Los Angeles band Dirtycakes play Rock And Roll. And they play it LOUD. The group has a varied background, including world tours, political activism, and criminal records, but the band itself comes together in a union of Punk with a DIY ethic, to share the love and angst. Song topics include drugs, emotional turmoil, day to day struggles, and politics – a mixed bag, making the group an interesting one to get to know. Lisa had a chat with Dirtycakes to see what makes them tick.
Dirtycakes is an interesting name for a band! How did that come about and what exactly is a dirty cake (or don’t we want to know….)?
Like a tall girl named shorty, and a bald man named curly… who isn’t a fan of antiphrasis. While it means everything to some, it also doesn’t really mean anything. That freedom, is paramount to the core values of our band.
So what’s the story of the band – who are you and how did you come together? What are your musical influences? What about your life inspirations?
Becky was in the Lunachicks, who just announced a reunion show and its blowing up the internet… she’s an OG punk rock drummer.
Rick played for The English Beat for over a decade, and has toured the world with several bands over the years.
Rick and I met at the Kibitz Room at Canters Deli, the Tuesday night jam there is nothing short of legendary. Becky and Rick have played together in the past, and when the chance come for us to make noise in a room, it was an awesome racket and we haven’t looked back since.
Musically, we draw from many places… 50’s/60’s Rock, Surf, 70’s Punk & Metal and many of the derivatives since. We love stuff from the Ventures to Tom Waits, Queens of the Stone Age to The Zombies, The Buzzcocks to Plague Vendor, Motorhead to Black Sabbath and more.
In life, our inspiration comes from personal struggles, individual freedoms and equality for all. The motivation to play music is ingrained in our DNA, its not a choice, its a requirement for living.
Tell us about your session at Rancho De La Luna!
Oh it was a dream come true. Dave and Jon are 100% pros, and their work in real-life backs every inch and more of the mystique and crew that the work from Rancho de la Luna would suggest.
We went in, and within hours we had 6 tracks down, we spent a few days having fun layering sounds, eating great food, enjoying the stars, telling stories and having the time of our life.
All I can say, this new record, will be the greatest piece of work Dirtycakes has ever done… and we’re blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people.
Dave is possibly the nicest person on the planet, and Jon Russo, is a true rock and roll studio wizard machine!
What’s your take on the current state of the music industry? Does it need change, if so what, and how? And if not, why not?
OPPORTUNITY! – that’s what we see…the day of MTV and the machine being able to force-feed platinum records is more or less behind us. With the internet, Instagram, Spotify, YouTube, etc, the power is in the hands of the artist. Between all the platforms and content, we’ve reached over a million people and 20 years ago, you’d have to have a huge contract and spend weeks on the road just to have a chance at getting a fraction of that. Its the 1950’s all over again, the winners will be those that do the best work the hardest.
What are your favourite brand of instruments to play and why? What about your dream instruments? And speaking of dreams – who’s your dream collab? They can be living or dead.
Becky LOVES Pork Pie and her Paiste ride… Rick plays a Univox Hi-Flyer and a Mark Bass 500.
Charley and Rick have built most of Charley’s guitars. Charley plays a Sunn and Sovtek amp, and a flurry of pedals from the likes of Catalinbread, Stone Deaf, Electro Harmonix, Earthquaker and DOD.
Dream collab… Tom Waits, Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, Lemme and Chuck Berry, with Paul McCartney
We’ll gladly do the handclaps and make coffee!
Finally! This is the question I ask everyone. What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does?
No one have ever asked us, What is our goal as a band?
I guess its often assumed being famous is the goal.. which is a childish dream… that we all had.
Our goal, is to make each other happy and fight for our values… and find the spaces in the sounds being made and the stories being told by our peers, and fill them with our honesty and boogie.
Selling the same Rock and Roll Lemonade as 5 other lemonade stands on the same street doesn’t do shit.
Being unique, and being honest, and being dangerous… that produces something of value.
Come check our Rock and Roll Lemonade, ain’t no one else got the same boogie in the pitcher.
Listen to ‘Resist’: