Here we go again… Last year we covered every band on the Hobgoblin New Blood and Jagermeister stages in the run-up to Bloodstock 2015. This year, we’re going one better and aim to have interviews from all the bands on those two stages as well as all of those on the SOPHIE stage prior to the event kicking off on August 11th. That’s almost 100 interviews to get online for you lucky people over the course of the next couple of weeks. I bloody love this job, but you lot owe me a beer at Catton Hall, right?
Thanks to all the bands who’ve taken the time to respond!
Dirty King – Jagermeister stage, Sunday
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Dirty King are a band based in Tyneside. We’re mainly from Gateshead, but there’s a hint of The Wall’s End, over the river, on the outskirts of The Toon.
How did you meet?
We’ve all met in different ways, at different times, but all through one thing… a love of Alt/Rock/Metal. Some met at gigs, some met at work. Some have known each other a long time, some a relatively short time, but music was always at the heart of it.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Some of us have played together in other projects, for around ten years, or so. Dirty King was first conceived a little over three to four years ago, we’d guess. The band that resulted is what you’ll see on The Jagermeister Stage, at Bloodstock. We’ve been gigging in that form since January 2014. We consider it the original Dirty King line-up, though other line-ups were experimented with in the rehearsal room.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Dirty King was first suggested by Tony, our rock-solid rhythm guitarist. It’s a lyric from a Corrosion of Conformity song. He was enjoying a lug-full of COC, as you do, and just as the lyric sounded, somebody walked by wearing a T-Shirt, with the words “Dirty” and “King” on it. We all loved it. It stuck.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
Well, we’ve already given you one! Smooth or what?! Honestly… way too many to mention them all. There are influences we share as a band, some that influence some more than others, and no doubt personal influences, too. Everyone has their guilty pleasures, right?! No, don’t ask! Seriously though, to give you an idea, we’re talking Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, Temple of The Dog, Sleep, Pearl Jam, High on Fire, Down, Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, The Obsessed, Alice in Chains, Acid King, Church of Misery… we could list bands all day. We’re a pretty diverse bunch, but it’s all about live bands, for us.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
That’s a tough one. Is anything truly unique? What we would say, is that we’re predominantly a riff based band. We don’t think we’re unique, but maybe because of our range of influences, we do have a slightly different sound. There’s metal in there, but there’s also rock. There’s doom, but there’s groove, too.
We like it heavy, thick and… most importantly… DIRTY! It’s hard to describe. At the risk of not doing ourselves any favours, think of that face you pull when you smell a really nasty, dirty, filthy, stinking, manky, fart smell. Then, think about how your face slowly drifts, almost into a smile, or even a look of pride, as you realise it’s one of your own. You created that! That’s kinda how it feels. Yeah!
What’s your live show like – why should the baying hordes troop over to the stage you’re playing on to watch you?
We’re all about playing live. It’s what we do and we love it. The more people to play to, the better, but we’re happy playing to ourselves, to be honest. We’re doing lots of work right now, hoping to have a bit of free merch for some lucky people. We’ve just recorded a live demo, so if all goes to plan we’ll be chucking those about, too. Finally, though we’ll be banging out as many of our own original tunes as we can, and loving it, we also have something a little special lined up.
It’s a tribute to somebody who we know is a pretty big deal to the entire Bloodstock Community. We’re nervous as hell about it, out of respect if nothing else, but we’ve tested it out a few times, and it seems to go down well. In fact, we’re too embarrassed to go into detail, but one piece of feedback we got from a particular person, is probably the most flattering remark we could ever dare to hope for. If you want to hear and see for yourself, please, we know there’re loads of bands and lots to see and do, but if you get the chance, we’d love you to come catch us. You may not even have to trek far, as we’ll be playing right between the markets and The Ronnie James Dio Stage, as Main Stage acts change over.
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
We found out we’re playing Bloodstock, at the M2TM Final, at The Cluny, in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, on the 17th June. We remember it well…ish. We celebrated pretty hard, but certainly haven’t forgotten the feeling. We just couldn’t believe it when Simon Hall called our name.
Souls of Jack Ketch, (who are absolutely brutal, and you should definitely checkout on The New Blood Stage, on Friday) won the competition. However, Simon couldn’t pick just one North East band. He wanted two of us at Bloodstock, and we can never thank him enough for giving us the opportunity. You probably won’t believe us, but our original goal was just to make it to the second round and play a venue that we hadn’t played before. Maybe that helps put it in perspective, a little.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
We’ve kind of already covered it in a previous answer. There’s variety and dynamics, for sure, but in summary… a riff fest of our original dirty works, with an extra special solitary cover, that we’ve done in our own filthy way.
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
As you’d probably guess, it’d depend upon which of us you’re asking. We’re certainly glad that, being on Sunday, we’re not going to miss Venom (some of us have been lucky enough to jam with Dante in the past, so we’re certainly not missing them. He’s a beast behind the kit!), Twisted Sister (that’d be gutting, to miss their last ever UK show!), Corrosion of Conformity (obviously), Mastodon’s another one. We don’t want to miss anyone, but obviously that’s not realistic. We’re sure we’ll get to see Slayer and Anthrax. Who knows who we might not be able to catch. Our slot isn’t confirmed, so we don’t know who we should really worry about missing.
