The Dirty Streets are an exciting three piece band out of Memphis, Tennessee, bringing back old school rock and roll. Featuring Justin Torland (guitar/vocals), Thomas Storz (bass), and Andrew Denham (drums), The Dirty Streets released their second album, Movements, in November. We had a chance to catch up with the band about the new album, and find out their plans for a new EP.
Movements is your second album. What sort of differences are there from your first album, Portrait Of A Man, to Movements?
Portrait Of A Man was fun to record, but it was really a live album. We cut the original tracks at a music venue and overdubbed guitars and vocals at a home studio. They were all songs we’d played a lot live and didn’t all translate as well as the songs on Movements. This album was a lot more focused on the songs themselves more than solos and instrumentation.
What was the inspiration for the songs on Movements and what was the songwriting process like?
Most of these songs just came about independently of each other. There’s an initial idea and from there the songs just go in different directions. Sometimes the lyrics were that initial idea and other times the lyrics were inspired by the feeling of the music itself.
As independent artists what has been your biggest challenge as a band?
Touring is always a challenge because you have to hit the same places over and over until someone finally pays attention. Luckily, we’ve met a lot bands who have helped us out. Now with internet being an independent artist is pretty easy in some aspects.
Being a blues rock band what are your current thoughts on the state of rock and blues music?
Right now there are a lot of blues rock bands coming out of the woodwork with the success of certain artists like The Black Keys. In Europe there has been a huge wave of these sort of bands coming out for years. I think the thing that everyone worries about is the whole thing getting played out and bands just sticking to the script of riff, riff, solo, riff, screeching vocals etc. I hope people are able to draw from more and more influences new as well as old. I’m interested to see where people take it. As far as blues, you can see that the Chicago sound has really taken over the whole genre. It would be interesting to see some grit get back into it.
What separates The Dirty Streets from other bands out there today?
I’d like to think that even though we are rehashing ye sounds of olde, we also add our own element to it as well. We are all three distinct personalities with very opposing playing styles that have learned to work together in this band so maybe that sets us apart. I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Some people might really just say “heard it all before.”
What’s on tap for the band in the coming months?
We’re releasing a 12” EP called Heart Of The Sky which should be done before the end of summer. We’re planning on recording within the next 2 months. We’ll also be doing a lot of runs in the southeast and some longer tours this summer a little further north.
Interview by Pete Francis