The Virginmarys are chasing the light and making their way along a path of glory in the world of Rock and Roll. The three piece ensemble based out of Macclesfield, England led by lead singer and gleeful guitarist, Ally Dickaty, are currently touring with hard rockers, Shinedown, and gearing up to release the long anticipated follow up to their first studio album, ‘King of Conflict’. The emotively straightfoward band who possesses the true spirit of rock and roll’s artistic development and overall evolution shines throughout their upcoming May 2016 studio album release, ‘Divides’, and in celebration of the candidly outspoken crew’s latest studio term, I caught up Ally to talk about the thoughts trickling through the minds of three humble gentlemen and further discuss The Virginmary’s latest projects.
What activities or practices do you gentlemen engage in outside of music which contributes to your musicality in order to rejuvenate your creativity?
I do a lot of meditation to stop me going insane and a lot of reading. I gave up drink a few years back and it’s a constant practice keeping myself occupied. I go to hiphop gigs with my brother in Manchester UK. Manchester’s had Pharcyde, Killer Mike, Run The Jewels and Pharoahe Monche pass through in the last few years which has been ace. I can relate to the content of a lot of hiphop lyrics more than I can rock lyrics….at least of what’s coming out at the minute.
In the spirit of The Virginmarys currently being on tour with Shinedown, what is your craziest tour experience thus far?
Haha! Well the first that comes to mind is just yesterday we had a woman continually pulling her bra down in front of us when we were signing stuff at the merch.In all honesty she was pretty scary and probably would have had me for breakfast. Kind of felt like we were on sunset strip in a different decade but it was Colorado Springs 2016.
How stoked are you for May 6th? Tell me about the upcoming sophomore LP, ‘Divides’.
Couldn’t be more stoked!! We have created our best work to date with Gil Norton as producer. The reaction to the first couple of releases has been amazing and the new songs are getting the best reaction when we play live which is a really great feeling. We’re extremely proud of what we’ve recorded and can’t wait to get it out to our fans!!!
What is one major similarity and one major difference between The Virginmarys 2013 debut release, ‘King of Conflict’ and your upcoming May 2016 release, ‘Divides’?
The sincerity, passion and energy is the same on both records. I’d say Divides has a harder edge with more intensity and is more direct both musically and lyrically. Their is a lot more social commentary on this record and we have had more time to nail it and get it to how we wanted it to sound.
What are your beliefs behind creative expression through getting tattooed?
I think it’s a very natural thing to do, it feels right and it can look incredible with so many top artists out there. I’ve been wanting to get a Martin Luther King portrait on the inside of my forearm and looking through some of the portrait tattooists is unbelievable, the talent is unreal. I love the way people can express themselves through artwork on their body and also mark events and things that are most important to them through script or pieces of art. I have ‘Stay True’ script on my knuckles. It’s most important to always keep real and stay close to my roots and who I am fundamentally. I love the way it looks but also like having it there as a constant reminder of what is most important when all said and done.
Your latest single, “Motherless Land”, is heatedly alive with emotion. Where does that emotion stem from?
Having a heart and taking a look at the world we live in. It’s difficult when you see so much inequality, corruption and poverty in our everyday life. I think the government and media drip feed us with who to blame and who to shame, it creates a lot of fear and divides among people, religions and races when it should be the people who are uniting, turning it round and being strong together.
What are you guys jamming out to on the road while you’re on tour?
We listen to loads of different stuff. This trip it’s mostly been….
Run The Jewels
New Model Army
How has your recording process evolved over the years?
You gain more confidence and become more at home with the recording process the more you do it. It’s a lot different to live performance and to get the same sounding passion and intensity you almost have to tackle it differently. We recorded the majority of the debut record live. This time round we did it separately and had the time to be a lot more thorough.
What do you perceive your loyal fans appreciate about The Virginmarys most?
The honesty, sincerity and realness of it all. I’m pretty sure that’s what it is. We have been incredibly lucky to have picked up so many unbelievably loyal fans along the way. A lot of our fans have got tattoos of song lyrics and Virginmarys artwork too, it blows my mind. We have a fan community and street team of about a thousand who spread the word everyday and want nothing more than for the band to get out to as many people as possible. We couldn’t ask for more from our fans they are absolutely incredible.
How important do you believe it is that the tattoo artist and their clients personality and interests mesh well?
Personally I think it’s very important. I think it’s amazing when tattoo artists meet up with their client beforehand and continually talk about where they’re going with the design and artwork. One of my good friends is a great UK tattoo artist called Emmy Rosy Dawn, she meets up with clients about the pieces they’re having done beforehand to get the best results. It’s a little bit like a musician and producer both working together before going into record. It depends what people want though, many just go in to get something on the day and it kind of depends what piece you’re getting I guess. For the Martin Luther King portrait I’d want it done by someone who the piece would mean something to.
Have any of you gentlemen been tattooed by an artist in the UK that is worthy of praise?
An artist called Matt Cooley did my knuckles in Manchester UK. He does really bold and cool work. Check him out.
I also want to get some work in the near future done by Emmy Rosy Dawn who is based in our hometown of Macclesfield. I really love her work and precision. Check her out at…