Interview: The Dirty Nil Discuss ‘Master Volume’ and Share Playlist

Posted: by The Editor

The Dirty Nil are a picture perfect example of an absolute in-your-face, Canadian punk outfit, and they are about to release their sophomore masterpiece, Master Volume, on September 14th through Dine Alone Records (now streaming on Noisey). While the label is known for its gritty rockers, The Dirty Nil prove they aren’t just another group of dudes slashing guitars. Not only did they recently win a Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year (2017), but they have also opened for acts like Against Me!, The Who, and more.

As one would expect after years of touring, much of the album was brainstormed while on the road. Compared to their debut album, Higher Power, the process behind Master Volume was practically expedited. Produced by the extremely talented and renowned John Goodmanson (credits including: Death Cab, Bikini Kill, and more), listeners are in for an absolute angst-ridden treat.

Can’t wait for the album? Neither can we, which is why we have something to get you by until it’s official release. We asked the band to curate a playlist featuring some of their biggest inspirations during the creation of Master Volume. Spoiler alert, it’s insane. Take a listen to the aeclectic collection as you read our interview with drummer, Kyle Fisher, about the production process below.

The Alternative: Why were these artists/songs an inspiration to you?  

Kyle Fisher: They all fucking rip in their own right. These songs are the ones we put on to get pumped up. The DOOM track for me especially. I take a lot of cues from hip hop beats when adding my parts to the songs. There’s nothing better to me than a killer backing track on a song and that fuels my mind.

What aspects in particular sparked creativity?

It’s hard to put that into words because it’s such an unconscious thing that we do. These songs were being tossed around in the van a lot so it was what we were all sharing around with each other. It put us in the same musical headspace as one another, which helps us be creative as a unit. Luke brings his ideas in and then we chop them up together and make the finished track. We all add our own flavour from influences of what we hear. These songs were the soundtrack to our lives at the time we created Master Volume.

Where can you see bits of these influences on the album?

It’s all peppered throughout. A magician never reveals his tricks or whatever.

After waiting years to release your first full length, what was different about the process for the second one?

The second one came together a lot quicker which felt really great. It was an extremely focused effort. We played together everyday, hammering away at the ideas Luke would bring into our rehearsal space. We were touring heavily at the time as well, so a good chunk of it came together on the road either during soundcheck, when we had time, or Luke and Ross trying stuff in the van. Once we had the songs we needed we just recorded everything and picked the 10 best ones to be what is now Master Volume.

Can you tell me a little bit about working with John Goodmanson and how it affected the record?

John is a fucking awesome guy and we had a blast working with him. We flew him up to Toronto from Seattle and he stayed at our house (we all live together) for a few days while did pre-pro in Hamilton. He is so relaxed in the studio which was the perfect vibe. We always felt comfortable and he really connected with how we do things. We spent our time either recording or getting him to tell us all the stories he had from over the years. One of our biggest achievements was getting him super into Metallica, because we had just been watching all their documentaries almost religiously and John went down the rabbit hole with us. While we were tracking, John was able to steer us into our best performances and always got exactly what he was looking for out us. Everything you hear is the band in top form. We couldn’t have made this record without him.

What’s something that was special/unique to this recording process that fans wouldn’t pick up from listening?

“Evil Side” was a different approach to recording than we’d ever done before. It was the first song we ever had come together in the studio. The base of the song was figured out when we got their but John really helped us build the massive crescendo of noise at the end of the track. Our friend Connor Bennett came and played sax over it (as well as on “Please, Please Me”) and we put organ and piano and a whack of other instruments on top. John pieced it all together and that’s how we finished it off.

Final words?

We will be in the road a lot over the next little while so be sure to catch us where you can. We hope you enjoy the new record!

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Emily Kitchin | @deathnap4cutie

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