Dirty Heads

Dirty Heads is an American alternative band from Huntington Beach, California. Their debut album, Any Port in a Storm, was released on September 23, 2008, by Executive Music Group (Fontana/Universal). Their newest album, Super Moon, was released August 9, 2019. They have been associated with music groups such as Sublime with Rome, 311, and Pepper and have toured with groups such as Cobra Starship, AER, and Gym Class Heroes.

Dirty Heads
Dirty Heads 0001.jpg
Background information
OriginHuntington Beach, California
Years active2006–present
Associated acts
MembersJared Watson (Dirty J)
Dustin Bushnell (Duddy B)
Jon Olazabal
Matt Ochoa
David Foral
Shawn Hagood
Past membersJosh Freese


Early historyEdit

The band was founded in 2006 by Jared "Dirty J" Watson and vocalist/guitarist Dustin "Duddy B" Bushnell in Orange County, CA, where there was reggae/ska influence. The two first met at a party during their first year of high school. Upon hearing one of Bushnell's rap demo tapes, Watson became inspired to collaborate with him on a new project. At the time Bushnell was already in a punk rock band, while Watson had no previous music experience.[2] In Bushnell's garage, the two began writing hip-hop songs with reggae and punk influences. The band's name stems from their older brothers and family calling them "dirty heads" when they were younger.[citation needed]

Any Port in a StormEdit

Later, percussionist Jon Olazabal and bassist David Foral were added to the lineup. Record producer Rob Cavallo, who was the chief creative officer at Warner Bros. signed the band to Warner Bros., but artistic differences led them to leave the label. The band managed to keep hold of their master recordings through the separation, which make up the bulk of Any Port in a Storm.[3] The band then connected with producers Steve Fox and Stan Frazier (drummer from Sugar Ray) to complete their debut album. The album features appearances from Beatles collaborator Billy Preston, Peruvian jazz percussionist Alex Acuna, Grammy nominated British reggae singer and DJ Tippa Irie, and Indie 103.1 reggae host Native Wayne. The song "Check the Level" includes guitarist Slash and heavy metal vocalist M. Shadows. The album was mixed by Beastie Boys producer Mario C,[4] and Lewis Richards of 17th Street Recording. During the time period of making the album, drummer Matt Ochoa was not in the band and drummer of multiple known bands, including Sublime with Rome and Nine Inch Nails, Josh Freese stepped in to play drums.

The group first entered the rock/reggae scene when "Ring the Alarm" was chosen as a song on the first Pier Sampler.[5] The band started touring heavily in California, Arizona, and some parts of Mexico before becoming a national touring act. They maintain close ties with groups such as Sublime with Rome.[6]

The Dirty Heads tour the U.S. frequently with bands such as OAR, 311, Pepper, Kottonmouth Kings, Unwritten Law, Matisyahu, and Sublime with Rome. The band has also been part of marketing campaigns for Etnies Jeans,[7] Rag Dynasty Shirts, and Vestal Watches. The Dirty Heads were among the first bands featured on YouTube's "RAWsession". The set included a cover of Coldplay's "Viva La Vida".[8]

Their most successful single to date, "Lay Me Down", features vocalist/guitarist Rome Ramirez of Sublime With Rome. Produced by Stan Frazier and Steve Fox, the song was originally written by Bushnell and Ramirez in about 4 hours, who were under the influence of marijuana at the time. The video was directed by Thomas Mignone and premiered on MTV on June 24, 2010.[citation needed] The song became the No.1 Alternative hit after its release and remained No.1 for more than 10 weeks.

Cabin by the SeaEdit

On March 9, 2012, the song "Spread Too Thin", from their album Cabin by the Sea, premiered on KROQ. On the origins of the song, Watson commented, "In the music industry, there are ups-and-downs, and it's probably more emotionally stressful than physically. So I was talking to my dad, just about some stuff. I was a little stressed, and he has this funny saying. 'You're like a little bit of butter on too much bread.'"[9]

Cabin by the Sea was released on June 19, 2012.[9] The band played several music festivals during Summer 2012, including Catalpa Music Festival on Randalls Island in New York City.[10]

The album featured artists such as Del the Funky Homosapien in the song "Smoke Rings", and Rome Ramirez in the song "Mongo Push".

The Dirty Heads hired South Florida keyboardist, Shawn Hagood to the band lineup, and hit the road for the first time as a 6-piece unit.

Home – Phantoms of SummerEdit

On July 9, 2013, The Dirty Heads released an acoustic version of the song "Cabin by the Sea", recorded with Thepier.org, as a part of their acoustic series. The album debuted at number 27 on the Billboard 200.

