Wednesday 6 March 2024

Spilling The Dirt With Psych/Punk Rock/Desert/Stoner Rockers DIESEL CINDY

Greek Psych/Fuzz/Punk Rock/Stoner Rockers Diesel Cindy released their new album Spill The Dirt in November 2023 which offers a rebellious slice and gloriously goes through the golden era of the Hard Rock scene with a fantastic Garage Rock vibe.

I wanted to find out more about this hugely talented band and I'm pleased to bring this cool in-depth interview with the band about their formation, making of their new album and the current state of the Greek Live Stoner Rock Scene.

Hi guys. Thanks for doing the interview. How are things with you all today.

LEE: Hello Steve we're doing pretty good thank you. We are rehearsing intensively and at the same time trying to find gigs to support our album.

For people not in the know, can you give a brief history of how the band came together and where it is today.

RED: In 2022 and after a long period of lockdown due to covid-19 restrictions I had managed to record a few ideas in my home studio which were not intended to be played with the band I was a member of at that time. I was interested in a more simplistic type of songwriting compared to what I was used to. I wanted to focus more in the feeling a simple chord structure could emit as long as it was sincere and true. 

At the time Lee was struggling to form a band. Being friends for a long period of time, I let him hear my songs and we both agreed that it would be great to try them out in a context of a band which at the time didn't exist... hahahaha! 

Gabriel was the bass player in the first band I ever played in, and always a true friend. Although we hadn't talked with each other for a long time, he just felt as the right guy for the job. Fivos was the drummer in the band I was a member of at that time and one I held in high regard. So, a few phone calls & one month of rehearsals later, we decided to go in the studio to record. Diesel Cindy was born...

Why did you call yourselves Diesel Cindy. Where did that name come from.

LEE: Lets call it a mixture of romanticism and love for beautiful engines of all sorts, and ethereal specimens of the opposite gender... Cindy was a name of a girl one of us knew in the past. An interesting story I'd say... However, out of respect it will remain private. In conjunction of being fans of vintage automobiles and bikes the name was born… and of course it kinda sounded nice to our ears, so it stuck.

How would you describe your overall sound. As it features a wild variety of different styles with a certain Garage Rock sound.

RED: Its quite hard for us to label and categorize our music. We all grew up listening to a vast amount of records from garage music, old school punk rock, classic rock, grunge, as well as heavier motifs of rock. So I guess it's all there in our head. Therefore, sound wise “Spill The Dirt” could be described as a result of a blending procedure affected mostly by garage-punk sounds from the 60s' up to the 90s' with a modern perspective flavoured with bits and pieces from the rest of the genres described earlier.

We're here to talk about your new album Spill The Dirt. What can people expect from the album.

RED: Creating music in a form of a medium, in our case “Spill The Dirt”, is an exposure of many things buried in our souls such as words that worry and express thoughts at a certain time & state combined with musical riffs & melodies that carry a passion of expressing feelings, sometimes very obvious and other times quite obscure. Through the recording process you get the chance to reveal all the above according to taste. I mean when you record a song and you have a strong belief that it should sound in a certain way, then you have to find the means to get it there. For “Spill The Dirt” we aimed in old-school methods of production & recording while trying to make the songs sound not too old-school, but at the same time, not too contemporary as well. What people can definitely expect from the album is 33 minutes of pure energy, that will make them wanna play the record again and again and make every minute count.

Where did the name Spill The Dirt for the album come from.

FIVOS: We chose to name the album off of one of its songs. “Spill The Dirt” is a song that we feel reflects on many aspects of our current society being quite esoteric in its nature. Besides... everyone has to "spill the dirt”, in order to find any kind of absolution.

Was this an easy or hard album to record for.

RED: It was just a matter of choosing the right people for the job! And as it turns out, we did. Music came relatively easily and so did the lyrics. The goal was to make the recording process a joyful experience once everyone was on the same page. And although spending time in the studio can in many ways interfere with your judgement, it can also boost the levels of your music in a very creative way, as long as everything that is done is aimed at the core of the songs in order to make them sound as good as they can. In other words, we had a jolly good time recording this album!!!

