2 – Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Hey Kevin”?
We recorded “Hey Kevin” separately from our EP and decided to release it as a single. It’s probably our most “punk” song message-wise… It’s about being an individual, going against the grain. Not giving in to social constructs the world, and more specifically “the man” shoves down our throats on a daily basis. It’s one of the first songs we ever wrote together actually, and really shaped the direction we wanted the band to go in.
3- Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
Rachel: This song and the person it’s about is definitely specific. I moved to NYC about five years ago, and was jumping around and doing a lot of side gigs. That in itself was a real bummer for me since I promised myself about seven years ago I would continue to remain a full time musician, so the fact I wasn’t being honest with myself and taking the easy road was really messing with my head space. I was waiting tables at a really nice restaurant in Manhattan and making decent money, my coworkers were lovely, amazing people, but I just felt completely out of my element. I had to totally become another person to deal with the cleintelle and make my managers feel comfortable. I had to change my hair, my makeup, the way that I spoke, and it just got to the point where I was like, why am I doing this to myself? Why am I letting other people drive my ship? I left that job to go do a show which was the start of me going back to being a full time musician here in the city. I’m not gonna tell you exactly who Kevin really was, but he represents all those people who we make uncomfortable by being ourselves. I don’t have time for that shit anymore.
4 – Any plans to release a video for the single?
No solid plans to release a video, but I can definitely see a visual for this single. Maybe a throwback to those videos in the 90s where the artists are just running amok and pranking people on the streets.
5 – How was the recording and writing process?
Rachel: Like I said, this was one of the first songs we wrote together. I wrote the first line of the lyrics and melody and recorded in on my phone and showed it to Atesh right away. This was a really quick song to complete, it just worked and made sense to both of us immediately.
Atesh: With “Hey Kevin”, we wanted to sprinkle some electronic elements, but we didn’t want to disrupt the raw feeling of it. Its not as “crowded” as some of our other works, yet it says enough.
6 – What role does NYC play in your music?
NYC is always a huge inspiration for all of our music. Our entire band inspiration came from the the hay day of punk music in the lower east side in the 70s and 80s. The Ramones, Patti Smith, The Velvet Underground… The entire sense of community in the scene back then (for example the Chelsea Hotel).
7 – You’re known for playing with different genres and cultures – how do you go on balancing together?
Rachel: I don’t think we ever have to consciously think about “balance” between us, even though we come from very different backgrounds. I guess it just works in a kind of magical way. Even our name, Dirty Heretics, kind of plays on that. Atesh grew up Muslim in Turkey and I grew up Christian in Colorado. We have both stepped away from our religion but carry a lot of that with us still… Maybe even some guilt about it. We also both have vast and eclectic music backgrounds and training. We are able to splice those parts of us together to create.
Atesh: I have always been a fan of “hybrid” works, and it has been my dream to produce a band that does exactly that since seeing a cover band perform “Firestarter” by the Prodigy when I was 14. And when Rachel and I met, that was like a relief of a lifetime for me: “now I can do this!” Like Rachel said, we carry all of that culture inside us, and when we are creating, those elements naturally make their way into the song and make our songs sound as unique and close to us as possible.
8 – You released your debut EP, a self-titled four-track release in April. How did you curate that as your debut? Does this new single mean we can expect further new material – and if so, how’s that coming along?
Since the first day we started making music together, it was clear that we wanted to focus more on the dark side of electronic music, punk, rock, and anything in between. Most of our songs organically turned to that direction. So it made sense for our debut release to put out a short and intense EP that would set the scene and musically depict who we are and where we are coming from. An introduction to our “dark beginnings”, in shape of a concept album. After that, we thought it would be a good idea to release some singles before another EP, or an LP. “Hey Kevin” was the first of that, and more is on the way.
9 – Tell us about your video for “Black and Blue” – it’s clearly confronting drug and opioid addiction as a very powerful piece; did you always know you wanted to make a video for it?
Rachel: We didn’t always know we were going to make a video for “Black and Blue” but when we decided to make a video, we knew that was the song we needed to do. It’s about my best friend’s brother, Sterling Spiers, who passed away from a heroin overdose at the age of 27. I wanted to do the video not only as an homage to him and his family, but also to spread awareness that has affected the lives of so many of my friends. I was really worried about glamorizing drug use in the video, and we worked really hard with our team to make this as real, raw, and human as possible. A huge key to making this all work visually was our director, Alexo Wandael, who really clicked in with our visions right away, and our assistant director and graphic designer Ivana Vasic, who worked very closely with Alexo to make sure the integrity of the message was clear.
10 – Any plans to hit the road?
°Going on tour is a huge goal of ours, and we are currently researching how to make this happen successfully.
11 – What else is happening next in Dirty Heretics world?
We are constantly writing and recording in our home studios, and will be gigging regularly in NYC in the next coming months. We have a show in NYC on October 11th at Arlene’s Grocery opening for this great band Elektric Voodoo.