While Rome Ramirez might have revitalized Sublime by replacing Bradley Nowell, his collaboration with SoCal reggae/hip hop/ska/punk band The Dirty Heads has gained almost equal attention. The Dirty Heads have garnered hush whispers concerning them filling the gap left by Sublime as Southern California's premier punk inspired reggae band. With just one album out, The Dirty Heads can be found on countless California radio stations and television, as well as a number of widely attended tour dates. Unlike Sublime, The Dirty Heads infuse more hip hop style (characterized by Dirty J's Eminem-like voice) into their music, adding a rap rock element to their music. While many people still may not have heard of the group, that's likely to change at the end of their current 2011 tour dates.
The origins of The Dirty Heads can be traced back to 1996, when Jared Watson (Dirty J) and Dustin Bushnell (Duddy B) met at a high school party. Duddy B was already in a punk band and handing out rap demos, inspiring Dirty J to ask Duddy to collaborate. While stealing beer, the two were called "little dirty heads" and began writing hip hop songs under that name. They soon decided they needed a full band for concert dates and recruited drummer Matt Ochoa, bassist David Foral, and percussionist Jon Olazabal.
The Dirty Heads' rise to fame would include help from a slew of famous musicians and producers. Not long after the band started playing, mainstream punk producer Rob Cavallo signed them to Warner Bros. In the middle of recording, the band decided to leave the label but was able to keep the masters. The Dirty Heads soon met Sugar Ray drummer Stan Frazier, who agreed to produce the remainder of the album. Any Port in a Storm was finally released in 2008 and featured contributions from Slash and Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows on "Check the Level", Rome on the track "Lay Me Down", and "Fifth Beatle" Billy Preston, Alex Acuna, and Tippa Ire throughout the rest of the album.
The album's success is slowly spreading the word about The Dirty Heads. Since early March, The Dirty Heads have been playing concert dates across the US, with recently added tour dates in 2011. The group will spend April playing tour dates down the east coast to New Orleans, and in May will finish the rest of their concert dates on the west coast. The Dirty Heads will then head to Hawaii in June for a series of tour dates before returning to the west coast. After playing a concert date at Boonstock on July 2, scheduled tour dates in 2011 jump around the country before ending at the Sunset Music Festival on August 20. Fans who hope to catch The Dirty Heads should check the remaining 2011 tour dates on Eventful to keep from missing out.
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