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Jared Watson of Dirty Heads talks success, the new album and what we have in store for their upcoming summer tour.

WOT:

Your most recent, self titled album Dirty Heads has been getting quite a bit of attention since it’s release last year. You played “That’s All I Need” live on the Today show and you have had a live streamed show on Yahoo. I personally have heard “TAIN” & “Oxygen” played on local radio stations. My Mom even heard you guys on a Song Pop challenge, which she won by the way because her kid is a die hard DH fan. Has the self titled had more of an effect or broken through more so than your prior albums?

JW:

I kind of just go off of the shows and the reactions of the crowds and our shows and crowds are getting bigger and bigger. I try not to go too deep into numbers because between streaming and radio you find a balance between people who don’t listen to radio that much and people who do. Seventy percent of our music is streamed. So how can you really say what’s successful? We can have a song on the album, that we didn’t play on the today show, but it is getting more streams. So for us, I really think it just comes down to the shows.

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WOT:

Let’s talk about the Dessert EP. Are those songs that were meant for the self-titled and just didn’t make it on there? What was the thought process or reasoning for releasing it so soon after Dirty Heads?

JW:

They were B sides yes. We didn’t want to necessarily come out and say that they were B sides though. They aren’t songs that we thought weren’t good enough to make it on, it was just that the structure of the album and the amount of songs we were allowed to put on the album, the other songs worked better. Those songs weren’t as cohesive for what we were doing. So, we were in the process of writing the new album and we have a big summer tour coming up and I remembered we had 4 finished songs so I called up the guys and was like hey, let’s put out these 4 songs and they have done really well.

WOT:

Will we hear any of those tracks this summer? Can’t Sit Here would be great…( hint, hint)

JW:

Yeah, yeah, yeah we’re going to play a couple of those.

WOT:

So, you guys have been posting photos and videos on your socials of you guys in the studio. When can we expect more new music?

JW:

September the album will probably come out. We will probably release one or two songs during the summer and play them on tour and then the album will come out in September. After this show, literally tomorrow, we fly home and start finishing the album in the next two weeks.

WOT:

Will the new album be along the same lines as what we heard with the self-titled or will there be more experimental tracks like on Sound of Change?

JW:

No, it is not in the vein of Sound of Change. It is more…. how would I describe it? You’re just going to have to listen to it. It might lean a little more on the hip hop acoustic side. It is probably a little more hip hop and a little less reggae on this one. I think after this, next year I think we might lock ourselves in the cabin and do another acoustic album.

WOT:

I love Phantoms of Summer so that would be awesome.

JW:

Where our heads are at now, we didn’t really have a plan on this one. We tried to and we discussed things like we did last time but it just doesn’t work to go in and say this album should sound like this or the album should sound like that. We just started writing music and what we really liked and what we were inspired by has the album leaning a little more on the hip hop side.

WOT:

Are there any surprises in store like exciting collaborations or dope producers?

JW:

We’re working on the features now. If the time works, then yes. If not than it is just us.

WOT:

One of the main reasons you guys are so awesome to me is all of the pop culture references in your songs. There are so many lines in your songs that I relate to from growing up.

JW:

Well, we are from the same generation.9

WOT:

Exactly, I am just a couple years older than you. Is that something you make a point to do, or does it just kind of happen where it happens?

JW:

Being a MC and lyricist, I think when you are looking for punch lines and things like that, I don’t want to say it is an easy way out but we can put those things in there and people will understand it. It is kind of things that make us laugh you know. Like me and Duddy going back and forth mainly. Shit, I hate to say it is easy to use pop culture references but it works. The thing is we are also fans of the movies or whatever we are pulling from so it is really what we were into or what we are in to.

WOT:

So, tell me, the line “Now we joining people all together like we’re ordained”, Is that a general statement about your fans coming out or is it about the Wylees?

JW:

I think when I wrote it, it was about just bringing people together. Colors, creed, sexual orientation, doesn’t matter who or what you are or what you do. For me, it was much broader. But if the Wylees would like to own that, that’s cool. We love the Wylees they are so amazing, they are always included.

WOT:

Last night’s Sharko De Mayo set was dialed back and basically acoustic. We really enjoyed hearing Strike Gently which you had mentioned you had never played live before.

JW:

Yeah, I had to look up the lyrics on my phone (laughs)

WOT:

I have a friend that once heard you do Rich Girl during a sound check. I know there are a lot of hard core fans that love hearing those little surprises. Will we be getting more of a variety of songs on the summer tour?