Did your daily struggles, challenges and uplifting moments in life shape up the creative outline for the album.

LEE: Indeed they did. We are all affected by whatever goes on in our society. We all have day jobs for a living. We are not special any more than the person next door is. We believe that maintaining strong relationships with friends as well as trying to keep your spirit up, is a cure for facing most of the challenges (if not all) that everyday life serves you. Our music reflects that, through our perspective.

What is the creative process or setup within the band? Do you write the music together or do certain people within the band do that.

GABRIEL: There is no standard creative process within the band as far as the music is concerned. We go with the flow. Red had already written the music for six of the songs in the album before the band was actually… a band. The rest of the songs took life within rehearsals and the last song of the album, “The Walk”, was created during the recording sessions of “Spill The Dirt”. Lee writes all lyrics. There is nothing standard. In the past month for instance, we've been working on new ideas in the rehearsal studio derived by collective jamming or by working on ideas each member brings from home.

You're from Athens, Greece, What is the local live scene there. Do you have a live scene to perform gigs on a regular basis or do you have to travel further afield.

FIVOS: The local scene here in Athens is pretty much alive and kicking! Unfortunately the venues are very few in number, which makes giging on a regular basis kind of difficult. Therefore bands try to reach out to other cities around Greece which is also pretty grim since the cost of such an endeavour presents many other problems, sometimes making it impossible to happen.

What future gigs have you coming up and will you be promoting the album more this year.

GABRIEL: We will definitely hold a gig in a big venue by the end of this season before summer starts for good... can't say no more about it at this time. Till then, we plan to travel in three big cities out of Athens such as Kalamata, Volos and Salonica.

The artwork for the new album is excellent with a Punk Rock and Retro feel. How much involvement did you have with the final design.

RED: The Skull in our front cover is an excellent illustration by an artist named Dekel Hevroni.

The graphic design of the album was done by our dear friend Peg Leg Green. Other than obtaining the rights to use the skull, the band had little to do with the end result of the album’s graphic design. Peg Leg is a great artist so we let him do his thing. At the end, we were all very pleased with the result.

What bands or artists influenced you to pick up an instrument and to become a musician.

RED: I was fortunate to have two uncles in their university years while I was 12 years old. One of them was in the whole 60s' psychedelic/garage era while the other was heavily into Bowie, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Deep Purple & Black Sabbath. I was fascinated with album covers and one day I asked one of my uncles to borrow Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti vinyl. He told me I was not ready for it and that I should study Led Zeppelin's No.2 instead... That was it!!! Jimmy Page became my idol and the rest is history.

LEE: At the age of 13 I kinda felt intrigued by the blues. Chicago, Mississippi & Texas blues that is. However, the very first musician that influenced me to pick up the guitar as a youngster was Gary Moore during his blues period around the late 90s’ with his flashy Les Paul burst sound. Then I quickly started listening to Jimmy Hendrix too. Afterwards I got into grunge and I was down the rabbit hole...

GABRIEL: Back in my high school years, I was considering to form a band with a few other schoolmates of mine that shared the same passion for music like I did at the time. Guitar & drum slot was already taken. Must note that I couldn't play any instrument at the time! A couple of months later I got word of Cliff Burton's death... I was much into Metallica at that time so i had no problem at all to undertake bass duties as a tribute to Cliff. So Metallica was the influence that drove me to be in a band and Cliff was the reason to pick up the bass.

FIVOS: John Bonham was the reason I started playing drums. His sound along with his 26" kick was enough for me to do so!

Do you have any side projects that folks can check out.

LEE: Gabriel currently plays in "HeadQuake", and Fivos plays in "The Same River" as well.

Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom for your fans currently out there.

LEE: Diesel Cindy has just fired up the engine! Hope to see you soon in a town near you. Stay tuned for more to come.

Words by Steve Howe and Diesel Cindy