TALK DIRTY TO ME
After two decades of honing their unique, multi-genre infused sound, Dirty Heads has finally come into their own with mass appeal. We sessioned with Dirty Heads’ Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell and talked about what to expect from him and the rest of the band, his affinity for “living green” and the group’s forthcoming album – SWIM TEAM.
Words by: Richard Coyle
Snaps by: Diego Oliveras | Steven Taylor
Since the release of their 2008 debut Any Port in a Storm, the Dirty Heads, a five-piece collective from Huntington Beach—Jared Watson, Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell, Jon Olazabal, Matt Ochoa and David Foral —have consistently experimented and changed the game with their freewheeling style. Dirty Heads has always been the band that blurs genres by employing sounds of reggae infused with hip-hop foundations and, toggling between extreme juxtapositions. But it’s with their new LP, SWIM TEAM that the boys from Huntington Beach have felt fully convinced that their body of work is primed to bring their unique sound and style to the masses. “We’re really excited about this new album. We got in with some amazing writers and producers and came up with some of my favorite songs we’ve ever written. I think the fans are really gonna have fun with this one.”, says co-lead vocalist, and founder, Duddy B.
One of the things that stands out the most about Dirty Heads is their work ethic, and their success is proof positive as evidenced by the sheer volume of music they have dropped since putting out Cabin By The Sea in 2012 (which amounts to 5 albums and 1 EP which equates to approximately over 66 songs in a span of just 5 years including the addition of Swim Team). The first single from SWIM TEAM, “Vacation,” was released as a summertime anthem in mind and was followed by a video that showcased the group playfulness by bringing in Dennis Haskins to reprise his role as the ’90’s hit sitcom character Mr. Belding from Saved By The Bell.
Hailing from the Southern California coast, their music has drawn similarities akin to Orange County’s alumni No Doubt, and Long Beach’s own legends, Sublime. “I’ve personally seen the reggae scene grow so much in the last 10 years and it’s been somewhat surreal to be a part of. There are so many amazing young reggae bands now, and I think that has inspired people to go back and listen to some of the old school legends.”, remarks Bushnell. The commonality they all share is the fun, positive, droptop-cruising sound and vibe of reggae, SKA, and hip-hop cultures. When we asked about how the sound of Swim Team will fare with their legions of their loyal fanbase, Dustin had this to say, “We’re really excited about this new album. We got in with some amazing writers and producers and came up with some of my favorite songs we’ve ever written. I think the fans are really gonna have fun with this one.”
The other inevitable topic of discussion was their affinity for greener pastures, and the fellas got candid and undoubtedly feel that the cannabis movement is a positive thing and notes that it should be legal globally. “Smoking Flower helps me to focus and zone into the song when we’re writing.”, professes Duddy. After all, they coincidentally dropped their first single “That’s All I Need” from their self-titled album on 4/20. Having said that, we had the chance to rap with one-half of Dirty Heads frontmen and discuss his fondness for living a green lifestyle, his opinion on the legalization of cannabis and what to expect on Dirty Heads’ next LP – SWIM TEAM. One thing for certain is that Dirty Heads has found a formula to mainstream success by staying true to their roots and swimming in their lane.
Who came up with the name Dirty Heads and what was the significance?
It was a lyric in one of the first songs we wrote, and we used to perform it with my brother’s band HB Surround Sound before we had a band so, people would say, “Play that Dirty Head song!” So it just made sense once we started our own band.
Who are your influences?
There are so many, but at the time we started the band, The Beastie Boys and Sublime had a huge influence on our sound. We loved the way they blended so many different styles into their music.
How has being from Huntington Beach influenced your sound?
I think that wherever you’re from has an influence on you and the way grow up, but I feel we would have gravitated to this sound no matter where we were from.
What would you call your sound?
I don’t really know. I guess you can call it Dirty Heads.
Being from Cali, what are your thoughts on cannabis being fully legal here?
I love it! I think it should be legal everywhere.
What are your favorite strains?
For me personally, I’ve always been a fan of Cheese strains.
How does cannabis help you personally or creative process?
It helps me to focus and zone into the song when we’re writing.
Are you a flower, dab or vape guy?
What do you feel the current state is right now with SKA/Reggae music?
I’ve personally seen the reggae scene grow so much in the last 10 years and it’s been somewhat surreal to be a part of. There are so many amazing young reggae bands now, and I think that has inspired people to go back and listen to some of the old school legends.
Do you feel there is a stigma with your music cannabis culture?
People like to stereotype.
Why did you choose 4/20 to release your first single, “That’s All I Need” from Dirty Heads?
It just so happened to be around the same time that we were going to release the track so, it just kinda made sense.
Talk to me about your new LP SWIM TEAM. What sets this LP apart from your past releases?
We’re really excited about this new album. We got in with some amazing writers and producers and came up with some of my favorite songs we’ve ever written. I think the fans are really gonna have fun with this one.
Anything you’d like to say to your fans?
We love you guys. Thank you for allowing us to live out our dreams. We couldn’t do it without you.