Dirty Heads road ready and rarin' to go 0
After scoring one of the decade's biggest rock singles, Lay Me Down, from their debut album, the Dirty Heads had Rolling Stone Magazine hailing them as one of the year's best new bands. With their latest CD, Cabin by the Sea, set for release next month, Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with front man Jared 'Dirty J' Watson.
24: Being from Southern California, do you find there's some kind of laid-back West Coast vibe up here in Vancouver?
JW: I think that there is. Southern California and Northern California are different but once you head north into Oregon, Seattle and into Vancouver, it all kind of feels like home to me. I love coming up here. I feel that the bigger cities in Canada like Vancouver and Toronto are just like nicer versions of the big cities we have in the States but the people here are nicer and the chicks are way hotter - and the weed is pretty good.
Any chance I can get to get up to Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal it's cool. The architecture is cool and the food's good.
JW: The name Dirty Heads came from a nickname; we don't know who exactly originated it, it was either me or Dustin's older brother or a mom or something like that. We have surf class in High School in Southern California, so Jon Olazabal (percussion) and I and the guys would go to surf class and probably not go to school that day and then tag along with our older brothers and then steal their beers or something.
We were always constantly getting into trouble and that was our little crew hanging out and tagging along and somebody dubbed us Dirty Heads.
When Dustin Bushnell (guitarist) and I started writing music that was the name of the first song that we wrote. That kind of stuck and we're like, "Oh great, now we've got this stupid name (laughs)".
24: Your music is described as reggae, ska and rock and yet listening to you, I don't hear a predominance of any one of those styles. It's more an amalgam of a variety of genres. Is that fair to say?
JW: I think that's very fair and I'm glad you said that. Nothing bothers us but I don't know if we're conscious about getting pigeon-holed as one of those reggae/rock groups that everybody links back to Sublime. That's fine because they were such an inspiration for us back in the day but I do feel that our style isn't just reggae/rock; I feel we're set apart from that style of music.
We've kind of found our sound with the new album and I now feel that the Dirty Heads sound like the Dirty Heads.
We've been playing for so long and I really think that we nailed it on this album. I definitely don't think we'll be pigeon-holed anymore after this album.
24: Your song 'Lay Me Down' became a huge hit. Is it tough to follow up on that and do you consciously think that you have to top it?
JW: It's funny, but we're just so happy that we even had that so there isn't really that much pressure. Out of all of our songs, we didn't think that, that song would be that much of a success so when something like that happens we're killer stoked. I feel like if you let that get to you and figure you've got to write more of those, you're going to get in your own head. I don't think you can dwell on that stuff. We're not going to sit down and write twelve 'Lay Me Downs'.
24: How do you think you've matured as a singer/songwriter and developed as an artist on your new album, 'Cabin by the Sea"?
JW: I think just experience. I think no matter what you do and what job you have, the more you do it, the better you're going to get. After 'Any Port in a Storm', we played over 200 shows in like a year and a half and were writing a lot with other people and we learned a lot from our producers. We just grew as a band and as writers and musicians. It's just maturing, I guess and realizing that this is what we can do for the rest of our lives if we really put our minds to it.
24: Do enjoy all the time on the road and all that comes with touring?
JW: I love it for a certain amount of time and there are pros and cons. We grew up as a band in a van then we got to move up to a tour bus and it was like night and day. I love being on the road after we've been home for awhile; it's addictive. Say we have a three month tour, at the end of that tour, all I want to do is go and sleep in my own bed and hang out with my friends and see my family. Then after your home for like a month, I'm ready to go back out and play shows. It's so fun to go out and connect with your fans and its great to go and play shows where maybe the last time we played the venue, there were maybe five fans.