Hailing from the United Kingdom, The Virginmarys have been proclaimed by critics as one of the best news bands to break out on the rock scene. Lead singer and guitarist, Ally Dickaty, recently talked with AA about the band’s upcoming release, King of Conflict, and also shared details about the group’s experience performing at the CMJ Music Marathon in the Big Apple this past fall.
At one time, The Virginmarys were most widely recognized as a band that Slash donned on his t-shirts at shows. Now heading into 2013, the Virginmarys have established themselves as a legitimate force in rock music and the BBC recently went as far to describe the band as “raw, intoxicating rock and roll in the finest tradition of the genre.” The group’s success caught the attention of Wind-Up Records and in October, it was announced that the British trio was the latest addition to the label – joining highly accomplished bands such as Seether, Evanescence, and Creed. Ecstatic to have signed with a major record company in the states, things got even better for Dicktay and company when they secured a spot at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City.
“We’ve always wanted to take our music to America. I think our style of music works best for the states because there’s not really that many rock bands coming out around the U.K. We obviously enjoy playing there but to be approached by Wind-Up and get to play in New York was a dream come true really. We just went out to CMJ a couple weeks ago and played our first couple of shows there – it was just amazing…we were staying in Wind-Up’s apartments in Manhattan and the entire thing was quite surreal. We had just come off a tour and the next day we flew to New York and we had the best time playing there; we wish we were there right now really.”
King of Conflict is currently slated for a February 5th release date and to produce the record, The Virginmarys brought in musician, Toby Jepson, who most notably was the lead singer in The Little Angels from 1984-1994 and also fronted the band, GUN, for two years before walking away from the project in 2010 to pursue other endeavors. Then to mix the LP, the band enlisted the help of Chris Sheldon (Pixies, Foo Fighters, Garbage); the final result was an album that could very well be the group’s best work to date.
“We got into the studio and recorded it live because we’re quite conscious of keeping the live feel; when we recorded the album, we just wanted to keep it as real as we could…we took it to Chris Sheldon to mix and he did an amazing job…and when we heard that loud and in your face mix blasting out of the massive speakers, it was just awesome.”
As far as a favorite song off of the forthcoming album, Dickaty referenced the emotionally intense, “Dressed to Kill,” as one of the standout tracks. Heralded in the past for his heavy hitting lyrical content, “Dressed to Kill” is no different…
“I’m really happy with it lyrically and it was actually one of the last songs to be written. It was an idea that we had and we were playing it to death. We kept changing different aspects of it but finally it all just came together in the end. And thank God too because it was an important track to me to have on the album; it’s little bit different than the other ones and I’m really pleased with the melody…it’s just an incredibly emotional song.”
The Virginmarys will be playing shows with fellow British rockers, Feeder, in the month of December. Then beginning in 2013, the band is scheduled for a short U.K. tour before heading to the states to play additional shows and further promote King of Conflict.