Canadian punks The Dirty Nil's new album Free Rein to Passions is out today via Dine Alone Records. As vocalist Luke Bentham said when the album was announced, they went for more of a high-energy rock record and didn't overthink things much, compared to 2021's Fuck Art, and you can really feel that coming through in these songs that almost all feel built to knock you off your feet. To get a better idea of what The Dirty Nil were going for on this album, we asked them about some of its core influences, and Luke made us a list that includes some other high-energy bands (Power Trip, Militarie Gun, Single Mothers), as well as sports, food, soda, a documentary, a podcast, and more. Read on for what Luke had to say.

Along with the new album, they also put out this new video:


The studio we recorded at was quite isolated. Nothing around for miles, but we did have a basketball net in the parking lot. We started every day with some hoops, it was also great pallet cleanser after working for a few hours. Kyle and Sam are actually pretty good, I’m shite. This is our Hoops LP.

Hands on a Hardbody
This low budget '90s documentary was screened several times after a days work. I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re not familiar, it’s essentially a documentary about a competition at a Nissan dealership in rural Texas where contestants see how long they can keep their hand on a truck. The last one standing wins. It’s full of incredible quotes, human drama and madness. To quote one of its protagonists: "If you can’t hang with the big dogs, get up on the porch with the pups."

Riley Gale, Power Trip
The passing of Riley Gale profoundly affected us, and I think it certainly influenced Free Rein to Passions. Riley was incredible, a once in a generation force. Most impressively though, he made thrash accessible. Kyle bought a Power Trip flag and hung it in our practice space. I can vividly recall it waving as we blasted away on these songs.

Bubly soda water
Cases and cases, every goddamn day. There’s actually a few burps on the LP if you listen carefully.

Roast Beef Sandwiches
Pretty sure that’s all we ate while making this LP. It sounds ridiculous, but I could live on them.

Militarie Gun, All Roads Lead To The Gun
What a band! On repeat. What else do you want out of rock and roll?

Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great
My hero of heroes. I was on a Hitchens video binge when I wrote "The Light the Void and Everything."

Single Mothers, "Baby Bird"
My favourite Single Mothers song. Proud to call Drew our friend. This song makes my eyes well up with happiness. I was listening to it a lot when it dropped, still am.

GarageBand for Mac
In the depth of the pandemic, we couldn’t get together to work on music. I used the opportunity to fire up my old interface and use GarageBand to write again. When we started the band in 2006, we played the songs that I made in the program, and I didn’t really use it again until 2020. I always try and make them as terrible as possible, they’re almost unlistenable. However, it really gave me a purpose during those bleak lockdowns. There’s no better feeling than having a heater in your back pocket that no one has heard yet.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
My favourite podcast of all time, pairs well with long walks in woods. One of the themes of our record is enjoying life for what it is, hardcore history has pounded that perspective into my head.


The Dirty Nil are also gearing up for co-headlining tour with Daniel Romano's Outfit, including NYC's Bowery Ballroom on July 8. All dates:

6/1/23 - Ferndale, MI @ Loving Touch
6/2/23 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
6/4/23 - St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
6/6/23 - Winnipeg, MB @ The Park Theatre
6/7/23 - Saskatoon, SK @ Louis Pub
6/8/23 - Red Deer, AB @ Starlite Room
6/10/23 - Calgary, AB @ Commonwealth
6/11/23 - Medicine Hat, AB @ Casa Amigos
6/13/23 - Nelson, BC @ Spirit Bar
6/14/23 - Kelowa, BC @ Runaways
6/15/23 - Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw
6/16/23 - Victoria, BC @ Capital Ballroom
6/17/23 - Seattle, WA @ Madam Lou’s
6/18/23 - Portland, OR @ Polaris Hall
6/20/23 - San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
6/21/23 - Fresno, CA - Strummers
6/22/23 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Troubadour
6/23/23 - San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
6/24/23 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar
6/25/23 - El Paso, TX - Lowbrow Palace
6/27/23 - Austin, TX @ Parish
6/28/23 - Dallas, TX @ Three Links
6/29/23 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Halls (Upstairs)
6/30/23 - New Orleans, LA @ Santos
7/1/23 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
7/2/23 - Nashville, TN @ Basement East
7/5/23 - Richmond, VA @ Richmond Music Hall
7/6/23 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
7/7/23 - Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
7/8/23 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
7/11/23 - Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom
7/12/23 - Boston, MA @ Sonia
7/13/23 - Syracuse, NY @ The Lost Horizon
7/14/23 - Buffalo, NY @ Red Room

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