Dirty Filthy Mugs, a Los Angeles-based punk band who write anthems reminiscent of Irish drinking songs, are quickly becoming a household name on the west coast and beyond. With a relentless touring schedule and constant release of new material, the Mugs are sure to spread their good cheer as far as the eye can see. Thrillcall caught up with lead vocalist Matt Wedgley, who has previously been in The Force (with Hunter Bergen of AFI), and VIVA HATE (with Geoff Kresge, ex-AFI, Tiger Army), at SXSW this year in Austin. After performing a blistering set at The Parlor, here’s what the boys in Dirty Filthy Mugs had to say:
THRILLCALL: Dirty Filthy Mugs started out as a side-project for you from your main band at the time, Viva Hate. What drove you to start this group, and how did you all meet?
DIRTY FILTHY MUGS: I’ve known the guys in the band since around ‘96 when they were in a band called The Gain and I was in The Force. The Gain was one of my favorite bands at the time. We played shows together quite a bit in the late 90’s, but after both of our bands broke up, we ended up losing touch for about 10 years or so. The Gain played a reunion show in Reno in 2008 and I drove up there to watch them make fools of themselves. It was really great hanging out with them again! Steve contacted me shortly after to tell me he wanted to start a new project and I jumped at the chance. Dirty Filthy Mugs is all 3 members of The Gain plus myself on vocals and Timbecile on squeezebox and guitar. This band has actually become my full time band and Viva Hate is more of a part time thing now.
THRILLCALL: Your live show has certainly evolved from the early days. Has the amount of time you’ve spent on the road effected that?
DIRTY FILTHY MUGS: Absolutely. The more shows we play the stupider we get. Everything we do live is spontaneous and in the moment. Nothing is ever planned. We don’t really get the chance to rehearse much so we try to play as many shows as possible so we don’t have to pay for a rehearsal space. This band was created to play live and we have a blast at every show!
THRILLCALL: You just released a new record, Up In The Downs. Where did you record that, and how was that experience?
DIRTY FILTHY MUGS: We recorded it with Bradley Cook at his studio in Eagle Rock. He’s done every Mugs release to date. We’re all very happy with the way the record turned out! I think it sounds great but I personally don’t really care about the recording process. I never have. I know it’s part of being in a band but if it were up to me, I’d just play live. I don’t know anything about recording and I have no interest in learning. Just bring on the shows!
THRILLCALL: Congrats on playing Punk Rock Bowling this year. What other big plans do you guys have for the future?
DIRTY FILTHY MUGS: Thanks! We’re really stoked to be playing it! So many great bands… Dropkick Murphys, Stiff Little Fingers, Descendents, Cock Sparrer, Undertones, Bouncing Souls, Aggrolites… I think this will be the best year yet! Punk Rock Bowling is always a great time and I’m honored to be a part of it. The Mugs will keep busy with more shows and touring the rest of the year. We’ll start working on another album as well. We have no plans of slowing down.