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The Dirty Earth – Lead Singer Mandy Speaks About the band

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What inspired you to become a singer/writer/band? and who are your early influences.

My Mum! I was lucky to grow up with a mother who is an excellent singer and a very talented musician. I have a very broad influence base and to be honest, there isn’t a lot I don’t listen to or haven’t listened to but my absolute hands down favourite vocalist and greatest influence is Lisa Kekaula of The Bellrays. Wow, just wow – she is mind blowing! If I could sing half as well as her, I’d be a happy woman.

I have always loved soul music; artists like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding & Aretha Franklin. As a teenager in the 80’s I started to listen to bands like Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie & Joy Division. By the time the 90’s came along I was a firm fan of Monster Magnet, Clutch, Red Kross, Hole, way too many to list. These days my iPod typically has The (aforementioned) Bellrays playing, along with the likes of The Paybacks, The Dead Weather and my husband is always introducing me to new bands. King Giant & Switchblade Jesus were his last recommendations and I can not fault his taste. Great music.

Tell us a little about how you write, how do the songs come? What gets you going creatively?

The Dirty Earth is lucky to have an extremely talented song writer and guitarist extra-ordinaire in Raff Iacurto. Raff comes up with some very cool riffs and often what happens is we start with that and I add a vocal melody and lyrics. Other times Raff will come into the rehearsal space with a song in it’s entirity and Jim, Leon & I will add our own touches and voila– a new song!

Your bio mentions “a refreshed line up” tell us about that?

Our old drummer, Harvey, relocated to Malaysia about 6 months ago and I approached a friend of mine I’d been in a band with previously to see if he’d be keen to fill Harvey’s shoes. He had his hands full with 2 other bands but he gave me the phone number of a bloke he described as “a very, very, good drummer”. That was Leon and it’s hard to remember sometimes that he has only been on board for 6 months but he picked up the songs unbelievably quickly and he is every bit as good as my friend had mentioned. We got lucky; very lucky indeed.

What is the first record you bought and why?

In 1976, as a 7 year old, I saved up my pocket moneyand bought ‘ABBA Arrival’. I thought Anna was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Every little girl I knew loved ABBA.

What current OZ acts inspire you? Ditto for international acts?

There are some amazing local rock acts around at the moment. I’m hearing new stuff all the time because I’m married to a prolific music collector who manages to find some very sweet stuff I must say. I’d say do yourself a favour and check out Bruce, Arrowhead, The Archaic Revial, Electric Mary, Witch Fight, Don Fernando, and my husband has a great new band called Quake Machine. They’re pretty cool, check ‘em out! Internationally, have a listen to bands like The Bellrays, King Giant, Switchblade Jesus, Clutch, Monster Magnet, Black Spiders, Corrosion of Conformity, Night Horse, shall I go on?

Tell us a little about your music and what a crowd can expect at a live show – ?

We’ve struggled for a while actually to describe our music when we’re asked this question simply because I don’t think we can be pigeon-holed easily. We play rock n roll but I wouldn’t say we fit easily into any particular rock sub genre. I think more recently though Raff has been drawing heavily on the guitar sound he used in his Thumlock days. Warm, fuzzy, guitar with a nice, thick tone, and a slightly slower tempo. He mixes it up though and I think that’s what makes our music so unique. As our bio says, The Dirty Earth are a biting blitzkrieg of chugging, distorted guitars, flecked with powerful, velvety vocals.

Favourite artists of all time?

Lisa Kekaula & Aretha Franklin.

Fave film? Fave Book? Fave place? Fave animal or pet?. And story if there is one?

The Shawshank Redemption or Pans Labyrinth (movie)

True Detective Season 1 (favourite TV show)

Lonesome Dove (favourite book)

A great seat at the SCG with beer and pie in hand, sun on my back, watching the mighty Bloods kick arse! (favourite place)

Lion (favourite animal)

Fave food or drink and is there a story associated with that….

Caramello Koala’s and an ice cold Coopers Pale Ale (not together!). No funny story but I often tell my eldest son, Cooper, that he was named after Coopers beer, which he finds quite distressing. He wasn’t actually named after the beer of course but it’s fun meddling like that J!

You are backstage with Lisa Kekaula, what do you say?

I love you. I have actually said that to her when I’ve met her and I do indeed love her!

What are your future plans for 2014

The Dirty Earth is heading down south to do a few shows in Melbourne soon and we’re hoping to get up to Brisbane at some stage. We will have an albums worth of new songs soon, so we’re back in the rehearsal room making noise.




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