Life was going swimmingly for drummer and singer Sandy Hazard when in 2012 his band The Mcrackins, whom he had been with since 1995 came to an abrupt halt. For most people, you just transition to daily life but for Hazard it was a major disruption of his daily life. He had been playing, recording and touring since he was 16 years old and suddenly found himself without that creative outlet. So, he took about 18 months or so off.
In 2014 Sandy got in touch with guitarist, Mick Wood, a friend since the 80s and with whom he had played in the 90s band Grandma Moses. “Mick has always had great presence and is just a fantastic R n’ R style guitarist, perfect for the “back to the roots” thing I was looking for,” recalls Hazard. So, the duo started writing (with Hazard providing lead vocals as well as drumming) and before long they had enough material to do an album, so with the help of old friend, bassist, Steve Bratz, the first DIRTBAG REPUBLIC album was recorded and released in 2015. And sold out immediately. And, as often happens, their fanbase demanded a second album from them, so 2017 saw the release of ‘Downtown Eastside,’ Mixed by Stu Mckillop (Unleash The Archers) and mastered by Svante Forsback (Michael Monroe/Backyard Babies) which also sold out immediately, requiring a second pressing.
Both albums not only found favor with fans but with critics as well, receiving strong reviews from the likes of Classic Rock, Powerplay, Vive Le Rock, Decibel Geek, Sleaze Roxx and Australia’s Rock Pit, where ‘Downtown Eastside’ wound up on the website’s “Best of 2017” year end list in the #8 spot.
2020 saw DIRTBAG REPUBLIC put together a full band with the addition of second guitarist, Mike Federici, bassist, Dave Worden (ex-Young Gun) and drummer Ed Nijjer. The plan was to becoming a touring unit but 2020 got in the way. Hazard said the band was ready to roll for live shows right when the pandemic hit. They focused their downtime on writing songs for album number 4 instead.
Sessions for album number three began in 2019. Tear Down Your Idols was recorded at The Woodshed and Hazmat Studios, both in British Columbia, Canada. Hazard describes the album as being so low down it’s dragging its ass through the gutter filth. The band has grown exponentially since 2014 and strived to create anthemic songs throughout the record.
As for the title, Hazard tells it like it is: “It comes from a few different angles, actually. People like to discover a band and hang onto them dearly when they are lesser known. If they suddenly blow up and become wildly popular, they get a stigma attached to them and people like to “tear them down” a notch or call them a sellout. Another instance I’ve noticed is when you see some of the classic bands from the 80s who have had either health problems or are not regularly active live. Some of them sound like their expiration was due long ago and are just trying to milk their legacy. These two lines in the song perfectly sums up that aspect.
“Everybody loves them now
Give it 2 to 4 more years
Going from the next messiahs
to the cancer of a Britney Spears”
“They’ll do whatever they can
Plastic surgery in Japan
If that’s what takes to keep their fans
To stick around for one more year
Re-release the album again
With demos from a garbage bin
Deluxe cash grabbin’ new version
It doesn’t really matter….anymore”
Produced by Sandy and Mick, the album was mixed by Tim Neuhaus at EarArt Music and mastered by Harry Hess (Harem Scarem, Danko Jones, Billy Talent) at HBomb Mastering.