DIRTY RATS wanted to be Australia’s Motörhead. Why not? Anders Ekdahl ©2018

When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
-Good question. My plan was to meet girls and make people deaf. I have done both !

How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
-When we started back in the day I wanted to be Australia’s Motorhead. They are my favourite band since I heard Bomber in 1979 ,I think it was. Anyhow being Aussies our influences also include Rose Tattoo, AC/DC plus bands you guys wouldn’t have heard of like The Coloured Balls and Billy Thorpe. I also love the Sex Pistols , heaps of bands from The MC5 to Texas Hippie Coalition. So I guess the sound grew from all those influences. The other factor that is huge in our sound is the use of valve amps. You can’t get a more rock ‘n’roll sound than a valve amp. Marshalls, Mesa Boogie (bass) and Hughes and Kettner and I have a custom built JMP bass amp made to Marshall specs by a guy in Melbourne Australia.

I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
-Surprisingly easy. Wayne writes the words and a riff, I throw the riffs away because they usually suck, then either me or Chooka will come up with a tune. Then we bash them into shape at rehearsal. We have a new album written and ready to record.

Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
-We record live in the studio. The same as early AC/DC etc. We get the rythmn tracks down in a day. Over dub guitars in another session and vocals on another day. The mixing takes the time. We are a live band, plus we self fund our recording so we can’t afford tho stuff around. We still release our stuff on cd. If it wasn’t so expensive we would also release vinyl. Nothing like having the music in your hand. Digital is convenient, but not cool. All our stuff is online as well.

I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
-Hmmmm, I think people will get their music on line. Concerts etc will be streamed and people will stay home. The diehards will always attend gigs I think. I like the itunes thing. All our stuff is online as well, but we release albums and eps, not single tracks.

What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
-Positive ! People are always saying we are super tight and put on a good show. I think the most memorable thing was Wayne falling off the stage at a venue in country Victoria. Hilarious !

We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-I still find all those contacts amazing. Probably Sliptrick contacting us out of the blue was the most surprising.

Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
-Yes and no. There is quite a bit of camaraderie amongst the hard rockers, however it’s kinda like being in a sports team. We respect and like the others but they are also our competition ha ha !
I have traveled, met heaps of people, got to have my music played all over the world, met girls and am deaf. It has bought me enormous amounts of joy and happiness. I’m not sure these things would have happened without the band !

What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-It’s overun with tribute bands. I have a real issue with people pretending to be KISS etc. There is a small original scene, but it is hard to get punters to these gigs. We are cutting back our live gigs. We are more popular overseas than in Australia. I think having an online presence is the key. Having said that we still love playing live. So it’s more about us getting off I guess. In Australia in the old days touring was the way to build a following. Not now. The best course of action for Aussie bands now is to get to Europe !

What plans do you have for the future?
To get to Europe!
Record the next album
Get to Europe!
Rock on folks !

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