This is the inner story of the most exciting, funny and metallic collection of music released in 2015: DIRTYLICIOUS, by Romanian band Dirty Shirt.
It’s a band founded in 1995 near my hometown of Baia Mare, in Northern Transylvania, that went on to conquer the world.
The album can be streamed pretty much everywhere, and easily purchased here from anywhere in the world.
Now let’s read the story! (as published by the band on facebook)
DIRTYLICIOUS “TRACK BY TRACK” – Ep1. CIOCARLIA
– The idea of introducing the song on the album came up at the sound check before the concert in Grenoble, France (September 2013). Cosmin Petrut, our violinist at that time, played the song to test the violin sound. We thought it was awesome and started to jam with him. It was fantastic; we had some very spontaneous moments. It was clear to us that this song was going to be the opening act of “Dirtylicious”
– The song has hundred of versions, not only in Romania, but it was adapted in other East European countries. The best known interpretation is from Goran Bregovic, in the soundtrack of “Underground”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtX-V4OE50Y
– After the “European Freak Show Tour 2013”, we listened to as many versions of the song as possible in order to be able to choose the one that inspired us the most. Thus, the Dirty Shirt version is based on George Enescu’s arrangement.
– Before recording the album, we prepared some “home-made” instrumental demos, and as “leading” track we used the version recorded by Tudor Pana in 1986: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxvSNdOV2Aw
– “Ciocarlia” was the only song where Marius Sabo (violins) recorded the song in two different studio sessions. After he finished the recordings, we listened to all the violin parts and he found his performance not quite at its best. So he asked to record the song once again. He was right: his last performance was just awesome and remained on the record.
– When we saw the pictures of Maramures (the region where we live, in the Nord-West of Transylvania, Romania) made by Alex Robciuc, that became famous recently after publication on Bored Panda and many others, we thought it would be great to make a video using these pictures. It just so happens that Alex is a fan and after seeing Dirty Shirt live several times he was glad to do this video project with us. Afterwards, Cristian Balanean (guitar player in the band and author of our previous videos) added FX, 3D, camera movements and other video tricks to create this particular ambiance in the video.
DIRTYLICIOUS “TRACK BY TRACK” – Ep 2. MONEYOCRACY
– Moneyocracy was the first song composed and recorded in demo version on this album, but at the same time, it was the song that was finished the last one. It’s probably the track that “suffered” the most changes and had different versions. In time we changed the harmony of the verses and we tested at least 3 different melodic lines. We did the same thing for the chorus, where we tried a lot of different vocal lines. The final version was set a couple of weeks before the vocal recordings. The only part that didn’t change was the main riff. We just added some crazy synths and loops to make the sound more industrial.
– At the beginning the song was much longer, but even if some of the parts were great, they were “cut” because we preferred a direct, simple and contrasted song: a very aggressive main riff, a traditional verse and a melodic chorus.
– The verse is an original composition, based on standard harmony and melodic lines from Transylvanian folk music. The strong East European accent wasn’t planned. While recording the vocals, we found that the “standard” performance was a little flat, lifeless. Rini and Robi tried different interpretations, and the one with the accent was the best, so we kept it on the album.
– The first name of the song (at demo version stage) was “Brutalicious”. The second name was “A house of cards”, but we completely changed the vocal lines, the lyrics too and now it’s “Moneyocracy”
– Even if the song had a continuous evolution, the main theme of the lyrics remained the same: a critical and satirical perspective of this world, governed by money, power and interests. Leonard Ciocan, our lyric writer, did an extraordinary job.
DIRTYLICIOUS “TRACK BY TRACK” – Ep 3. MENTAL CSARDAS
– Csárdás is a traditional Hungarian folk dance, the name derives from csárda (old Hungarian term for tavern). It originated in Hungary and was popularized by Romani music (Cigány) bands in Hungary and the neighboring lands including Transylvania
– Mental Csárdás, is one of the first songs composed on the album, but compared to “Moneyocracy”, the song had very few modifications in time.
– It is an original song, even if the main theme was composed in a traditional style.
– The “internal” name, before having the lyrics, was “Metal Csárdás”. As the song is one of the most crazy and complex ones on the album, Leo Ciocan (our lyric writer) adapted it to “Mental Csárdás”. To keep maximum of authenticity, the chorus lyrics are in Hungarian.
DIRTYLICIOUS “TRACK BY TRACK” – Ep 4. MARAMU’
– Maramu’ is short for Maramures, the name of the region where the band lives. Maramures is the land of wooden churches, mythological richness, impressive landscapes and ancient customs. It has carefully preserved the culture, traditions, and lifestyle of a medieval peasant. Check out the video “Ciocarlia”, made by our talented guitarist and based on some amazing images of Maramures, taken by Alex Robciuc: https://youtu.be/BBUHVt6Hzl0?list=PL2D684CF3A9D8E8E2
– The song is entirely inspired by traditional music of Maramures, and adapts and combines several folklore songs.
– We did a lot of research (in old books and on the internet) to make the lyrics work for the song, which combines aggressive and more melodic and traditional parts. We wanted to show how cool and strong the guys from Maramures are, and it worked. This is why the “internal” name of the song was “Cojones de Maramu’” smile emoticon
– The intro, based on the traditional song “Balada lui Pintea”, was added later on, to prepare the audience and to add a specific ambiance to the song. It was funny how two different musicians of the band (Mihai and Rini) had the same idea about this intro, without even speaking to each other.
DIRTYLICIOUS “TRACK BY TRACK” – Ep 5. BALKANIQUE
– The song is structured around a main theme, which is the base for the intro, the chorus and the outro. This theme was composed by Mihai while singing his child to sleep.
– The vocal lines on the verses suffered several changes; Rini’s interpretation with the accent wasn’t planned. Trying to sing with the best French accent possible wasn’t so great, so Rini tried a “free” version, gipsy style, with a strong East European accent. We found this interpretation great.
– The lyrics for this song were the most difficult to write, because the ambiance of the song wasn’t compatible with our favorite themes (social, environmental and political issues). This is why they were written by three different people: Leo Ciocan (our lyric writer), Vali Mihnea (Bodark) and Mihai. The French verse was written after we decided the name of the song
– The “internal” name, before choosing the lyrics theme, was “Miami Bitch”
DIRTYLICIOUS “TRACK BY TRACK” – Ep 6. DULCE-I VINU
– “Dulce-i vinu’ ” (“Sweet is the wine”) is the song that combines the most different inspiration sources. The main one is the traditional song “Bun ii vinul ghiughiului” interpreted by Maria Tanase (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA8Bir3kdSQ). We adapted the chorus and we used the lyrics for the vocal line on the verses. Other inspirations were the songs “Butelcutza” and “Touch Too” from our friends Defect: for the funky part and the aggressive ending we added vocals borrowed from Defect. At the end, Rini’s singing a drinking song from Maramures. It wasn’t planed, but we thought it was very funny and compatible with the rest of the song.
– All traditional songs used in the track are party and drinking songs, but since the track has very aggressive parts, we also wanted to show the “reverse” side of the coin and the negative parts of alcohol.
– As the song is based on complex measures and rhythm changes, the “internal” name, before finishing the lyrics, was “For Toca with Love”. Toca is our drummer