The news may or may not have spread like a wildfire yet, but the fact of the matter is: Dirty Mittens is no more. 

It's some kind of shock to the musical system, considering the acclaim that the band has received over the last two years for their high energy live shows and the spark of their recently released album Heart of Town

Fear not, music fans, the band isn't really disappearing completely. Several of the members are rearranging Dirty Mittens songs and the Dirty Mitten sound for a whole new project called Artifice. Intrigued yet? Us too. That's why we had to track down someone from the Dirty Mittens/Artifice camp to find out what the deal was. Bassist Pat Griffin took the lead and corresponded with us via e-mail about the band split and the new project that will have a live debut on New Year's Eve at Dig A Pony.

First and foremost - can you talk about what happened and why the Dirty Mittens are disbanding? 

Dirty Mittens started out as three piece, but at one point was as large as 10. The constant fluidity gave us an opportunity to play with some incredible musicians, but became so difficult to maintain that we were constantly re-writing our songs to fit our current lineup. It became apparent during our last tour that, as tough as it was to admit, the fluidity of the members and current versions of the material were not making us happy as people, and our performance was starting to suffer.  

Why abandon the name completely? Couldn't you have kept on with the name rather than switching to Artifice? 

We really feel like we needed to hit reset. As much as we love our record Heart Of Town, as much as we were overwhelmed by the incredible support we received from the best city in the world, as much nostalgia as we have for the last many years with this project, Dirty Mittens as you and I know it, is done. We've just had to accept that. 

What does this mean for the sound of the band? Will that change completely or will you attempt a similar sort of aesthetic? 

While the bands share some members, the approach and the aesthetic between the two will be very different. Artifice will definitely have a  darker, more intense dance sound. Live, we want to be a spectacle, we want to sound like charging elephants! I think we are almost there.

What do you have planned for the big NYE show at Dig A Pony? 

We are ecstatic. Purple & Green have had an incredible year, I'm sure they will send it off correctly. We have a lot planned, this is going to be our first chance to show people what we have up to, and to show off this sound that we are all so proud of.  

Any plans for 2012? 

We want to do as much as possible. That is why we are starting the year off right, we want to make 2012 the year that we distill what Artifice is, and deliver whatever that may be to as many people as possible.