Dirty Dreams may catch you off guard at first. Even though they call the country music capital of the world home, their one of a kind sound is unlike anything Nashville, Tennessee residents have ever heard. The band features Marshall Homra on vocals and bass, Eric Melton on drums, Mac J on guitar, Reid Magette on guitar and synth, and Josh Gillis on guitar.
The band is still relatively new to the local music scene of Nashville having been playing together for only a few years. Several of the members met while in school where their love for music brought them together as friends and later bandmates. Succinctly put by Mac J, they got together by “playing the field.” Ultimately, friendships and music helped keep Dirty Dreams alive despite member changes and other hardships.
Soon after forming, the group needed a name. In the end they settled on Dirty Dreams. A name that is both memorable and appropriate for the band that somehow fuses its dreamlike sound quality with the intensity of a garage rock band.
“I just like the way those words sound together. It’s sounds like a ‘garage’ name, but that wasn’t the intent,” said Homra.
However, if you ask Mac J, it’s all about the alliteration.
Going to a live show for Dirty Dreams after listening to their Dirty Demos album (available below), it is immediately obvious that there is a variance. Not a bad variance but one that makes you appreciate their different forms more. The live music versus the recorded tracks comes from a difference in interpretation from the band themselves. Mac J explains why you might hear a song sound completely different from their released demo.
“Some of the demos were collaborative. I like releasing the initial idea of a song and then doing something different live,” he said.
The variance between live show and recorded tracks also has to do with the changing of members since the bands formation.
“We’ve had members in and out and back in the band and we tend to vary how and what we play from show to show.”
Despite the difference in sound and the changes in line-up, Dirty Dreams continues to gain fans every time they play. Homra describes his musical inspirations as currently including Neu! and Kraftwerk while Mac J explains that when they first started he was listening to Television Personalities and The Clean. However, he also looks to Will Sergeant, Spacemen 3, Units, Throbbing Gristle, and A Frames are mainstays as well.
As any local band of any city knows, getting recognized among the masses of musicians can be one of the most daunting tasks a group will face. One of the more unique aspects of Dirty Dreams is the diversity the individual members have brought to the city. Thanks to their different backgrounds, they can bring something to the group that the others can’t which allows a melding of musical tastes and influences that other bands can’t replicate.
“Except for Eric, we all grew up in different states/cities. So I think that outsider stance allows us to be a bit refreshing for people,” commented Homra.
Though, it is possible the secret to their raw sound is actually Mac J.
“I don’t know how to play my instrument, which is different from most people in Nashville.”
While they may stand out in the Nashville music scene, Dirty Dreams still finds encouragement within the city. Homra mentions that one of the best things that the music scene has is the camaraderie between the musicians.
“Nashville has a very supportive music community that gives the underdogs a chance, which I really appreciate and respect.”
As Dirty Dreams proceeds to get gigs and wow audiences, the future for the group seems wide and expansive. The band doesn’t ask for fame or fortune in their future, they simply want to continue to play together, improve their teamwork, put out an album or two, and according to Mac J, include more synths.
“In a way, I would like to hit the reset button. I feel like that will give us a fresh start towards operating as a more collaborative unit. We’re really just now getting comfortable playing music together. That can take a while to develop,” said Homra.
Pinpointing a genre to lump Dirty Dreams into is almost impossible. The surfer rock sound mixed with the fast paced power of garage grunge may feel odd at first, but it grows on you. Soon you will be excitedly anticipating their next show. This is a band that will only get better and better. Each of the members are incredibly passionate about what they do and that translates well into their music. There is something both comforting, relaxing, and dynamic about their music causing it to be the perfect soundtrack for almost any given mood.
Their demo album, Dirty Demos, is free to download and also streaming below.