Dirty Rock And Roll frontman Adam Barnes has become a familiar name with rushonrock readers as we continue to chart the progress of the best unsigned band in Britain.
And tomorrow the former basketball pro takes his troops into battle in the latest competition to find the fastest rising acts in the North East. As a taster for tomorrow night’s ste at Blyth’s The Quay we bring you the latest interview with a living legend. Well, he’s living at least.
During his time fronting Baby Rattlesnakes, former basketball professional Adam Barnes saw fellow band members come and go like common colds. The revolving door nature of a much missed act kept things fresh but without consistency any crack at commercial success was lost. Having reached the end of the road with one band Barnes wondered about the merits of forming another but three years down the line it appears the gamble’s paid off.
“It must have been the summer of 2006 that I got together with Lee (bass) and Steve (drums),” explained the former Newcastle Eagles star. “There was instant chemistry and instant commitment. Three years later we’re still getting a kick out of playing live, we bounce off each other on and off the stage – often literally – and I can’t really see the day when anyone will have a big falling out. In the meantime we’re writing some pretty good songs and I think we’ve started to nail a true Dirty Rock & Roll sound.”
That sound started out with its roots in the Foo Fighters but these days bands like Feeder, Ash and early-era Stereophonics spring to mind. “We don’t sound American, we’re not metal, we’re not punk and we’re not indie,” added Barnes. “But then you start to wonder what you are. The identity crisis kicks in because certain people love to give you a label and with us they just can’t.
“I think we’ve managed to create a great British rock sound – you can’t pigeon-hole it but we’re pretty proud of it. It’s been a long journey getting there but the songs we’re writing now are all underpinned by the same tone and the same attitude. You know a Dirty Rock & Roll song when you hear it.”
The sooner more people hear it the better. And Barnes admits the band’s failure to record a batch of their best new material could be one reason why record labels – both locally and nationally – are continuing to shun one of the best new things to emerge from the North East rock scene for years. “We’re desperate to get into the studio and lay down an album,” he added.
“But I’ve got a daughter with another baby on the way, Lee’s been taken on by Newcastle’s Inkslingers after proving himself as a talented tattoo artist and Steve’s still making his name in the bar trade. We’re all working round the clock to make the album happen but we love playing live and that’s what we do best. People keep asking us back to play their place again because they know what they’re going to get: a great show with original songs and three lads sharing the same ambition – to entertain.
“Like most unsigned bands we’re just hoping we’ll be lucky one night and someone at the back of the room will spot our potential. Until that happens we’re just going to knuckle down and do the best we can. And have a great time doing it.”
* This feature, written by rushonrock editor Simon Rushworth, originally appeared in Newcastle’s Journal newspaper. Rushworth has been a regular contibutor on all things rock and metal for both the Journal and its sister publication, the Evening Chronicle, for almost 15 years.