INTERVIEW: The Dirty Nil


Interview and photos by Winnie Surya. You may have caught the hunks of The Dirty Nil at Canadian Music Week and are probably wondering how to get to know them better. Look no further since we caught up with the Canadian group to discuss their influences and their most recent EP Smite. In addition, if you want the ultimate fan experience, find out how through our interview with Luke, Dave and Kyle.

You’re playing twice at Canadian Music Week, will you change up your set?
Luke: We may move a couple things around, but we haven’t really decided on that yet.
Dave: It’ll probably be a little different, but probably not radically different.

The setlist?
Kyle: Yeah, we usually do it right before, like 5 minutes before.

Did you get to catch any bands you wanted to see?
Kyle: Not yet. We’ve just been working. We might see Off! and our friends, Single Mothers, tomorrow, but that’s as far as our plans go for that.

How did the band form?
Luke: We all went to high school together and we basically all had a couple of different projects. Kyle and I played together, but Dave and I also played together. So basically around 2009, we all got together and then we kept going from there.

Do you have any musical influences?
Luke: We definitely like rock and roll music obviously. We all have different tastes outside of that, but that’s our unifying thing. We talk more about movies than we talk about bands that we’re digging right now. I can only speak for myself for bands that I like; we all have different ones.
Dave: If you want to be specific, someone like The Replacements would be a big touchstone for us that we all have in common. But I agree with Luke; we rarely sit around and talk about bands that we like and that we want to sound like; we never really say: “We should be more like this band!” or “Let’s try and emulate this a bit more!” We all like different things and the same things; we all know what each other like; we all know what each other’s going to like when we’re writing music. We rarely need to talk about it that much.

It’s good that you guys want to sound like a different band!
Luke: One of the unifying things between all of us is that we all grew up on classic rock when we were fourteen years old or so. That’s something we will never be able to fully shake and that’s one of the first things we all had in common. But we have very different tastes outside of that, but we have a very strong section where everything overlaps all of our tastes.


Since you just released an EP, can you tell us about it and the recording process behind it?
Luke: The songs came together pretty quickly once we started rehearsing them all. I had four ideas and Dave brought a complete song that was probably the easiest one to whip off. The ideas that I brought weren’t really focused yet, so we had to play them into songs. Once we had a few solid weeks of rehearsals, we went and recorded. It was a very painless recording process. It’s only 12 minutes long, so it didn’t take very long. We’re pretty happy with the way we played on it. It’s definitely a good indicator of the directions that we’re going in the future. We’re proud of it.
Dave: It’s called Smite by the way!

What’s “Nicotine” about?
Luke: It’s probably just about politics between a man and a woman or so. I don’t really want to spoon feed the themes too much, but if you listen to the lyrics, you can pick out your own thing. That’s the basic framework if you want something to work with.

Will you be releasing a full length album soon?
Luke: We have no plans to be talking about releasing a full length, but there’s definitely lots of music coming very soon in the next year or so. Plans can change, but we’re more active now than we ever were, so there will be a lot of music coming. That’s all I can really say.

Can you tell us about your Record Club?
Dave: The Dirty Nil Record Club is an official subscription service. People pay 50$ for a year-long membership and they receive three limited edition physical lathe-cut 7” singles. Each single is hand cut on old fashion record cutting lathe to square polyurethane rack. The A-side is always one unreleased original song; the B-side is one unreleased cover. The songs aren’t available but to Record Club members. They’ve never been released physically or in any other form and digital downloads are only provided to Record Club members. So, the only way to get these songs is to subscribe to the club. We’re just writing the third volume; the A-side is a song called “Into the Sun.” It’s an older song; we recorded it during the “Fuckin’ Up Young” sessions. The B-side is a cover of “Rip This Joint” by the Rolling Stones. It’s all original music and covers that have been formulative for us as a band and something special for fans.

What’s next for you guys?
Luke: We definitely have some extensive touring coming this summer and just working on the next batch of songs that we’ll be releasing at some point, but the format of which is undetermined right now.

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