The Dirty Nil: From Barrooms to Grandstands  

Thursday 25th, October 2018 / 10:55
By Trevor Morelli 

The Dirty Nil check into the suite life following the release of Master Volume.
Photo by Vanessa Heins

By now fans of The Dirty Nil know that the band kills it in every sketchy bar, ramshackle roadhouse and hole-in-the-wall hotel they play in, so why not practice in a tin can too?  “Our jam space is a piece of shit,” jokes lead singer/guitarist Luke Bentham. “I mean, we’ve had many half-hearted attempts to try to spruce it up, but imagine a concrete box and that’s it. It’s kind of like practicing inside of a vacuum cleaner.” 

Cool digs or not, the rock ‘n’ roll Dundas, Ontario trio has managed to pack a punk-pop punch into their sophomore LP, Master Volumedropped last month. It’s a riff-heavy, balls-to-the-wall effort that sees the band grow beyond the raw ferocity they displayed on Higher Power (2016) while giving each full-throttle tune a tight line and a lustrous shine. 

For The Dirty Nil, chipping away at the melodic but muscular bird-flipper, Master Volume was all about creating songs that had the same sense of strength and forcefulness as the records they long loved and admired by groups such as Turnstile, Culture Abuse and even old Foo Fighters and Nirvana records. 

“We put about a year’s worth of focus into making it and trying some things that were going to sound good in a bigger area, songs that would just rip on a bigger stage… a powerful sound that would be able to compete with the other things we were listening to,” explains Bentham. 

In seeking to compete with the best-of-the-best, Master Volume might just be the record that defines The Dirty Nil and cements them as Can-rock mainstays. And, after going from playing in dives across North America, including their humble rehearsal space/clubhouse, to opening for rock gods The Who in front of 50,000 plus people in Quebec during the summer of 2017, they’re ready to upgrade their multi-star rating and step into even grander challenges. “One thing that we learned was it takes a bit of confidence to kind of slow things down. And, you can be far more powerful if you all strike together!”

The Dirty Nil performs November 1 at Starlite Room (Edmonton), November 2 at Commonwealth (Calgary), November 3 at The Biltmore Cabaret (Vancouver), November 4 at Lucky Bar (Victoria)

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