After surviving a couple of significant line-up changes, punk-rock music gang The Dirt Radicals are still standing and back on the gig circuit. In fact, they’re not only gigging but headlining – at the Baybeats Festival in Singapore to be precise.
We caught up with BIMM graduate and Dirt Radicals guitarist Sean Buttigieg to find out more about his journey since graduating with a BMus (Hons) in Popular Music Performance in 2014 from BIMM London, all the way to Singapore…
Sean, how did you end up in the new line-up of The Dirt Radicals?
I’ve known Sam, The Dirt Radicals current singer-songwriter and bassist since we were teenagers. After the departure of previous members Masashi Kimura and Matt Cooper, Sam recruited new members, and I joined in November 2015. I’ve always been a fan of the band so I jumped at the opportunity!
Who are your musical influences?
Being an alumnus of BIMM makes this an extremely difficult question to answer as you are exposed to such a diverse range of music. I would say, Adam Rafferty, Danny Gatton and Brent Mason are some of my favourite players but within our band’s genre, I’m greatly influenced by Sum 41, Frenzal Rhomb and The Flatliners.
Did you have a favourite Masterclass at BIMM?
Yes! Without a doubt, the Nate Watts Masterclass was my favourite. I am a big fan of Stevie Wonder so it was a privilege to hear Nate’s stories and his words of wisdom.
How is life with the band so far?
Since joining, we’ve been lucky enough to tour Italy twice with a great band called The Anthem. We have played at some iconic venues including Traffic Club (Rome), Rock ‘n’ Roll (Milan) and Velvet Club (Rimini) to name a few.
Are you excited about headlining Baybeats Festival?
We are extremely excited! Singapore is where Sam and I grew up so returning there to headline a festival as prestigious as Baybeats is so exciting. After Baybeats, we’ll be travelling to Italy to shoot a new video for our single ‘Missed Connection’ from the ‘Duder’ E.P. We will also be doing a two week Italy tour in early July followed by a European tour in October.
How did BIMM prepare you for a life in music?
There is so much that BIMM does to prepare you for music. However, there are two skills I gained from BIMM that I am most thankful for. One is learning how to practice. I learned that focused practice, little and often, has significantly improved my playing over time. The other is training my ear. It’s almost like BIMM gives you a new set of ears that allows you to interpret music differently and transcribe virtually anything.
Any advice for current students at BIMM?
I would say, definitely don’t take your time at BIMM for granted! The teachers at BIMM are some of the best players in the world so their knowledge and advice is invaluable. Also, make sure you make the most of your free time by practising as much as possible. Once you graduate, you’ll be so busy that fitting in practice time to your day won’t be so easy!
Interested in studying at BIMM?