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Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Melbourne, Australia based Rock ‘N’ Roll band Dirty Rats! Huge thanks to vocalist Wayne for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hi, Wayne here and I am lead singer for the Dirty Rats. The band has been in existence since the mid 1980’s and released a vinyl EP back in 1987 that achieved a certain cult status, but fame eluded them. Members have come and gone over the years and the current line-up includes an original member, Jamie on the bass, along with Andy on drums, Chooka on guitar and me on vocals.

How did you come up with your band name?

That one’s pretty easy. It was the 80’s and Dirty Rats sounded cool, at least to a bunch of teenagers, so it stuck.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

Dirty Rats were born and fermented in the pub circuit of inner Melbourne, home of the greatest and most active rock scene in Australia. Our sound is loud, raw and gritty, just like Melbourne.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

Our latest release is called “End In Tears” and is due for release on the 13th December this year. It’s a bit more contemporary than our last album, but doesn’t lose sight of our pub rock roots and influences. We have released this one on CD and digital, but we also decided to think outside the box a bit and released a limited edition credit card style USB. We noticed that a lot of cars these days don’t actually come with a CD player anymore, but they all have a USB port. So since our music is best listened to at full bore driving along the highway, we thought that might be a bit more convenient for our fans.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Strangely enough, although I grew up listening to Kiss and Rose Tattoo, my biggest influence has been Glenn Shorrock from the Little River Band. His songs always had great melodies and had lyrics that told stories that really spoke to me. I met him a couple of years ago and was so overwhelmed by his presence that I couldn’t even speak to him. I think he thought I was a bit slow, so he was very nice to me. I hate to admit it, but I am also extremely influenced by my band mates in the Dirty Rats. They have really taught me what pub rock is all about and there is no way I could write or perform as I do now if not for them.

What first got you into music?

Music in my house growing up was Little River Band, Johnny O’Keefe and Suzie Quatro, so I had a reasonable grounding in blues based rock right from the start. My biggest musical epiphany came when a friend played me “Kiss Alive”, the first live album I had heard and certainly my introduction to a heavier rock sound. From there I progressed to bands like Rose Tattoo, AC/DC, Angels and a lifelong addiction to pub rock was born.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Man, there are so many. I would love to play with Cosmic Psychos, the Tatts, Texas Hippie Coalition, any hard rocking outfit really. I just love playing at shows where everyone is heavy and fucking loud. I am actually branching out of my comfort zone at the moment and doing some guest vocals on the next Bofo Kwo album, a symphonic black metal outfit out of Scandinavia, so that is really cool fun as well.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

We have always wanted to play the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany; I reckon that would absolutely go off. There are a few festivals here in Australia that I would love to be a part of, but we can’t really get any traction in our own country, which is a pity, but Germany is our kind of scene. We are hoping to tour in Europe next year, so fingers crossed.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Got some homemade bourbon which only had a slight chance of sending you blind! That was pretty good, but Chooka drank it all.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

It would be really cool if you purchased our albums and merchandise, but what we really want is for you to come and see us live!!!! I honestly could not give a fuck if we never sold another album, as long as all our future gigs were packed out with people dancing and drinking and singing along with our music.

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Doc Neeson, one of the greatest frontmen of all times! Great singer, great mover, just a fantastic performer all round and some of the best Aussie music of all time!

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love performing live in front of an enthusiastic audience and I love writing songs. I hate doing promotion and booking shows, it drives me mad.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

More prominence to original music and blow up all the commercial radio stations!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Well, obviously “End In Tears” by the Dirty Rats is the best rock album of all time, but if I had to pick another favourite, it would be hard to choose between “Destroyer” by Kiss or “Rising” by Rainbow.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I like digital downloads, it is just so accessible and immediate, and it kicks other formats arse for sound quality.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

We did a show at the Cherry Bar, AC/DC Lane in Melbourne and I loved playing there. It is such an iconic Melbourne rock venue and you always feel the presence of the greats who have played there in the past.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I enjoy writing, so probably writing crappy books or poetry I guess.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Michael Palin, John Cleese, Glenn Shorrock, Paul Kelly and Kevin Smith! Great mix of comedy and musical knowledge for me to mine!

What’s next for the band?

Yeah we’re working on tours of Japan, Europe and if we can get the visa stuff sorted we will go to the USA. Our last CD is for sale in Amoeba records in LA. So we really should go there….lol. Got to do dates in Australia as well! We should get onto this…

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

You can find us at all sorts of places, like;
Or wherever you buy or stream quality music.

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I had to google what they are. Described as a cake, but they look like a biscuit to me. Either way, not as good as a wagon wheel.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

The new album “End In Tears” is due for release on the 13th December and we will be playing with a couple of excellent bands that night, Avalanche and Riff Raiders, so looking forward to that. I loved the last album, but this new one is absolutely brilliant in my opinion, so I reckon all your readers should check it out and buy a copy!
Look after each other and be nice to your mothers.


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