Charlie, Leon and Loz - Dirt Royal!
Dirt Royal are a powerful 3 piece from Brighton with bundles of charisma, stage presence and character.
Drawing influence from the band members love of music from the subcultures of Mod, Ska, Punk and Britpop they have been prolific on and off stage since forming in 2014.
Comprising of Charlie (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Leon (Guitar/Vocals) and Loz (Drums) they combine a strong image with a intense and attention grabbing live performance that Merc has witnessed first hand.
They released their debut Album 'This is Now' on Time For Action Records and followed this up with the 'Dr Weekend' single and 'Waiting for the Radio' EP.
Dirt Royal have gone from touring the UK to Germany to BBC introducing, 6 Music to Rolling Stone magazine, Rebellion Festival, various house parties and on stage head injuries.
New single “Glory Days” has received critical acclaim (including a 4 star review from Rolling Stone) and airplay on both BBC 6 Music and Radio 1!
"Melodic and infectious is the flipside "It Was You", dealing about the yin and yang of attraction and repulsion, becoming defiant and self-deceptive towards its end" - Rolling Stone (Germany)
"Dirt Royal, great band from Brighton"
- Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music)
"A really great garage racket from Dirt Royal"
- BBC Introducing
"Brilliant, can I have a CD?"
- Mick Jones (The Clash / Big Audio Dynamite)
"You guys have a raw live energy that lacks in young bands today, enjoying your band"
- Eddie Pillar (Acid Jazz)
"Cant stop playing it"
- Gary Crowley (BBC)
A band more than worthy of a listen, Merc was delighted to catch up with the lads to find out a little bit more about their music, influences, plans and hopes for the new single “Glory Days”
Dirt Royal is a quality name - where did that come from?
Leon: Just say it came to you in a dream
Charlie: It came to me in a dream.
How did you all come together as a band?
Charlie: I met Loz at a bar called PR6 and then decided to start jamming, showed him some songs and he really liked them. We then went on a hunt for more members. Jake Bootlegs invited us to his open mic night at the Black Lion where Leon was playing 'Factory Fodder'.
Leon: I was looking to start a new band with some decent like-minded guys. I met Charlie and Loz and thought you know what these two will do...
What is Dirt Royal all about?
Leon: It's about being able to exspres ourselves through great songs.
Charlie: Short snappy songs, energetic live performances and sticking it to "the man".
You’ve each got a strong Look, Charlie slightly punky, drummer Loz more of a Skin and guitarist Leon with a very Mod style of dress, do you think this accurately reflects the dynamics of your band?
Charlie: It does in the sense that we all have different influences, but then we all have simular influences. Bands should have members that represent themselves just as much as the band. Otherwise just start a boring side project with people you can tell what to do.
Leon: I guess I have always dressed a bit mod, Char a bit punk and Loz a bit skater-ish with one hell of a skin head. We all love bands from those sub culture fashion styles so I think you're accurate in your statement sir.
Who are your individual influences, musically and style-wise?
Charlie: Loz really loves Blink 182, Foo Fighters, Led Zep in terms of his Drumming but he loves Beatles, Kinks and a lot of punk music like NOFX, Rancid and ska of course.
Leon: Musically The Who and Beautiful South...infact Paul Heaton in genral. The stuff that really made me pick up a guitar are bands Kings of Leon, Libertines, The View and obviously The Jam. In terms of styles im some what of a “Polo Shirt and Harrington/Parka” junkie and anything you would see on a extra in Quadrophenia.
Charlie: My uncle discovered I'd been listening to Green Day and then pointed me in the direction of The Sex Pistols, Clash, The Damned and that. I played Never Mind the Bollocks on my portable CD player when going to bed one night and didnt get to sleep till 4am, couldnt turn it off. Then the Clash blew my little mind and led me to Indie (Libertines, Cribs, Smiths) then kinda back in time to Beatles, Phil Spector and Doo Wop. Then meeting Leon got me into Beautiful South, Oasis, Pulp. You know just all the good stuff.
Style-wise I love classic fashion, even when I was a punk at school I never went for the mohawk just the classic Sid style. But as a man in his 20s i guess I look up to Doherty's fashion, the Jarmans, Liam and guess most of all Johnny Marr. He always takes something like denim jacket and make it so cool.
Glory Days now available - links at bottom of piece
You’ve just released a new single “Glory Days” which comes from your much anticipated new album, tell us about the track
Leon: The track really sums up how I was feeling thr time we wrote it. I was thnking a lot about people who live in the past and skate through life on past Glories and how I didn't want to become one of thoese people and the choices I could have made that might have resulted in me looking back from my death bed with regret.
Charlie: So nothing too deep then Leon, I guess what he's saying is ... these are the Glory Days.
How is the track being received?
Charlie: Really well, lots of radio play. Just Lust Records confirmed that we are almost out of them. Lucky we had some more made for our UK tour we have coming up.
Leon: Smooth Char.
How do you feel you’ve come on as songwriters since your debut?
Leon: I feel the things we are writing about have matured since our first album, and also our approach to song writting has progressed.
Charlie: Yeah, I feel lyricly we used to hide behind concepts and characters (Girl in the Shop, Busy Man, Dr Weekend etc). Now I feel we are a lot more brutal and sing from our own perspective instead of maybe using characters to portray our own struggles in life. Glory Days was one of the first songs to be written for our second album... due out later this year. And I feel that Glory Days and one or two other songs set the bar and direction with how we wanted to go.
As a band with a well earned live reputation for powerful energetic sets, how do you find you can transfer this passion into the studio?
Leon: Try and be level headed and find the balance of not forgeting our roots as a live band but also not being closed-minded to new methods.
Charlie; We are definately a live band and pride ourselves on that, always takes me a day to get used to being in the studio and to be confident. With the new stuff we wanted to go in, plug in and smash it out as we did with the first album but this time take more time to listen back try new things with the mentality of 'if it sounds shite we just delete it and move on, if it sounds good...lovely darlyn'
Where do you prefer to be, on stage or in the studio?
Leon: The stage is where we belong.
Charlie: We will always be a live band.
Leon and Charlie during a quiet acoustic moment!
Can we expect to see Dirt Royal touring the new material soon?
Charlie: Yeah we are doing a UK tour to promote Glory Days
Leon: See the poster below
What are your plans for the rest of the year ?
Leon: Getting Loz to the wedding in time.
Charlie: Got the UK tour over the summer, working with Time For Action Records to get this second album out for you all. We all have Great Expectations
'Glory Days' the new single is out now on vinyl & digital download with Just Lust Records. Glory Days will be the first single release from the new album 'Great Expectations' which will be released on Time for Action records. visit www.facebook.com/wearedirtroyal for tour dates.
'Glory Days available on limited edition Vinyl & Digital download
Words By Richie Kyle