Photography credit: Tom Newforge
(PCM) Dirty Heads is a name that is popping up everywhere on the music scene these days and they are busy gearing up for the release of their fifth self-titled album which will drop on July 15. We were absolutely thrilled to nab an early listen to the upcoming album and we can say with certainly that fans are sure to be in for a treat.
Dirty Heads are a band that has the uncanny ability to flawlessly blend together a multitude of both musical style and genre to create a unique sound that is very much their own. In our humble opinion we feel that the new self-titled album showcases some of Dirty Head’s best work to date and is sure to appeal to both longtime fans and quite a few new ones as well!
We had a chance to catch up with Dirty Heads drummer Jon Olazabel to of course discuss the new album, but also share some details about upcoming touring plans and more. When asked what fans should be expecting for the new album Jon told us “You should be expecting some of our greatest work ever done”. We couldn’t agree more.
Digging a little deeper we asked Jon to chat with us about what the mindset was like in the recording studio when the band was putting together the album. He replied ” For this album, as far as the studio goes, we decided that instead of going out of town or isolating ourselves from everything as we have done in the past, for this one we decided to stay close to home, here in a studio in L.A.. It was awesome to be able to record for a few days and then if you weren’t needed you could actually go home and spend some time with the family. We worked with a few different producers and feel that we really came out with some good stuff that we are stoked on.”
Sometimes the area which a band records can have an influence on the overall sound or theme of a record. Jon commented “I don’t feel that area really influences our sound too much, as all of influence mostly comes from experiences and such that occurred before we get into the studio. This time around the recording process was definitely a very easy, light-hearted and fun studio experience for us and I’m sure that somehow translated into the music.”
When speaking about the band’s evolution to this point in the career, Jon tells us “We have definitely learned a lot over the years with all the different albums we’ve done and with the last one we kind of experimented with a new sound. It was a bit more alternative and we had some different ideas that we wanted to try and kind of get out of our system. We thought it came out great and now with this record we are going back a little bit more towards our original sound and older styles we did in the beginning. It’s awesome.”
We feel that it is wonderful that Dirty Heads can not be boxed into any particular genre and that they very much have the ability to do their own thing. Jon says “It’s funny because we never really made a conscious effort to do that, but I guess that’s just the music that we’ve always been influenced by and it came out that way. Somehow we have managed to blend different styles and genres and we are able to pull it off”.
We were recently able to catch Dirty Head’s out on the road with both Bleeker and Sublime w/ Rome and there is such an amazing generational appeal to their music. You see fans of every age group and demographic imaginable all rocking out and having the time of their lives. Jon comments “That is one of our favorite things. It is one of the things that we are most proud of and it’s crazy to see. We do a lot of meet and greets before our shows and we’ll have everyone from little kids all the way up to grandparents coming through that love the music and somehow find a similar connection through it. It’s great for us.”
When speaking about the changes in the music industry and the fact that the band’s music actually says something to listeners, we asked Jon if there was anything he would change. He replied “We just try to stick to our guns and do what we do because we know that we believe in our music and have faith in what we do. Things are always going to change around us, but if we just keep our head down and keep working and stick to our original plan, it’s all gonna work. It’s also super hard to keep up with everything that’s going on out there.”
It can be hard for artist’s to earn a solid stream of revenue these days especially when it comes to streaming and illegal downloading. Jon adds “It is definitely a little frustrating, but I guess that is just the way that things go now. ”
Jon reveals that music first began speaking to him when he was a very young child. He says “In probably the fifth or sixth grade I started messing around with drums and I had an older sister that was big into music and she kind of dragged me along for the ride. She exposed me to a lot of cool stuff early on and it stuck with me and somehow I link up with these guys in the band and it worked out. ”
Dirty Heads are certainly true road warriors, playing a ton of live dates each year. Speaking about upcoming touring plans, Jon reveals, “We are going to be doing a lot of touring this year. We start in a few days in Florida out with Sublime w/ Rome and that tour runs through August and we are pretty much just going to be going constantly till the end of the year. We are trying to support this record and get in as many shows as possible.”
Every fan is going to have a different favorite song, so we were curious if Jon was ever surprised by which ones fans tend to gravitate towards. He says “It’s so funny because we think we know what we’re talking about thinking this particular song will be the best single and we’re always surprised by what people gravitate towards. It’s impossible for us to know.”
In the day and age of the internet there is often times a bunch of misinformation floating around out there about certain bands. Jon comments ” I feel like the guys are pretty clear with their lyrics and they kind of wear everything on their sleeve. They are upfront about who they are and who we are and we try to be pretty honest about that. We don’t really hide anything so hopefully people get it.”
Jon reveals that the Dirty Head’s creative process is a collaborative one saying ” Duddy and Jared, usually have all the starts to the songs and then we work together holed up in a room and start beating on the stuff to try to figure out how to put the song together. We definitely work together in that way.”
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