I just want to start by saying thank you for the taking the time to answer some questions! Now, let's get a nice little formal introduction out of the way. Who am I talking to and what do you do in Dirty Larry?
My name is Bob Gordon and I play trombone and sing backups in Dirty Larry. I am also the most handsome member in the band if you happen to ask my parents.
Great to have you here. For our readers who haven't had the chance to hear you quite yet, tell us a bit about the band and how things all got started.
Well, "Dirty Larry" has been around for quite some time now. (They started dicking around in 1997 to be exact) so I'll start where the current lineup comes in. I joined Josh (Lead Guitar/Vocals) Matt (Guitar, Vocals, Trombone) Tim (Bass) and Brian (Sax) last February with Steve Mills (x-drummer) and we went on to record "Inception" in August. It was released in November and Steve just left in May, paving the way for our new drummer Kyle. Right now we're practicing like crazy and getting ready for our tour in July.
Inception, your latest full length, seems to capture a wide variety of styles and influences. How do you guys manage to combine that many elements so effortlessly?
We all listen to a wide variety of music and we get bored when we have to play/hear the same style over and over again. We like to describe ourselves as bi-polar because we'll be playing happy ska upbeats one minute and then going into a hardcore breakdown the next. It's just the way we roll.
Let's talk a bit more about Inception. Which one song do you feel best captures what the Dirty Larry gang has to offer, and why would you pick that song?
I would pick the combined tracks of "Stimulus" and "Response" mostly because that is the direction that
we're headed in musically as a band. They were written about a month or so before we hit the studio, so they were the newest songs on there. They are much more mature, musically and lyrically and as a whole sum up where we're headed as a band very well.
The cover for the record has a bird on it (which I might add is a very appealing cover), as well as the disc. Is there any symbolism or meaning behind this that sort of represents the theme of the album, or is it just something you pulled out of a hat?
The basic meaning of the album is new parts, old machine. For so long the backbone of the band had been Josh, Tim and Brian. For this record, Me, Steve and Matt took on a great deal of musical responsibility helping to shape the new sound, with the remaining three continuing to hold their weight as well. The pipes and the diagram in the background are the machine, the bird is sort of what rises from the fallen parts. MUCH LOVE to our artist Peter Wonsowski for helping us to sum this up in his beautiful artwork.
Very cool. So, what have you guys been up to lately? I know you're about to hit the road with Long Shot Hero, are you excited for that?
Lately we've been taking some time off from local shows to tighten the songs we have from Inception as well as write for the next recording. Recently we played The Trocadero and The Pontiac Grille with Mustard Plug and both shows were just phenomenal. We're MORE than excited to hit the road with Long Shot Hero, they are beyond awesome.
Speakng of touring, what's it like being out there on the road? I hear from so many bands that it's not nearly as enjoyable as we might think, so is it a similar deal with you guys, or how do you feel about touring?
Well this will actually be our first tour. We've done weekend warriors and had a lot of fun doing that but this will be our first real opportunity to hit the road for an extended period of time. I'm sure we'll have our fair share of bumps, bruises and fights but in the end I'm confident we'll be calling it the time of our lives.
I'm interested in what the writing process is like for Dirty Larry. It sounds like all the aspects of the band blend so easily together and flow perfectly, so i'm wondering if the songs are written by a specific member of the band, or is it more of a group effort?
For the most part in the past Josh has done the majority of the writing. For example, he wrote 7 of the tunes off of Inception. The other three were written by Tim, our bass player. For the new stuff so far, Tim has really taken the initiative to write some incredible stuff. It's really awesome to watch him gain confidence and spread his wings in that regard. We plan to take our time and experiment this time around, so I'm sure Tim will write a few, Josh will write a few and we'll have a couple entirely democratic efforts.
What's the craziest thing that's ever happened to you guys? Whether it be tour experiences or moments with fans, i'd like to hear it.
We're a fairly boring band. I guess the craziest thing I can think of off the top of my head was the first 10 minutes of our release show for Inception in New Jersey. Josh broke a string, Matt's amp blew out, Tim's bass randomly stopped working (we found out later it was a battery but we had to borrow a bass) and my trombone broke beyond repair in the 2nd song.
What other bands out there have helped create your sound? Who are your musical influences?
Above all, The RX Bandits. If there's one band we can all agree on, it's them. They are absolutely incredible. You can also attribute a lot of our style to bands like Less Than Jake, Big D and the Kids Table, The Mad Caddies and Rhapsody.
"Where is Hurfville?", one of my favourite songs on Inception, is a story about a guy named Steve on a hill, which actually makes for a suprisingly interesting listen. Is Steve a real guy, and where did the idea for this jam come from?
Basically, Josh and Tim were driving down the highway in New Jersey and they drove past the sign for the town of Hurffville. Tim proclaimed, "Man, what an awful name for a town. I bet no one lives there. Wait, I bet it's only ONE guy!" And hence, the fictional and magical character of Steve was born.
If you could hit the road with any band out there today, who would you choose and why?
Definetely the RX Bandits. I believe we could learn so much from them musically and otherwise. As for local bands, Long Shot Hero! They are just the coolest and craziest guys/gals we know.
Is there any ultimate goal you've set for yourselves? You know, that one point you'd be satisfied in reaching.
Not really. We're just having fun doing what we love. Don't get me wrong, we'd love to do this for a living but we're fairly realistic about our chances.
One of the songs from Inception, "Showtunes", has a straight up ska vibe to it. Is ska the type of music you guys adore above all others, or is just something you've just decided to throw into the mix?
Ska was our starting point, and we've really grown from there. Whereas before it was the main influence, it has now been thrown into a melting pot with a ton of other stuff leading to our unique sound. The more we write, the less straight up ska we get, but it will always play some role in our music.
Alright, one last question. What kind of advice can you give to people trying to get their own bands on their feet? Any helpful tips or information you may have picked up that you'd like to pass along?
Just keep at it! If it's what you truly love to do, it will all work out. It took me a number of times to get it right, and although we're not at the finishing line yet I'm doing what I love with five of my best friends. What more can you ask for?
Awesome. Okay, thank you so much for chatting with me. Do you have any last words you'd like to leave our readers with?
Check us out on tour this summer if you get the chance! Thanks for your time, Brandon. ; )