We caught up with the local blues rock heroes, Dirty Moonshine, ahead of their upcoming show at Beef Stock 2018
I still remember the very first Dirty Moonshine gig that I attended, at the old Rumours building in Randburg, a very good friend of mine insisted that this would be my next favorite band. Upon hearing the very first song of your set I instantly fell in love with your sound and band as a whole! Why the name Dirty Moonshine? Was it a collective decision?
Why thank you we really appreciate you saying that and must thank your friend for turning you on to us as well. The name actually came together one night when Roy and Wez were out having a few drinks. We started with the word “Moonshine” and were thinking of something to put in front of it and when we said “Dirty” it just clicked and we stuck with it.
Everybody always asks about musical influences. We’d like to know instead about other influences of the band – art, films, and books. Things that made Dirty Moonshine before it even started.
I guess we take influences from anything we can but we are all into different things. Al is quite a gamer and Dave is a collector of all things to do with comics and classic movies like Star Wars. Wez is into his Horror Movies and True Crime books as you can see by Bundy Loves lyrical content. Haha. Roy is into a whole heap of things so yeah we definitely take influences from these things.
How would you describe the musical evolution of Dirty Moonshine since establishing the band? Would you mind to talk us through your musical journey?
Well when we started it was just Roy and Wez who planned to do an acoustic guitar and drum sort of band and eventually the songs just became what they did and it became evident that we needed to add electric guitars to them and a thumping bass line. We have always tried to write what is true to all of us and if one guy brings a riff or something in and we all like it and we think it could work for the band then we all get behind it and make it into a full product. It must ROCK though! Haha
What has been your favorite and least venue to play and why?
Our favourite venues I guess we would have to say Rumours because we have been made to feel at home there whenever we play but I think Aandklas is also on the top of our list. We won’t go into least favourites because that’s just not gonna help anyone but there have been some.
You’ve recently released your album Bottom of the Barrel, and I can’t get enough of any of the songs on there. My favorite being Saint’s & Sinners purely for the reason that it is genius! What was your experience with recording this album? What was the most fun and most difficult about recording the album?
Why thank you. It is also one of our favourites because it is a little different than the rest. The toughest thing I think was to find the time to get everyone into the studio between having day jobs, families and all sorts of responsibilities. Another big one was to find the cash to afford the album we wanted to make and would be proud of but thankfully at the end of the day our Thundafund campaign was a success and we can’t thank everyone who helped us reach our goal enough. We are eternally grateful.
Does the band have a favorite song to play live?
We have a few actually but between all the guys we agree that Seduca is a killer song to play. Shake the Roof also really gets people moving so that’s a close second.
What advice do you have for young musicians that wish to pursue music as a career in South Africa?
Play as much as you can and learn from as many people as you can. It is not an easy industry to be in and you will have successes and failures but if you truly love playing and creating music then you will never give up. Times will get tough but just always try to remember that passion you have for your instrument.
How does the band balance personal life and band life?
It is not an easy task as 3 of the guys are married and have children and day jobs so doing this on top of all of that becomes tough at times but we all love playing together so at the end of the day we make it work and work as hard as we can at it. We must thank our wives, children and girlfriends for putting up with it and letting us chase our dreams though.They are the real heroes!
Who writes the lyrics to the songs? Do they come from personal experience?
Wez has had his hand in most of the lyric writing but the rest of the boys have written a couple of songs now and with new material we will all be having a hand in the lyric writing. There is no single person who does it all. If a member has a good lyric then we will use it. Yes, some do come from personal experience and some are stories either fact or fiction.
What is next for Dirty Moonshine? Anything exciting happening in the future?
We have a couple of festival shows to end out 2018 and then next year we plan on touring the rest of the country to keep on marketing “Bottom of the Barrell”. Hopefully start writing new material and just keep pushing and rocking as hard as we can.
Who are the guys when they are not Dirty Moonshine? Tell us more about each member?
Well we are pretty much the guys you see on stage really. We all like to have a good time and let loose as often as we can. Dave is definitely always thinking business though. He never stops. Wez likes to drink and party as much as the next guy. Al is a sneaky guy. He is very calm and collected but once he let’s the beast out you know it’s gonna be one hell of a good time. Roy is also relaxed and laid back and usually has a smart quip to throw at you. Haha
What can fans expect from your set at Beef Stock this November?
Well lots of sweat, beer and Rock & Roll riffage. We have put a new set list together and putting the new songs we haven’t played much into the set as well so some people might experience those for the first time. If you were at our album launch you will have a good idea as to what to expect. It is going to be one hell of a Rock & Roll party!
Any other words you’d like to share with current and potential fans?
We would just like to say thank you to every person who has shown us their support by being at our shows, buying our album or merch and all the kind words. We are flabbergasted sometimes at the amount of love we have received and keep on receiving. We truly do appreciate it all and could never have expected to be in this situation at the moment. To any future fans come to a show whether we are playing or not and enjoy some local alternative music. You really won’t be disappointed we can assure you that. Much love.
INTERVIEWED BY: SEIRAN