Posted On 10 Feb 2017
The Dirty Clergy is an indie/alt rock award nominated (at independent music awards) band from Alabama. The inspiration for their music and the roots of the band certainly lie in the heart of when rock and roll was at the forefront of music.
Their catchy choruses, smooth harmonies, and pop hooks recall the youthful exuberance of the 50s and early 60s, when rock ‘n’ roll was synonymous with rebellion, while the punkish, grungy rhythm guitar, active drumming, and impassioned singing provide an urgent, hard edge to their sound.
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Read their All Access interview below to learn a lot about their forthcoming new music, the band’s formation, their biggest inspirations and more.
Thanks for your time! Now that 2016 is over, what are some words you would use to describe the year for the band?
It was a very personal year for just about all of us I could say. As far as the band goes, there wasn’t a whole lot of group activity. We had several rehearsals and such, but we basically just had time to ourselves and enjoyed the release of the album.
What were some of the highlights for you all? What are you most excited about for 2017?
We had some really nice success on alternative radio. We had a few songs get into the top 10-20 songs on numerous stations. The legendary Rodney Bingenheimer gave us a lot of love our in Los Angeles on KROQ. I believe the biggest achievement have been being nominated for best indie/alt album of the year at the Independent Music Awards in NYC. We are really looking forward to doing another album this year. We have the songs, we just need to go over them a few times and get them studio ready.
How was The Dirty Clergy first formed?
It was myself and Tyler Evans. We actually began as a folk duo. We have changed a little bit over the years with music and personnel. Our current form has been holding steady for 5 years now.
Can you remember the moment when you all thought you could be in a band together?
In the early days with other members it was pretty difficult keeping a solid lineup. However, Joshua Pope and I held it down until we found the right fits I guess, or they found us. It’s kind of strange, because everyone that left always seemed to have found a replacement. We’ve never really had to hold auditions or anything. Everything fell into place as we hoped. Kind of going back to the original question, I don’t think any of us thought we would ever really be recognized nationally for anything, albeit pretty low key, but we have made some nice moves.
Was it difficult to come up with your name?
It wasn’t. That name came up in the very beginning. The root of it is a little blurred now. It did find its meaning. It pretty much stuck after we heard a story of a local, lying preacher. It was odd. However, there was a time after Tyler exited the band and we considered changing to ‘The Stonewalls’. I’m glad we stuck with The Dirty Clergy. People love it, they don’t forget it. We’ve had a few people in the bible belt to say they love our music, but don’t like the name. Oh well. It’s a name.
You’ve been around since 2009. How do you think your sound and really how you all work together has changed over the years?
Well, we definitely aren’t folk anymore. It wasn’t until 2010 that we formed the full rock band. That was after I watched a Band of Skulls/Black Rebel Motorcycle Club show in St. Louis. I knew then we should move on from the folk stuff. Each member really brings his own style to the band with the instrument they play. We are all so diverse in playing it’s difficult to really nail us down to a genre. I like that though. You never know what to expect.
Do you think that what drives you to make music changed at all either?
No, I still make it because I love creating. Just really the style of writing changed. It may change again in the future. I really want to do a glam rock album. I’m not sure how the guys feel about that though. Ha!
How do you think your sound is influenced by the fact that you are from Alabama?
We aren’t influenced at all by Alabama in general.We would still be doing the same thing even if we were to be in Seattle or Los Angeles.
What’s the current music scene like there?
We have some really good original bands. Wolves of Chernobyl, Vulture Whale, The Murder of Jane Crow, Spook House Saints just to name a few. It’s still not really where it should be for original bands. When I mention those bands, I mean the bigger metro areas. There is really no music scene in our town of Winfield.
What did it feel like to be nominated for Best Indie/Alternative Rock Album of the Year at the Independent Music Awards?
It felt great! It was our first nomination for any type of award. It was nice to be recognized for such a long process of doing an album. Glad people enjoyed it as well. We had some bigger plans for it, but the deadline got by us before we realized it. Just happy that people bought the album, listened to it, and told others about it.
What was the inspiration behind your 2016 album, “Rattlesnake”? How will your 2017 collection be different than it?
It was just a collection of songs we had written, songs about life. Nothing too deep. Just good verses and choruses. Our upcoming album will be a little different in sound, not so much the writing.
Have you already completed your forthcoming album? When can fans expect for you to release it?
It hasn’t even started in the studio process yet. So, maybe in the fall or early winter it could possibly see a release. Those are the plans anyways. The songs are pretty much completed. We will just have to go over them and weed out a few. We will probably get it down to 10-12 songs.
Do you have any upcoming shows planned?
No. At the moment I’m hooked on just the creation of music. We may do some shows this year, but we haven’t talked about it at all.
Who are you all listening to these days?
I’ve been listening to a variety of things. Crash Test Dummies, Sweet, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Raveonettes, Night Moves. I’m just all over the place really.
There’s some good stuff out there you just have to search for it. The mainsteam rock is pretty terrible. I guess that is considered rock now? Look at the Billboard Rock charts and that pretty much tells you all you need to know about the state of rock music today.
What artists have continued to inspire you all and your music?
It’s always been, for me, The Strokes, T. Rex, Rolling Stones, Sune Rose Wagner, 50’s and 60’s music as well.
When you aren’t in the studio, performing or working on new material, what do you all like to do for fun?
Well if it weren’t for music in some form, I’m not sure what I’d do. I’m not much of a partier or anything. I’m an introvert. I enjoy animals, I like to travel when I can, cook. I’m a really simple person.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans, new and old, continue to take away from your music?
I just hope they enjoy it. Maybe they can find some sort of connection to the songs. Maybe they can realize that things happen and life goes on. Sometimes you may think it’s the end of the world, but it will always work out.
What do you hope is the message of your songs?
I’m not sure if it’s the songs or the band in general. But I want people to realize that chasing a dream and playing music is something you can actually do. All you have to do it do it. You don’t have to be Jimmy Page or anyone with uncanny abilities to play. You just go out there and do your thing.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourselves and your music?
If you haven’t checked into us, I’d like for you to take the time to do so. Word of mouth goes a long way. We are just a rock band from a small town in Alabama that’s climbing the latter, just doing our thing.