Garage rock and indie pop band The Dirty Clergy is from Winfield, Alabama, and has become known for taking elements from the 50s and 60s and modernizing it to create a new sound that is all their own. The band will release its latest album “Rattlesnake” on July 1. Today, Brian Manasco (guitar/keys) spoke with ETV about how the band first met, the recording process behind “Rattlesnake” and the philosophy behind why they make music.
Manasco started playing guitar in 2000 and cites Jack White as the main reason for picking up the instrument, though some of his other influences include Buddy Holly, Ramones, The Raveonettes, The Strokes, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. He met Joshua Pope (guitar) during their first practice in 2010 and had already known Brad White (vocals) since 2004.
The band released its album “Revival” less than a year after its “Truth Wars” release. It was produced and mixed by Manasco and Pope in late summer of 2011 and was released through their self-published label Happy Daze Records. The band picked up steam with the release of its first EP “The Breakdown” produced by Gordon Raphael, who is renowned for working with The Strokes and Regina Spektor.
Soon after in 2012, new bandmates Cory Moorehead (drums) and Ky Carter (bass) joined The Dirty Clergy, completing what is now the current lineup. The two members go back longer than any other members of the band, having played music together for years before they joined.
“I always tell people they came as a packaged deal,” Manasco said. “It was just the way things worked out for us in 2012. Our drummer was leaving us at the time and the bassist decided he wanted to do different things. Lucky for us the bassist knew Cody and Ky and recommended them both. So we have held the same lineup since 2012. It’s been good.”
The band would embark on a tour that would last the majority of 2012, performing material from “Revival” as well as the follow up EP “Shake.” In 2014, they re;eased “Shake, Shake,” a song that featured American Idol contestant Johnny Newcomb. The song received airplay and national coverage, landing them the title of 2014’s Rock Artist of the Year from fashion site Glitter & Stilletos.
Now with the release of “Rattlesnake” (recorded by former Verbena drummer Lester Nuby III), The Dirty Clergy is planning to make a splash in the rock and roll world by creating a lush sound that is grounded in well-crafted songwriting.
“All of 2015 was dedicated to recording this record,” Manasco said. “We began that January and finishing the tracking in August. After that is was just mixing and other additions and subtractions. The sound is kind of difficult to pin to a specific genre. Obviously we are a rock band. However, when you start branching off into sub-genre’s it gets confusing. Indie, rock, pop, garage. I guess we will just settle with ‘indie-rock-pop’n roll’. Sounds good to me. I will also note that our producer Lester Nuby III did a fantastic job in assisting us translate what we had in our heads onto the recordings.”
The first single from “All I Need” shows off the band’s signature style of merging 50s and 60s rock with a more modern take on the genre. Their classic sound is an uphill battle against the electronica world that encompasses the radio airwaves, but it’s a battle they wouldn’t have any other way.
“You don’t have to be computer generated, auto-tuned, manufactured sounds that you hear every day on the radio to make pretty good, timeless songs,” Manasco said. “It is what we do. We are a modern old school rock and roll band. We want our instruments to be heard. We want to show people that you don’t have to sit behind a computer to make a song. Pick up an instrument, learn it and do the best you can. It doesn’t have to be difficult. We do simple things and it’s been well to us so far.”
Although Manasco enjoys meeting new people on the road when touring, he said he would much rather be in the studio creating new music. So here’s to hoping the wait for the next album won’t be long. In the meantime, be sure to pre-order “Rattlesnake” available July 1.