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Freda interviews The Dirty Clergy on upcoming album “Rattlesnake”

“The Dirty Clergy’s 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.” – Round Magazine

“I can honestly say I’ve never heard their particular sound. While I’ve heard bands that mix “sixties” elements into their music, I’ve never heard a band that combines modern styles with 90’s AND 60’s influences. This is a band you don’t want to miss!”- The Music Farmer

“If you’re looking for some good ol’ American rock & roll, look no further than this Alabama firecracker.” –Indie Mag

“It captures your interest like a story with undertones of American standards in an evolution of sounds from The Boss to Buddy Holly, from T-Rex to Nirvana. All, but none of the above, The Dirty Clergy make of music their own stew, diverse ingredients combining to form a unique flavor.” –Birmingham Free Press

The Dirty Clergy are a garage rock pop band hailing from Winfield, Alabama. Drawing comparisons to greats such as Alice Cooper, T. Rex, Muse and even Cream, the band’s genre-blending sound has its roots firmly planted in an era when rock and roll was at the forefront of music.

the-dirty-clergy-04.jpgThe Dirty Clergy surged onto the scene in 2011, when they recorded their first EP The Breakdown with The Strokes/Regina Spektor producer Gordon Raphael and released their debut full-length Revival through their self-published label Happy Daze Records. The band wasted no time returning to the studio in early 2012 to record their sophomore EP, Shake. This, along with Revival, set them out on the road in the U.S. for the majority of 2012.

Taking a short hiatus after touring, The Dirty Clergy returned in 2014 with the single “Shake, Shake.” The track gained national coverage from mtvU/MTV networks and AXS TV, along with airplay on several college and mainstream radio stations in the U.S. and abroad. This success landed them the title of 2014’s Rock Artist of the Year from fashion blog Glitter & Stilletos.

The Dirty Clergy’s upcoming second full-length album Rattlesnake, recorded by former Verbena drummer (Capital Records) Lester Nuby III, displays the band’s evident ability to create a dynamic range of sound. With fervent vocals layering both harmonic hooks and gritty energy, a listen through Rattlesnake has something for everyone.

In a time where music is ruled by electronic, synth, and manufactured sounds, The Dirty Clergy is taking it upon themselves to remind you that rock and roll is still very much alive.

Congratulations on the upcoming release of “Rattlesnake”, your second full length record.  Your last release was single “Shake, Shake” in 2014 – has it been a long time coming for this album?

Well, to be honest the album didn’t have much planning to it. It had a little more planning than the previous one. I think we had two full months ahead of time to prepare for this one. We normally don’t plan too far in the distant future. This was a record we wanted to do though. It really expands on our sound and our ability to branch out and do different things. We worked with Lester Nuby III on this one as compared to ourselves on the last full length, so it was different actually having a real producer in there. Sometimes me or one of the other mates would put too much thought or try too hard on something and he would be there to just say, ‘whoa, stop, that’s enough’. Then after thinking about it for a bit, he was right. That happened on several occasions.

What was originally the motivation to start The Dirty Clergy?  What’s the goal of the band, and how did you pick the name The Dirty Clergy?

A folk duo doing protest songs. That’s what we began as. We left that behind though. The goals are ever changing. I guess that is part of being a musician though. I would say we have set the bar pretty high for ourselves. Our goal right now is to push this album as far as it can go. We believe that rock and roll has a place on the radio and that’s what we have our sights set on. When you turn it on these days you hardly ever hear a guitar unless it’s on the classic rock stations. This needs to change. It has to change. We will gladly lead that effort against the people that say rock is dead.

The Dirty Clergy name came about from a local preacher that was telling lies about a band member. It was during a time when alcohol wasn’t legal to purchase in the city and a referendum came up to make it legal. One of the members sort of lead the way to that and the preacher didn’t like it. So he took it on himself to send out an email to his congregation about how bad this person was, clearly full of lies, and a member of that congregation forwarded the email to the band member. It’s just a crazy story. So, we took it and ran with it. The Dirty Clergy = question everything and everyone/nothing is as it seems.

You’ve had a lot of praise for being a rock n’ roll band that has a 60’s sound with a contemporary vibe.  Will this always be the signature sound of The Dirty Clergy?  How do you plan to evolve as a band with your future records?

The praise is definitely there and it is what it is. It comes natural to us. To me as the writer, to Brad as the singer and to the other members as well. We fit very well stylistically, but personally we are all totally different. I think people are catching on to it, because it’s been a while since something with this sound has been new. They are used to hearing the old stuff. We do have a modern edge to it though, so it kind of sets it apart from stuff decades ago. To me that was the best decade in music. 50s-60s, you had it all. Nailing us to a particular genre hasn’t been easy when you get past the ‘Rock’ part of it. Having said that, if you listen to ‘Rattlesnake’ you could expect us to use it as a guide to future records. We may do an album that sounds like ‘Decades’ or an album that sounds like ‘Strange Love’, etc. ‘Rattlesnake’ is the blueprint of what we are capable of.


What is your writing process like?  Do you write as a band or is it just a couple of you that put the main material together?

I write the majority of the songs. However, when I present them to the band they pretty much take on a different life. That’s the good thing about us, we are all very creative and have ideas that work out most of the time.

“Rattlesnake” is a well rounded record – the tracks are varied from chill and contemplative to get up and dance rock n’ roll.  Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind these songs?

Most of the songs were written about one specific occasion that I won’t share many details about. I can say they are very relative and lively. Songs of life, songs of a want and songs of cause/effect. I think when people hear the majority of them they might be able to realize what the song is about. I don’t want to directly say that one song is about one thing particular, because then it might ruin their idea of the song. It is what it is to me and it is what it is to them. Also, most of the upbeat songs will fool you. Very upbeat and happy music, but not so upbeat and happy lyrics. I’m not sure how it always ends up that way, but it does.

the-dirty-clergy-03.pngThe album art for “Rattlesnake” is very eye-catching and of course suitable for the title.  Was is drawn by one of you from the band?

It was not. It was actually drawn by someone we have never met before. Her name is Sierra Hastings and she is from Oregon. She actually happens to be in our ‘Decades’ video that has yet to be released. She’s really great at artsy/craftsy things. So, if anyone out there is needing some art you can look her up.

What’s next after July 1, the release date of “Rattlesnake”?  Do you have any tours planned?

We don’t have anything planned for touring yet, we are waiting on a few things. I do know we have about 10 songs ready for the follow up album. We will continue to promote this thing in various ways well throughout the remainder of the year, I can for certain tell you that much.

Thanks very much for your time answering these questions!  Best of luck to all of you.

Thank you for the opportunity. Hello Australia!



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