DIRTY DIRTY: Every gritty detail
by Logan Portteus
photo by Monmar Photography
Punk and fuzz rock is not a typical medium for expressing personal vulnerability and fears, but Seattle-based duo DIRTY DIRTY is doing just that. With songs that range from 7-minute opuses to fast, loud punk songs lasting short of two minutes, the duo is taking genres and using them to sculpt their personal truths of adversity and identity.
Drummer Drew Shreve, 31, describes growing up in Bellingham as a confused social outcast, finding his only reprieve in heavy music and house shows in the local scene. He met DIRTY DIRTY singer and guitarist Ian Forrester, 28, in Seattle in 2014. Two years later, Forrester’s initial drummer for the project, Mark Knowles, moved away. Shreve, too, had recently lost his band due to drug issues. Both musicians were lost and seeking a new chapter.
Reconnecting over pickleback whiskeys in Capitol Hill, the duo shared their stories and eventually stumbled to Forrester’s place to record their first demo. Several days later, Forrester had booked their first gig. By this time, the duo had successfully recorded all four of Forrester’s initial demos and had written two new songs of their own. (DIRTY DIRTY’s first, self-titled EP from 2016 includes former drummer Knowles in several songs.)
It was clear the band was a perfect fit, Shreve said. “While some bands tend to go softer with more dance-ability and grooves as they grow, we’ve done the opposite,” he said. “Our new sounds and direction have taken on a decidedly heavier, some might say angrier approach, much coming from our feelings about the current state of the world.”
DIRTY DIRTY has also begun changing up their stage look, incorporating things like bodysuits and fishnets, which has added a new level of self-expression to their performances.
Living in what’s considered a ‘music city’ has the ability to create a pressure to make it big, but that is a ridiculous concept, Shreve said. He has found that most musicians in Seattle are trying to make it through their day, which creates an unspoken bond between everyone in the music realm, he said.
“People talk a lot of bad about Seattle, and it’s true the tech boom has created a catastrophic change to our city, but I’m here to promise you that the scene down here is thriving, welcoming, inclusive, intersectional and more talented than I can put to words,” Shreve said. “Intolerance has no home here.”
To create their unique, fuzzy sound, the right equipment is vital. Forrester plays a Fender Bass VI, which he puts through a pedal chain involving distortion and delays. Shreve plays TAMA Starclassic Bubinga drums which create a louder, deeper sound than normal wood drums.
“All this adds up to us being dubbed ‘The Loudest Rhythm Section In Seattle,’” Shreve said. “A moniker we’ve gleefully ran with.”
DIRTY DIRTY recently released their new single, “Monochromatic Love,” and have a full-length record titled Anxious Electric Auto Erupt Here I Come, which is expected to be released end of summer 2019.
“Our music is dirty, our lives are dirty, the world is f****** dirty so let’s be dirty together and experience every gritty detail,” Shreve said. “We’re all dancing to our graves, anyways, so we might as well mosh.”
To hear DIRTY DIRTY and stay up-to-date on upcoming shows and releases, follow them on social media @sodirtydirty, or find them on all music-streaming platforms. For several exclusive tracks, check out their Bandcamp https://sodirtydirty.bandcamp.com/ or catch them live at The Shakedown on June 23.