Indie + Alternative culture appreciates new rising artists that create diversity and new insights within their respective genres. We constantly feature notable indie and alternative artists on the verge of success. Meet this week’s featured artist in an exclusive interview. Introducing You To Your Next Favorite Artist: The Austin indie rock group known as The Dirty Heat.
Phil: I remember listening to "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath for the first time in sixth grade and thinking "This is what I'm into!"
Andy: "James Taylor Live" is probably the first album that stuck with me from an early age.
Thrad: I was drawn to the intricate composition and musical journey that "Fragile" by Yes provided. That album inspired me to follow a passion for learning and performing music.
What are your fondest musical memories?
In 2008 our previous band competed in a battle of the bands for a radio station in San Antonio. Almost everyone we know showed up to support us, which felt amazing. With such an energetic atmosphere this gig felt like a real show for the first time in our careers.
Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener?
Andy: I've been listening to a lot of folk-rock music like Paul Simon.
Thrad: Lately I've been really into the harmonies and energy of 80's metal.
Phil: I’ve been listening to a lot of southern blues rock like Alabama Shakes and Gary Clark JR.
What is your creative process like? How do you approach the writing process?
Phil: We make it a point to give each other the freedom to try anything and not shoot down ideas before they have become fully realized. Taking many different approaches to songwriting has been a point of emphasis for us, and is very apparent in our overall sound. Sometimes inspiration will be found by exploring different sounds on a synth or pedal; other times a new song can be created by trying different scales, modes, or by trying to express a particular mood or emotion. A lot of times a melody or riff will just pop into one of our heads.
As an indie artist in the digital age, social media and streaming are essential tools for marketing and promotion. What do you think about online music sharing, both as a music fan and as a musician? How do you think social media/music streaming services impacts the rising musician?
Phil: As a fan of music I am amazed at how convenient and accessible it has become. As a musician I feel that having such a large pool of music forces artists to find innovative and exciting ways to set themselves apart.
I’m a firm believer that the cities that artists are based in helps craft their sound. How would you describe the Austin music scene? How has it inspired you into crafting your sound?
Phil: Indie garage rock, scorching blues and vibrant soul all have a home in Austin. Inspiration is around every corner! I’ve learned to appreciate the lulls and spaces between notes as opposed to the wall of sound that I used to try and create in far too many of my songs.
What is your dream collaboration and why?
Phil: My dream collaboration would be with Mathew Bellamy. Everything from his singing, songwriting, guitar playing and tone have had such a huge impact on my musical tastes.
Thrad: Tom Waits would definitely be my choice because of his unique style of story telling and experimental instrumentation.
Andy: Animal collective would be a great band to collaborate with because of their ability to create engaging, non-traditional music.
What are you currently working on? Any new projects?
Once we get off the road from promoting our newest single, “Empty Spaces”, we’ll start collaborating and putting together some of the rough ideas that we have recorded on our phones and computers.
Finally, a few questions we ask all of artists: which songs are you currently obsessed with? What new acts do you recommend to our listeners? What bands do you believe are your best kept secret in the indie community?
Phil: While on the road we played with Mleo out of LA, and can’t stop listening to their song, “Ridiculous”. Everyone MUST hear Tameca Jones! The best kept secret in Austin is Ben Cina, but he won’t be a secret for long.
Thanks once again to The Dirty Heat for talking with. Be sure to stay up to date with them via the social links below. If you like what you hear, the group is currently on the road so be sure to catch them at one of the following tour dates.
2/26 - San Jose CA - Art Boutiki
2/27 - Los Angeles CA - Viento Y Agua
2/28 - Los Angeles CA - 5 Star Bar
2/29 - Los Angeles CA - Ham & Eggs Tavern
3/1 - Las Vevas NV - Artifice
3/3 - Denver CO - Globe Hall
3/4 - Wichita KS - Kirby's Beer Store
3/5 - Norman OK - TBC