“We didn’t want to play it safe” – Q&A with Dirty Heads

Do you remember back in your teenage years when you’d be on a beach, without a care in the world and sipping away at that single can of beer you managed to pilfer from your dad? That’s exactly what Dirty Heads are to me and it’s a very welcome throwback.

If you’re unfamiliar with what the Californian mood-enhancers do, you’re forgiven as they’re yet to form an assault Britain after conquering the U.S. in no small part thanks to the monster ‘My Sweet Summer’. It’s quite the departure from their earlier work but one that left them biting at the heels of pop titans Coldplay and Lorde in the Billboard Hot 100.

With the release of their new album expected on the 20th of October, Dirty Heads could be about to strike gold. I talked to vocalist Jared about their new sound, fans and also got a silly answer for a very silly question.

Dirty HeadsPhoto by Fro Knows Photo

Hi Jared, how are you?
I’m fine, how are you?

For those of us who might not be familiar with The Dirty Heads, tell us about yourselves
The Dirty Heads are an alternative band from the United States, I would say we’re an alternative band with reggae and hip hop influences from California.

The reaction to My Sweet Summer has been pretty crazy. Did you think that was possible when you first put it out there?
The reaction to My Sweet Summer was really crazy. We didn’t think it was possible. I mean, we’re confident with our music when we put it out and we wouldn’t have put something out if we didn’t think it was going to get a good reaction. It was one of our favourite tracks. We knew it was strong so we’re excited it’s out.

You’re definitely a band of many styles. Can we expect more of a hip-hop presence on the upcoming “Sound of Change”?
We’re definitely a band of many styles. You can expect a hip hop presence for this album we wanted to jump into our hip hop side of the band and keep it more up tempo and more dynamic and more hype and more in your face. So we did a lot more hip hop on this album than we’ve done in the past in which we’ve probably done more reggae and acoustic, I would say this is more hip hop than anything

How do you think your earlier fans will respond to your style changes? 
Um, we’ve been getting a lot of backlash from fans at the beginning, when we released some stuff for ‘Sound of Change’. But now that our fans have seen it played live in the states everybody’s coming round and everybody loves the album but at first I think people were taken aback but that’s what we wanted. We didn’t want to play it safe we felt like if our fans like the album and they said “oh this is cool” then we didn’t do our jobs and we didn’t do what we were wanting to do because we wanted to do something different and push ourselves and not be safe and nobody became great doing safe shit. So we wanted to do something crazy that people were going to be confused about but eventually love.

You worked with plenty of different producers on the new album. What was it like to have so many different artistic voices involved?
Working with a lot of different producers on the album was great, just to have different creative minds takes you into different spaces and different places with the music and we were really open to that and we knew that we were going to do that from the beginning so it was very easy for us to do we weren’t taken aback or anything

What’s been the craziest gig of 2014 so far? No doubt the crowd might have increased from this time last year!
The craziest gig of 2014 was Red Rocks in Colorado, it’s a national amphitheatre of about 10000 people. We had opened up that venue for some other bands twice, like a twenty minute opening slot like earlier on in the day so for us to be headlining it and selling it out a year or two later was really special to us the whole tour was crazy. Our numbers have gone up ticket wise and going from ten years ago playing to zero people to 500 people to a thousand people to now we’re playing anywhere between 5000 and 1000 people and it’s a dream come true and we just want to keep on doing it.

Do you have any personal favourite tracks from the new album?
I do have favourite tracks, I think my favourite tracks are probably Medusa, End of the World and Franco Eyed, Burn slow and maybe more of the hype ones and End of the Worlds really cool and It was really fun to write that and really close to my heart I think it’s just kind of a beautiful song

Describe the Dirty Heads in three words
The Dirty Heads? See what I did there?!

And finally, why should we all be picking up a copy of the new album?
I think you should pick up a copy of the new album because I think it’s solid… I think you’ll enjoy it, I think everybody’s going to enjoy it.

I think it’s a broader album, I think it’s going to open up a lot of peoples eyes to who the Dirty Heads are. It’s just a really fun party album, but at the same time it can be very serious. It’s very human nature, the album, in that it can be very responsible and very serious but it can also be very fun and party like. Like people you know, Monday to Friday you might have to wear a suit and tie and be very serious but then Friday and Saturday comes and that shit’s coming off and you’re going to go rage with your friends, so I think the album has something for everybody.


Sound of Change Track listing:
1. Sound of Change
2. My Sweet Summer
3. Medusa
4. Burn Slow
5. Franco Eyed
6. End of the World
7. One Hand
8. Radio
9. Burials
10. Hear You Coming
11. Silence


Wed 19th Nov 2014                           Glasgow, King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
Thurs 20th Nov                                   Manchester, Night and Day
Fri 21st Nov                                          Southampton, Joiners
Fri 28th Nov                                         London, Barfly

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