspiration behind it? (Tell us the messy bits too.)
”Emotional Whatever Things” was kind of us rebelling against ourselves. The band needed a new direction and a harder approach, cause we felt trapped in our own conditioning as men and how it affects the world around us; EWT came out of the urgency we felt to move forward. There are two more songs exclusively with the ” Emotional Whatever Things ” cassette through Den Tapes. Drew was really excited to re-record on older song I did before he joined the band, and we decided to throw on a cover of one of my favorite PJ Harvey songs as a B-side. We want to share a little bit of the past with our fans, and how its changed, along with where we’re coming from outside our poorly composed fuzz rock.
What makes Dirty Dirty unique?
We make an effort to surprise listeners with our arrangements and composition choices. It’s one of the few tools we are left with as a two piece, and I think it gives us an edge of perspective over other heavy bands with three or five members. Each verse or bridge has to be very intentional, and we don’t like to repeat anything the same way twice. We also love to dress up for our shows!
What’s the best behind-the-scenes you guys have to date?
During one of our performances at a biker bar in Tacoma we had a table of people walkout after seeing us in mesh onesies. It had become casual for us to set up the stage in “street clothes” so to speak, and then switch just before our set. As soon we were seen as on the stage the table made a vocal comment and walked out of the bar. Not long after there was a formal complaint to the owner about how we were dressed.
What is the feeling you hope people feel when listening to your music? Are you punk or metal?
The experience of listening to music isn’t something we have ever chosen to hope for or predict for our listeners. Our songs and sound is a result of our minds transferring information from this waking life into a real time emotional gesture of sorts. Lyrics can be surreal, sometimes saying one thing while the music behind those words are contesting it. In that, maybe we hope others feel less alone knowing that we have no idea how to honestly express ourselves, but that we try, fail, listen and work through it to try again.
It’s hard to say if we are Punk or Metal and we usually default to just saying Heavy music. Punk has been branded on us more often, and we like to do things with a bit of messy flair that we associate more with our punk, indie, or hardcore influences. Overall we cross over the line of those two genres frequently enough to still be a bit vague on a definition ourselves.
What really drives you to keep creating? And what artists still inspire you today?
For us this platform is a cathartic way to process things we are working through, discovering and overcoming. Performing actively has introduced us to other artists that have become huge inspirations. People who are down to earth and relatable as much as they are outstanding performers, lyricists and public figures in their own right. Razor Clam, Dark Smith, Fucked and Bound, Actionesse, Rat Queen, A Deer A Horse to name a few.
What’s next? What are the goals you’re shooting for in the next 2 years?
There is a lot the modern touring band has to do if you want to maximize your efforts outside of just writing and performing. We’ve been running just the two of us for three years and have learned so much about what makes us happy and what boundaries we need to adhere to as individuals. With those lessons, we hope we can take our shows further out into the world without compromising certain comforts needed for songwriting.
Maybe that means our band grows in numbers with more roles needing attention, or maybe we hermit in our rainy city and stockpile on new material. Making rent in this seemingly anti-living wage town is a constant goal while being kinder and gentler with ourselves, our peers and family along the way.
Is there anything else more broadly that I haven’t asked that you think is important for me to know?
Drew is a better cook than he is a drummer.
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