For fans of Enter Shakari, Rage Against The Machine & Pengshui
House Of Dirt are one upcoming band who certainly make a BIG noise. The 4 piece have been carving out their own unique blend of 'Urban Rock', conveying their "political messages about inequality, bureaucracy and the effects that austerity is having on the population's mental health".
We recently caught up with the group to find out more about their beginnings as a band and what's next for the London based rap rockers...
The band consists of Alexander Rutkowski (vocals), Jono Fereday (guitar), Ollie Fereday (drums/percussion) & Ayhan Sezgin (bass/beatbox).
So why the name House Of Dirt?
We all wanted a political backdrop for the band and we wanted a name that reflected that as well as the sound we were putting out. After a long period of time we collectively came up with ‘House of Dirt’. It has countless meanings that you could take out of it; House of Lords being full of dirt/corruption, the common public being seen as ‘dirt’ by the upper echelons of society, it could even mean our home.
People naturally want to protect their own home and the soil/dirt they stand on. Without getting too deep, a nice way to describe the name is that sometimes you just hear a riff and think “rah that’s dirty” - and so in THIS house we provide a lot of that luscious dirt that everyone is longing for.
In just one sentence, explain your sound…
If Rage Against The Machine had grown up in London during the 2000’s.
How did the band form?
We all met at uni in Guildford, Surrey. Jono and Ollie are brothers and they were writing some demos wanting to do a Rage-type band and move the ‘protest rock’ genre forward. Our debut single ‘Capital’ was half-written by this point and then they invited Ayhan to join which instantly shakes up the sound instrumentally because he has a specific way of doing things which often turns out to be fruitful even if it can be annoying.
‘Capital’ was instrumentally finished after that and as work for; what turned out to be, our third single ‘Cold City’ started Ayhan met Alex, a vocalist with very similar influences to the rest of the band, then promptly invited him to join the band.
The 27th of September 2018 is the moment we consider the band as truly starting since that is when the lineup was completed. We all have very different political views but have a shared belief that if you surround yourself with people of different ideals it keeps you awake rather than blinded.
What have been your best moments as a band so far?
Nothing beats the sensation of hearing a crowd sing your lyrics back to you, and so whether it’s three mentally deranged men in a pub in a shoddy part of London, or a hundred people singing out of key, throwing themselves at each other in Guildford, every moment is special and definitely something to be proud of. There have been walls of deaths that have spanned from one end of the room to the other, crazy crowd surfing, guest features during special shows. Mad moments that we all relish.
One of the craziest memories we have is our first show back home in London. We played at the Hard Rock Cafe by Hyde Park on one of the hottest days of the year (4/20), during the height of the Extinction Rebellion protests.
The room was tiny, we could just about fit ourselves and our set up into the cramped stage area. When it got to our set time we walked out from the makeshift half inside, half outside storage, ‘backstage’ area to an absolutely packed room. It was one of the sweatiest, stressful and most ridiculous gigs we’ve ever played, but it felt good to be home.
What can we expect from a House Of Dirt live show?
An unparalleled amount of passion, especially from Alex (our lead singer), who takes it upon himself to channel the audience’s emotion and captivate their attention from start to finish. We enjoy the chaos and sweat that is brought from a high octane performance.
When the audience is having a good time we are too, it's like a cyclical energy. But in all of that mayhem and entertainment, musical perfection is never sacrificed. Not for Ollie behind the kit anyway… has anyone got a spare guitar string for Jono? He’s snapped one again!
If you could support any band/artist, who would it be and why?
As far as supporting a band with similar sounds and driving factors, RATM are an obvious heavy-weight. However, looking locally, Pengshui are similarly inspired by grime and are London-based, so playing with them would make for a superb gig overall.
House Of Dirt's latest single, 'Noose', came out April 1st. The band also filmed a live studio version of the track, uploaded to their YouTube page.
The music industry can be incredibly difficult, especially for upcoming music artists. How do you manage to balance ‘doing musician things’ with also running the business side?
In our opinion the key to succeeding is having a solid team and for having a strong work ethic, both within and outside of the immediate band members. Delegating tasks such as admin, promotion, statistical analysis, etc, as well as out-sourcing artworks, producers and other professionals who view your working relationship as mutually beneficial and believe in your art form, is a great start.
Each and every day is a mental battle to not give away all your songwriting and performance royalties to a major label but then in those darker hours your mind always slips back to the age old question: would you rather have 50% of something or 100% of nothing? But right now we’re staying strong.
Who are 3 other bands/music artists that we should all go and check out?
Poppy is a loveable enigma, she’s tapped into something others haven’t musically and visually. Alex Parsi is also delving into uncharted territory, his debut EP sounds like an intro compared to the new and unreleased music we’ve heard from him. Gatvol are another band that you should check out, they write progressive rock/metal in a modern way.
What’s next for House Of Dirt?
Our debut EP ‘Renaissance’ is on the horizon! After its release we had planned to tackle the festival season head-on, but Corona may have put a stop to that unfortunately. Until things settle, writing and releasing new music is paramount to furthering our reach as a band, as well as showcasing our music at festivals in the upcoming season. Our music is evolving and we believe that we’re nowhere near the peak of our abilities.
And so concludes our interview. A huge thank you to the boys - we can't wait to see what comes next for the urban rockers! We, for sure, will be watching.
You can listen to more House Of Dirt by visiting their Spotify page!