Chatting with Dirty Fences

Illustration by Ika Lesniak
Illustration by Ika Lesniak

My initial exposure to Dirty Fences was by stumbling across their infectiously catchy song “Judy (Don’t Go)” on YouTube. Dressed in drag, the music video is styled like a 1960’s Shangri Las-like set. Think of the Shangri Las’ version of “Shout” meets the Ramones, but more amped up on the raw energy of 1970’s New York-styled punk rock. Intrigued, I soon found out that they were coming through Salt Lake City, Utah on 14 September 2015 with Nashville natives’ Faux Ferocious. During Dirty Fences set, I was blown away by their stunning performance. They displayed an intense energy that is essential to a solid rock ‘n’ roll show. I also found that this energy is perfectly translated onto their new album, Full Tramp—released on Slovenly Recordings. Needlessly to say, it’s been a part of a constant rotation on my record player. After I heard that they were about to hit Europe for a Fall tour, I decided to get the word on what happens behind the scenes by discussing the track “Judy (Don’t Go)”, their U.S tour, Riot Fest in Chicago and their plans for returning to Europe. To do this, I sat down with Jack Daves and got the scoop.

Heatwave:  Before going to your gig in Salt Lake City, Utah on 14 September 2015. I checked out the “Judy (Don’t Go)” video —directed by Brayden Olson— and found it had remarkable Shangri Las-like quality to it. What’s the story behind this song and the video?

Dirty Fences: The song was originally an ode to the female janitor at the high school that we all met at. The tagline in the chorus use to be:  “Judy Goldfarb! Judy Godlfarb!” She was a cool lady. She would hide a little closable ashtray in the bathroom for us behind the toilet in the second stall. I guess we each looked a bit like Judy in the video.

Heatwave: This year has seen the release of the raw and fast rock ‘n’ roll album Full Tramp on Slovenly Recordings. What’s the story behind this album?

Dirty Fences: We recorded it in our basement on SM58’s. It’s ten weird-ass different songs. Everything is on there. There’s punkers, T.V. dinner retard rock, country, some bowie-in-space shit, dumb Hendrix-type tunes. Rock and roll, y’ know? We hooked up with Pete and Bazooka Joe from Slovenly! Records and got the thing on out and that’s it. Shout out to those crab-eatin’, Kangol-wearin’, houseboat-livin’, speed-chompin’ mothers.

Heatwave:  I’ve also seen that Dirty Fences was on the bill for Riot Fest, Chicago.  What was it like playing that festival?

Dirty Fences: Riot fest was a blast. We pulled up in our van, went straight to the catering tent, found ourselves the open bar for performers and within minutes were drinking Tequila and apple juice with DJ Yella and MC Ren from N.W.A. Then at about noon we took the stage, listening to Death as we sound-checked. We played a fun set, ate fried dough, smoked crummy pot with teenagers and topped it all off with some Motorhead.

Heatwave:  Also, Dirty Fences has recently just completed a US tour with Faux Ferocious. Where was your favorite place to play and why?

Dirty Fences: Faux Ferocious are the bomb. Velvet boogie, baby. That shit is sick. We played Dallas with them, Natural Child and Cave. That was a really fun one. Also us, Faux Ferocious and JP5 in Faux Ferocious’ hometown of Nashville was a great one towards the end of the tour. After the show we all headed down to Duke’s—the best bar in Nashville. Duke’s just so happens to carry a ‘Full Tramp’ sandwich. We designed it; they make it. It’s on the menu. I am not kidding.

Heatwave: You’re due to return to tour Europe this Fall, where are you looking forward to playing?

Dirty Fences: We are looking forward to just about the whole trip, but were definitely very psyched to get back to Portugal. How could you not want to go back to Portugal? We have a lot of friends in Amsterdam and Berlin. Looking forward to seeing those folks! We will drop the tour dates in a few days. Look out for them!

Heatwave: What’s next after your European tour? Do you have another album in the works?

Dirty Fences: We have a series of 7 inches coming out in the next few months. Always making more videos. An album in the works? We’ve already written enough for 2 more!! Do you want to hear them?

Heatwave: We do!

By Nick Kuzmack (Nix Beat)

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