Dirty Heads

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Dirty Heads
Dirty Heads 0001.jpg
Background information
Origin Huntington Beach, California
Genres Reggae, hip hop, ska, acoustic rock, alternative rock, reggae fusion, reggae rock[1]
Years active 1996–present (2003–present as current line-up)
Labels Executive Music Group
Associated acts Sublime with Rome, Matisyahu, 311, Pepper, Slightly Stoopid
Website www.dirtyheads.com
Members Jared Watson (Dirty J)
Dustin Bushnell (Duddy B)
Jon Olazabal
Matt Ochoa
David Foral
Shawn Hagood

Dirty Heads is a band from Huntington Beach, California, with a melodic style that includes hip hop and ska punk (up tempo reggae which originated in Jamaica). Their debut album, Any Port in a Storm, was released on September 23, 2008, by Executive Music Group (Fontana/Universal). Their newest album, Sound of Change, was released July 8, 2014. 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, Gym Class Heroes, and more.


Early history[edit]

The band was founded in 1996 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 freshman 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 Storm[edit]

Later, percussionist Jon Olazabal, drummer Matt Ochoa, and bassist David Foral were added to the lineup, further defining the band’s sound. Record producer Rob Cavallo, who was the chief creative officer at the time and had signed acts such as Green Day and the Goo Goo Dolls, originally 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 legendary Beatles collaborator Billy Preston, Josh Freese (drummer for The Vandals and session drummer for Nine Inch Nails and Korn), 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.

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 O.A.R., 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 Sea[edit]

On March 9, 2012, the song "Spread Too Thin", off their upcoming 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."

Home - Phantoms of Summer[edit]

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 gracious "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 Change[edit]

On May 6, 2014, they released the first single titled "My Sweet Summer", from their new album on iTunes. Their new album, titled Sound of Change, 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 of 2015, Dirty Heads appeared on Blues Traveler's album Blow Up the Moon, co writing the song "Castaway" and "Vagabond Blues" with Rome Ramirez.


Current members
  • Jared "Dirty J" Watson – co-lead vocals (1996–present)
  • Dustin "Duddy B" Bushnell – co-lead vocals, guitar (1996–present)
  • David Foral – bass (2003–present)
  • Matt Ochoa – drums (2003–present)
  • Jon Olazabal – percussion (2003–present)
  • Shawn Hagood – keyboard (2003–present)


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions


Any Port in a Storm 55 7 16
Cabin by the Sea
  • Released: June 19, 2012
  • Label: Five Seven
  • Formats: CD, Vinyl, digital download
18 4 6
Home - Phantoms of Summer
  • Released: October 29, 2013
  • Label: Five Seven
  • Formats: CD, Vinyl, digital download
27 7 9
Sound of Change
  • Released: July 8, 2014
  • Label: Five Seven
  • Formats: CD, vinyl, digital download
8 1 2

Extended plays[edit]

  • Sails to the Wind (2007, Phantom Sound & Vision)

Demo albums[edit]

  • Dirty Demo (1st Version) (2007, self-released)
  • Dirty Demo (2nd Version) (2007, self-released)


List of singles, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album



"Stand Tall" 2008 23 41 Any Port in a Storm
"Lay Me Down"
(featuring Rome Ramirez)
2010 93 37 1 1 76
"Check the Level"[22]
(featuring M. Shadows and Slash)
"Believe"[22] 2011
"Spread Too Thin" 2012 13 22 Cabin by the Sea
"Dance All Night"
(featuring Matisyahu)
"Cabin by the Sea" 2013 27
"My Sweet Summer" 2014 122 3 13 Sound of Change
"Sound of Change" 22
"End of the World" 2015
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ "Best New Bands of 2010: Free Energy, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and Five More". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). 17 March 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Jeffries, David. "Dirty Heads. Biography". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-08-07. [dead link]
  4. ^ "The Dirty Heads website". DirtyHeads.com. 2010-03-23. Archived from the original on 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  5. ^ The Pier Magazine. Thepier.org (2011-08-16). Retrieved on 2011-08-20.
  6. ^ Music Emissions Interview with Jared Watson. Musicemissions.com. Retrieved on 2011-08-20.
  7. ^ "Dirty Heads » Girls Team » etnies Girl". Etniesgirl.com. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  8. ^ "Coldplay - Viva La Vida LIVE by The Dirty Heads @RAWsession Cover". YouTube. 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  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. 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  10. ^ "New York Music News interviews Dirty Heads". nymn.com. August 10, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2012. 
  11. ^ http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwmusic/article/Dirty-Heads-to-Release-Acoustic-Album-1029-20130823
  12. ^ "Dirty Heads to Release Sound of Change July 8th". New York, New York: Fivesevenmusic.com. April 29, 2014. Archived from the original on December 13, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ "The Dirty Heads – Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  14. ^ "The Dirty Heads – Chart History: Alternative Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  15. ^ "The Dirty Heads – Chart History: Rock Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  16. ^ "The Dirty Heads – Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  17. ^ "The Dirty Heads – Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  18. ^ "The Dirty Heads – Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  19. ^ "The Dirty Heads – Chart History: Rock Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  20. ^ "The Dirty Heads – Chart History: Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Gold & Platinum: Dirty Heads". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved December 11, 2015. 
  22. ^ a b "Modern Rock – Available for Airplay Archive". FMQB. Mediaspan Online Services. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]