There are few artists more appropriate for our weekly Internet Crush column than Dirty Nice. Heavily inspired by online aesthetics and specialising in what’s fast-becoming the definitive post-internet sound (a mix of electro obscurer, Italo disco and funk with some early 00s rap and more than a dash of irony thrown in), they’re almost entirely a product of the internet. Known as Hammer and Charlie to their friends the duo have been more or less anonymous until now, identified by their unique visuals, all animated and directed by Charlie himself.
Dirty Nice are so at home in the digital world that they even considered using CGI performers on stage in their place, only to fall foul of limited budgets. Instead, they’ve decided to reveal the men behind the digital masks, the men who met in a car park, the men who refer to themselves as freak boys. In honour of their new single ‘Luvin U’, we had a rather revealing chat with them for this week’s Internet Crush.
Hammer, is that your actual name, and if not, why did you decide to call yourself it?
Hammer: Nah my real name is Mark but all my mates call me Hammer. When I was a little kid I used to dance to MC Hammer and the nickname stuck.
Charlie: Can’t touch this.
Last time we spoke you told me that you met in a car park, care to elaborate?
Charlie: We were both actually trying out for a different band. We spent a few days together and realised we were cut from the same 110% f r e a k b o y cloth.
Hammer: I’m nothing like you, Charlie.
Why is now the right time to drop the anonymity?
Hammer: Um…it’s naturally occurring because we’ve been doing a bunch of live shows and support tours.
Charlie: We genuinely toyed with the idea of CGI versions of ourselves onstage. Bit out of budget as it turns out.
Your last video was inspired by Director X – which is your favourite video of his?
Charlie: Sean Paul – ‘Gimme The Light’.
Hammer: Straight Banger.
Who do you roll with?
Hammer: it’s been jokes working with Desta French on this track – she’s great.
Charlie: We had the pleasure of working with Pete Robertson (The Vaccines) on production duties for this track and its follow up. Also had some lush strings by my guy Benjamin Pearson.
Describe your sound in just a sentence:
Charlie: Calipo licking goodness.
Hammer: Got that sweet sweet juice
Hammer: I like camo.
Charlie: Sunset Blue when it mixes with the pink bits.
Charlie: High Fidelity.
Hammer: The Warriors.
What’s your star sign?
Have you ever been in love?
Hammer: I am currently in love and it feels geuuush.
Have you ever had your heartbroken?
Hammer: My heart’s been shattered a couple times yeah. Is what it is.
Charlie: I don’t think so…maybe I’m an emotionless bot in the simulation that we’re all definitely, definitely in.
How do you deal with a broken heart?
Hammer: Ice cold WKD
Charlie: I recommend a bubble bath.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Hammer: Hands down Jessica Rabbit.
Charlie: Kristin Scott Thomas in The English Patient. I watched it with my mum when I was really young – pretty gnarly film to see at that age.
Last book you read:
Hammer: Just Kids by Patti Smith.
Charlie: Hitch 22 by Christopher Hitchens.
First single/album you ever bought?
Charlie: Demon Days by Gorillaz.
Hammer: In Too Deep – Sum 41.
First band/act you ever went to see live?
Charlie: Kings Of Leon.
Hammer: 50 cent.
Hammer: My mum dropping between two boats.
Charlie: I think mine was falling down the stairs, weirdly.
What do you do in your spare time?
Charlie: Pretty much just make music.
Are you a morning or evening person?
Hammer: I’m into the morning.
First song you ever wrote?
Hammer: ‘The Shore’ a cheesy song about kissing a girl on the beach I wrote when I was a bubba.
Charlie: I think mine was pretty similar haha ‘The Garden’ about walking down the garden path with a girl – very sexy.
Hammer: It’s the double cheeseburger.
Favourite song of your own?
Charlie: The newest ones are always my favourite so I have to say ‘Luvin U’.
“Losing my mind there
tripping on you
And everything felt right
Everything felt just right
As mad as it might seem
Just wanted to say
My love for you baby
Is the only thing keeping me sane”
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