Interviews: DIRTY SHIRT


This is a new interview with the Folk Metal/Crossover band DIRTY SHIRT from Romania. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or came out just like that?

Mihai: In the mid-90s, when we were in high school, we met randomly in the Baia Mare (town from North West of Transylvania) train station, and we all used to wear the same type of shirt, typical at that time. As they weren’t exactly clean, first it was a joke, but finally, the band’s name remained Dirty Shirt, as a symbol of our generation in Romania.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Mihai: It is not about “wanting”, but rather a long time process. Dirty Shirt started as an alternative – progressive band, but after the hiatus, we took at the beginning of the 2000s, we oriented towards a more nu-metal, hardcore, industrial sound, as these are the music genres we mostly listen to. But our music is very open to a wide range of influences, starting with Romanian folklore, but also Balkan, world music, funk, electro, etc… All of these create a unique and homogenous sound.

Robi: I often joke with our fans and ask them how they would define our style and I received the strangest answers, honestly without exaggerating I think we have a special style, no one plays like us. 

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Mihai: From the original line-up there's only me and Pali, which was my neighbour in our hometown. So yes, we knew each other very well, especially since we were also in the same music school (but in different bands) and we played together for a couple of years before in a wedding band (from which the project started). Then, it was just a matter of time (and a pretty short one to be honest) until Rini (vocals), Vlad (drums) & Cristi (guitar) joined the band, and we knew each other very well, as they were musicians in other local bands. The only exceptions are the last two members, Dan (guitar) and Cosmin (violin), the young ones, that we met when they passed the “audition” to join the band.

Robi: I only knew Cristi, our guitarist, he brought me in Dirty Shirt.

4. Each band member favourite band?

Cristian: I get this question a lot and I do not know what is the right answer. There are a lot of great bands out there and a lot of great hits. And as time passed by I have realized that I don't have a favorite band or a specific favorite song. I guess it all depends on the state of mind that I'm in when I listen to music. From aggressive and more technical music to more mellow and atmospheric moods. One sure thing is that I always love discovering new music. 

Dan: Bring Me The Horizon.

Rini: Black Sabbath.

Mihai: Impossible to choose just one.

Robi: I can't say that I have a favorite band, it depends on my mood. I listen to many kinds of music. But if I have to name a few, Type O Negative, In Flames, Villagers of Ioaninna City, Parkway Drive.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Mihai: Most of the music that I've composed came directly in my head, without an instrument nearby. It’s difficult to explain, is kind of a “cloud” where you have access sometimes and music ideas are resourced. Of course, not everything is good, so the best “judge” is time: if I do not remember it, or it does not come back, it means that it was not good enough to be memorable. Sometimes, I am inspired by traditional Romanian music that I like, but in both cases, starting the “raw” idea, there is a long process of construction, where all musicians implied add their ideas and personality.

Mathieu: For this album in particular the two years lockdown and this whole covid crisis. The war in Ukraine is, unfortunately, matching perfectly with these songs…

6. Where was your last gig?

Dan: Honestly I can’t even remember.

Rini: On December 21 at Top T Buzau Festival

Mihai: The last big gig was Pol’and’Rock Festival (Poland), last summer. For me, the last gig with Dirty Shirt was in Paris in November 21st (I missed Top T Buzau). 

7. Where would you like to act?

Dan: In Japan. Just to satisfy our sound engineer's dream.

Rini: Everywhere in the world.

Mihai: Up until now we toured in many European countries (15), but we never played in North America or Japan… So yes, I hope one day we will play there also, but for now, our priority remains Europe.

Robi: I would love to get to Japan of course but I wouldn't mind North America and Australia either. 

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Dan: Dubioza Kolectiv

Rini: Faith No More, Igorrr, Shaka Ponk, Skindred

Mihai: You can take the list of our favorite bands, we would love to play with all of them.

9. Who not?

Mihai: I don’t know, I don't think there's a particular one.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Dan: Definitely yes. I remember my first few gigs when I was 13. I was so scared that I didn't move one foot from where I was standing. I think everybody has stage fright, some more than others. I was on the "more" side. My advice would be, first of all, and most important to know your songs to perfection if possible. Secondly, I think that experience is a major factor in this and that you should be patient with yourself. My last piece of advice is that you should have fun on stage. Go wild! Do things out of your comfort zone like crazy moves, staring into people's eyes, whatever. Just express and enjoy yourself as much as possible. 

Rini: In the first two-three years it was something because I didn't remember anything after the shows.

Robi: Maybe the first time I went on stage I had some stage fright, but after a while it becomes normal ... I think emotions never leave you but you become a little independent from them ... It's that joy to be on the scene that is wonderful. 

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Mihai: All the bands I mentioned before, but also the Romanian and world traditional music.

Rini: Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, King Diamond, Anthrax, Faith No More, Ugly Kid Joe, Soundgarden, Dream Theatre, RATM, Korn, and many more 

Robi: Sepultura, Biohazard, Alice In Chains.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Dan: I think the weirdest thing a fan asked me for was if he can take a picture with our drummer. (pun intended)

13. What do you think of your fans?

Dan: We have some really hardcore fans. I mean I don’t remember the exact number but hundreds of people had Dirty Shirt as their most listened-to band on Spotify last year. That, for me, is absolutely insane when you think about all the really awesome bands and musicians around the world. We’re really grateful to our fans.

Mihai: They are the best in the world. They keep supporting us, especially these 2 tough years, they are our second family.

Cristian: Without them, we are like normal nine to five guys.

Rini: They are amazing.

Robi: They are the coolest in the universe, it's impressive that they come to your concerts from hundreds of kilometers away, we love them. 

14. What do you think of our site?

Mihai: I just discovered your site, at a first look it seems very well structured, and seeing the titles, I appreciate that is not “invaded” by rock/metal mainstream bands and “pseudo” news. Also, I like the “Behind The Tracks” series, it's a good way for the fans to better understand the musician.

15. Something to add?

Mihai: Thank you for this interview and keep supporting underground music.

Dan: I want to encourage everyone to pursue their interests and spend more time doing what they love doing. Arts, sports, reading, whatever. Do it even if you suck at it.

Robi: Live your life in such a way that you do not regret anything, be gentle, calm, and intelligent and listen to a lot of quality music.

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