It was written in the stars that they’d meet. “I hitchhiked here from a small town in northern Saskatchewan, Lake Waskesiu,” explains Cody Dyck.
“I moved to Montreal when I was 17. Dropped out of school. Toured North America for three years sleeping in parks and on couches and playing music,” says Susil Sharma. “Shortly thereafter, we flipped our van in a ditch somewhere in northern Vermont, lost all our money, and got deported. At that point I entered a brief depression and fled to Nepal where I received my mantra during my Upanayana [a Hindu rite of manhood].” Sharma then returned to Montreal to embark on the rest of his life.
As this was happening, Jeff Boyd was working in a play house in Hollywood. “I had come out of the house [where] I was living in Los Angeles – I was living on chicken corner. I opened the gate and there was a coyote. We just stood eye to eye. I knew I had to make a change,” professes Boyd.
He booked a ticket to Montreal, and met Sharma late at night in Parc Jeanne-Mance. Boyd and Sharma started playing music together. Soon after, Dyck showed up on Sharma’s couch. The band Dirty Wedding was born.
The three have been playing together for over a year now. The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Otis Redding, Oasis, and Tom Petty are among their influences. They describe their music in one word: Soul.
Dirty Wedding aims to transcend the tendency of Montreal bands to cater their music to a hip niche audience. “We don’t subscribe to a scene. What we do isn’t just for the Plateau; it’s for everyone,” Boyd explains. “We don’t conform to anything that’s imposed on us,” adds Sharma. Tall claim, but from living with them, I know they’re not full of shit.
“We live together. Play everyday. We don’t work jobs – we’re dirt poor, hustle for everything we’ve got,” says Boyd. And whether it’s intuition or sheer determination, they’re not counting on needing to do anything else. “There’s no plan B. We have to do this,” confesses Dyck. “It’s the only thing that makes any lick of sense in this topsy-turvy scheme.”
Dirty Wedding is releasing their self-titled first album this week. “The last album we recorded in one take off the floor in one day,” notes Sharma. While the record was being produced, they wrote another album’s worth of songs. This second release is their real debut, they explain; it’s titled My Generation. Sharma proclaims, “It’ll be one of the biggest albums in the last decade.” He adds, “We’re the best band from Montreal. Second-best is Men at Work.”
Their philosophy is somewhere in between brotherhood spirituality and gang mentality. They want free love, and they want world domination. And, most importantly, they want to resurrect rock ‘n’ roll. “It ain’t just a thing; we’re going to be around for a long time,” Dyck predicts. “It may not be in Montreal. It may not be in Canada, but someone’s gonna get an earful somewhere.” Sharma adds, “It’s an unspoken truth that silences the juror.”
“There’s nothing but within,” says Boyd. “That’s where our music comes from.”
Catch Dirty Wedding at 9 p.m. Thursday March 25 at Club Lambi (4465 St. Laurent).