WE enjoy what we’re doing and it’s honest because we’re not doing it to become rock stars,” says frontman Mark Norrie of four-piece Durban band Dirty Royal (pictured).
Dirty Royal – comprising Norrie along with Jason Every, Ray Goodfellow and Anthony Peixoto – can be defined as an alternative rock band that formed early last year. They have played at practically every venue in Durban and at Splashy Fen last year. They also played with Ard Matthews at Cool Runnings a few weeks back.
“We draw influences from bands we grew up with like 1990s bands. So our music is kind of fresh and modern sounding. The bulk of it is heavier than the mainstream stuff. But it’s a bit of rock and pop mixed together for radio, but unintentionally.
“We wanted to build it up from grass-roots level. We work hard to create the best music that we can create and hopefully organically people will enjoy it. Music is definitely like escapism for us because we all have day jobs. So it’s an escape from the rat race and it replaces that with happiness.
“Playing live gives us a rush and lets us connect with people. And when people identify with it, that’s so rewarding. When people sing along to your music, it means a lot.”
So how did Dirty Royal come about? According to Norrie, it was Jason Every who wanted to start a new band and was in search of valuable members: “So he gave me a call and he wanted me to be the frontman vocalist of the band. I just got out of a project and I was quite interested to work with him. Cos we had a mutual respect for each other and always wanted to work together, so it seemed like the time to start a fresh project. But all the members kinda knew each other but never worked together before.”
The guys are really talented and each brings something to the table. This talent did not go unno- ticed by South African singer/ songwriter Ard Matthews who asked Dirty Royal to play with him at a gig at Cool Runnings. Norrie says: “It was a good experience. Ard Matthews was in the same class as our bass player. So he phoned up Raymond and wanted us to do a double-header song with him. Ard has been running the gigs at Cool Runnings and he gave us a call.
“Also, during his set, Ard was voicing his opinion of us and it was all positive stuff, which was quite cool. But we played there before and they wanted us back.”
At the moment, Norrie tells me that the band are busy working on their first EP which will probably be a five-track collection that should be out this year.
“Maybe next year, after the EP is done, we can do some road trips in Johannesburg. So people can expect us to carry out a 110 percent at our gigs. They can also expect a product and basically expanding on what we’re doing. Just get in touch with us on Facebook and check out what’s going to happen.”
• Dirty Royal play at Amsterdam on Friday. Band plays at 9pm. Free entry.