The Dirty Names bring ‘old-style rock’ to Tampa
Published: Thursday, June 28, 2012
Updated: Thursday, June 28, 2012 10:06
Hailing from Annapolis, Md., The Dirty Names have been touring all summer, spreading their energetic rock ‘n’ roll to cities across the country.
The band is making a stop in Tampa tonight to perform at the New World Brewery at 8 p.m. with LeBlorr and The Groves.
The band members — Harrison Cofer (guitar), Matt Rose (drums), Kit Whitacre(guitar) and Sam Wetterau(bass) — grew up in Maryland and decided to play rock music together.
Wetterau, the band’s bassist and manager, said the Dirty Names get their inspiration from a variety of genres.
“We are definitely influenced by The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, blues and old-time rock ‘n’ roll, country and gospel,” he said. “We’re bringing that old style of rock ‘n’ roll back.”
The band released their first album in 2010, when they were known as “The Names.” They have since released two EP’sand added “Dirty” to their name. Cofer, the lead singer, writes most of the band’s lyrics, but every member contributes vocals and ideas.
Wetterau said that “types of women” often influence the straightforward lyrics in many songs such as “On Again, Off Again” and “Puppy Love.”
“The songs are not about specific girls, but they are about a type of girl,” he said. “We have certain songs about specific women, such as ‘Salt Water Jackie,’ a sultry waitress who we all worked with.”
The music video for “Salt Water Jackie,” a track from the 2011 EP “Rock & Roll Mind Control,”has little to do with a sultry waitress, and more to do with an uptight dance instructor. The video takes place in a ballet studio with the Dirty Names playing to a group of graceful ballerinas. The moves of the dancers are no match for the band’s swagger.
Wetterau said that the band was comfortable during the making of the video because, although they were working with strangers, they also brought a few of their friends to the video shoot.
Between “Rock & Roll Mind Control,” and their latest EP “Sweat Box,” the Dirty Names went from five members to four. Former keyboardist, John Countryman is not with the band on their current tour.
“John decided that life on the road wasn’t for him,” Wetterau said. “There was no falling out. He’s still a good buddy of ours.”
Dirty Names has yet to find a new keyboard player.
“If a keyboardist happens to come along and is an obvious fit, we’ll teach him the tunes and call him dirty,” Wetterau said.
Their most recent EP, “Sweat Box,” was released in February. Wetterau said the recording conditions were less than comfortable and led to the name of the EP.
“‘Sweat Box’ was recorded in a huge stifling warehouse,” he said. “We set up in a circle, and the mics were hot.”
Yet the band takes things like sweaty recordings in stride and had a much more refreshing set for their upcoming music video.
“The music video for our song “Puppy Love” will be released in the next couple of weeks,” he said. “If you like pool parties, then be sure to look out for it.”
Wetterau said the band knows how to relax while spending nights in their tour van. “We’re only in the van while traveling to the next city or sleeping when we can’t find a house to go back to,” he said. “Listening to music is the best way to make time fly, but it’s even better when you’re flying high. Also, Kit has been recording books on tape, and we’ve been his trial audience.”
The Dirty Names’ performance tonight will not be their first time at the New World Brewery.
“This will be our third time in Tampa, and we love the city with its Cuban sandwiches, mojitos and strip clubs,” Wetterau said.
Wetterau joked about how determined the band was to get to Tampa.
“We camped next to a bus full of Austrian swim suit models on a U.S. tour,” he said. “They begged us to go with them,but we said, ‘Sorry girls, we’re going to Tampa.’” .