Simply said, The Dirty Thirties are 5 kids from north jersey who like punk rock and basement shows. Growing up together, The Dirty Thirties are a tight knit group of friends who love playing music and covering their favorite songs. Check out this interview I did with the band and check them out on Episode 38 of the Two Guys, One Mic Podcast!
James: plays drums
Jason: plays guitar
Brian: plays bass
Ben: plays guitar
Alex: plays sax (currently on hiatus from the band doing volunteer work in the Southern Pacific)
Let’s start at the beginning, where or how did you guys meet?
Jason, Alex, and I (Ben) met in like 5th grade playing soccer and little league together. James is my little brother so I grew up with him, and I met Brian in high school. We decided to start playing music together because when you outgrow little league there’s really nothing else to do in Jefferson besides hang out in the woods.
How long after getting together did you play your first show? Was it a nerve wracking experience or did you immediately feel comfortable on stage?
It was a while, probably over a year. Me (Ben) James, Alex, and Jason have been playing music together since I was in 8th grade. We played our first few shows as a ska band called Jimmy V and the Bumblebees. We weren’t uncomfortable on stage, but we were very awkward and most likely uncomfortable to watch. Since then we’ve gone through a few name, genre, and lineup changes. With the exception of Brian who joined the band later, we were all learning how to play our instruments while we were trying to establish ourselves as a band, so it took us a little while. After Brian Joined about two years ago, we started writing, playing more shows, and getting tighter as a band.
Do any of you play other instruments besides the ones in the band?
James plays Violin, Ben plays piano, Jason and Brian both play Sax.
Are you guys fans of covers? Do you play any covers live? If so, what are your favorite covers to play?
We love playing covers; we do one just about every show we play. Some favorites of ours are “The Sun” by Tigers Jaw, “Constant Headache” by Joyce Manor, “Secret Society” by Title Fight. Some that we have also played are “Upon Viewing Bruegel’s “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” by Titus Andronicus and “Apartment Story” by The National.
Planning any upcoming tours or shows? Who are you playing with?
I’m sure we will be playing shows soon enough. But with the exception of James, we are either in college or not currently on this continent. Hopefully we’ll be playing a show in March over spring break, and we’ll definitely be playing a bunch of shows this spring and summer while we’re all home from school. We’ve had the opportunity to play with a lot of really cool local bands. The Longest Monday, Check Your Morals, Scrotum Licker, On Your Marks, A Boy Named John, and HAL are just some of the bands in our area we got to play with over winter break. Check them out when you get the chance.
What and where are your favorite venues to play shows? Why?
Our top two favorite venues to play are The Meatlocker in Montclair and our friend Pete’s house. He’s in The Longest Monday, and they always book and put on great shows in his garage. We also loved to play at the late, great Canvas Clash in Boonton. It was a great place for kids to hang out and see new bands. We played a lot of really fun shows there.
If you could have been on one tour from the last two years, which tour would you have picked? Any dream bands you’ve ever wanted to play alongside?
If we could have played the Code Orange Kids, Letlive, Every Time I Die tour, that would have been pretty sick. Also the upcoming mewithoutYou and Touché Amore tour would be awesome to play.
Every band has been influenced in one way or another from past musicians, what band or musician would you say influences your band or personal musicianship the most?_
As a band in general, our influences range anywhere from The National to Converge to Parliament/Funkadelic. For the most part though we are influenced largely by Tigers Jaw, Code Orange Kids, At the Drive-In, Snowing, Titus Andronicus, El Ten Eleven, Title Fight, Emperor X, Radiohead, My Heart to Joy, and mewithoutYou. Our music is the product of our influences. We all end up taking what influences us in any genre and using that style in our writing. We put diversity in front of having a specific sound in our writing because we have a lot of influences.
What about new music? Did you guys recently release anything new or are you planning to release some new tunes soon?
We’re always coming up with new ideas. We’re sitting on about an albums worth of new material right now, it’s just a matter of getting together and jamming our new ideas; seeing what works and what doesn’t. We’re not sure when, but there will probably be a significant release at some point in the future.
What is your favorite part of being a band? What have you learned from your experiences?
Our favorite part of playing in a band is playing live shows. It’s really an amazing experience, it’s almost indescribable. The opportunity to meet so many new people with similar interests is amazing. We love to watch the other bands we play with. Also to see people sing along to words that we wrote is such a surreal feeling.