It was the mutual love of music that brought together displaced Californians Quinn Chavez (lead guitar) and Gabe Daley (drums) in the Spring of 2015. Following a few surprisingly decent jam sessions in a friend of a friend’s parent’s garage loft, the duo resolved to name their concept The Dirty Low Down. After playing through unstructured riffs in a hot garage, Carlo Swepson (rhythm guitar) joined the outfit. Meeting up on the weekends over the course of several months, the three had fleshed out the barebones of a handful of songs. They then began seeking out other collaborators. From the depths of social media wanted ads, Quinten Whalen (bass) and Jessica Dailey (vocals) filled the remaining and crucial roles in Fall of 2017.
1. Where does the name come from?
The name is borrowed from the Boz Scaggs song “The Lowdown.” Essentially it means to tell the uncensored truth; initially I had just thought it would make a cool band name. We try to keep true to the name though, playing original music and only writing songs that feel natural for us.
It varies from song to song. Most start off nameless. Once we establish a “mood” we name it and then Jess comes up with lyrics. We tweak the structure a lot throughout this process.Â Lyrics are often a product of personal experience and conversations we’ve had as a band (we may or may not have written a song about Mario Kart).
As musicians, we’re all just trying to get close to the artists that have influenced us, we also happen to love our sound and want to share it with anyone willing to listen! Performing is the best way to do that, get experience, and move closer to that professional status like some of our heroes. It’s exciting for us and we all relish the opportunity to be loud.
3. What has it been like being a part of the Carolina music scene?
The Dirty Low Down as a band is new to the scene, but eager to make friends and get to know the community. Quinten, Gabe, and I have all had experience playing in North Carolina and California over the last several years. So far we’ve been welcomed via social media and are really looking forward to getting even more entrenched.
4. Do you have any favorite spots to play at around town and what are some of your favorite show moments?
NoDa is always a great time with places like Jack Beagles and the Evening Muse. Getting up there, seeing our friends in the crowd and connecting with new people really makes our efforts in the garage or on stage worth while. As a group we’re pretty social and just enjoy interacting with other music lovers. After our set you can probably find us in the crowd or chatting it up with the bartender. We plan on playing every venue available to us in the Queen City and we’re not shy about it.
5. Who are some of your influences?
We’re a bit eclectic and draw our inspiration from bands like Rage Against the Machine, Paramore, and Dance Gavin Dance. Some of us pull techniques or ideas from artists outside our assumed genre like Alison Wonderland, Meshuggah, and Childish Gambino. TDLD is a distillation of many interests into something I’ve termed Progressive Garage Rock.
By the end of 2018 we plan to have recorded and put out a polished EP. No name as of yet, but we’re in the middle of deciding what songs to track and how to finance the project. Our single for “Undercut” was well-received earlier this year and we’re stoked to get moving on a larger release.
In general we’re focused on polishing our sound and improving our stage presence. Upgrading our equipment, writing new songs, and getting our name out there is on our list so to speak.
7. Who are some of your favorite artists in town that you like to perform with or see live?
We’ve been keeping an eye out for opportunities to play with bands like Downtown Abby and the Echos, Pink Pots, Dollar Signs, Rosewave, and Jaggermouth . Our live-experience in Charlotte is somewhat limited but these artists have really impressed us as listeners.
The Dirty Low Down is a Progressive Garage act from Charlotte, NC. Jess Dailey on Vocals, Quinn Chavez and Carlo Swepson on Guitar, Quinten Whalen on Bass, Gabe Daley on Drums