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INTERVIEW: The Dirty Clergy

If you just scroll down a bit, you’ll see I reviewed these guys’  latest EP Shake last week. This Alabama band have now moved to LA and are taking what is best from the past and shaping it into a fresh new sound. With a whole host of influences and shows behind them, they’re a band who know what they’re talking about. As experienced rockers, they were happy enough to partake in a little Q&A, so here are The Dirty Clergy…

How did the band start?

Brian: The band started as a folk duo with me and another guy. He went off to Afghanistan and I had journeyed up to St. Louis to see Band of Skulls and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. It was that moment when I realized I wanted to do a full force rock and roll band. Four months after that on July 3rd 2010 –that finally came together.

Who are your influences?

Brian: Jack White really influenced me to pick up a guitar in the early 2000’s. Even though I don’t listen to him much anymore, he’s a main reason I started to play. Then we have The Ramones, Neil Young, The Doors, Peter Hayes, Tom Morello –several different people from different decades.
Cody: My influences really come from three of my favorite drummers which would have to be: Mike Portnoy, José Pasillas and Taylor Hawkins.
Ky: Justin Chancellor (Tool), Les Claypool (Primus), Colin Greenwood (Radiohead), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), and Mike Dirnt (Green Day).
Brad: My influences change but a few staples are Robert Plant, Matt Bellamy and Jim Morrison.

What’s your favourite Dirty Clergy song and why?

Brian: That’s a tough one. I’ll say ‘I’. It’s a song that can be arranged in so many different ways and it sounds good just about every time. It sounded so good slow and acoustic, it sounded so good pumped up with electricity that we do the live version with both. So when you hear it on our ‘Revival’ album and you hear it live –you will think to yourself, “well that was a nice little change up.” I like them equally the same though really. Everytime I write a new one I think to myself ‘THIS is the best one yet’, so as long as I keep having those thoughts –the favorites will keep coming down the line.
Cody:  Til There’s Nothing Left because it’s a lot of fun to play and just has a great sound all around.
Ky: Til There’s Nothing Left because it goes real hard and it’s a blast to play.

Do you have any plans to come to the UK soon? If yes, when? 

Brian: If we can get up enough shows over there where it would be worth the exposure, yes. So if anyone out there wants to house a band for a bit, let us know! We will definitely make the journey.

What has been the biggest achievement as a band so far?

Brian: We’ve had several achievements. Every new band sets these small goals and climbs the ladder up towards the bigger goals. We’ve traveled the U.S. from coast to coast. That’s a pretty big achievement for an unsigned 100% independent band. Coming from a small town with a population nearing 5000, it’s really hard to keep a band together. So, just that itself is a major accomplishment as well. We are really greatful for everything. Every show that is booked, every person that buys an album, listens to a song, shares a link. The big picture will come as a result of all these small things.
Brad: We do everything on our own from recording to touring –it’s all us.

What makes a great rock show?

Brian: Good songs, good crowd and energy.
Cody: A band that’s really in key together, great fans and an awesome sound engineer.
Ky: Giving the people you play for something entertaining, original and genuine to see and hear every time you get on the stage.
Brad: Good rock ‘n’ roll makes a great show. That’s rock’n’roll 101 and unfortunately many are neglecting the fundamental ingredient.

Which other bands I should look out for?

Brian: Well, I can name a few. I have a friend that moved from Alabama up to New York City –he’s in a band called The August Infinity. There’s a cool folk/reggae player up in Chicago called Pete Jive. In our home-state we have Alabama Shakes, of course, and also check out a band called Voices in the Trees. They have some really kickin tunes.

What would you be doing if you weren’t in The Dirty Clergy?

Brian: I would still be playing music. I don’t know where or with who, I’m just glad I’m where I’m at right now. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice, but I hope I never have to use that.
Cody: I’m guessing I would be working a dead end job instead of chasing my dreams like I am now. This is what I want to do with my life and I’m glad I’m gonna be playing music with these guys for many years to come.
Ky: What everyone else doing. Punching a time card and hating every minute of it. Music is what I am here to do.
Brad: I would be with some other band.

Check out The Dirty Clergy at http://www.thedirtyclergy.com/ and http://thedirtyclergy.bandcamp.com/

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