Filthy T
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Filthy T

Denver, Colorado, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Alternative Hip Hop

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Filthy T is back with a vengeance. The hip-hop rock outfit has dropped the hardest hitting album of the year to date out of Denver. Driven by punk attitude, the band raps about all things honest and relevant and backs it up with engaging harmonic backups and rock-driven instrumentation. They take rap-metal, remove the lameness, and replace it with a much more upbeat punk rock and modern hip hop fury that makes their sound appealing across genre lines.

“Since The Day” is the strongest song on the record. True, I’m a sucker for strong guitar work, but this track features more than just guitar- female vocals, for one, in addition to audio proof that Filthy T actually has talent. “Don’t Forget” is along the same lines, minus the added female charm.

It is hard to label these guys- they take the best elements of rap and alt rock and smash them together like the eighties and nineties are happening all over again, and the end result is a breathtakingly awesome fresh style that makes you want to party like it’s 1999. - Colorado Music Buzz


It’s a new year, so why not jazz up life with a little new music to match? This year KTCL’s Hometown For The Holidays competition formally introduced Denver to Filthy T, a new age rock and hip hop collision who’s produced a sonic boom of funky jams soaring right to our earbuds. Although the band has been together for nearly eight years, this year seems poised to be the band’s biggest yet. We all fell in love with their radio single “Hearts On You” during the Hometown competition, but the band is set to release five more tracks for fans on January 23rd with the release of their new EP “Twice The World Away, Vol. 1”.

A mix of dance beats, funky horn and guitar lines, and upbeat lyrics, the new “Twice The World Away” EP showcases the unique blend of genres the band has mastered during their time together. The calculated feel of the rapping on track “Colors” reminds listeners of the style of Atmosphere, while the next song “Never Been Alone” feels much more closely related to the up-beat, anthemic pop tracks that have been all over the radio lately. Not sure how you’ll feel listening to something so eclectic? I guarantee you’ll be on board by the end of the album’s first track, “Horns”, a high energy welcome to Filthy T family that you can’t sit still to. With distant familiarities to other locals Air Dubai and Bop Skizzum (who they’ve opened for multiple times), Filthy T’s EP is a sampler platter, showcasing the band’s diversity to it’s fullest and acting as an easy introduction for any new fan. Be sure to dig around once you get your hands on the EP for a hidden track that has totally become my jam recently. The band is playing a release party the night of the 23rd at the Marquis Theatre (tickets on sale here) and we’ll be giving away a pair tickets for you and a friend to check it out, so keep your eyes on all things Ultra5280 early next week. - Ultra5280


Filthy T is an excellent example of a group creating music inspired by Denver’s eclectic scene. Combining elements of alt-rock, hip hop, and funk into an upbeat, catchy amalgam, this four-piece Mile High City outfit has a brand new EP, Twice the World Away: Vol. 1, they’re release on Friday, January 23 at the Marquis Theater. The men of Filthy T sat down with AXS to discuss their newest release, along with some of the incredible work they’ve done work for local nonprofit organizations.

AXS: Are you Denver natives? If not, where is everyone originally from?
Russell Hedman (rapper, producer): Some of us are Colorado natives, some of us are transplants, but musically, we were all raised by the Denver scene. The spirit of Denver itself is a successful mix of polar opposites – this is a place where tech startups flourish in cowboy culture. This is probably the only city on earth where hippies and republicans co-celebrate 420.
Joe Barnholt (rhythm guitar, vocals): I’m the only city-born Denverite, but Kirby grew up down the road in Durango. Joe Shull brings the guitar skills of Prince with him from his homeland of 10,000 lakes, and vocalist Russell was born on a Navajo reservation in the Southwest. Our varied backgrounds are probably our biggest strength -- we use our difference to weave a cohesive sound that we love.

AXS: What brought Filthy T together?
Joe Shull (lead guitar): I suppose like any good band we were brought together by the love of music, but not quite how you'd expect. Russell (our rapper) pretty much only listened to The Offspring until age 17 and never even bothered turning on KS107.5. In high school, Russell met Joe Barnholt (our guitarist) -- a scrawny white kid who grew up in urban Denver schools and was on a strict hip hop listening diet. Joe introduced Russell to Nas' Stillmatic (that's right, Russell somehow missed out on the first 10 years of Nas). Then Russell taught Joe how to play a power chord.
Joe Barnholt: And just like that, our musical destiny was made.

