Dirty Shirt are the Romanian winners of this years Wacken Metal Battle. They play at Wacken along with all the other Metal Battle winners from all over the world to compete for the Over All Metal Battle Champion!
I am Mihai, guitarist, synth player and main songwriter in Dirty Shirt, winner of Metal Battle Romania this year. The band was formed in the nineties, and released the first album in 2000, which had more of a progressive rock sound. In 2004, after a several-year long hiatus, we reunited, but decided to experiment and develop our own sound before releasing a new record. As a result, the second studio album, ‘Same Shirt Different Day’ was released in 2010, followed by our third and latest album ‘Freak Show‘ in 2013. We are currently busy touring and working on our next album, ‘Dirtylicious‘, that we would like to release in the spring of 2015.
How would you describe your sound?
I would say that musically we are one of the most original bands in Romania (and not only I hope). Our sound is a cross between various musical elements (East European traditional music, world music, funk, electro, etc.) and modern rock/heavy metal. In the band, we all have eclectic musical tastes, which has helped us develop this sound.
How would you describe the metal music scene in your country? What has changed over the last few years?
Over the last years, the Romanian metal scene has developed strongly, with more and more interesting and well-produced bands surfacing. Additionally, live performances and venues have also improved a great deal. All in all, I’d say that now there’s a more professional attitude among bands, sound engineers and promoters alike. All this is clearly good news and makes me optimistic about the future.
Why did you enter the WOA Metal Battle Competition?
Like most bands, we also entered the competition for the opportunity to play at such an important festival as Wacken. This can open doors and have a major impact on our career. We just have to stay focused and believe in ourselves.
What was your initial reaction when you found out that you have won & you were playing at Wacken.
We were obviously elated, given that we’ve waited for this moment for several years. After two previous attempts, we finally achieved this dream.
What was the best and worst part of the competition for you.
The best part is to come and play at Wacken! As for the worst part, it occurred in last year’s semifinals, when we experienced some technical troubles. It happens.
Would you recommend the competition to other bands. Any hints/tips for bands that are looking to enter?
Certainly, we’ve already recommended it and will continue to do so. Our advice to them is to persevere and believe in themselves. At the national finals, the level of each band is very good (or it should be), so winning depends on several factors, including chance. If you keep trying and your band is good, you should normally win.
What can the audience expect from you at the festival.
We are going to Wacken very motivated and eager to play a great show. We always give 100% at on our gigs, because we believe that playing live, being in contact with the public, and sharing our passion with them is the most important and beautiful part of a musician’s career. We will thoroughly enjoy playing at Wacken, and I believe the public will respond to our enthusiasm.
What has been the bands biggest achievement so far.
It’s difficult to point out a single achievement, because Dirty Shirt has been constantly growing since we reunited in 2004. We’ve become better and more successful with each album and tour. Surely, the last year and a half has been the best period in our career thus far. Our latest album ‘Freak Show’ has received much praise in the national and international press, including excellent reviews in well-respected European rock magazines such as Rock Hard Germany, Hard Rock Mag France, Rock Hard Slovakia (interview plus mention on the cover), Metal Hammer Hungary, etc. Moreover, the public welcomed this album with open arms. Since the album’s release last March, we’ve had around 60 shows (in Romania, Germany, Belgium and France), and the tour is continuing even if we’re planning to record an ambitious new album later this year. In the meantime, we released four videos, including one made in collaboration with the famous mountain-bike manufacturer Commençal. Not least, I think another achievement was the remix contest for the track ‘Freak Show’ in partnership with the famous Swedish company Propellerhead (one of the leading developers and manufacturers of music software and hardware), in which dozens of artists from around the world took part.
Unfortunately, I’ve never attended the festival yet, because it is located very far from where I live. But I hope to make up for it in the future :)
What is your opinion of the Wacken line-up?
The line-up appears eclectic, something that I personally enjoy very much. There are several bands I’ve never seen live before, and Wacken will give me this great opportunity.
Can you sum up Wacken in one sentence?
Anyone knows this sentence: the biggest metal festival on the Planet! Of course, there are other big festivals, but none is focused on metal at such extent.
Any message you wish to pass on to the PM readers.
First, I’m grateful you gave us the opportunity to talk about Dirty Shirt on Planetmosh. The message that I’d like to pass on to the readers is to support local scenes, because there are great bands everywhere in the world. Check them out, they are only ‘one click away’.