JW:

Yes, totally. We just started going over the set lists yesterday. Now that we have more of a catalogue and we get an hour and a half it’s like shit what do we play? We have songs that have always been staples that we play at every fucking show since they came out. So, we’re like do we pull those and replace them with something else? There is a lot of thought put into it. Sometimes we get people who say they came to see us six times last summer and we didn’t really change our set. We know, and we would like to do more, but for us it really works when we find a nice balance between keeping our old fans happy and our new ones as well. We just want to put on a really good show and sometimes when you start pulling things out and tweaking things it kind of fucks up the vibe. We are working on it now and we are definitely pulling back in songs that we stopped playing and taking out some songs that we play every fucking time like Hip Hop Misfits and Check the Level.

WOT:

Yeah but those are great songs.

JW:

They are awesome, but now we have a little bit more bangers that we can put in to bring it up. I’m not saying we are going to stop playing them all together, but they may be the certain songs we pull out and replace. There will probably be four or five songs we will interchange but the set will be covered by everything.

WOT:

Festivals have really come a long way in recent years. You get so much bang for your buck in terms of the amount of music and the variety that you get. What is your favorite festival you have played?

JW:

I really like Firefly. It was a really good day and a really good crowd. There were a lot of good acts I got to see. I know it isn’t a festival, but the 311 cruise when we got to play on that island was great. Closer to the Sun was dope. If there was one that stands out it would be Firefly. We got to play this really cool acoustic set in the forest and then we got to play a crushing set on the main stage. Life is Beautiful in Vegas was great. My favorites are really going to be the ones where I get to see the artists I like.

WOT:

You guys have been playing together for a long time. I would imagine it is probably a lot like being in a marriage.

JW:33

Completely.

WOT:

What do you guys do for fun outside of work to keep your friendships tight?

 

JW:  When we are home we actually give each other a lot of space unless it is something really important or fun like birthdays. Anything that family would be there for. We have enough fun and spend enough time together when we are on the road. We make a conscience effort, it really is like a marriage with trust and respect. We know that people need their space because this can be grueling sometimes. Jon Jon and I will go surf or if Duddy is having a BBQ we’ll go. Everyone is having families now but if some cool shit is happening we’ll be there. We don’t have like kumbaya bbqs to keep everyone tight knit because we know what it is, we know we aren’t going anywhere. If I don’t see the guys for a few weeks it’s ok.

WOT:

Ok, I ask everyone I interview this question and it is kind of a tough one so get ready. If you could pick four bands or artists, any time period, any genre, dead or alive, who would be on tour?

JW:

Frank Sinatra…..(long pause) Fuck this is hard. Frank Sinatra (Loooong pause), Led Zepplin. Oh man….Tool. Four that’s it?!

WOT:

It’s not a festival man, think summer tour.

JW:

Shit, I’m taking back Tool. You should have text me this a couple of days ago so I had time to think.

WOT:

Give me your phone number and next time I will (laughing).

JW:

I would like to see Bob Marley also, but I have listened to him so much. It would still be amazing to see him live so I would say a staple would be Bob.

WOT:

Bob never leaves the lineup. Every person I have interviewed, with the exception of metal bands have said Bob.

JW:

I’m just trying to think of who would really blow my dick off like a Joe Cocker. Of course, everyone would like to see Pink Floyd and the Beatles but I am trying to think of someone like Janis Joplin or Billy Holiday. So, fuck it, I am going the opposite I’m gonna say Frank Sinatra and Billy Holiday cause I’m not thinking a big stage. I want like a small venue.

WOT:

Ok so a club tour.

JW:

Right. So, Mozart or Bach just on a piano. Frank Sinatra, Billy Holiday and Johnny Cash in a small two hundred person room and they have to tell stories in between songs.

WOT:

Like a VH1 Storytellers kind of thing.

JW:

Yeah exactly.

WOT:

That’s awesome, thank you so much Jared it’s been a pleasure. I can’t wait to see you guys in a bit on the SunFest Ford stage and we are totally pumped for the new music and the summer tour. Have a great show.

JW:

Thank you.

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About the author
April Whitney

April Whitney

April Whitney- Photographer, music lover and overall gypsy soul. I found my passion for photography, music, writing, and travel. While on Tour was born out of a desire to combine all of these things and become the wandering soul I have always wanted to be. I love to travel to different festivals, meet new friends and vibe out wherever the music may take me.

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