What are you working on at the moment?
Erm… life?! As we’ve said, it’s all about gigging for us. We love to get out and play, but we have to fit that around our other commitments. We have wives, fiancées, children, dogs, full-time jobs on different shift patterns, mortgages… all that stuff. Our band was really just an escape for us. We never thought we would have an opportunity like this.
The live demo will be going up on Bandcamp (if it isn’t already, by the time this is published). Now we just need to get the demo on discs, get some T-Shirts made, whatever else we can manage to afford, hopefully. It’s crazy. We’ve never sorted any of the stuff that most bands at Bloodstock will have done as a matter of course, because we’ve never taken it seriously enough. We’ve gone out and played when we can, where we can, and we’ve loved doing it. That’s all we wanted. You have to understand…this is totally out of the blue.
Oh, and we just found out the awesome guys at Blank Slate Creative are going to help us out with some more video work. It’s extremely early days, so we’re not sure what exactly is going to come out of it, but keep your eyes open for something. We’re really lucky to have some very talented friends, who kindly help us out, with so many different things. It’s amazing what humans can achieve, when they work together, instead of allowing ourselves to be divided by things that really shouldn’t matter. We’re extremely grateful to all who ever have, and ever will, work with us.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
On tour?! We’d love to go on tour! Maybe, if we’re lucky, we can arrange some time off together, all at the same time, and put together some sort of mini tour. Where would we go? Where would we play? Drop us a message if you’re interested, or think you can help us to get something sorted out.
Obviously, being unsigned, we’re DIY. We’ll be talking to as many bands as we can, and hope that, one day, we can make something like that happen. Right now, I think the furthest we’ve got is around 40 miles, or so. Bloodstock will be the new record. We’re hoping to get up to Scotland for a gig ASAP, through friends like Dog Tired. It’s looking likely our first gig north of the border will be in September. Keep your eyes peeled for more details when announced.
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
Shit, you mean we’re not a young band? Haha Just kidding, it’s all relative, obviously. If bands have advice for us, we’re always open to feedback. In many ways, we’re beginners ourselves. For those even nearer to the beginning than us, we’d say, play. Play in your bedroom. Play to your friends. Play at open mic nights in the local. Support your local scene. Go watch other local original bands. We know we’re preaching to the converted, but we don’t have to listen to what we’re told to listen to. Go out and find something you like and don’t be overly critical of something you don’t like. Even if something isn’t really our cup of tea, we respect the effort that has gone into it, and what it takes to get up and have a go. Just be good to each other, basically. There’s enough bullshit in the world. If the fact that there’s a stage named for Sophie Lancaster doesn’t say it all, we don’t know what does. We don’t need that shit.
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up who else would you have on the bill? One band above you and one below – a chance to plug a smaller, unsigned act!
Really tough one! We’ll give you a few. We’d all be happy with any of them. For a headliner, Temple of The Dog are pretty topical right now. If you’re reading this, any chance of a support slot should you decide to extend the tour over here, lads? Pretty much anybody we listed as an influence and many others… Sabbath, Pearl Jam, Metallica, Guns n Roses, ACDC… Led Zep, Pink Floyd…no idea, sorry. As for an opening band…hey, we could list ‘em all day. The other bands who sadly didn’t progress through M2TM, I’ll Play the Villain, Hellion Rising, Arcite, all deserve great credit. There’re also bands like Dog Tired, Tombstone Crow, The Unholy Concoction and Guilt City, who we’ll be playing the O2 Academy in Newcastle with, on the 6th August, as a warm-up to Bloodstock. Then there’re so many other great bands we’ve played with, like Kraken Waker, Sorry For Nothing, Witch Charmer… hey, we could go on forever, but we’ll stop there, and just say, thanks to all we’ve ever played with.
What stage / time are you playing at Bloodstock (if you have your slot yet!)
As we’ve said, we’ll be on The Jagermeister Stage, on Sunday. We don’t have a confirmed time slot at time of writing. Judging from the website line-up, we look to be sub-headlining the stage, below Attica Rage, on Sunday. That’s nuts, if true! We think we’re right in saying they’re on the Planet Rock playlist? Nearly 7000 likes on Facebook? Here we are, with less than four hundred.
The thought of us playing the UK’s biggest independent metal festival, is just bizarre…but we’re doing it! Thanks so much to everybody… venues, promoters, bands, Simon Hall, Bloodstock and, of course, everybody who has ever turned out to see us play. We love you all. It’s @Dirtykingmusic, by the way, for Facebook & Twitter, if you want to stay in the loop.
Heaton was once home to Chas Chandler (The Animals). It’s reputed, that a certain Mr. Jimi Hendrix used to busk on the street there, during time spent living with Chas, who managed The Jimi Hendrix Experience, among others. “The Dirty Demo…Live”, was recorded in Heaton, live, at First Avenue Studios, and if it isn’t already, it will be available on Bandcamp, also Dirtykingmusic, absolutely free of charge, very soon!
Hope to see you at Bloodstock. Let’s get filthy! \m/\m/\m/\m/\m/