Pump Up The Volume; An interview with Luke Bentham of The Dirty Nil

After pummeling through 350+ shows over the last three years, 2017 Juno Award “Breakthrough Group of the Year” winners The Dirty Nil are set to release their latest LP, Master Volume, on September 14 via Dine Alone Records and embark on their first ever U.S. headlining tour. With a raw, kinetic, straight-up rock & roll energy that’s equal parts punk intensity and ’80s-rock-god decadence, the trio is equipped with an inimitable live “swagger.” Guitarist/vocalist Luke Bentham, bassist Ross Miller, and drummer Kyle Fisher will juxtapose their muscular, venomous riffs and clap-along choruses with stories from the road of good-natured run-ins with the cops and impromptu stripteases in German Christmas Markets.
The band, who have cut their teeth on co-bills with everyone from The Who, The Menzingers, and Alexisonfire to Against Me! and Bleached kick off their tour October 25 at Underground at DIME in Detroit, Michigan, and hits many of the nation’s premiere music clubs, including The Echo in LA and Mercury Lounge in NYC, before closing out with a four-night homecoming streak in Ontario (dates below). 
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Bentham to discuss playing with The Who, eagle screams, eating mayo packets and their new record.
You guys have been road warriors over the last few years. What are the top three most unbelievable things that you’ve seen or experienced?
Hard to pick three from so many experiences so I’ll go with the first to come to mind:
1) A guy got shot (and survive) outside our door in Hamburg.
2) The May 1 riots in Berlin last year. Dear god they know how to bring da ruckus. Bottles being hurled at riot police while people sit on patios casually enjoying their drinks. What a world.
3) Seeing Kyle eat packets of mayo like yogurt tubes after an insane show in Berlin, two weeks ago. Led Zeppelin thought they knew how to party..
I saw you guys in Cincinnati with Against Me! and was wishing I’d bought some Big League chew after seeing the big bubble gum bubbles. Is there a significance behind that or is it just for fun?
When we were on the 2015 Warped Tour, I found my throat was getting a bit dry in the dry southern heat. I remembered seeing Dave Grohl religiously chewing gum during shows so I decided to give it a shot. Bubbalicous was all I had on hand, so it really began there. I found it amusing to try and make the biggest bubble I could and every night I try and beat it.
Left-leaning Americans make Canada out to be sort of a promised land. Do you agree? Do you think Trudeau is sexy?
We certainly have our own problems, as every country does. There’s certainly a tendency by many to view our country as a utopia, I reject those idyllic notions of Canada in light of our many imperfections. However, I do certainly value certain freedoms and safeties specific to Canada.
Trudeau is a solid 7. 8 when he does that eyebrow thing.
I think your music connects a greased up ’60s vibe with more current punk flair. Do you agree? In what ways do those sounds connect and have you deliberately leveraged them together to create your sound?
It’s always strange trying to talk about your own sound because it’s all so subjective, I’m always interested to hear which one of our influences is speaking to a listener at any given time. I can say our notion of old and new intersects at one point; does it rip? Ripping is timeless, from Elmore Jame’s lightning swagger, to that new band from the UK Shame. We are influenced every day and that comes out in the songs.
Bands from the 60’s have had a massive influence on our taste in aesthetics, equipment, etc. However, we’re not a throwback band like Wolfmother or Greta van Fleet. We believe in ripping off far more bands than they do.
Want were you hoping to accomplish with Master Volume?
Nothing short of shifting the landscape of modern music. Also, I’d like to go to Japan.
What is your favorite moment on the record?
Ross’s ‘eagle scream’ near the end of “I Don’t Want That Phone Call.”

What is one personal benchmark with the band that you’d like to reach that you haven’t yet? Why?
Going to Asia, but there are so many places I’d love to go play. Most of my goals have to do with destinations because they’re such an enjoyable metric of progress. The first time I was eating fish and chips in Brighton after a gig, I was over the moon.
Why hasn’t it happened yet? There are a few more countries to hit before we head to the South Pacific, but I’m confident this album cycle will have some pretty cool tour dates.
 You guys played with The Who … What was that like?
One of the best days of my life, quite overwhelming to be honest. Everything came together like a dream, it’s probably the closest thing I’ve ever had to a “perfect” day on earth.
Who is your favorite band to share a bill or tour with and why?
Probably Against Me! I think our tendencies for mischief complimented each other quite nicely.
Your first U.S. headlining tour is coming up. Are you nervous or confident about it?
The preliminary response we’ve received for the new material has exceeded my expectations, which has certainly made me even more excited to headline again. Over the last couple of years we’ve predominantly done support tours, so we’re thrilled as hell to do our thing and give a full show, as opposed to a 20-30 minute opener set where you are just starting to cook when the plug gets pulled.
What are your loftiest goals for The Dirty Nil?
Easy. Play in Space.
The Dirty Nil tour dates:
Thu, October 25, 2018 – Detroit, MI – Underground @ DIME
Fri, October 26, 2018 – Chicago, IL – Cobra Lounge
Sat, October 27, 2018 – TBA
Sun, October 28, 201 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
Tue, October 30, 2018 – Winnipeg, MB – The Good Will
Wed, October 31, 2018 – Saskatoon, SK – Amigos
Thu, November 1, 2018 – Edmonton, AB – The Starlite Room – Temple
Fri, November 2, 2018 – Calgary, AB – Commonwealth Bar & Stage
Sat, November 3, 2018 – Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret
Sun, November 4, 2018 – Victoria, BC – Lucky
Tue, November 6, 2018 – Seattle, WA – Funhouse
Wed, November 7, 2018 – Portland, OR – Sirens (Upstairs)
Fri, November 9, 2018 – San Francisco, CA – Hotel Utah
Sat, November 10, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
Sun, November 11, 2018 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
Tue, November 13, 2018 – Austin, TX – Barracuda
Wed, November 14, 2018 – Dallas, TX – Three Links
Thu, November 15, 2018 – New Orleans, LA – Santos
Fri, November 16, 2018 – Atlanta, GA – Purgatory at The Masquerade
Sat, November 17, 2018 – Nashville, TN – The End
Sun, November 18, 2018 – Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506
Tue, November 20, 2018 – Washington, DC – DC9
Wed, November 21, 2018 – Philadelphia, PA – Voltage Lounge
Fri, November 23, 2018 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
Sat, November 24, 2018 – Boston, MA – Middle East – Upstairs
Mon, November 26, 2018 – Quebec City, QC – L’ANTI
Tue, November 27, 2018 – Montreal, QC – Bar Spectacle L’Escogriffe
Wed, November 28, 2018 – Ottawa, ON – Babylon
Thu, November 29, 2018 – Kitchener, ON – Wax
Fri, November 30, 2018 – London, ON – Rum Runners
Sat, December 1, 2018 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House