“A kebab nearly took my life”: 13 Questions with The Dirty Nil’s Luke Bentham

Fearlessly facing Kerrang!’s randomly-selected 13 Questions, The Dirty Nil frontman Luke Bentham relives the time a kebab almost killed him, as well as thinking about a world without memes, the wonder of dogs, educational Slipknot masks, and more…

“A kebab nearly took my life”: 13 Questions with The Dirty Nil’s Luke Bentham
Emily Carter
Steph Montani

This Friday, wonderful Ontario punks The Dirty Nil return with their new album Free Rein To Passions. To mark the occasion, frontman Luke Bentham explains why you need to listen to it, as well as giving us his thoughts on the internet, dogs, famous pals and his mum’s dodgy muffins in our 13 Questions series (apologies, Luke’s mum).

1If you were in Slipknot, what would your mask be?

“I guess all the ones that I would gravitate towards are already chosen, so I’m gonna have to go with a sick black mask – obviously, I think you have to – and coming off of it I would have a bunch of pencils. It would be educational – it’s all for the children!”

2When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

“I wanted to be a cowboy outlaw, but then I realised that you can’t do that anymore. And then I wanted to play rock’n’roll, so I got my second choice. And you know what? The more I read about that [cowboy outlaw] era, the more I’m happy that I was born in this one.”

3What happens when we die?

“You rot in the ground, and that’s about it. But I guess I’ve got to try and make this a bit more positive, so I’ll say that eventually your atoms are reconstituted as new life, and possibly one day a new star, so that’s pretty cool. That’s the only glimpse of an afterlife that I subscribe to.”

4Where’s the best place you’ve ever been?

“I’ve gotta go with either Muskoka, here in Ontario, which is kind of like cottage country. It’s just very beautiful. Or the Amalfi Coast in Italy. I stayed in a little town there right behind Amalfi and Positano and we hiked in – I’d never been to Italy before and it was just completely breathtaking.”

5What was the last lie that you told?

“Let’s see… (laughs). It was probably that the muffins that my mom made were good. They were not! You could have stopped a robbery with those muffins. They were really dense, and they reminded me of food that you’d eat at some sort of medieval recreation centre where they’re like, ‘This is what they used to eat…’ It was not good – sorry, mom!”

6What’s your worst habit?

“Probably overthinking, but I also view my overthinking tendencies as having benefits, too. I’m a bit obsessive and it kind of forces me to finish things and do my best doing them. So I wouldn’t want to lose my worst habit.”

7What’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten?

“I had a kebab in Moscow that nearly took my life. I went to Moscow and Saint Petersburg in 2019, and it was actually really tough to get in as a Canadian but I really wanted to see it. To say that this kebab was made without love is a gross understatement – it was made with hate, for sure! I think they took one look at me and were like, ‘Alright, we’re gonna give this guy the full treatment.’ All the ingredients were completely off, and then they put it in a plastic bag and then microwaved it – so not only did I have the spoiled ingredients, but I also had the added deluxe toppings of carcinogens. I only took a couple of bites, and I didn’t get sick because my body was just like, ‘Stop eating that!’”

8What is your party trick?

“I’m not sure I have one, but I can spin my arms like this (both arms spin wildly in the opposite direction from each other). But I’ve yet to name this party trick – it’s still in the development phase…”

9What do dogs think about?

“Dogs think about what their next meal is gonna be, and my dog also thinks about what animal is underneath the deck. I think that’s about it – they have pretty simple thoughts, and that’s why I love them. I’m completely obsessed with dogs, like many people.”

10Who is the most famous person in your phonebook?

“Maybe Fat Mike from NOFX – we talk from time to time. Or the guys from Billy Talent – those are people that I regularly talk to. And the members of Alexisonfire, too. I remember one time texting Fat Mike in the morning east coast time, and they’re three hours behind in LA so he was texting me like, ‘Why are you texting me so goddamn early?!’ So I make sure to factor in the time difference now.”

11If your house was on fire, what’s the one thing you would save?

“I would save my Les Paul and my girlfriend – in no particular order (laughs).”

12If you had the power to turn the internet off, would you do it?

“No, I wouldn’t. Because somebody’s just gonna turn it back on again at some point. I think that railing against technological progress – even if it’s going badly – is just kinda shaking your fist at the wind. It’s happening with or without you. And as much as I despise aspects of the internet, like we all do, there’s certain elements of it that I can’t really imagine living without at this point. I do love going off the grid and going out into the wilderness and getting away from things, but what would the modern world be without its memes?”

13Why should people listen to The Dirty Nil’s new album, Free Rein To Passions?

“Because it’s the best album that we’ve ever made, and maybe will ever make. It rocks, and it’s heavy, and it’s nasty, and it’s sincere, and it’s funny, and Kyle’s drums sound amazing, and Sam played some beautiful Moog on it – we’ve never had Moog on one of our records before. I think the songs are quite tight, and it rips. It’s cool if you don’t like things that rip – if you like things that are bullshit, that’s fine. But if you like things that rock and rip, then listen to Free Rein To Passions – out everywhere May 26!”

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