Johannesburg rock and roll band Dirty Moonshine discuss their new album, their video for “Toxic Waltz”, making Moonshine and what’s next for the band

Johannesburg rock and roll band Dirty Moonshine discuss their new album, their video for “Toxic Waltz”, making Moonshine and what’s next for the band
Johannesburg rock and roll band Dirty Moonshine have been steadily making a name for themselves in the South African Music scene since forming in 2014.  Through hard work, great music and a series of partnerships with local entrepreneurs, including Silver Creek Distillery, the band has formed valuable friendships with companies/businesses within the South African community.
Consisting of Roy Epstein (guitar/vocals), Allan Lancaster (guitar), Dave Freedman (bass) and Wez Creeper (drums), the band started as a side project between Wez and Roy who later recruited Allan and Dave.  Combining their thrash metal, metalcore and punk influences with many other genres, their sound has been described as dirty rock and roll.
After 3 years of hard work and a successful Thundafund Campaign, the band released their debut album, entitled Bottom Of The Barrel, on July 27th of this year.
With plenty of show and festival appearances to keep them busy through the rest of the year, the band has no plans to slow down anytime soon. They plan to do more tours around South Africa next year to promote their album and to keep expanding their name and growing their fanbase.
They recently released 2 videos, one for “Toxic Waltz”, which saw them team up with director Marios Nicolettis and Ministry Of Illusion, as well as one for Shake The Roof. With no signs of slowing down, Dirty Moonshine is destined for great things.
You can check out the video for Toxic Waltz below.  Staff writer Emily May spoke recently to the band via email about the new album, the video for Toxic Waltz, their partnerships with local entrepreneurs and what’s next for the band.  You can stay up-to-date with the band and all upcoming tour dates, watch their videos and stream and purchase their album via the links below.
You guys recently released your debut album Bottom Of The Barrel, an album that was three years in the making. What was the journey like to make the album and how does it feel to finally have it out into the world? I read that you were also involved in every aspect of the album, from writing, producing, marketing and design concepts. Was it always your plan to be completely involved in the process?Dave: This album really did take a while but for a band that starts with no reputation we thought it would be important for us to build up the band by playing shows and getting out there so that when we released the album we would have had some fan base to engage with. We couldn’t have felt more relieved when we competed the album and could hold it in our hands. Well in South Africa you don’t normally have other people doing your stuff for you and it essentially comes down to having a D.I.Y attitude otherwise nothing will get done or you will be paying a fortune for other people to do these things for you. We are just very lucky that we have skilled and talented members of this band that can do these things and save us that fortune.You guys included many different genres in the new album in an effort to make your songs as unique as possible. What kinds of musical backgrounds do you each come from and what kinds of influences did you each bring to the band?

Wez: We usually try to take influences from everywhere and any type of genre. If you shut yourself off to other genres then I feel you are just stubbing your own nose. We all have different backgrounds in music. Al and myself studied contemporary music and were in a thrash metal band together. Al also played in a punk band for a time. Roy and Dave played in a metalcore band together back in the day, so we have just mashed that all up with some other influences to make the sound we have now. It wasn’t really a thought it just sort of turned into the style we play now. All we new is that we wanted to write and play some dirty ass Rock n Roll.

I read that Dirty Moonshine was initially supposed to be only a side project but that you guys clicked so well and had a great energy and vibe together. What are your favorite things about being in a band together?

Wez: Well at the time I was playing for a theatre company called The Barnyard Theatres and didn’t have much time to start a new band. Roy and myself were writing music together and we were really enjoying it so it was just supposed to be Roy and myself in the beginning but we came to the realization that these songs need a full band backing them so that’s when Al and Dave entered the fold. We all knew each other from some space in time. To be honest it is the easiest band I have been a part of, as we all just really get along and have the same goals for this band. Sure we might have a tiny tiff here and there but we really are all brothers and have been through hell to make this what it is now. Wouldn’t do it with any other guys!