AXS: How long has Filthy T been together? What have you learned during that time?
Kirby Beegles (bass): We started rocking in 2008. We’ve had so many different bandmates during that time - and each one has brought a different background, skill-set and perspective on life. We always learn from each other, and even when people leave the band, their influence remains behind as part of the Filthy T culture.
Joe Shull: Mostly, we've learned that getting groupies is a lot harder than the movies make it seem. We think we have located the problem, and have ordered tighter spandex pants, which we will donning at our CD release show on January 23 at The Marquis... [wink]

AXS: Where was your first show in Denver, and what was the experience like? Who else did you play with at the show?
Joe Barnholt: Our first show was a great story of people coming together in Denver. We have no idea what the club is called now (it's gone by many names... Rockstar Lounge, Tao, and the incredible gay club Hunks), but at the time the venue was DC-10, an aviation inspired nightclub with the sleek interior of a private jet. Since everyone knows everyone in Denver, we knew the owner, who literally gifted the club to us on a Thursday night -- just because it’s Denver, and people are awesome.
Russell: We had no idea what were were doing, but we knew we needed “loudness” so we rented our own PA system ourselves. We then attempted to mix the show live from the stage, while singing... which went over about as well as you can imagine. We didn't know any other bands to book for openers at the time, so we asked our buddy Dan Enfield, who is a stand up comedian, to come tell some jokes.

AXS: Have any Denver musicians inspired Filthy T?
Kirby: When we started carving out our space in the rock rap scene, 3OH!3 and The Flobots were paving the way for Colorado's mixed genre success. Bands like Breathe Carolina and Air Dubai carry on the tradition of making great music without regard to stylistic boundaries. And we meet new bands every day that are constantly breaking barriers in music that have the true feel of being uniquely Denver. So long story short, everyone inspires us.
Russell: Our KTCL Christmas song was a perfect example of the Denver music confluence that inspires us; we had pop singers, rappers, rock keyboardists and producers in the Filthy T Studio working intensely for 24 hours. We pulled out a modern version of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa” that people loved and that put a lot of holiday smiles on Denver faces. All of the bands we brought in were from KTCL’s Hometown for the Holidays Top 11 for 2014 -- even though we were in active “competition” with each other, no one cared and everyone pitched in. That’s the Denver spirit in a nutshell.

AXS: What projects are Filthy T currently working on?
Russell: We put out the first single from our new album in December (“Heart’s On You”), which got picked for KTCL’s Hometown for the Holidays Top 11. It’s racked up a few thousand plays in over 30 countries at this point and we’re really proud.
Kirby: The album is titled Twice The World Away: Vol 1. In a way, it’s a return to what makes Filthy T unique -- we’re mixing funky guitar parts with well-thought-out raps and power choruses. The release concert is on January 23rd at The Marquis.

AXS: What else is Filthy T involved in locally, either as individuals or as a group?
Joe Barnholt: We’re your typical well-rounded Denver kids - ha! Our rapper is a Harvard educated lawyer, our lead guitarist is an financial analyst, and remaining two guys are engineers. Our bass player is expecting his first child this spring, so please keep an eye out for miniature basses on eBay!
Russell: We do a lot of benefit work and donating -- I’m probably most proud of our work in spreading awareness about PTSD affecting our veterans and fundraising for related support programs. We did a song called “Don’t Forget” on our last album about a veteran returning from Iraq and struggling to re-find his place in society and battling his depression.
Kirby: With a huge outpouring of support from the community, we’ve organized benefit concerts to fundraise for The Claire Davis Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Colorado, and the Aurora Victim Relief Fund. Each of these has been such a powerful and important part of the work we do as musicians. These opportunities to give back to this community we love so much is one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve had as a band, and we continue to look for ways to raise awareness and support for those in need around us.

AXS: Does Filthy T have a goal in mind for the sound the band produces? Are there certain influences or themes the band tries to inject into its own music?
Joe Shull: We try to draw on everything that rocks. We have a deep love of the big Swedish pop producers (like Max Martin, the emperor of the charts) and mega respect for Ryan Tedder’s incredible hooks. And we keep a funky spirit, focused pretty squarely on the funky guitar strings of Nile Rodgers.
Russell: Lyrically, I wanted to write the world an open letter with the songs to say “you get one chance to live so don’t sleep in reality -- wake up and dream”. I hope the songs inspire people and draw them into the moment. The rap on the new album is influenced a lot by Gym Class Heroes, Pharrell, and B.O.B.

AXS: For someone who has never seen or heard Filthy T, what would you tell them to entice them to watch your set?
Joe Shull: The Red Hot Chili Peppers gained fame and notoriety by wearing tube socks over their genitals. We, taking inspiration, have decided to go with "regular pants" over our respective extremities. What we lack in tube socks we make up for in crowd-energizing dance beats.

AXS: What would your ideal live show look like? Where would it take place? Any particular time of year? Would a specific band/musician share the bill with or open for Filthy T?
Kirby: We would love to cover to the entire Frozen soundtrack in the dead of winter at Red Rocks. Snowboarding will be encouraged.

AXS: What shows are you looking forward to over the next few months?
Joe Barnholt: Dave Grohl and his rowdy bunch of Foo Fighters will be here in August, and we can't wait! Anxious is our favorite local rapper, and he will be tearing up Herman's Hideaway on January 16 (if you haven’t heard that guy, he’s an insane talent). And of course, our CD release show on Friday, January 23rd, which most of the band is sure to attend.

AXS: What do you enjoy most about Denver’s music scene, and why?
Russell: We love the defiance of genres and the perseverance in building our own music scene -- one that influences the tastes of America more and more every year. - AXS


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos