“HI-Dive is the house. HI-Dive is home.”
Micah Morris, a guitarist and singer in Dirty Few, has a haircut reminiscent of a blonde Joan Jett and recently exchanged his cutoffs for bell-bottoms and a vest. It’s my second day with Dirty Few, and they’ve allowed me to turn on my phone so I can record their conversations—without actually interviewing them.
“Get in here, enemy. Make us look cool,” says Spencer Stone, the bearded front man of the band.
Dirty Few doesn’t like talking about where their band name came from, or where they’re going next. What they do like is hanging out at the HI-Dive in Denver on a Sunday night, drinking Extra Gold, and half-assing pool tournaments. It’s their practice space and their performance space. It’s a place where they can stand outside on Broadway Street’s nearly vacant sidewalk and wait for a familiar punk to wander by.
“Music makes me wanna be real bad,” says Leo Gutierrez, the band’s bassist. He watches as two girls in all-black walk past him. “You girls look gorgeous tonight,” he tells them, and then turns back to his band mates. “I wanna flip a car or something.”
“You wanna flip a car or something?” says Spencer Stone.
“Let’s flip a smart car, we could get five or six done real easy like bam bam bam bam,” their friend Devon chimes in.
“Let’s flip our van!” says Spencer Stone, “and not go to the show!”
Everyone laughs, including Gutierrez, who echoes a “Fuck yeah!” in response. “Just let me get my guitar out of there first,” Gutierrez says.
Dirty Few is twins Spencer Stone and Seth Stone, Gutierrez, guitarist Morris, and singer Kim Phat. This is only the lineup of about a year and the band never travels without an army of other inebriated characters—a product of what Morris calls the “incestuous” Denver scene. Last weekend, they played a Colorado trifecta, starting with Flux Capacitor in Colorado Springs on Saturday and finishing at Surfside 7 in Fort Collins.
Other bands at the Springs show included Shiii Waaa, Midnight Reruns, and Cheap Perfume.
Flux is a basement warehouse in a building on North Chelton Loop. When I arrived, I was alone in a crowd of what looked like band members drinking beers and smoking above a driveway filled with muck. A walkway above the pit led indoors, and the bathroom walls told me things like “Beat meat/meat beast” and “warm trash.”
Once I had a good look at the stage, nearly level with the crowd, I knew I was in for the intimate.
Flux opened 14 months ago and it has seen a host of shows from stoner-metal band Blighter to local roots artist Grant Sabin. The focus for the group of DIY-conspirators who spent months prepping the scene: a space for an all-ages community to release their energy, a place that’s run by the musicians.
I introduced myself. A band member bestowed upon me a beer, and I was treated to a set of songs with catchy lyrics like, “I was twenty one/and I had/so much fun/Now I’m twenty-five/thank god/I’m still alive” and punny songs titled “High Wasted.” When Dirty Few wasn’t shredding thrash-happy versions of their recordings, they were in the front row participating in Midnight Reruns’ set, screaming into the microphone and generally making the mosh pit. While they were performing, Phat was in the crowd, charging at fans.
“Should we call this band beer break?” Spencer Stone shouts into the audience.
If you search Dirty Few on YouTube, you’ll come up with two music videos and a video titled “Dirty Few drummer pukes while playing.”
“I’m scared of throwing up every show,” Seth Stone later said. It wasn’t the drummer who threw up that night, however—it was Gutierrez, in the comfort of relative outdoor darkness.
After the show I gave them a Weber Street address in hopes that a college party would be a good fit; it was. Morris, who offered to give me a matching haircut, jumped off the roof and onto two mattresses placed at an angle from the house and landed face first in the dirt. Spencer Stone later sent me a picture of Morris’s bloody forehead, and a text that said: “He’s jamming to the thong song! He’s fine!”
The lifestyle works for Dirty Few, and they have no plans of ceasing to deliver rager after rager to punk lovers and bar regulars alike. Bathed in red light at the Lion’s Lair on Sunday night, they looked like devils from the HI-Dive, the troubadours of rock n’ roll revival. When I finally get them all together in Spencer Stone’s bedroom after the show, their Black Lips and Rolling Stones t-shirts sweat-stained, they talk about fear. Namely, of Phat farting on Spencer Stone’s pillow and giving him pink eye, the hypothetical terror of dying in a basement, and the only thing the band is truly scared of: the van breaking down on tour.
“That one time we got stuck for 27 hours or something like that…where that fucking band in almost famous is from?” Phat pauses. “Stillwater. Stillwater, Oklahoma.”
Spencer Stone chimes in: “Ok dude. Hate that place, love the band, love the movie.”
“You have no clue what we went through,” says Seth Stone. “We started planning out our futures like Kim’s gonna work at Panda Express, I’m gonna work at Best Buy.” Luckily, they got a ride from their friend’s mom.
Phat still hadn’t farted on the pillow, so the rockers got nostalgic instead—they’ve come a long way.
Seth Stone puts it well: “We had a party house in Nashville where we used to throw our shows there, and then we moved here after that and that’s when we started Dirty Few. We went from the house party scene to the house party scene inside music venues,” he says.
“I am in this band to get girls and free beer. I don’t get girls, but I do get free beer,” Spencer Stone says.