Dirty Mindsets: An interview with the alt rockers shaking up Western Sydney

dirty mindsets

Step into the creative world of Dirty Mindsets, the Western Sydney band whose unique sound, infectious energy, and genuine love for their craft make them ones to watch.

Fresh off the release of their new single “Want It All,” we had the pleasure of catching up with the talented musicians of Dirty Mindsets. Hailing from Western Sydney, this band has been making waves with their unique sound and infectious energy.

In our interview, we delved into their dynamic as a band, the challenges they’ve faced, and what inspires their music. Their down-to-earth and humorous personalities shone through as they shared their experiences and aspirations.

With a genuine love for their craft, Dirty Mindsets is undoubtedly a band to keep an eye on. So, grab your favourite drink, sit back, and enjoy our conversation with these passionate musicians who are ready to rock your world.

dirty mindsets

Happy: What are you up to today?

John: Thinking about why I keep assaulting my gluten-sensitive gut so easily.

Jordan:  Working… Something different, no rest for the wicked.

Dylan:  Working 🙁

Happy: Tell us about your suburb, what do you love/not love about where you live?

John: Penrith, St Mary’s to be specific. I lived here and around this area most of my life. I love the homely sense I get whenever I find myself walking the main street of Queen Street. A lil slice of paradise. It’s not much, but it has always been home.

Jordan: St Clair has it’s good and bad days, mostly good (no news is good news right) it’s a pretty boring suburb we have to go to Mt Druitt or Penrith if we wanna do something fun, but it’s home and it’s been my whole life, that’s all that matters  😊

Dylan: Con – hottest place on earth
Pro – hottest place on earth 😉

Happy: Describe your average work day? 

John: Usually fueled with the desire for Friday to come closer, slaving away under an endless ocean of cars and 4×4’s. Developed quite an impervious resistance to the smell of fuel and oil, stuff gets on my work wear.

Jordan: hospitality… on my feet for 10-12 hours a day, 5-6 days a week making coffees and donuts for people. I’m immune to the smell of oil and cinnamon now! The people I work with are great and they make it all tolerable but there is still nothing better than walking down that corridor to go home.

Dylan:  Getting called “champ”, “pal” or “boss” by 80% of my customers and having to pretend it’s not annoying.

dirty mindsets

Happy: What about your ultimate day?

John: One racetrack, bunch of Toyota Pruises, $5000 budget to each band member. Modify these bad boys with only items at Bunnings. Boys, let’s go racing.

Jordan: Honestly any day I’m not working and doing something music related instead (whether it’s bandprac, bandwork or uni work) is a great day! Why not throw in a tattoo for good measure.

Happy: Can you tell us about the music scene in Western Sydney and how it has influenced your music?

John: Personally, for me, the culturally diverse melting pot that is Western Sydney has always been a place of strong connectivity amongst people all around. 

I find that my musical scope really expanded in high school back in 2014, once I got to really share and absorb what many others listened to.

I think this huge, continuous expansion since has just enabled myself to just be motivated to share and make music amongst guys that share the same sentiment.

Jordan: Well outside of DJ’s and cover bands, there isn’t much in the way of live music out in Western Sydney. So growing up my music was all the mainstream music (from friends and siblings) and 70’s-90’s music (from the parents). But once I hit high school, I started being influenced by other friends and peers to listen to music outside of the mainstream, which I guess brings me to where I am today.

Blake:  It hasn’t felt like there has been a music scene in Western Sydney, it’s usually confined to cover bands or small acoustic gigs at very select pubs. The one time we got a local show they shut the whole place down over noise complaints the day before we played

Dylan: Pretty much non-existent

Happy: Can you tell us about your influences, both musical and non-musical, and how they inform your sound and lyrics?

John: My original influence came from the Arctic Monkeys, stumbling upon their discography on my older brother’s iPod shuffle. Just something about their energy really motivated me to want to be in a band.  

Non-musically, my influence would be from the Japanese automotive production designer Akira Nakai. I guess as a stretch, I find his work with RWB (his tuning company) to somewhat reflect the Mindsets philosophy with music. 

