Devlin Flynn: A Chat With Dirty Jeans

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Photo by Nigel Stewart

HM: So how long have you been playing together for?

Ashley: Kelly and I have been playing together for about two years and Lindsay joined the band almost a year ago now.

HM: Did you guys grow up together and develop as musicians or is this alliance a more recent formation?

Kelly: We kinda did slog it. We’ve always been trying to start bands and jamming together or other people, going apart and coming back together and then going apart and then finally we made it out of the basement!

HM: How did you two meet?

Ashley: We met through the all ages music scene in Burlington. I used to run shows at the Y and Kelly would come and volunteer sometimes. That’s how we met and then we we’re like, “Hey, we like The Smashing Pumpkins! Let’s play songs together!”

HM: What were all of your first encounters with the concept of being musicians?

Kelly: I used to work at this banquet center in Burlington and the three guys that worked there were all in bands and they were they told me that I had to go to these shows at the YMCA and kept telling me, “Come to my show, come to this show” and I thought to myself that if these idiots could do it then I could totally have a band.

Lindsay: Mine’s really nerdy. Just frikken school back in the day, grade six or seven I started playing trombone and I wanted to play drums because I got bored of trombone but the teacher said I couldn’t because THIS dude is playing them. So I waited and waited and I just watched him the whole time because I needed to do it, I had to do it because I was told I couldn’t. So eventually I did and I was in every single band and would do everything after school, I just needed to play all the time.

Ashley: Mine is also super nerdy. I was in singing since I was five. I just always wanted to be a performer. I didn’t know to what capacity but I was in theatre and acting, all of that. My mom put me in opera and then in grade seven I started to learn about these shows in Burlington and all of these local bands and stuff and I realized that this scene was accessible and I could be a part of it. So that is how I got into “band” music and left the classical and traditional route. And then booking all of these shows through my teen years and into college kind of kept it fresh and constant for me.

HM: Are there any other things that allow you to feel like a fulfilled person besides music? Or does music feel like your only vice?

Lindsay: For me music is because I’ve seen myself without it and it is not good. I’ve seen myself when I can’t play to the capacity that I want to or that I am used to, AKA rehearsing one or two times a week, playing gigs every other week, when having a band was no longer a thing so it was just like “Oh it’s just little ol’ me now. Now What?”

Ashley: I think music chooses you, you don’t choose music. I think there are a lot of things I do that make me tick but it is kind of the same thing as Lindsay. I think about all the things in my life: I’m a photographer and an artist beyond music, but if I couldn’t do those other things it wouldn’t make me as sad as it would if I couldn’t do music. If I couldn’t sing anymore I’d probably be the saddest person you’d ever meet, and I’m a pretty happy person so that would be weird!

Kelly: For me it is totally different. Music is a third of… I don’t know if you want to call it your soul or your being, to avoid sounding super cheesy, but I am a film school graduate so making alternative films and having that one visual outlet is important. When you add music over top of it speaks so much deeper to people and resonates a lot better. I also like to write poetry. What the poetry lacks in language, visuals- music picks it up and makes it hit twenty times harder.

Ashley: That’s actually a really good point Boag (Kelly). We are a very DIY band in the fact that we touch everything; we don’t have a manager, we don’t have a label, we don’t hire designers.

Kelly: We don’t have money.

Ashley: So with being a band it’s not just the music, it’s everything that goes with it. It’s actually being a BAND.

HM: A large portion of listeners when referring to you would use the term “all-girl-band”. Do you embrace this terminology or do you resent it?

Kelly: I have battled with that, because in the last little while I thought that was so stupid, sexist and belittling, but you know what? Looking back, with all those “girl bands” and pop acts in the 90s girl power was commercial and I bought into that and that is a part of what has gotten me here so obviously there must be some validity to that term. Without it I wouldn’t be here! So I’m going to own it. Girl power worked for me and “girl group” whatever, if people want to call it that because it’s easier to digest… if they want to do that because it’s easier… it’s not even about that.

Ashley: If it inspires a bunch of girls to start a band ten years from now, yeah, I’ll own that. If it inspires people to play music than yes I am totally okay with that.

Kelly: We are not bigger or better than that.

We moved forward with debates about the dominance of pie over cake and favourite animals. It was truly a blast to talk to these dudes and get to know them a bit. It feels a little cold transcribing this to fit a certain amount of pages because the talk I had with them was a warm and jokes experience. Check their music out and though they may scare you when you see a gig, don’t be afraid to talk to them afterwards because they are awesome folks.

Cheers.

Read Devlin Flynn’s review of the show HERE