For some bands, finding who they are is just one of the many struggles they may face. Naming the band, deciding what their sound will be, and knowing where they want their career to go doesn’t always come easy. However, in true SoCal style — laidback and positive — everything came naturally to Huntington Beach’s The Dirty Heads.
So what is a “dirty head?” It can be said that the band let their peers name them. “Dirty Heads was kind of just the crew we hung around with — it’s what they just called us,” frontman Jared Watson told The Weekender.
Watson, along with Dustin “Duddy” Bushnell, Matt Ochoa, David Foral, and Jon Olazabal come together to blend their musical interests of reggae, rock, and hip-hop to create a band that has been taking over the airwaves.
With influences including the Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Gang Starr, and DJ Premier, to name a few, creating that summery “toes in the sand and drink in hand” sound became apparent.
“We didn’t really sit down and say, ‘Hey, let’s write music that’s hip-hop or reggae,’” shared Watson, “It was all based off of what we listened to and grew up on.”
The Dirty Heads released their debut album “Any Port in a Storm” in late 2008. It wasn’t until after they spent a summer being the “black sheep” of the Vans Warped Tour and reissued a deluxe version of that record in early 2010 that the band started to receive positive feedback.
The single “Lay Me Down,” featuring Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome, was added to album, reaching the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Alternative chart for 11 consecutive weeks.
The Dirty Heads’ sophomore release, “Cabin by the Sea,” was a sign that the Heads were here to stay. The title track from the release is still on regular rotation for radio stations across the country.
“Cabin by the Sea” also contains the collaborations that Dirty Heads’ fans look for; Ky-Mani Marley, Matisyahu, Del the Funky Homosapien, and again, Rome, can be heard.
Watson’s insight into how which artist is chosen for which track can be viewed as probably the most naturally occurring process for the band. “I think the song more so picks the person. Once we have the song finished, we say, ‘This is calling for somebody, this really needs somebody else on it, or I can hear this person on it,’” he revealed.
The band is just beginning their month-long headlining tour, which will stop at Stroudsburg’s Sherman Theater tomorrow night with opening acts Trouble City All-Stars and The Burning of Rome.
Meanwhile, The Dirty Heads are currently working on a new album in between touring. Songs from “Port,” “Cabin,” and their acoustic album “Home – Phantoms of Summer: The Acoustic Sessions” can be heard on this tour.