Despite being road-toasted, the fellers in Dirty Sweet remained friends.
  • Despite being road-toasted, the fellers in Dirty Sweet remained friends.
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During their initial run, local rock revivalists Dirty Sweet took to the road in epic fashion. Early on, they got lucky and scored the opening slot on Jimmy Eat World’s 2004 tour. But it was between 2007 and 2010 that the band’s 15-passenger van got its most brutal workouts. Guitarist Mark Murino recalls that one of those years found the band playing nearly 200 shows.

Dirty Sweet

  • Saturday, October 14, 2017, 8 p.m.
  • Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $15

“The most grueling thing about being on the road was knowing you lived five minutes from a beach but instead you were in Alabama with a broken AC in the middle of July. You know? Just being away from home, people, and luxury. Luxuries like decent food and your own bathroom and space,” Murino said.

At this point of their existence, Dirty Sweet was operating like a true gang. Even though they had no major-label backing, all the members agreed to make the band priority number one. Any local jobs had to conform to touring schedules, as it was the “era of dropping everything for the band at all times,” Murino explains.

Video:

Dirty Sweet, "Baby Come Home"

While on the road, the group would try to crash for free whenever they could. When no friends were available to board the band, they would cram six people into a motel room. When they were living large they would get two to three rooms. Even though they hit some great highs, such as performing at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and playing an arena with the Killers, after about three years the lifestyle began to take its toll.

“There were definitely some big band blowouts,” Murino says. “As far as a particular incident signifying that enough was enough, it was more like coming to the conclusion that, even though we were pulling some crowds, this wasn’t going to sustain life. There were so many nails in so many coffins, but I think people kind of reached their points individually and the band tapered off till it was just obvious.”

So, Dirty Sweet slowly dissolved until it was no more...but then a funny thing happened. They stayed friends and would still get together to play occasionally. Recently, on a whim, they booked three days in a studio and nine songs were recorded in a day. The project had no name, but they knew what it was to be once they heard it.

“When we finished the album and listened to it, it was obvious that this was Dirty Sweet. It’s just who we are when we play together. It can’t be changed: it’s our sound. When it comes down to it, people like our sound and we like doing it,” Murino said.

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