So-Cal sound comes to Sea to Sky 

The Dirty Heads, one of the Best New Bands of 2010, steps onto the stage for the first LIVE At Squamish fest


Who: The Dirty Heads

When: Sunday, Sept. 5, 4:30 p.m.

Where: ClubZone Stage, LIVE At Squamish festival

Cost: Weekend pass, $145.50, single day ticket, $79, kids under 12 free!

Southern California - or "So-Cal" - has churned out some very distinct musical sounds over the years. The area is home of the G-funk era and regulators like Warren G, Nate Dogg and Snoop Dogg, plus the punk-and-reggae-influenced rock epitomized by Sublime.

And that So-Cal sound continues to evolve today, as bands like The Dirty Heads step into the studio to produce organic and inspired tracks like Lay Me Down.

Haven't heard it yet? Recorded with Sublime's new lead singer and guitarist, Rome, it was getting a lot of radio play when it was released. It's also featured on the special edition of The Dirty Heads' Any Port In A Storm , which dropped earlier this year.

"We wrote Lay Me Down in Duddy's backyard drinking beer one day, just messin' around," Jared Watson recalled. "(Rome) didn't even come over to write the song, he just came over because Duddy was havin' a barbecue!"

Watson, vocalist and guitarist for The Dirty Heads, is also one of the founding members of the band. He and Dustin "Duddy" Bushnell first crossed paths at a party during high school.

"I wasn't doing anything with music at all," he recalled. "I was a freshman, he was a sophomore and he was in a punk band. I had never touched a guitar, I had never sang, I had never rapped - I'd never done anything!"

Their older brothers were making these ridiculous raps "about masturbating in the shower with chicken wings and drinking 40s in Compton - all these ridiculous things."

"I was like, 'This is hilarious!'" he laughed.

They were also all into the reggae scene: they had dreads, were 420-friendly, and loved to listen to Sublime, 311 and Bob Marley.

"So we started writing these funny raps and Duddy was a really good guitar player, and he was like, 'Hey man, we should try and write some normal songs!'" he recalled. "...We weren't even The Dirty Heads back then - we were just two kids having fun."

Later on, when they were about 21, they added percussionist Jon Olazabal, drummer Matt Ochoa and bassist David Foral into the mix, solidifying their sound in the process. Soon, they were selling out their small, acoustic shows and recording a "Dirty Demo."

The past two years have been huge for the Heads: not only have they been basically touring non-stop but they were named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the "Best New Bands of 2010" and honoured as the "Best Reggae Rockers," a title that came as a complete surprise to the laidback musicians.

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