you down with DOP? yea YOU know ME!
Dirty on Purpose
interview by Kenyon Hopkin
For the last few years, Dirty on Purpose has been a consistent presence in New York City indie rock circles. They took it to the next level at a show in February 2008 opening for Band of Horses. Two EPs (North Street Records, January 2008, and a digital-only free EP) followed a lovable full-length. Though some critics have used the band's name in the same sentence as "dream pop" or "shoegaze", they're actually more of an indie rock band that has been given the vocal guidance of the Pale Saints. Dirty on Purpose--Doug Marvin (drums, vocals), Joe Jurewicz (guitar, vocals), George Wilson (guitar, vocals) and DJ Boudreau (bass)-- is at Mercury Lounge with Mahogany and other bands on April 4, 2008. [Kenyon knows how to write a feature story but doesn't have that kind of time. So here is the ever-popular Q & A].
Advance Copy: What's your experience been like with Siren Schmest at Coney Island?
Joe Jurewicz: It was great. We were treated well and it was probably the biggest crowd we've ever played for. No complaints other than I never got to finish mini golf next door. I still have a raincheck slip from them.
Advance Copy: One of your songs is so good that it's too good to play on my college radio show. I'm afraid of it falling into the wrong hands. What do you think of that?
JJ: I don't even know what that means. Play it, the kids need to know.
AC: You covered "Send Me an Angel" by Real Life. Why did you choose that particular new wave song and what would be your next choice of new wave song to cover?
JJ: I didn't want to do that song at all because it was fun for like five minutes, then it was like ok, it's not funny anymore. We're going to end up playing this stupid song at every show if we record it. I was out-voted. I don't want to record anymore 80s songs unless they are by Waylon Jennings.
AC: If there was no such thing as Brooklyn, where would you be living?
JJ: No clue, but hopefully Erie, PA.
AC: You probably hear this a lot, but, from where is the band name derived?
JJ: It's from an ancient Hopi Indian curse that when placed on someone, their drinking water would become cloudy and they would lament and die after three days. In other words, yes, we hear that a lot and we have a new answer every time.
AC: How super was it to play with Band of Horseys? Were your friends all jealous?
JJ: We played with them in Denton, Texas one time for about five people. This was right before their first record I think. They are nice guys and we already knew them a bit, so it wasn't a big deal. We didn't fan out or anything. I don't think there was supposed to be an opener and they wanted one last minute and we were probably the only band from New York whose name they could remember. It was fun though, Jelly NYC is awesome, those guys are putting on good shows.
AC: Dream pop is very serious for many people, especially for the old school style from the early 1990s. The "No Radio" video, for example, appears lighthearted with people jumping around and stuff. Would you rather stay away from typical swirling colors in videos? Or is it the creativeness in brooklyn that inspires you to try different approaches?
JJ: "Dream pop is very serious for many people" is one of the funniest sentences I have heard in a while. We never set out to be a "dream pop" band. Or a shoegaze band. Or anything else. We just wanted to play songs together. What we sound like and what we think we sound like are two very different things I guess. We never say "oh this song has a very serious tone, we should make a very dark video." That one came about when DJ got drunk and wrote "jazzercize" on a piece of paper while we were making the record.
AC: In the video for "Car No Driver" a device to destroy a piano is created. Is there a story behind this? Why wreck a piano?
JJ: We got a treatment sent to us from Andrew Zuchero, the director, and we basically agreed to it to see if it could be done. And he did it. Itwas amazing how efficient him and his crew were. When we all watched that thing launch into the air, we knew it was going to be a prettygood video. We had nothing to do with the storyline of it. It was a dream he had apparently.
AC: Do any of you still have day jobs? Or are you doing this full-time now.
JJ: We all still work, it's pretty impossible to do music full-time. But we were contemplating becoming a wedding band to make some money. Lookout Total Soul, we're coming for you.