Hi and thank you for sparing time to chat with us.
Filippo Monticelli (guitar): no problemo, thanks for having us.
Could you first introduce the band and tell us how it came to be?
We are a five piece hard rock band; we have Liud Carter on drums, Dom on bass, Michi and me on guitars and Vikki Totten on lead vocals. We formed in spring 2017 in London and we released our debut EP early this year.
How would you define not only your sound but the creative character of the band?
Raspy and direct. However, we do work quite a while on each song, until we are all pretty much happy on every part and on the overall feel and sound.
Are there any previous musical experiences for band members and how have they been embraced in what you do now?
Most of us where in various bands prior to this one. All the experience accumulated through the years now is at the service of Dirty ol’ Crow
Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?
Most of the times some of us would present a complete or nearly finished song idea, after which we try to find the right arrangement for all the instruments and the right melodies for the vocals. Other times however songs were born just out of jam sessions in the rehearsal room… either way we try to take our time to refine every aspect of the song before we play it live.
Would you tell us about your latest release?
Our latest release is also our first. It’s a six song EP basically containing all our originals until that point. It’s raw and fast-paced, and it quite well reflects the identity of the band during our first year and a half together. The name “Strangers’ Nest” came from the realization that we all were a bunch of strangers to pretty much each other, and then we got together in the same band and also in the same house for a while.
What are the major inspirations to its heart and themes?
Musically, the inspirations are surely our influences, and how they shape our musicality. Lyrically, the themes revolve around life experiences and struggles, but the “have a good time” theme is also very prominent.
I am always intrigued as to how artists choose track order on albums and EP’s and whether in hindsight they would change that. What has been the deciding factor for you or do songs or the main do that organically?
Yeah, the track order on the EP has been topic of discussion, if you know what I mean. First we were thinking of copying the order of our live sets. However, we realized that it wasn’t necessarily the best option. We decided to open the EP with what was our newest song at the time (which live was usually towards the end of the set) as we recognized it had a great opening riff, catchy and driving. This was “Mistress of Sin”. Funny enough, our live set opener (“Johnny Boy”) became the second last song in our EP. The main idea was to start the EP powerful and catchy, keep it groovy with the second song (“Old Man’s Hatchet), go into the single/sing-along with “Sex Dictator”, then slow down the pace a tiny bit with the bluesy vibes of “Dirt Stained” and finishing off with two in-your-face tracks (“Johnny Boy” and “Queen of Rats”). In the end I think that’s a pretty effective track order.
What do you find the most enjoyable part of being in a band and similarly the most cathartic?
Well for me is just being able to create new music and play it live to people. It’s always a thrill. Especially when you have a good day, the sound is great and you really get “in the zone”, it’s just an amazing feeling. Doesn’t matter if it’s in rehearsal or live when you really get those notes just right together with your band mates, it feels so good.
For anyone contemplating checking you out live give some teasers as to what they can expect.
Expect energy! You can never quite tell what’s gonna happen as things tend to get unpredictable at times, our singer might decide to half-strip, I might jump in the audience, you never know… But you can expect an energy-charged show.
What has been your most thrilling moment on stage to date?
Oh that’s a tough one. Sometimes it’s just thrilling to play a brand new song you know… But I can say that when we played our biggest stage yet (The Dome, in London UK) that was pretty thrilling. But the same when we played a smaller venue for our EP launch party: the place was so packed and the audience responded so good to our music; that was a thrilling experience too. I guess the next step I’m looking forward too is playing an outdoor festival stage!
What else can we expect in the near future?
We have a few gigs before the year is over (you can stay up to date by following us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dirtyolcrow/ ), after which we will focus on finishing off the demos for our first full length album and getting into a studio to record them properly. We plan to release to album at some point next year. Also we are planning to do some dates abroad next year; Germany and Italy are definitely on the radar.
What are the major inspirations to you sound wise and as a musician?
Personally speaking, my strongest guitar influences are probably Slash and Zakk Wylde. However I find inspiration in many different styles, such as blues, country, flamenco, folk music (just to mention a few).
And finally what song or release would you say was the spark to your passion for music?
Well, for me it all kinda started with Michael Jackson, I would say the albums “Bad” and “Dangerous” really hit me deep.
Many thanks once again; anything else you would like to add?
Thank you very much for having us. Keep on rocking, people. The world needs it.
The RingMaster Review 14/12/2019