Peace, Truth, and Rock N’ Roll (Q&A With The Virginmarys)

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The Virginmarys is a rock band from the UK, consisting of band members Ally Dickaty, Danny Dolan, and Matt Rose. Mixing the power of the grunge era with the vigor of punk, the Virginmarys create hard rock reminiscent of the Foo Fighters. Their music relays messages reflective of societal issues and the values of peace, unity, and truth. The band released their debut album “King of Conflict” in 2013 under Wind Up Records. They have toured with multiple artists, like Slash and Eagles of Death Metal. They are currently on tour with Shinedown and about to drop their sophomore album, “Divides,” this May.  

How long have you been playing music together as a band?

We’ve been around about 6 or 7 years as the three of us. We originally released a lot of EPs and hit the road to get a fan base - grow it the old fashioned way. Then we got signed and released an album. We’ve toured America a few times now and we’re about to release the second album. We’re really excited.

How would you describe your music?

It’s intense rock n’ roll - some influences of punk and some grunge - but when it comes down to it, it’s just honest, intense rock n’ roll music.

What’s the story behind your newest single “Motherless Land?”

It’s basically a song about escaping from what’s going on today. It’s about trying to get out of society and live off the grid, but it’s the same motherless land. It’s kind of almost like mother nature is no longer able to take care of what we do. It feels like you’re fucking everything up. It’s about couples who feel trapped and they’re just watching the world through the eyes of the media and the news and just escaping to live life off the grid.

What are some of the other new influences and inspirations for this new album that’s coming out?

Lyrically, it’s just taking a lot of the world around us - and I don’t know, it’s quite painful at this minute, there are millions of people starving and there are dudes that are just incredibly rich - it’s a social commentary really, lyrically. But musically, we don’t really take or listen to stuff just to try to sound like anything. It’s whatever comes out at the time. The three of us get together in the practice room and that’s what comes out.

So, would you say the album is more of a reflection of today’s society and what’s going on in the world? Are there some messages you’re trying to deliver in this new album related to that?

Yeah, there’s always going to be the message of love, hope, and peace, and sticking together and not going crazy with it. I think it’s the need to divide and conquer that separates people into groups and people end up blaming, or finding a scapegoat in certain sections of people, but it should be people getting united to go against those on top. So it’s an overall vibe of getting together, peace, and getting to the bottom of the actual truth rather than feeling like you’re being lied to.

What would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve taken away from making music and the music industry in general?

Stay true to yourself because it’s easy to get seduced and think you have to be something other than what you are. There’s no way we could sing and perform the way we do if we were ever going to change our music to be how people in the industry would want to see us. If you just stick together as a band, no matter what, as long a you’re honest, and play from the heart, that’s always going to come across to the audience and I think they appreciate that.

What track are you most excited to share with everyone?

We’re just absolutely, really happy with all of them. The last track of the album is quite epic - I’m really happy with it. It’s called “Living in my Peace.” There’s a song called “Moth to a Flame,” that I’m really happy about. We literally have about 20 to 35 songs we have to choose from and then we have to cut it down to 12 to fit on the album.. so we’re all really happy with them.

How do you make that decision when you’re cutting down those tracks? 

It’s incredibly difficult. We were lucky enough to work with Gil Norton, the producer. We all sat together and there were tracks we all felt strongly about and there were ones that maybe only some people wanted to go on the album. So, it’s a difficult process, really, because you might have a favorite song, but not everyone is feeling it or you already have that vibe of the song on the album.

How has it been touring with Shine Down?

It’s been really cool! We did the first show, recently, in Portland.

You’ve toured with a lot of other artists, such as Slash and Eagles of Death Metal… what are you looking forward to most on this upcoming tour?

We’ve never been to Seattle before. It’s kind of like a pilgrimage because of all the cool bands that come from Seattle. But there’s a lot places on the West Coast that we’ve never played before, so this has been a really cool experience for us. We’re also playing at South by South West and we then we have a gig in New York and New York is always incredible. But I’d say Seattle sticks out most, because it has always been a place we’ve wanted to visit. To play on the same stage that Nirvana has played on - that’s pretty incredible.

What is your favorite song to perform live?

That’s difficult… It kind of varies each night. It’s really cool to be playing these new songs from the album. A lot of the Shine Down fans haven’t heard our music before and to see the new songs get a better reception than the old songs is really encouraging. 

Is there anything new we can expect to see on this upcoming tour?  

We put everything into every show and come off the stage saturated with sweat. We put on a full performance and the crowd needs to see that you believe in what you do. And we do! We just want to give that honest rock n’ roll music to the audience. We can’t wait to get this album out there to them and to see them at the show! 

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