Interview: Dirt

When you start a band it can be hard to find the right people. Just ask London based rockers dirt. Their origins begin with guitarist Nikhil Aggarwal and bassist Abdul Hasaballa leaving their native Liverpool for a new start in London. In the nation’s capital they found drummer Perry Sinclair and guitarist Dan Kidney. However their biggest task was finding a lead singer. After looking at over 150 people for the role, they hooked up with Alistair Keenan, formerly of Taking Hayley.

Now with their lineup finalised, dirt are now on the road to bigger things. Having released their debut EP, ‘Mirrors’ late last year and with an appearance at this weekend’s Takedown Festival lined up, expect to hear more from the five piece in the coming months.

‘Mirrors’ is an edgy collection of alt-rock numbers that has seen dirt been compared to the likes of Mallory Knox and I Divide. However as we learn in this interview, they are only just starting and we expect to see dirt evolve in the future.

We recently spoke to drummer Perry Sinclair to find out more about dirt; how they came together, their ‘Mirrors’ EP, their forthcoming UK tour, Takedown Fest and more.

Already Heard: Let’s kick off with a simple one. How did the band come together? I understand you had to be a bit patient when it came to finding a vocalist?
Perry: The band started with Nikhil (Aggarwal – Guitar) and Abdul (Hasaballa – Bass) when they moved to London to search for band members, after a while they found myself and Dan (Kidney – Guitar). We knew each other from previous bands so kinda came as a package. Finding a singer definitely wasn’t as easy and we must’ve auditioned at least over 150 people in London over the time. We tried everything from posting flyers in every rehearsal studio we could find in London, to holding big “Vocalist Wanted” signs outside gigs, but eventually it just came down to a bit of luck when we found out that Taking Hayley had recently split, we messaged their vocalist Alistair (Keenan) and got him down for an audition. The rest is history!

AH: With Alistair having played with Taking Hayley before joining dirt. How important has his experience been in helping dirt grow?
Perry: I think because of the big difference in genre and ‘scene’, it’s kind of been a fresh start for us all. Ali definitely helped us find the right people to work with though, like Daniel Broadley who directed our first music video and Sam Parrett who’s been responsible for a lot of our design work, those guys had worked with Alistair’s previous band, so we knew we were going to get some great work from them!

AH: Late last year you released an EP called ‘Mirrors’. For those who have yet to check it out, how would you describe it?
Perry: The EP was our first try at building the ‘dirt’ blueprint, there’s quite a mix of genres on the EP given that it’s a small body of work it ranges from Alt-Rock, to Post Hardcore and Metal which are all influences of ours.

AH: The EP coincided with the release of a music video for ‘Bonds’. Can you tell us what the track is about? Does it fit into an overall theme of the EP?
Perry: ‘Bonds’ was written as a bit of social commentary, the main inspiration that sparked the idea for the track came from the day to day commuting on the tube in London. It’s become a bit of a running joke now that people will try their best to not interact with each other on the tube, and if anyone does dare strike up a conversation they’ll likely be thought of as a bit weirdo. The track’s written about the instinctual fear we seem to have of each other, when in fact our similarities often out-weigh our differences. We lack ‘Bonds’ with each other often due to fear of the ‘other’ or ‘that weirdo on the tube.’

The whole ‘Mirrors’ EP concept stemmed from a general theme of self-reflection and introspection to improve yourself, the songs on the EP all connect with the idea that we can all self-examine and improve ourselves, which is quite a positive message I think.

AH: I’ve seen you’ve been compared to more familiar names such as Young Guns, Mallory Knox and I Divide. Do you think that is a fair comparison? Do you consider bands of that calibre as influences?
Perry: I can definitely see why people would compare us to those bands, we all listen to such a varied mix of music and those type of bands are in the mix!

AH: This month you’re heading out in tour with Pavilions, Adelphia and Breathe In The Silence. Why should people come out to these shows?
Perry: Four sick bands bringing each other to their hometowns for an awesome show, why not?! This will be our first ever tour as a band, so it’s gonna be a lot of fun, especially for us headlining the London date.

AH: How would you sum up a typical dirt show?
Perry: Passionate, unpredictable and hopefully tight!

AH: Before the tour though you’re also playing Southampton’s Takedown Festival. You’re playing on the same stage as Decade, Moose Blood and Baby Godzilla. Who are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?
Perry: It’s pretty mental for us playing on the same stage as bands that’ve been around a lot longer than us. We’re really looking forward to seeing Decade especially and, of course, see our good mates in Create To Inspire and More Than Most play the festival too. I also hear The Hell put on a mad live show so I’m sure I’ll be checking them out too!

AH: Do you have any final words to share with the Already Heard readers?
Perry: Cheers for giving this a read and checking us out! If you wanna check us out our EP ‘Mirrors’ is on iTunes/Spotify, or just go to our Facebook page.

‘Mirrors’ EP by dirt is out now.

dirt links: Facebook|Twitter|YouTube

Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)
Photo Credit: Georgia Rawson

Leave a Reply