On July 28, 2013, The Dirty Heads played their largest sold-out show to date in front of 8,500 hometown friends, family, and fans at the Orange County Fair's Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, CA. The emotional stop on their Cabin by the Sea Tour ended with a "thank you" from the band for all the local support over the years, including a "trip down memory lane" story of when the band used to play small shows in local Huntington Beach, CA bars to a handful of people.[citation needed]

The Dirty Heads released an 11-track acoustic album, titled Home – Phantoms of Summer, on October 29, 2013.[11]

Sound of ChangeEdit

On May 6, 2014, they released the first single, "My Sweet Summer", from their album Sound of Change, which was released on July 8, 2014.[12] The album reached No.2 on Top Rock Albums and reached No.8 on the Billboard 200. The set also debuted at No.1 on Alternative Albums, led by their single "My Sweet Summer".

In March 2015, Dirty Heads appeared on Blues Traveler's album Blow Up the Moon, co writing the song "Castaway" and "Vagabond Blues" with Rome Ramirez.

Dirty HeadsEdit

On April 20, 2016, a date chosen for its 4/20 significance, the first single, "That's All I Need" from their upcoming 2016 album was released.[13] On July 15, 2016, the group released a self-titled album, Dirty Heads.

Swim TeamEdit

On October 13, 2017, Dirty Heads released their sixth studio album, Swim Team. The album features The Unlikely Candidates on the song "Celebrate" and Nick Hexum of 311 on "So Glad You Made It".

Super MoonEdit

On August 9, 2019, 'Super Moon' was released; it is the band's seventh studio album. The album was produced by Dave Cobb. Jared "Dirty J" Watson describes as "a 70s sci-fi kung fu Western car chase soundtrack. It gives a look into the sonics, tone, and creative narrative of this album. It was all recorded live in the same room to tape in Studio A in the old RCA building in Nashville, Tennessee, where legends like Johnny Cash and Elvis recorded much of their work. With the album release they toured with 311 on the 219 Unity Tour.


In an interview of Jared "Dirty J" Watson, Nick Williams of The International Newsweekly of Music, Video and Home Entertainment asked whether the Dirty Heads' reggae-rock vibe is influenced by Sublime and if they considered the band an Influence. Watson replied "I definitely do. We grew up listening to it. We came from the [Long Beach] area and knew a lot of the same people, but we're obviously much younger. We met [Sublime's] Eric [Wilson] and Brad [Nowell] a long time ago. Lewis Richards has produced our stuff. It's almost the same camp. But we are thinking forward. We're not trying to sound like a '90s band. We're still progressive in our music, even though we do have a vintage sound sometimes. The Black Keys inspire us to have warm sounds that have a lot of soul in it, but still be new and relevant."


Current members

  • Jared "Dirty J" Watson – co-lead vocals (2006–present)
  • Dustin "Duddy B" Bushnell – co-lead vocals, guitar (2006–present)
  • Jon Olazabal – percussion (2006–present)
  • Matt Ochoa – drums (2008–present)[14]
  • David Foral – bass (2006–present)
  • Shawn Hagood – keyboards, vocals (2012–present)

Former members




  1. ^ "Best New Bands of 2010: Free Energy, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and Five More". Rolling Stone. March 17, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Jeffries, David. "Dirty Heads. Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 7, 2012.[dead link]
  4. ^ "The Dirty Heads website". DirtyHeads.com. March 23, 2010. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  5. ^ The Pier Magazine. Thepier.org (August 16, 2011). Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  6. ^ Music Emissions Interview with Jared Watson. Musicemissions.com. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  7. ^ "Dirty Heads » Girls Team » etnies Girl". Etniesgirl.com. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
  8. ^ "Coldplay – Viva La Vida LIVE by The Dirty Heads @RAWsession Cover". July 28, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2012 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ a b "The Dirty Heads Premiere "Spread Too Thin," Jared Aims To Join Mile High Club While Listening " The World Famous KROQ – Alt Rock Music News, Photos, Videos, Concerts". Kroq.radio.com. March 9, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  10. ^ "New York Music News interviews Dirty Heads". nymn.com. August 10, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  11. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Dirty Heads to Release Acoustic Album, 10/29". broadwayworld.com. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  12. ^ "Dirty Heads to Release Sound of Change July 8th". New York City: Fivesevenmusic.com. April 29, 2014. Archived from the original on December 14, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  13. ^ "Dirty Heads Announce July 15 Release of Self-Titled, Fifth Studio Album Pre Order Today! First Single "That's All I Need" Music Video Premiers Today – Five Seven Music". fivesevenmusic.com. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "10 Things You Didn't Know: DIRTY HEADS". Alternative Press. April 21, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2016 – via YouTube.
  15. ^ "The Dirty Heads Announce New Album 'Swim Team'". thepier.org. Retrieved September 7, 2017.

External linksEdit