Valdosta Daily Times

THE VIEW

February 13, 2009

ROCKING WITH DIRT MESSIAH

VDT View — VALDOSTA — In a land where “Brown-Eyed Girl” reigns, it’s not always easy finding gigs with songs called “Dead Dreams.”

But that’s life for Dirt Messiah, a South Georgia-based heavy-metal band that would rather rock than rollover to demands from regional clubs for covers of “Brown-Eyed Girl,” “Mustang Sally,” or a litany of country rock.

“We play covers,” says Dirt Messiah drummer Chuck Touchton. “But if we’re playing Skynyrd, we’re not gonna play ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, we’re gonna play ‘Needle and the Spoon.’ Or Nirvana’s not gonna be ‘Teen Spirit’ but ‘Aneurysm,’ or if it’s Alice In Chains, it’s gonna be ‘Them Bones.’”

“Or Nazareth’s ‘Hair of the Dog,’” says guitarist Alan Marcus.

“We always put our touch on everything,” Touchton says. “We’re gonna play it with our sound. If we didn’t, it would tear up our integrity.”

That is if Dirt Messiah has to play covers. The band would prefer playing its original music. Touchton writes the majority of the lyrics, while Marcus, Luke Morgan, lead vocals, Scott Sayers, bass, and newest member Kevin Sapp, lead guitar, bring their own touches to each song.

Dirt Messiah has about 20 original songs; a dozen to 15 refined; about 10 ready enough to record. And three songs — “Dirt Messiah,” “Broken” and “Dead Dreams” — have been recorded as a demo CD.

Marcus and Touchton, who sat down for an interview with VDT View, have a funny story about recording these songs.

Dirt Messiah traveled to a studio in the Carolinas, but it was not exactly what the band expected for its first recording session. The producer led them to a storage facility. The band followed him down a long row of storage units. The producer unlocked a unit and inside was his studio. He had soundproofed the walls and had all of his equipment installed and ready to record inside the storage unit.

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