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  • Mathieu Parent

A Chat With: Dirty Heads

A month after their album Swim Team was released and about halfway through their fall tour, Dustin and Jared took some time to speak to me about the release of the album, having the iconic Mr. Belding in one of their music videos, the reality of being a touring musician and more!

Photo Credit: Steven Taylor

Your album Swim Team has been out for almost a month now, how has the reaction been?

D: Good! The fans took this one quickly.

J: Its hard to tell until you start playing shows. Once we started playing shows, we’ve been switching it up and playing different songs from the album every night in the set and seeing which ones really work so that’s cool. But yeah, everybody’s been singing all the lyrics and thats how you know. Its been really great!

You’ve been doing this for about 15 years, how do you keep it exciting?

J: I think seeing growth always keeps it exciting. We’ve been writing music for 15 years but only been touring probably 12 or 10 of those. We started out in a van playing in little bars and then you start playing smaller clubs and selling those out, then selling out theatres and then you get into a tour bus and that’s so crazy! Then you start playing venues like Red Rocks and its crazy! Always seeing the growth, seeing the community grow and the fans. I just think that’s what makes it exciting. This is our lives, we’re stoked. Its all perspective really, our job is to come out and make people happy, you can’t really hate that, its hard to not like that.

I heard you guys already have plans for the next album? You want to have more of a live sound?

J: Yeah, definitely! We definitely wanna do that, but we’re gonna take our time on this one. We were really inspired and wanted to put out a lot of music and it wasn’t that we were planning on putting out this much music, its just that we wanted to keep writing. I think this next album, what we’re envisioning is us taking a little more time, not putting a deadline on it and really working completely live with the band and a lot more acoustic, more organic. At the same time, every time we go in with a plan it goes out the window. We never know until the day we start writing those songs, it can be completely different. But what we’re inspired by now, what we’re feeling after doing an album like this, it was leaning so much on the hop-hop side, it would be really fun to get back to that live sound, the more acoustic, more fellow stuff.

Why did you decide to name the album Swim Team?

J: Because it looked cool hahaha. We wanted a community thing, you know we always have this aquatic theme and I was shopping at a vintage store with my wife and I found this old swim team like 1960 high school tee and I was like ‘Oh that’s so dope! And the font is so cool, that would be such a cool idea around the merch and artwork’ Just aesthetically it looked cool to me and images started popping up in my head of all the stuff we could do. I would come up with a better story but it just sounded cool!

What’s the lyric you’re most proud of on the album?

D: I think Celebrate in general, like what that song is about, it gives a different perspective of bands on the road and we do enjoy this and its so much fun but sometimes you know we miss our families. We are just normal people with normal everyday lives at home and it gives the look into how it is being away from your family a lot.

J: I’m pretty proud of uh-there’s a line at the end of the song called Mad At It and I say “Then I grab a guitar, panty discharge” and that’s in my rap, with the lyric ‘panty discharge’, pretty proud of that moment. It might be the highlight of my career to get panty discharge into a song and get everybody to okay it!

And everybody to sing it

J: Yeah, now I pull the mic away to see how many people will scream it and they all do

Hahaha that’s great! For the video Vacation, how did you guys get Mr. Belding in there?

J: He was down! That was the first treatment we got sent for that video and the guy who had sent the treatment had already reached out to Belding and he already okay’ed it. We were like ‘don’t send us any other video treatment this has to work!’ We wanted to get him to do way more debauchery in the video but he can’t, like he legally can’t because he’s still Mr. Belding and does appearances and stuff. We wanted him smoking weed and drinking and burning stuff and driving around on a golf cart and doing a bunch of shit but he couldn’t.

That’s crazy that he still has to play the part! In Vacation the lyric My lack of the lazy has let me do shit that I love on the daily, what do you’re not doing this, on your days off or lazy days, what do you do?

J: I love having a routine at home and mundane shit cause we don’t have it out here. I get up in the morning, go surf with my buddies, I’ll come home and I’ll walk the dogs and then clean the house or whatever and then go to the grocery store. My wife is super stoked because I love any silly things like doing the dishes, just being home and being normal and just cooking or cleaning. Just doing everyday stuff, I really enjoy it because we don’t get it out here. We’ve been to so many places around the world and every time I go home to Southern California I’m like ‘I’m never gonna leave here’

D: Mainly not having anything to do is always awesome. I have kids so spending a lot of time with them, and help coach their sports team and go play golf and cook and stuff like that.

The home life! And while you’re on tour do you explore a lot?

D: Some days you’re lazy, especially when its super cold out you don’t want to go walk around a lot. But yeah, in the summer tours when we play really cool areas, we wake up and go walk around.

J: The summer tour is a totally different thing. You’re up everyday early and you’re seeing the cities. Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver are in my top 5 favourite cities in the summertime. Like I love Chicago…in the summertime. I love New York in the spring time. Its all different.

Back to the album, can you tell us a story behind the most meaningful song on the album?

J: I think he (Dustin) already touched that a bit with Celebrate. That meant the most because it's a very honest depiction of the reality of being a travelling musician. The line gets blurred-like when you start you’re just writing music for yourself. y

You know, you’re just these kids writing music and having fun. Then you start building something and it almost becomes bigger than you. You have these times where you have thousands of people who bought these tickets and they’ve been waiting months to see you and they’re waiting for new music and you don’t want to disappoint the fans that you have. The fans are the ones that allow us to live out our dreams. So that line gets blurred with the home life and my wife and kids and family, and family is always gonna come before anything. That’s so important and we’re all cool with that but sometimes it can get blurred and its hard to know if you should go home for this because something is wrong or not being home when something is wrong. Celebrate has that hint of reality, in no way are we complaining! We are so blessed and so stoked to be where we’re at and we want to thank the fans for that. But yeah, its just a reality that something is bigger than you and you can’t just cancel shows because something is going wrong. It gets hard to navigate sometimes and I really like that the song shows the reality of it, its not all just raging and partying, there’s a tougher side to it that I don’t know if some people could do it. Anyways, we love it!

Listen to Swim Team HERE


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