The Dirty Heads Share 'Lay Me Down' Tour Stories
Two weeks into their first headlining tour, The Dirty Heads are already turning heads all over the United States. Chosen by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the Best New Bands of 2010, the alt-rock outfit known for their seamless blend of rock, hip hop, and reggae have been selling out almost every show. Riding the wave of buzz generated by their monster hit 'Lay Me Down' (the longest-running #1 song by an independent artist on alternative radio), the boys from Huntington Beach, Calif., are touring with New Politics, who are listed as one of MTV's Artists to Watch in 2011.
Noisecreep recently caught up with Dirty Heads founders Jared Watson (lead vocals) and Dustin "Duddy" Bushnell (vocals/guitar) a few hours before the band took the stage at the House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio.
According to Bushnell, being the headliner comes with some new pressures. "It's interesting because now it's not as if we have to win a crowd over that doesn't know us. But because they're here for us, we seriously have to deliver," he said. "It's kind of a weird feeling to know they're here primarily for us now, but it's what you [wish] for. This is the dream."
Watson added that the band's fans have already made their first headlining tour something very special. "We really have the best fans. We see them singing every word, they brought me presents on my birthday, [and] they've been packing the rooms. They're just the best and we love them."
As for life on the road, Watson's night-owl sleeping habits help him keep up with more world news, which keeps him out of the typical touring band bubble.
"I don't go to bed until about 3 a.m. most nights," Watson told Noisecreep. "But I'll catch some news before sleeping. The other night I watched as the events in Japan unfolded. Then I got right on the phone and called some friends in Hawaii to tell them about the tsunami warnings. I could hear the sirens over the phone. We loved playing in Japan, we have friends there, and so we're rallying our fans to donate to Japan."
Bushnell said that fan contact is also something the band enjoys. "We love doing meet and greets," he said. "We use Facebook and all that to communicate with our fans. That's important to us because they are part of the experience; they're making this happen."
As for all of the fan-posted concert videos on YouTube and other sites, Watson said that while he used to not pay attention to them, now he actually enjoys checking them out.
"It's funny," he said. "Now that we have this downtime on tour, it's sort of cool to see what fans post. And it gives me a sense of minor adjustments I might need to make, if I'm getting pitchy or something."
A recent clip making the video rounds features Denver-based fan Nathan Sandoval taking the stage with The Dirty Heads on "Buenos Noches Rap."
"We try and find someone each night to come up and sing," said Watson. "Usually they get a little nervous but this kid was rad. He just murdered it, the coolest thing I've seen this tour. He was great. I just love watching that video and I hope he remembers that moment for the rest of his life."
For a list of confirmed tour stops and more info, visit DirtyHeads.com.