An Exclusive Interview with The Dirty Heads Vocalist Jared Watson
(By Groovey) Huntington Beach’s reggae/hip hop superstars The Dirty Head’s new album Cabin by the Sea has launched this amazing band even higher up the listening public’s ladder with the #18 spot secured on the charts. They are currently on a massive U.S. tour with Matisyahu in support of Cabin by the Sea go to www.dirtyheads.com to check the dates. I spoke with The Dirty Heads vocalist Jared Watson about what’s happening with the album, the band, and their hilarious cooking show on Youtube.
How did this new album come together for you guys?
Jared Watson: Just a lot of ideas. How we usually do it is that it all starts with just the beginning of an idea, and some ideas are more done than others, and then me and Duddy bounce ideas off of each other and bounce ideas off of the guys and seeing what everybody kind of liked. Then we just moved forward the ideas that we thought were cool.
Was everything written by the time you hit the studio or did you write in the studio at all?
Jared Watson: Oh, I love writing in the studio. I prefer to have ideas down and then getting the bulk of the writing done in the studio. Which is different compared to Duddy who likes getting the bulk of the work done before the studio but that is probably because he is a musician and plays guitar but with me it’s like when I get to the studio I have different players to mess around with. So when I am in studio mode it’s fun for me and it’s a driving thing. Duddy is more laid back and likes to write at home and work on ideas but it’s cool because it’s two different styles. If we were both doing the same thing it probably wouldn’t come out as cool.
You bounced between two studios while recording correct?
Jared Watson: The pre-production was done at our studio in Newport and then the drums, which is really important to us; we think that getting a really really really good drum sound is very important and we would be going back and finding better guitars or older amps for more rare sounds for guitars, which is just better, and a lot of that we did in El Paso. Duddy got to play the only guitar that Stevie Ray Vaughn’s family let out of his collection. The guy in El Paso had such a rare guitar and Duddy got to play it and he was really stoked that he got to play Stevie Ray Vaughn’s guitar.
How do describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Jared Watson: Oh shit, I like to say that we grew up on a lot of reggae and a lot of hip hop and a lot of acoustic so we just blended all that together. Sublime and the Beastie Boys really opened our eyes to being able to do this: To be able to mix and match and blend together genres of music.
Jared Watson: Me personally I wasn’t. I felt like I was finally getting comfortable in my own skin. The first album was something new to us. We had never worked with producers, we had never worked in a studio, we had never done anything like that. So after that we had a couple years or more to travel and experience the road and experience the life and play as musicians and play as a band and I got to watch other singers. We had so much time to grow so when this album was good to go it was like I was fucking ready to go. The floodgates just opened. I was way more excited to put it out than I was worried.
You have a lot of cool guests on the album. How did you choose them?
Jared Watson: I feel like the songs picked them. We just heard it. I would say all of the songs that we have people featured on were almost done when we figured out that we wanted them on there. They would be almost done an we would be like, “God damn do you know who would sound good on this?” And we luckily got everybody that we tried for. We couldn’t ask for anything any cooler and everyone was awesome and they all brought their talent to the table. They made the songs better.
The “Get Baked with The Dirty Heads videos are freakin’ hilarious. Whose idea was that?
Jared Watson: Me and Duddy both cook when we are home. Like a lot. So we’re always texting recipes or shooting pictures back and forth and sometimes they are really good and sometimes they are just extremely stupid stoner concoctions so it’s just an idea that we have always wanted to have. It was just really funny. I feel like once we did it, we had never done it before so we were kind of shy to the camera and like, “Ooooooh we gotta act?” but now that we have seen it we are like “Let’s do a stoner’s kitchen show!” I get that was a cool introduction and all the Youtube videos we love them but now lets start making some really intense stoner food. I’m sure everyone has been like, “Why hasn’t there been a stoner food show?” Well we’re doing it.