To the dictionary fiend, grunge is a state of being covered with unclean things. To the 90s’ child, it’s practically the same thing on a musical level but the grime it renders tends to arouse. Though THE DIRTY NIL seem breastfed by an alternative haven like Seattle, the trio hail from the city of Hamilton, aka “Steeltown” or Toronto’s copy-cat little brother who still sniffs markers and paints with his fingers. But don’t let the rising art community fool you; grunge is art and it’s what binds Luke Bentham, Dave Nardi and Kyle Fisher. Such a bond helps them collectively answer questions and spit contagious alt rock..
If you were to take Hamilton’s music scene and put it in the palm of someone’s hand, what would they find?
You’d get a handful of Skittles. Lots of good stuff going on. It all depends on your taste.
If you were to ignore the mainstream acts throughout the country, what would you find?
Not to sound condescending but “mainstream” is virtually obsolete to us. The Internet has opened our ears to so many bands that we would have never heard had we subsisted on strictly Top 40.
Would you say you belong to Canada’s underground scene?
By virtue of the fact that we aren’t signed to a major label, yes we are part of it. There is an underground scene because there’s a huge divide between artists that record in their basement and bands with mega-dollars behind them. Like any country, Canada has a diverse underground scene. We have played with standard pop/rock bands to acid jazz to batshit-insane bands as well.
People are definitely talking about The Dirty Nil since Disband judges recently gave you glowing reviews. What thoughts were going through your minds after hearing such positivity?
We were happy to hear positive reception from a panel we were sure would condemn us.
Do you think that event will permanently change your career?
It was definitely a significant event for us but it’s tough to say what lasting effects it might have. We’re always wary to put too much stock into one particular show, because for every show with a great turnout, there’s twice as many with a shit turnout.
But general listeners are raving about your basement YouTube videos..
That’s news to us! We were unaware that those were known outside of friends and family but that’s good to know.
Is it nerve-wracking trying to record new material for another release you’ll be satisfied with while more and more people are recognizing your name?
We don’t squeeze our music like toothpaste out of a tube, it comes when it comes. We write what we want to hear. The beauty of starting a band with no expectations is that you’re never really indebted to anyone. You just kind of do it for yourself and if someone digs it, that’s a bonus.
Do the compliments challenge you to push the limits of your abilities?
Not really. We find that we just grow as musicians cohesively and if people like the music we come up with then we couldn’t be happier.
In regards to new material, should listeners expect another EP or is a full-length in the works?
It’s tough to say at this juncture. We’ve just been putting our heads down and working without really knowing what goal we want to work towards. When the songs are recorded, we’ll see what’s what and which songs jibe with each other and don’t. We haven’t really made any sort of conscious decision to stick to any kind of formula. The music we make is the music we make. It’s hard for us to really say what the new record might sound like, because for us it just sounds like The Nil.
If you received an offer to jump ship to a bigger label and refine your sound, would you feel comfortable leaving Wolfshirt Records?
First off, no jump to any label could possibly lead to any refining of any sort. The word “dirty” is right in the band’s name so that’s the way things have got to stay. Secondly, when we joined Wolfshirt, it was done without any real expectations. No one really said what that kind of partnership would or wouldn’t mean. It was just a group of friends looking to help each other out. So there’s no way the boys at Wolfshirt would ever curse us out if we signed with someone else. If anything, they’d be happy.
When The Dirty Nil first started, did you think you’d ever face such a conundrum?
When we started The Nil, we didn’t think about a lot of things that have happened. Basically we just take things as they come.
What were you guys more focused on back then?
We were high school kids just looking to have fun and play music. We didn’t really have any sort of direction and we were happy just doing what we wanted.
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