2009. The Midlands. Two musicians drink in a pub, having recently come back from the U.S., looking to form a new band. It happened. Ally Dickaty (lead vocals, guitar), and Danny Dolan (drums, backing vocals), met Matt Rose (bass, backing vocals) and The Virginmarys were born.

Seven years on, after relentless touring, and the savage Brit-rock of 2013’s King Of Conflict, we were lucky enough to have a quick chat with Ally about their second album Divides, what he thinks about selling your soul, and the music scene in general.

Your group speaks out about society and the music industry in a non bs way, saying what many people think, but few people say. What are some of your main influences when it comes to having strong ethics in your music?

Yeah, sadly I don’t think there’s all that much coming out right about now in the rock genre that we particularly feel. You know, we switch on the radio, and we just switch it back off again a lot of the time. You’ve just got to play from the heart really, and not be seduced by the whole image. I don’t know what you’re really expected to write, or how you’re expected to be perceived to be successful, because you have to keep a hold of your soul and integrity… so just follow that. Follow your heart, as corny as that is.

Well it’s one of those sayings that is actually true. I think there was even a song from your first album, that was speaking about this as well…

Yeah, ‘You’ve Got Your Money, I’ve Got My Soul’ touches upon it. You’ll get a lot of people like Simon Cowell who’ll just take it and mould it. But the type of stuff that I grew up listening to, was a lot of 60s, 70s, then punk bands in the 80s, it just seems a lot more real and untouched. Everything now just seems a little too manufactured, auto-tuned, and you just don’t get the feeling that it’s actually music, or, how I think music should be.

With the whole auto-tune thing, there’s the question of whether it’s helping the music industry or not. What do you think about it?

I think there’s a time and a place for it, but it just depends how much it’s used really, and to what effect. It seems like there’s a lot of stars who really can’t sing their own stuff when it comes to live performances, which is just pathetic. It seems like all you need to do is not have a mind of your own, have a pretty face and some big tits type of thing. I think it’s quite sad that it’s come to that…

In regards to yourselves, you’ve spoken previously about bands that you like such as Motörhead, another band with the three-piece set-up. Is there anything in particular that you like about performing in this formation?

Yeah I don’t think there’s a particular reason, I think it’s just how we are. I guess there’s nowhere to hide in a three-piece, you know everything is just exposed. But it was never a conscious effort to become like a ‘power trio’. I sing and play the guitar, and it’s not really that necessary to have a second guitar player, so luckily everyone is really good at their instrument. Though there is something really cool about bands like the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Motörhead, Nirvana. There’s just something very direct about it.

So like the intro song ‘Push The Pedal’ in your new album, it’s all very direct and high energy. In terms of the album as a whole, what was the process like in deciding which songs would be left in and which would be left out?

Well there were some songs we had that we played live, and it’s just a shame that they didn’t make it on. It was taking the best songs of a particular style really. It’s not like all the songs included are our own personal favourites, it’s just that we like to keep it exciting and keep it fresh.

Can you say a little about how the song ‘Halo In Her Silhouette’ was put together?

It was the riff that came first, and we just thought that it was very powerful. Then the verse came. It’s written about one of those girls that’s maybe, you know, misunderstood, they’ve got a huge heart, but are quite conflicted also. Yeah, it’s one of the most high energy songs on the album. Love the ending, it’s got a lot of layers, just kind of a punk influence song.

In regards to your writing, is it something that you’ve always done or did it come with the music?

I think it came after really. I was never into writing lyrics until I had to write lyrics, I was never really going to be a singer until I had to sing. But now, I’d also love to co-write some stuff that isn’t music and was more story-based stuff for a series. I just think it would be pretty interesting.

You’ve played with a lot of world leading artists, are there any off the top of your head that really stood out?

I think a big one was playing with Queens Of The Stone Age in Berlin. That was really inspiring, where you see how good a rock band can be when they’re really on it. It rejuvenated my faith in how big, and epic, a rock show can be now.

Do you have any general advice for musicians out there who are still struggling to get their first major signing?

Just keep believing in yourself, and also keep writing. I always feel like I need to write a better song than what I’ve done already, and that’s one of the things that keeps me going. Do it for the right reasons, don’t become complacent, keep as busy as you can, and get in-front of as many people as you can.

Divides is available on iTunes now and released nationally on May 6. The Virginmarys are currently on tour in the UK.