Stoner metal band Dirty Pagans sit down with us to discuss the direction they’re heading in—since forming in only 2016, the well-mannered South Australian ‘boys next door’ have unleashed two EPs and have another release on the way. The band recently took home SA Music Awards’ Most Popular Heavy Artist—alongside Adelaide-based thrash metal three-piece Hidden Intent—in a first-ever draw. Previously sharing the stage with the likes of Hidden Intent, and NSW rock ‘n’ rollers The Art and The Lockhearts, the band praises their manager Brynna McPherson for the opportunities they’ve had in a fairly alternative music scene. With an exciting support opportunity coming up with American rockers, Living Colour, TEO talks with Dirty Pagans’ Matty Dee (singer-guitarist), James Russo (bassist), Greg Challis (lead guitarist), and Jarrad Taylor (drummer).

TEO: Huge congratulations to you all for taking home The SA Music Award this year. How does it feel to get that recognition so early in your career?
Jarrad Taylor: Pretty damn good! We were going up against a band [Hidden Intent] that’s done a lot more work than us internationally. For us to tie with that band was pretty humbling. We’ve come a really long way from us jamming in a dingy room, just three dudes, and then evolving. I think we’re just at the cusp of things.

For the first time in history there was a tie—an actual tie in the votes. Would you have liked the opportunity for a tie-breaker, or are you happy to share the honour with Hidden Intent?
James Russo: More than happy to share that honour.
Jarrad Taylor: Just the fact that we matched against a band that has been going about twice as long as us, and touring overseas multiple times—for us to be considered as heavy, or as popular or well-rated, is huge.

Your genre is described as stoner doom metal. In your own words, what does that look and sound like?
Jarrad Taylor: Having so many parts and influences coming together as a band really just makes Dirty Pagans—James and Matty love KISS, Greg and I love heavy metal, and we all love glam metal. We sometimes shock and surprise our audience. People can kind of get lost away in riffs, and then sometimes we’ll get a punchier, thrashier riff which is what Greg’s established. It’s not really like a blueprint—it just works and we keep doing it.

Can you tell us a bit about the upcoming show with New York band Living Colour?
Jarrad Taylor: We applied for the show thinking we’re going to go against more ‘rock’ bands—the more bread and butter, Greta Van Fleet, meat and potatoes kind of rock ‘n’ roll—but once again, we’re quite humbled that we’ve now got the opportunity to step up to the plate and win over an untapped Adelaide scene.

Your Facebook page is very Pagan fan-friendly. Do you enjoy staying connected to your fans at such a human level?
Matty Dee: Yeah, I take care of most of the stuff. I just try and find things that I’m entertained by, then I’m sure someone else will be entertained by it. I just want to spread the big, thick energy!

Is there a new single on the way?
James Russo: We don’t have a set time for any singles to be released, but we are in the works of coming up with a new EP/potential album.
Greg Challis: We’re a little bit behind for a January 1st release [laughs].

You can catch Dirty Pagans supporting Living Colour at The Gov on Monday, 17th December 2018.

Available here.
More info available on the official Facebook event page.

Follow Dirty Pagans


Photo: Josh McCawley