New Slanged: The Dirty River Boys

Photos Courtesy of the Artist-Photos by Marshall Foster

by: Thomas D. Mooney

“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need”
–The Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

For a while now, The Dirty River Boys have been performing one of singer-guitarist Marco Gutierrez’ favorite Rolling Stones songs at their lives shows, the aforementioned “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” from 1969’s “Let it Bleed” (Gutierrez says growing up, his father was a huge Stones fan and was always jamming the likes of “Let it Bleed,” “Exile on Main Street,” and “Sticky Fingers”).

When I first decided to include this in this introduction, I was positive that I was going to go with something along the lines of “Lucky for us though, we’re going to get what we want relatively soon. Not only are they performing at Blue Light this upcoming Saturday night, but they’ve recently reached their Kickstarter campaign goal and will begin recording their debut full-length in early June.” But, after a minute, I began to think maybe a studio album isn’t what we want; It’s what we need. See what I did there?

In all likelihood, it’s both. I guess it was pretty prophetic of the band to choose that song.

Regardless though, like I mentioned, The Dirty River Boys recently accomplished their Kickstarter goal of $25,000. I’ve mentioned it a few previous times, and while they have reached their goal, you can still pledge to the cause and get some really great incentives in the process (Like I’ve said from the beginning, if you’re going to eventually buy the album anyways, you may as well at least pledge $20 and get the album early.)

We caught up with singer-guitarists Nino Cooper and Gutierrez before they were loading in at Houston show last week to discuss the upcoming album and what the band has coming up this summer. The Dirty River Boys will be playing The Blue Light this Saturday with Eagle Eye Williamson at The Blue Light, which you may want to go ahead and buy a pre-sale ticket here. Like The Dirty River Boys on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here


New Slang: I was really wanting to focus mainly on the new album and everything connected with that. I guess now you’ve just in the last few days surpassed your goal with your Kickstarter campaign.

Nino Cooper: Yeah, man. We reached the goal and we’ll be recording in June, will be done recording mid-June.

Marco Gutierrez: Yeah, we’re just completely excited that people had that much faith in us and we raised that much. Sometimes it’s tough. It’s really cool being able to do that. Like Nino said, we’re going to get into the studio in June and we’re going to record the record on our own terms and do it the way we want. 

NS: Was that the main reason you guys decided to go with doing the Kickstarter campaign and raising funds that way rather than signing on with a label or something? Because you guys want to be in total creative control and everything?

MG: Yeah, exactly. And not having anyone tell us what to do and how to do it. You know, it’s completely funded by the fans. I think the fans like what we do on stage  and what we do with our music. It’s just going to be an organic thing and that’s what we’re wanting.

NS: Last time you guys were here, I was talking to Nino about where you guys were looking in at recording. He mentioned Sonic Ranch (which is located in Tornillo, Texas outside of El Paso. Bands who recorded there have included: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Explosions in the Sky, Jenny Lewis, At the Drive-in, and Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band). Is that still where you guys are wanting to go or have you decided to record elsewhere?

NC: Well, we really didn’t have enough time to block out and go out to Sonic Ranch and you know, stay there, since we have still have a pretty busy touring schedule this summer. So, we’re going to be recording in pieces when we get back and have days off. We’re going to be doing it in pieces for about three weeks for a few days at a time. And because of that, we decided to do it in Austin at place called Yellow Dog Studios. It’s off of South Congress. 

NS: Obviously, you guys have been writing and have a lot of material that’s not on the two EPs (“Long Cold Fall” and “Train Station”) that you’ve been playing here and there live. What can we expect for the debut album?

NC: There all going to be new songs. Every one of them, we haven’t recorded yet. We’re going to try and record about 20 songs and then pick about 16 that’ll make the record.

MG: I think we’re going to have a lot of songs on there that we haven’t played live yet. We’re still trying to work them out as a band at a few shows. But you know, we haven’t played a few of them live and we’re hoping to get them on this record so it’ll be a completely new thing. As opposed to having–you know, a few people are familiar with “Six Riders” and  “Road Songs,” we’ve played them so long. I think we’re going just have songs that are completely new. 

NS: Also, something you guys seemed to do more of last time you were here was switching around on instruments. I know there was a song where Colton sang lead and played acoustic guitar and Marco jumped on the upright bass. Are you guys going to be more of that and more instrument exploration?

NC: Oh yeah. We’ll definitely do songs were we switch off instruments and we’ll probably do some messing around with different instruments.

NS: You guys said you’ll be recording in spurts and I know it’s still really early on, but as far as a timetable goes, when do you think people could expect the finished product?

MG: I want to say late summer, early fall.

NC: We have an expected release date of October 1, but it could be earlier than that. That was the initial planned date. We will be done recording in June so just the mixing and mastering of it. We could possibly have it out earlier than that, but just to be safe, we’re saying October.

NS: Now we talked about it earlier, the main reason doing the Kickstarter is because you want more control of the process, but are you guys going to be self-producing the album or will you be having another voice in there?

NC: We’ll be pretty much producing this record.

MG: Yeah, I think it’ll be–between the four of us–I think we’ll be pretty happy with how it comes out.

NS: With you guys, anyone who has been to a show of yours knows, you guys know this, they’re so energetic and have a ton of live energy. There’s definitely something were you guys feed off the crowd and they feed off you. How do you get that energy into the studio?

MG: We’re going to find that out ourselves, man. As soon as we get in there,  we’re going to do the fast songs real fast and dirty and the slow songs, you know, slow and nice. I think we’re doing it ourselves is because we’re really wanting to figure out how to do it and how to transfer it over–how to transfer the live sound and energy onto a record. 

NS: Speaking of live shows, have you guys been thinking about recording a live album anytime?

NC: Yeah, we have. We’re definitely going to, you know, after we work on this studio record. Our goal is to release a really good solid record with good songs and to give the fans more songs. The last two releases we had were four songs and six songs. We really want to give the fans a good 16 songs on this record.

MG: Yeah. And after that, once it kind of settles down. After we’ve released the record and we’ve toured on that a little while, I’m almost positive we’ll do a live record.  I think that’s definitely in the future of The Dirty River Boys.

NC: Yeah, for sure.

NS: Other than the record being recorded during the summer, what else are you guys looking forward to? What are some of the other highlights?

MG: Well, we have some pretty cool shows coming up. We’re finally playing Chicago pretty soon. We’re going to be playing up in Alaska. We’re really trying hard to branch out and play more shows, not only in Texas, but also some new places.

NS: That sounds awesome. Really trying to find new markets and new fans.

MG: Yeah. You know, some folks in the Texas music scene kind of get comfortable doing Texas. We’re really setting our expectations a lot higher than that. We’re really hoping by next year, we’ll have done a little European tour and stuff like that. That as far as touring goes, that’s always in the back of our minds. Just trying to get it bigger and better and going more places.


One response to “New Slanged: The Dirty River Boys

  1. Pingback: New Slanged: Eagle Eye Williamson « New Slang·

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