Back in 2006, the Dirty Heads broke into the music scene as a group of teenagers who had an intense passion for fun beats, meaningful lyrics and overall energetic enthusiasm.
You look at the Dirty Heads now, over a decade later and not much has changed. Dirty Heads frontman Jared Watson sat down with Metro to discuss why the band is still only getting started, what he hopes people take away from their music and what went into preparing for their new album (out Aug. 9) and tour this summer with 311.
I wanted to chat about your seventh studio album coming out in August, what was the inspiration behind “Super Moon”?
We didn’t have an inspiration going in, but once we started writing it and recording it with Dave— the sonics that we were getting and the creativity and freedom Dave let us have with it-—we definitely found the vibe. We were listening to a lot of Bill Withers, Curtis Mayfield and Marley, just some old classics because the album started to feel very classic and timeless to us.
You guys definitely experimented with the new album in regards to its sound, does that help keep the music fresh for you?
Yes, completely accurate. We always want to do something new and fun for us, but at the same time, it still has to be original. We don’t want to put out the same songs every time, or the same album every time. I don’t think that’s fun for anybody. Sometimes that works out great and sometimes it doesn’t, it’s just how it is.
What has been the motivation for you guys to continually produce great music and tour for over a decade?
I don’t think we’ve changed our mind-set since we’ve started. That’s what I think is keeping us going. We still all have the same passion for music, and passion for growing, and passion for getting out in front of new people and going to new countries, playing bigger shows—we all just still want it. We want to be able to do it for as long as we can, we want to be able to do it forever and we want to do it on our terms. There’s always that passion for music in general, even when we take breaks half of us are still writing music. It’s just in us, this is what we do.
Although you don’t stick to it with every album and song, when some people think of the Dirty Heads they think reggae, which sometimes gets a reputation for being very one dimensional. What do you hope audiences take away from your music?
I think it’s OK to write stoner tunes or beach tunes—sometimes I don’t want to listen to music that has a message simply because that’s not what I want to listen to at the time. Sometimes I listen to music with no lyrics at all because I just want to zone out. We try and do that with some songs that you don’t have to overthink about—they’re just fun. Then we have songs with very strong messages. Whether those messages are positive or about hardship, it’s really up to the person and how they take the song. Then with being a storyteller, there’s never a bad song that tells a story. Everybody loves a story, especially in song form. It doesn’t matter what genre of music you play, it’s all about the lyrics. Over the years I’ve realized with each individual song, the message is different for every person. We realized it’s going to affect people, and mostly in a positive way—that to us is just f—ing awesome. We want people to leave our show or hear our music and leave in a better place than they were before.
Overall what would you tell people to expect from a Dirty Heads show?
Go in with no expectations—if you go in with no expectations for the show, you’re going to have a great time. If you like the music, I can say with all honesty you’re going to like the show even more.