VULGARITHM is for fans of riffs and club classics on steroids. Andy “Dirt” McGurk takes the best metal riffs of the early 2000s, mixes it up with 90s dance music, and adds a unique touch of crushing beats. It is for fans of music who crave originality and fresh ideas, and for those who seek to escape. At the end of 2019, Andy “Dirt” McGurk was in BlackHawkDown which is going one direction, but also hollowtechnic which had been going for 10 years. It was in and out of band lineup changes, had recorded many albums from home, but it was going nowhere else. He needed a fresh start, a fresh identity and a fresh sound, Vulgarithm was the product of that discovery. Vulgarithm is has only been around since 2020, so just as Dirt was about to bring it to the live scene, COVID hit. He had performed a couple of live sets from his teaching room but until then he just had to wait until lockdown eases. The new goal is to have as many people know about Vulgarithm as possible before heading out into the gigging world.
Introduce us to the band! What are your names and what do you do in the band?
Andy “Dirt” McGurk, I play everything
Where do you call home?
Market Deeping, UK
2. How long have you been together as a band and how did you find each other?
The idea of Vulgarithm has been around since 2020, and it is just myself. Sometimes I can find myself annoying but on the whole musically I get on with myself.
3. Do you have a special songwriting recipe you follow?
I always begin with a main riff on the guitar or synth, and if that doesn’t hook me in then I don’t continue. Once I’ve got that down, I put the remaining pieces together, sing along gibberish over the top in the car, and if I can get a great melody out of it, I get that gibberish recorded. Once I’m happy with the pieces, I can start writing lyrics.
4. How would members of your family describe your music to someone that hasn't heard it?
Good question, I think the simplest way they would describe it is dance music with guitars. I like to call it “Riff Rave”, it combines the best elements of 2000s metal riffs with the inspiration of 90s dance and electronica.
5. What do you have on your(Spotify) playlists you would be embarrassed for others to see?
I have nothing embarrassing, I’m happy with my choices. I have some unconventional choices such as enya, sugar ray, hootie and the blowfish, slayer, kenny loggins, and including one Nickelback song. You know what though, I’m happy with my choices.
6. Do you have any pre-show rituals?
2 pints of lager and an energy drink, followed by some vocal warm ups. Nothing special but this is mine.
7. Who have you met that has left you starstruck?
I have met a few famous people, including some respected musicians, but the only time I was truly lost for words was when I met Chris Barrie who played Rimmer in Red Dwarf. It’s a niche starstruck but I struggle to talk.
8. What do you consider your greatest achievement as far as a band?
I’ve had some modest moments in my small Vulgarithm career, including some great festival sets, but my biggest achievement so far was providing support to 90s dance act The Orb. I’ve always loved The Orb and when I was asked to be the support act for them I was never going to say no.
9. What key elements do you believe makes up a successful song?
Everyone talks about the hook, but unfortunately you get now is a hook. My day job is teaching guitar and the sheer number of songs out there now doesn’t change the chord sequence at any points in these songs. It needs change, it needs surprise, but most of all it needs a bit of shock. That is what draws me into music.
10. When writing, how do you know when it is finally done?
It’s an instinctual thing, it’s very hard to explain but when everything syncs together you just know.
11. What song of yours are you most proud of?
Another difficult question. Every one of my songs has a completely different theme, vibe, tempo, mood etc, all of which provide different emotions when played. With all that in mind, I’m going to pick “Lad Riff”, only because it is a crowd favourite and always gets stuck in everyone’s head.
12. Is it possible to be on the road and not eat junk food? How do you keep it leveled out?
No, hahaha! As I tend to be driving, I need food items that I can eat quickly in the car and healthy food doesn’t do that. True being vegan makes that extra difficult but somehow I manage.
13. Are you able to write while on the road or do you need a calm familiar space like home?
90% of my vocals are created in my car. Either for work or off to a gig, for most of the week I tend to be in my car for the majority of it. I will have written music playing off my phone and I will sing over and over again until I hit the right note.
14. What's the most embarrassing thing to happen on stage or on tour?
Nothing really stands out as majorly embarrassing, but the worst thing any musician can have at a gig is to see no one in the audience. So many of us have been there before it’s not original but it’s still not a great experience.
15. What can BleachBANGS do to help you in any way?
Spread the word of Vulgarithm!
https://linktr.ee/vulgarithm all my social media links, music and videos can be found via this simple link.
16. How can everyone keep up with everything you have going on? Where can they get