You guys have branded your own Moonshine in the past and are looking to make more in the future. Do you make it yourselves? Do you have any in the works currently? What led to your interest in moonshine and what kinds of flavors do you make?

Dave: We have indeed. We actually met a guy at a show who told us that he makes moonshine and asked if he could make some for us, so we jumped on the opportunity and we labelled it ourselves and handed it out at our shows. I won’t lie though. That batch of moonshine probably caused a couple of lost brain cells. It was potent stuff! We have now actually partnered with a company that makes moonshine and all sorts of other alcoholic spirits called Silver Creek Distillery. They have all sorts of flavours but our favourite is apple pie flavour. A bottle of that doesn’t last long around the boys I can tell you that! There is no talk of doing a Dirty Moonshine flavoured bottle at the moment, but we just love working with the Silver Creek Distillery crew.

You guys have met some amazing entrepreneurs over the years who have become close friends and supporters, such as The High Street Beard Oil, MerchStore and Jailhouse Customs (who made you a custom cigar box guitar!). How did you come to meet and work with these entrepreneurs/businesses?

Roy: We met most of them at shows or through our social media platforms. It’s really all Dave who mingles and socializes like a boss and has made really good contacts for us. We are extremely lucky that these people have given their precious time and awesome products to support local music and especially the rock scene. We are very grateful and the partnerships and networking between us and the respective brands continues today, as much as they help us, we attempt to help these incredible entrepreneurs in return.

Your video for “Toxic Waltz” was recently released. What can you tell me about the song and the inspiration behind the video? How did you meet and come to work with director Marios Nicolettis, as well as with Ministry of Illusion?

Allan: The song was in our arsenal for a long time and people seemed to really enjoy it at our shows so we figured it would be a good single and video. Wez wrote the lyrics loosely based on a movie called “Interstate 60”. We came into contact with Ministry of Illusion through Dave and Roy’s friend who actually used to be in a band with them back in the day. That’s really where it started and they offered to do a video for us and wrote up an awesome concept that had half naked women, bikes and Rock & Roll in it so we could never have said no. Haha. We were blown away by how the video turned out. They did an excellent job and we couldn’t be happier with the final product.

In 2014, you guys played an event to raise money for The Widows and Orphans Fund for members of the South African Police Force, and were more recently involved with the Harley-Davidson Johannesburg 2018 K.I.D.S. Blanket Run to distribute blankets to charities in Gauteng. How often is the band involved with charitable events and do you have any others going forward? How important is it for you guys as a band to give back to and support the South African community when you can 

Allan: Those were great events to be a part of and for extremely great causes. From the start of the band we have always done a couple of charity shows a year and we want to keep that going. We try squeeze in a charity show every quarter where we can. It is not only important for us as a band but every citizen of this country to give back whenever they get the chance. In a third world country like ours we all have to try and stick together and help out where we can and I must say the alternative music scene are legends at this!

Wez and Roy- The two of you were recently involved with an Alice Cooper and Motley Crue tribute show (which sounds super fun)! How did the show come about and do the two of you play tribute shows often? Do you ever do tributes for other bands? Allan and Dave- have the two of you ever performed a tribute show?

Wez – I have always wanted to do a tribute show to both those artists as I haven’t seen an Alice Cooper tribute show in this country before. I just love both those bands and wanted to play those tunes, so I put the show together with lots of awesome musicians and we had a fantastic time. We definitely want to do different artists but that was the first one we did as this company but look forward to what is to come in the future. Dave and Allan haven’t done a tribute show as yet but believe me I will be getting them involved in one soon enough whether they like it or not!

What’s next for the band?

Dave: We have another single and music video releasing soon to aid in the promotion of “Bottom of the Barrel”. We actually started yesterday with the new project. At the moment we have some really rad shows and festivals booked for the remainder of the year. We are adjusting our strategy next year slightly to start doing more tours around South Africa in an effort to grow the Dirty Moonshine footprint and promote the album. There are talks of international adventures, but we are planning carefully and looking to see where to hit first.


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