Interview: The Dirty Beat
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Airbanding with a badminton racquet was first foray. Earliest musical influences were church, AM radio and symphony. If not for music, today at best I would be beekeeping, at worst digging or occupying a ditch.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Be with family and pets, survive and sleep. Being out of the studio gets me to write in my head.
How long has your band been around?
The Dirty Beat has been around since the mid-00s but isn’t technically a band.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Currently based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. But previously also Nelson, BC and Vancouver, BC. Nelson had a lot of ghosts; that definitely influenced the earlier writing. Rural Manitoba and big open skies have probably led to the more expansive form of music.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Music college roommate coined the term due to me being somewhat of a foul-mouthed, slovenly beatnik.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
The Dirty Beat currently does not perform live.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Was always a dream to play in a cathedral. Or a forest.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Pink Floyd, if we could have their Set Dec.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
If you’re not sure, just have fun and don’t commit. But if you’re sure and you’re serious, get to work as hard and soon as you can. It gets much harder. Don’t be distracted, don’t chase myths. If it’s a worthy dream, don’t let it die. Because it won’t, it will only haunt you. So commit and devote yourself to it.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
At the moment, “The Iron Wall” given that the world feels like a cross between a madhouse and a prison camp.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
“Birds that Prey” and “Lay Shadow” are most fun to play on guitar, “Locks & Curls” and “Wages” most fun on drums. “Angst” is likely the top pick by others.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Usually music first, lyrics next. 1-3 rough draft recordings and then the final version.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
More observing than messaging. An attempt to bear witness to the beauties and horrors of life.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Disagreements with myself constantly. Usually due to poor performance. Get past them by working through them.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Writing and recording the second album.