Doing Dirt Cheap
CoC interviews Dirty Deeds
by: Adrian Bromley
It's always a treat to get special attention as a new band. Dirty Deeds are being pampered right now and they love it. Dirty Deeds, the first signee to Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris' label Beast Records (formed with Sanctuary Music boss and Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood), are getting first class treatment and, most importantly, support with their debut disc for Beast Records, called _Danger of Infection_. The album, a full-throttle love affair of 80s metal music (a la Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween), though interspersed with heavy riffs and melodic choruses, appears as a welcome addition to the metal styles of today. It may sound like old style metal, but delivers a very present day punch.

The band -- Peter Franklin (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Tony Newton (bass), Barry Fitzgibbon (lead guitar) and drummer Dave Cavill -- have just toured the shores for the first time as part of the Iron Maiden / Dio tour this summer (which was canceled due to band member health problems in Iron Maiden), but are expecting a return visit in the near future.

"It was a great time we had over there," says bassist Tony Newton from his home in England. "Everywhere we went it was to great crowd responses and stuff like that. We had a blast. We were very hesitant about coming over and playing, seeing that it was the first time we had ever been to North America, but in the end it was great. The first show in Chicago on this tour was awesome. It's always a bit nervous to play with many bands and open for someone who may have fans that don't know your music. In America, we got such a buzz to be on such a great bill, and, to top it off, the responses were good too. It was a great high for us. We were having fun and it was unfortunate that the tour was called short."

So in the crunch and grind of the hard rock / metal community, where does Newton see Dirty Deeds fitting in? "I've never called us a metal band. More of a hard rock band. Being called "metal" sounds so 80s to me. The thing about Dirty Deeds is that we are a guitar oriented band. We love guitar riffs and how they shape our music. Most bands nowadays are going for that tuned-down guitar sound, with very little melody to the vocals. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love Pantera and other heavy bands like that, I just wish they had more melody in the vocals. I think that's what we do. Heavy riffs with melody. Makes for a good mixture, I think."

About the recording process of their debut disc, Newton says, "It was a great experience for us to be working in the studio and making this record. We worked hard to make the music. But we don't really have a plan. We just create the music as it comes out. I've done lots of interviews for this LP and people are under the assumption that Dirty Deeds has some form of a master plan for making metal music come back around again. They think we have surfaced at the right time. We've been playing this music for years and we haven't changed our preference in hard rock for anyone. This is just what we create. We know the stuff we like and if it doesn't fit into what we are doing, it doesn't get written at all."

Any thoughts on how the record writing process could have been changed? Anything Newton would have changed? "Yeah... a few things. When we started working on the record, we wanted to work with mixer Nigel Green, but he was busy doing the new Iron Maiden record (_Virtual XI_). So we had to wait for the time to work with Green. That was ten months in waiting and he finally worked with us and we finished up the LP. It was great to work with him but the time frame doing this record was too long. This LP was two years in the making. I would change that if we could go back and do this again. It was worth the wait to work with Green again, but the wait... never again."

Luck has been on the side of Dirty Deeds. The story on how Deeds' bassist Newton hooked up with Iron Maiden's Harris is quite interesting. "It's a funny story. We both love soccer and I was playing in this soccer league and discovered that Steve did too. We also had other things in common -- I played bass and we both enjoyed tennis. We spoke about all of this and he came and checked out our band a couple of times and liked us. He gave us some help, telling us that our material was good, just needed a bit more work. Then he offered a small tour part on the X-Factor tour of Europe in 1996. We did that and the reactions were great. We got off the tour and went into the studio to record and we started to sort things out from there. At that time, Beast Records was just an idea and he was just concerned on helping us get a deal. Then he decided he wanted to create a label and felt the time was right. It was luck for both of us. And it has worked out since then for both parties."

"I am in this just for the fun of it," states Newton. "Sure I wanna be successful, but that success is measured by me being able to have a comfortable living from doing this. I just want to be able to continue doing this and making music. I'm not into being a millionaire or making money. If I was, I'd have been coming up with music that was big and trendy right now. We're doing what we are doing and as long as we can keep doing that, then I'll be happy. I just want to enjoy the music I'm playing and be able to maintain doing it for years to come." He finishes, "I have been playing guitar since I was twelve years old and always wanted to be a rock star and play guitar. And now, when I am on stage playing in front of thousands of people, it all comes back to me. This is all I have ever wanted to do. Hopefully this will be here for me for a long while. That's all I want out of this, as I said before. This is it for me. Nothing more."

(article submitted 1/9/1998)


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