WORDS: Sophie Lynch
Whilst currently touring with ALIEN ANT FARM and INME; we had a chat with vocalist Danni Monroe and keyboard/guitarist Matt Bond from the South Wales five piece THE DIRTY YOUTH before a show in Liverpool about their tour so far, their third upcoming album and issues with sexism in the music industry.
So firstly, how’s the tour been so far?
Danni: Yeah really good, lots of partying is all I can say really. Literally these guys are happy to go out every night.
Matt: There’s three party bands on the same tour.
Danni: Every show has been sold out which has resulted in celebrations and alcohol.
Matt: Lots of champagne!
What’s been your favourite date so far then?
Danni: Probably last night
Matt: Last night, yeah!
Danni: Rock City, I mean you know it’s a wicked venue.
Matt: Such a big venue.
So the crowd was good?
Matt: Yeah they were really up for it last night as well.
Danni: Well you know, tonight could be the night to beat it!
So unlike a lot of rock and metal bands, THE DIRTY YOUTH have you, Danni as the vocalist. Do you find that in an industry that’s finally starting to accept women in rock and metal that it’s harder to stand out now?
Danni: Erm, not really. I mean we’ve been around for eight years so for new bands starting out, they wouldn’t have that question “oh so you’re a female fronted band” because there are so many of us now, no, I just think it’s accepted really as the norm, yeah it’s cool – more women needed in rock!
So how do you all cope with the competition that’s in the industry now?
Matt: It’s a lot harder now, to make money out of it you’ve really got to sacrifice a lot of comforts.
Matt: We’re literally sleeping in a van the whole tour. Even ALIEN ANT FARM haven’t got a bus, everyone’s doing it in vans and kind of cheap hotels whereas a few years ago we all would have been in buses. Even on tours we were doing a few years ago we’d get buses but now it’s just the money isn’t there to do that so you’ve kinda gotta do it for the love more than anything else now.
Danni: It’s really why bands don’t really stick around cause you know if they do every tour and have hotels every night, they’re not going to make any money and not be able to sustain.
Matt: You see a lot of mid-level bands kind of flaking out at the moment and kind of disappearing which is sad really but I guess you’ve got to keep going really, haven’t you?
How does your music set THE DIRTY YOUTH apart from the competition?
Danni: We don’t really try to be like anyone, we just do our own thing, which is why we can play with from THE RASMUS to KORN. Completely different fan bases and get accepted by both so we just do what we do.
Matt: We just have fun!
Do you or have you in your career ever experienced sexism within the industry?
Matt: I think, to an extent when we were just starting out and some of the people who kind of where sexist towards Danni then are now the ones that are so nice to her. I remember when we were first going around, we managed to sneak backstage at Download Festival and we were giving out CD’s to loads of people and blatantly people were telling us to ‘go away’ in a not very nice way. And then years later loads want to manage us and sign us to their labels!
Danni: We’ve had a few really good apologies from them as well! Literally random phone calls!
Matt: Phone calls to home saying “I’m sorry about (that) years ago” which is nice!
Danni: Yeah it’s really cool
While you’ve been in the industry, do you find that’s how it’s changed a lot in that sense? And in other ways?
Danni: Yeah, people just appreciate hard work don’t they at the end of the day? I mean everyone’s got to prove themselves whatever industry you’re in. So once you do, people start respecting you and yeah, you’ve got to do all the hard work to begin with and prove yourselves really!”
But it’s worth it in the end?
Danni: Yeah, definitely!
Your last album Gold Dust was released in May last year, have you got plans for a third?
Danni: Yeah, we’ve already started writing it, done a few demos.
Matt: We’re about seven songs in, only three left to do!
Danni: When we get home we’ll crack on with that, we’re not hanging around this time, we’re just going to do it all ourselves and hopefully get it out soon!
Matt: Probably announce it the start of next year…this year even! I don’t even know where we are!
Danni: We’re in January
I’m still getting used to it myself, so next year we can expect a new album?
Danni: This year!
Matt: This year, yeah summer maybe…
Brilliant! So when you’re writing your new albums, who are your musical influences? And who has been your influences behind everything?
Matt: ALIEN ANT FARM! I think with ALIEN ANT FARM they were one of the bands I watched at Reading Festival when I was sixteen and I was like ‘Aw I want to be in a band!’ But yeah we all kind of listen to different stuff from like metal to kind of pop, we just get in a room and do what we do and that’s it really!
Danni: None of us share the same style really or tastes of music
You’re supporting ALIEN ANT FARM and INME on your tour this year, what’s been your favourite thing about touring over the years?
Danni: The nation discovering Prosecco has been really good
Matt: I think the crowds are really up for it on this tour and it’s a different audience, I think it’s a lot of nostalgia.
Danni: There’s an older audience definitely
Matt: Like a nu metal kind of audience
You even made two tour DVD’s, so are you planning on doing another?
Danni: Yeah we’re doing it now, we’ve just set up a pledge! It’s called ‘Star Tours’
Matt: Star Wars vibe!
So we can look forward to a new album and tour DVD?
Danni & Matt: Yep!
Brilliant, so to finish, is there any advice THE DIRTY YOUTH would give to any bands starting out in this industry?
Danni: I think we’ve covered it, prove yourselves basically! Work hard, it takes time unfortunately these days.
Matt: Keep plugging it, don’t go away and they will start taking you seriously eventually!