Artist Spotlight:Getting To Know The Band – Dirtycakes

in Real Talk

This Artist Spotlight for The LGBT Sentinel features an interview with Charlie Tichenor of the punk band Dirtycakes, an authentic and talented band that loves to set the vibe when playing live. The band is fun and features heavy songs about rock & roll that you can dance to – a classic drugs, sex, and rock and roll type band with inclusive ideals and a loving message.

Amelia: How long has the band been around for, officially?
Charlie T: Dirtycakes has been around for a few years, started after I (Charlie) met the bass player, Rick Torres, who was formerly lead guitar player in The English Beat. We met at Canter’s Kibitz Room when he was a prime player, at the time. It was a DJ set with a live band and we became very good friends. Mindy Jorgensen is the drummer and a drum teacher who said, “I wanted to smoke weed and play drums.” She is the drummer in the Dale Crover band. I think what I really bring to the table is gumption and volume and no sense of shame or shyness. I might be wrong, I might be right, but I have a good time doing it. There is a responsibility of the band to make sure the audience is enjoying itself and to ensure the crowd is socially lubricated, my job is to keep the train rolling.

Amelia: How would you describe punk music as it relates to your genre?

Charlie T: My answer to that question is very open ended, punk music, more than anything, is a freedom of expression and the ability to be honest to yourself. Television is just as much punk as Iggy and The Stooges. Part of the freedom of expression is also having a rawness of what you are doing, we are not overly polished. My vocal style and lyrical content has a bit of a visceral honesty. A lot of the content deals with drugs, relationships, and there is some political content mixed in that I would talk to anyone about at the drop of a hat. A lot of this stuff really defines where I found myself in rock and roll, with a much more of a sarcastic tone.

Amelia: What is your dream show or performance?

Charlie T: The best concerts I’ve ever seen in my life were at venues that hold 200 to 300 people and you got to feel the energy on the stage. The opportunities that we have are in abundance to experience life and be happy and no matter how unique, different, or alone you feel, there are thousands of people you can bond with and that is one of the beautiful things about living in Los Angeles. I always try to remember to appreciate the opportunity and the chance to have an overabundance of ways to find joy and meaning and fellowship and it is a luxury that is not lost on me.

Amelia: What is your favorite Dirtycakes song and why?

Charlie T: Whatever the last song that we worked on and we put out. The latest record that we have, the latest single that we have is a song called “Stay Away” which I’m super excited about. We recorded it a while ago but now there’s a music video behind it. The reason I say that is because if the latest thing that we did isn’t the most exciting thing for me then it’s probably not good enough. At the end of the day there’s a responsibility we have to not put something out just because it makes me feel good but to put something out because I will jam it. I make stuff that I dig, the band makes stuff that we enjoy. Ru Paul says, “If you can’t love yourself how can you love anyone else?” I am a big supporter and an ally of the LGBT community. My point to all of this is that I am a big believer of love and honesty and authenticity and what that looks like. Our band logo is a Pride heart and it promotes our values and the type of people that we are and the type of people we want to surround ourselves with. I think ultimately we are defined by the company we keep. I think that it is a part of that punk ethos.

Amelia: Will you be releasing new music in 2022?

Charlie T: Absolutely, we have a full length album ready to go with one last track that we are recording. An album is a recreation of a life experience and sharing. With what the world has been through in the last couple of years, we made the decision to make sure of what we had to offer, when things became an opportunity to share time and energy with people, the best we could instead of forcing our stuff into that mix. As a result, we are ready to hit the ground running as soon as possible. There is a full album that is maybe thirty minutes long, a vinyl record can only handle 18 minutes per side and after that you lose the bass, and if you lose the bass you’re gonna lose the funk and if you lose the funk you lose the feeling. We wanted to make sure what we have is something we can be proud of and to make sure it’s the right time to find our place to do that and also have the ability to share that with people in a way that will be impactful. We are ready to go back out there when it’s safe to do so and isn’t irresponsible, we are going to be on the front lines of having fun.

The majority of the album was recorded in a studio called Rancho De La Luna, a studio in the desert, which we were very happy to work with our man Dave Catching; to give credit where credit is due, it wouldn’t be what it was without him. We are super stoked on it and have been able to release some music videos from that album over the last year or two. When we record and release things, part of that is to also make sure that the end user experience is sharing joy and happiness and sharing that vibe of being authentically us. We want to make sure that people enjoy each other’s company, our creative process very much has to do with how people respond to things because we want people to be happy.

Amelia: Do you have any show dates coming up and how can people find your music?

Charlie T: What we are doing right now is trying to get back to the origin of what we’ve done when we were young, which was to find a space, have a party and play it. What we are working on right now is securing some venues to do some DIY, you know, $1 a slice, $1 a cup and have a few people there and just have a party. One of the biggest joys that we have missed out on is that communal exchange and I want to make sure that we make that access to that exchange something that we can have the greatest ability to share with as many people as possible.
We are on Spotify, we have videos on Youtube, you can find us on instagram and all the places where the things are, we are there too. If this kind of thing hits you where you are interested and if you dig it, then come be a part of it! We would love to have you!

Written By Amelia

Instagram @ameliadoll

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