Dirty Revival – Interview and Music Video
Portland based soul-funk band Dirty Revival released the music video for the song “Lay Me Down” in March of 2016. The song was part of the band’s self-titled debut album released in September of 2015.
Interview with vocalist Sarah Clarke
How did the current group meet?
“Many of us went to the same high school. Terry (drums), Evan (Guitar), Myself (Sarah/vocals), Karl (keys) and Chris (sax) all went to Grant and participated in the choral and band programs there. Terry and I hung out with the same group of people and maintained a friendship after high school and when he called me to come jam with him, Evan and Dirty Revival’s original bass player and Terry’s younger brother, Ken, I decided to give it a shot. We added the other parts over time (keys and horns, Karl and Chris being obvious choices. We were able to snag trumpeter Jon Clay around that time as well) and about a year in, Ken decided to pursue other avenues and we were lucky enough to get bassist Jon Shaw. So many moving parts, but I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends and musicians. I’m a lucky girl.”
Where were your first few concerts held?
“Our very first show was in our rehearsal space, the basement of the house Evan and Terry shared on May 4th. We ended up naming our EP and first recording project The May Fourth Edition in memory of our first gig together. The next show was at the Blue Monk, a now closed but iconic music venue in PDX. We were lucky enough to capture the attention of Anthony Sanchez, owner and operator of Runway Productions. He offered us a slot opening for The Chicharrones. It took off from there!”
Would you like to talk about the inspiration in creating the song “Lay Me Down”?
“Karl brought us the music after I had asked for his take on a soul tune, something that you could imagine on Daptone Records (we ended up taking it in a different direction, but that was the starting point). At the time I was really focused on drug addiction and what effects it had on people and their families as well as how little help society offers those struggling and finally, the idea that, if the circumstances were right, many people could find themselves fighting with addiction and homelessness. As rent skyrockets in Portland, more and more people are being served with 90 day
evection notices without cause…it’s a slippery slope. We wanted to talk about that struggle and highlight the PEOPLE who battle these issues daily.”
Where were the songs off of your debut self-titled about recorded?
“We recorded the bulk of the instrumentation and a large amount of the lead vocals at Flora Recording and Playback. What a beautiful place, we were thrilled to call that place home for a week. We handled strings, backup vocals and the rest of the lead vocals at the Map Room where we recorded our EP. We had a killer crew working on this project. Paul Laxer handled the production and Jeff Stuart Saltzman mixed. Both guys were amazing to work with.”
How was the recent tour? What were the highs and lows?
“We had an amazing time on the road together and the highs BY FAR out
weighed the lows. Traveling around the country with your best friends and playing music you love? Yeah, it’s pretty great. There are definite challenges, you miss your family and friends (I have a four year old, who is quite literally my best friend…I didn’t know I could miss a person that much), you don’t sleep enough, live off gas station food, have instrument problems, you worry about money (earning and spending) but, overall, you get to make friends, make people smile and learn about yourself in the process. It is truly a wonderful experience.”
What are your plans for the rest of 2016? What would you like to have going on?
“We are going to spend the rest of 2016 playing as much as we can. We have several tours coming up (at least two over the summer and one in the fall), we are playing several regional festivals and shows. We’re tossing around the idea of releasing another EP…essentially we will do whatever we can make time for!”
Where do you like to discover new music? What artists have you discovered recently that you enjoyed?
“We listen to a lot of music on the road. Everyone has different tastes and we get to explore that when we are driving forever. I’ve been playing a lot of Thundercat, King, Moorea Masa, Liz Vice, Willie West (new to me!), Charles Bradley- I must admit I rely on the guys to tell me what to listen to next. My son is really into the Star Wars Soundtrack…that’s what I listen to at home.”
Is there any special thanks that you would like to give?
“We are so grateful to have such an awesome group of people supporting us. From our family and friends, to our musical community, to our manager and our booking agent. So many people who we could not do this without. At the risk of sounding cheesy, personally, I would love to thank the boys in the band. They are my best pals, my family. I can’t even picture life without them. Those annoying dudes give me all the reason to sing, I’m pretty.”
Video: “Lay Me Down”