With August fast approaching, SoCal rockers Dirty Heads express their bittersweet qualms with the fleeting nature of summer on “My Sweet Summer,” the lead track from their fourth studio album, “Sound of Change.”
“I was doing a writing exercise where I was writing songs for other people and sending them out. Kenny Chesney and I were shooting emails back and forth, so I had started this country-ish, reggae-ish song,” Jared “Dirty J” Watson, lead singer of the Dirty Heads, says about the early inception of “Summer.”
Chesney — arguably country music’s reigning king right now — is a self-proclaimed super-fan of the Dirty Heads.
“I think country music is great; it’s hilarious. I love the storytelling aspect,” Watson says. “For somebody like Kenny Chesney to have touched so many people and have so many fans — obviously he’s doing something amazing. For him to play our music before his shows, that’s just really cool. It’s crazy. That whole ‘barefoot, sand, Coronas’ vibe that he brings is like the country version of us. He’s a very cool dude.”
Of course, “Summer,” the way the Dirty Heads play it, doesn’t exactly sound like a country tune. Inspired by the escape of summer — both literally and figuratively — Watson crafted the song around the departure of a summer romance.
“When the idea of ‘my sweet summer is gone’ came and we [the band] nailed down the idea and the gist of the story that we wanted to tell, it was just about painting a cool picture. We knew that we had something special,” says Watson.
Dirty Heads’ most successful song to date came in 2010 with the acoustic surf tune “Lay Me Down.” The song reached No. 1 on both Billboard’s Alternative chart and Rock chart.
“[Surf culture] tied into our music very heavily in the beginning. Now that we’re grown men and have been doing this for 10 years and have seen the world, I think that this band is a lot more international and worldly,” says Watson. “I think our new album is a little broader. It’s so heavy on that reggae-rock vibe. It’s something new.”
Long past their days of crawling the country in a van, the band are currently on tour with Pepper and are playing select dates with 311.
“Touring in a van and not making any money for seven years made us who we were,” says Watson. “We didn’t care; it was all about the music. We knew it was going to pay off.”