Up close with Monsters of the Dirty South

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Up close with Monsters of the Dirty South

Mixing desert rock riffs with an electrifying live show, Monsters Of The Dirty South is two piece garage rock savagely on its own terms! Based out of South-West Victoria, Shaun and Ricky take a love of rock, metal, and experimentation to cover wide sonic territory with their own distinct flavour.
Hey guys thanks for chatting to Forte! First up can you tell our readers a bit about the band and how you guys came to be?
Basically we’re a two piece band that plays garage and alternative Rock, with plenty of influences. We’ve been playing music together for a long time, but over the past few years we have gone on to play as ‘Monsters of the Dirty South’, rehearsing mostly in our hometown of Colac and playing gigs and recording all around Victoria with plans to take that interstate and beyond in the near future.
Congrats on the release of your debut EP ‘Unfinished Business’. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Thanks! Yeah, we’re really excited about it, and the four songs are a compilation of songs we have recorded and played live throughout our lifespan as a band, thus far. We recorded these songs in Colac and Geelong, and they represent the style of ‘desert rock’ that we’ve played on stages at venues throughout Melbourne and Victoria over the past 5-6 years.
Is the name a play on the material? Has this been in the works for some time; what was the process like on this one?
Yes, the title ‘Unfinished Business’ comes from our song ‘Unfinished Business’. We just felt it was a natural title to go with, really, as we feel we have ‘unfinished business’ as a band, and it’s something people in general can relate to as well.
It’s definitely been in the works for a long time. We’ve played so many gigs in the past without actually having a CD release to give to our fans, so the main elements of the release in terms of the artwork and production were completed this year, whilst some of the music has actually existed for a few years, we’ve just decided to finally release it on this EP! We finally got there!
Who are some of your main influences?
We definitely have a lot of influences, but the main ones are Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, Arctic Monkeys and Foo Fighters. Our music is definitely very ‘riff’ and ‘drum beat’ orientated, and we love the repitition of the main hook that these bands do. They’ve been huge influences.
DZ Deathrays have also hugely influenced us over the years too, and they’ve been an absolute favourite for a long time. They’ve really inspired us to believe in what we’re doing as well, as they also started as a two piece band. Other two piece bands like Royal Blood, Death From Above and The White Stripes have also influenced us.
You guys have been gigging around the area for some time, including a recent gig at the soon-to-be-ceased Reverence Hotel. What do you enjoy most about been up on stage with your music?
We love playing at all these venues, including The Reverence and other venues like Cherry Bar, Bendigo Hotel, The Barwon Club, The Black Hatt, Workers Club and The Eastern, but we love creating energy on stage, simple as that! Being a two piece band, we’re always finding ways to create as big of a sound as possible, and over the years, people have been genuinely surprised at the sound we can make with just two people, so that’s honestly a massive buzz that we absolutely love doing.
We’re also big believers in being in the moment on stage and connecting with the audience, so we always make sure we’re having fun and just enjoying the experience for what it is. The people you meet through being in a band and playing live is priceless! Nothing beats it, really.
Are you more at home on the stage, or in the studio/at home with your music?
A bit of both really! We love the build up of playing gigs, and coming from Colac and Geelong, there’s always this anticipation whenever we play a gig in Melbourne for example, but we feel we’re really experienced in a lot of ways when it comes to playing our set live, however, it’s always a learning process and we never stop learning something new, which can be from other bands and people as well.
In the studio or recording at home, that’s also an enjoyable experience as it conceptualises the sounds we hear in our heads, and bringing it to the world and knowing you’re going to release it is also highly enjoyable.
If you could play one stage in the world, where would it be?
Well, we always wanted to play Cherry Bar, and thankfully we’ve gotten to do that plenty of times (we even have a song on the EP named after it). However, the one stage we’d love to play would be Glastonbury. Seeing Foo Fighters and Royal Blood play there last year really inspired us.
Plans for 2019 for MOTDS?
Well, we have gigs in Geelong and Ballarat (at The Eastern) lined up in January, which will finish off our ‘Unfinished Business’ tour! After that, we have plans to go back into the studio and write new songs and release an album. We have plenty of songs lined up for it already, and we most certainly have plans to take our shows to other capital cities such as Sydney and Brisbane, so 2019 will also be another big year for Monsters of the Dirty South!
If we wanted to check out your music, where would we find it?
You can find our EP ‘Unfinished Business’ on all major digital platforms, including Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube, Apple Music and Google Play Music. We’re also on triple j Unearthed, and we also have physical copies of the EP available too. Facebook and Instagram are also great platforms to keep in touch with our band, too.
When & Where: The Workers Club, Geelong – Saturday January 12 & The Eastern, Ballarat – Friday January 18.
Photo by Goda Starolyte