His work on Porsche 911’s, gutting and transforming them into individually unique and imperfect examples, highlights the point that perfection does not always mean the answer. Art can be refined, but it can most definitely be raw too.

Blake:  I feel like the band all take influence musically from very different artists which has been really great for writing songs because it allows us to combine a lot of different things that maybe from the outside doesn’t sound or feel too special or different but for us it feels unique and like we can really make our own brand of rock or whatever you want to call our music. 

In the same vein though it has probably worked against us in a lot of scenarios where the blending of influences just will not work for us, and we can’t finish a song.
Happy: Your band was formed by high school friends. How has your dynamic changed and evolved over the years?

Blake:  We just got much more childish and immature the more we hung out.

Jordan: We have both become more and less immature over the years, we still have the same dumb sense of humour (amplified by our discovery of Aunty Donna) but we’ve all experienced a lot together over the last few years. It’s a lot better when you’re best mates with your bandmates.  

Happy: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a band and how have you overcome them?

Blake: I don’t think we have faced any crazy challenges really; we have been pretty lucky in that regard. I guess the closest thing to challenging the band and putting its existence in question would just be aging and needing to prioritise a realistic future for ourselves, work, relationships, money, that sort of stuff. I don’t think we can ever overcome that.

Dylan: Covid was obviously a massive stitch up when it came to all the canceled shows and the fact we could even just get together to jam, hangout or write any new music as a band.

Prior to that, the amount of music we’ve written and scrapped at the very start while finding our sound was so exhausting, but we just had to stick through it and keep working hard to find out what works for us as a group.
Happy: How does your band approach the songwriting process?Blake:  We usually just rock up to band practice like “hey I have this cool riff” or “I wrote some lyrics” and we go from there.

Dylan: One person has an idea, then everyone pours a little bit of their own expertise into the mix until we come out with some sort of structure that we can call a song 😂

Happy: What inspired the lyrics and sound of your latest single “Want It All”?

We wrote the riff and chord progression first and it sounded like it had a lot of energy and needed a sort of an ‘angry’ story. So, we brainstormed some ideas about what makes us angry, and decided on making about people who are just negative in all situations and are just an overall buzzkill. Writing from the point of view of said person just seemed to suit the structure of the song a bit better and was easier to get the point and energy across through words and melody.

Happy: What’s your favourite venue you’ve played at, and why?

We don’t exactly have one favourite venue, unfortunately there are ups and downs to every one. We just have our own favourite experiences at different venues, each for different reasons, so it’s a bit hard to pinpoint one exactly.

We can’t play favourites in case the other one’s barre us from returning!

So we love them all equally!

Dirty Mindsets single 'Want It All'

Happy: What has been the most memorable moment of your music career so far?

John: The most memorable moment in my musical journey I’d say would be back in our 2019 tour with the Lenores. Melbourne and Adelaide were such great experiences as it really was my first time out of state playing with the Mindsets. This was also coupled with our consistent stream of weekly shows throughout that time before the first of the lockdowns.

Blake:  Probably getting to go on a little Melbourne tour with very good friend The Lenore’s, it was a really cool opportunity given to us and was just such an amazing time playing back-to-back shows with friends and running around a city I personally had never been to.

Dylan: I’ll never forget our first show we had at valve bar, and the messy celebration we had the night after 😂

Jordan: We’ve had a few of those *really* good gigs where the vibes are great, the venue is packed and the crowd is pumping, our headline show at Hideaway Bar in 2020 (right before the first lockdown!) was the first time we experienced one of those gigs. It’ll always stick with me. 

Happy: Can you give us a sneak peek into your upcoming album?

Dylan: Nah 

To continue ^ 

Come along to any of our upcoming shows to listen to unreleased and new music!

Happy: What makes you happy?

John:  My friends, family, my girlfriend and of course my fellow band brethren.

Dylan:  My bois big juicy tongues down my throat ❤️

(Dylan gets very affectionate when he drinks it’s sweet, unsettling) 

Jordan: the goosebumps from when we’re playing one of my favourite songs live.