Duddy B of The Dirty Heads
Written by: Timothy Castaneda
With such a diverse background in music what was your first live music experience?
My first live music experience was with a punk band that I played with in high school but that was so long ago that I can’t remember that far back, haha. My first live show with The Dirty Heads was playing with Surround Sound back in the day."...we have a lot of new music that’s already written and we’ll probably try and put out some sort of EP this summer even if it’s just free online or something..."
If you had to choose, which two musicians/groups would you say are your biggest influence for writing your music?
Definitely growing up what I was really into was Beastie Boys and Sublime that was it and all I listened to for so long. Then it grew into listening to a lot of classic rock and with listening to Sublime it started leading me into older reggae. I listen to a lot but when I really started getting into music and started writing it and loving it, it was just Sublime and Beastie Boys and that was it. As of now It’s hard to narrow it down to just two artists, I just listen to so many things and there are so many good artist out there but I would have to say Pandora helps and is my first influence. I love Pandora because it’s just a great way to find new artist and all that good stuff and it’s perfect because you can listen to multiple artists.
On the track “Everything I’m Looking For” the second verse mentions your parents, how supportive were your parents with your choice to pursue music?
They were always super supportive, anything we wanted to do they were down and they would always help out. In the two different houses that I lived in growing up my dad actually built sound proof rooms for us in our garage so we could jam. That really helped out a lot because we were jamming at 4 in the morning and the neighbors couldn’t hear it and it was awesome. It definitely helps out a lot when your parents are supportive of what you want to do.
You have a brother who plays in a group called HB Surround Sound, can you explain a little about them?
He’s my older brother so they were playing back in the day and he’s one of the reasons we started playing. They are a little bit more ska and have an Operation Ivy/Rancidy kind of sound, so they’re a little different then we are but definitely cool. They’re trying to re-spark it they just released a new sampler that can be downloaded for free on their facebook page and they’re going to start touring again and all that good stuff so people should definitely keep an eye out for them.
With you and your brother both in bands does music run in your family?
Well it’s just me and my brother so he’s my only sibling. There is no one else who really did music seriously in my family, I mean my dad can play a little bit of guitar and my mom has a pretty good singing voice but that’s about it.
In the spirit of brotherly competition who do you thinks’ the better musician?
Hahaha, well I think we are both two totally different musicians and that’s all I’m going to say haha.
When you first established the band and the Dirty Heads were an up and coming band can you describe any negativity and/or pessimism you encountered and how you over came these obstacles?
I mean never anything over the top negative or anything like that has really happened. When we play shows most of the time people there are into it so we’ve never really had anybody be super rude. I mean there is the obvious shit, like reading rude comments online or whatever, but my attitude towards that is that I don’t give a fuck. I’m playing music regardless, I play it because it is fun and I love it so I don’t give a shit haha.
The Dirty Heads have played with so many different genres of bands such as rock bands like Deftones, hip hop groups like Cypress Hill, Reggae groups like Tribal Seeds and so on and your songs always have a different feel to them as well. What genres (if any) would you classify yourself under?
Well I guess we get thrown into the whole Reggae/Rock genre because that’s just what most people throw us into but I don’t know it’s hard because we do blend so many different styles of music together. Really I just think of us kind of as a Rock band you know because we just go up there and play music and it’s really just whatever when we’re up on stage. Haha whatever we feel like playing that’s what we’ll play.
Rolling Stone called you one of the best up and coming bands of 2010. What do you think it is that sets the Dirty Heads apart from other bands?
I don’t know, that’s a good question haha. I think it helps a lot that we all grew up together and we’re good friends so we get along good and just have fun. So I think that has a lot to do with it because it’s how the fans portray us when they come out to the shows. They see us having fun and having a good time up on stage and it’s almost like that energy/vibe is transferred to the crowd and they can just let loose as well. That’s really the power about music, it’s not just something you listen to it’s something you can feel too. It’s like a lot of bands now a days are writing emo/scream-o/sad/depressing stuff and when fans listen to that it’s almost like they feel that way too. I think people are just ready for happy music again and that’s what we aim for, to make people feel happy and positive and I really think that helps us out in what sets us apart from other bands.
Any Port in a Storm was released in 2008 and then the special edition was released last year in 2010. With such a long period of time without a release can we expect a new EP or album that is currently in the works to be released any time soon?
Yes definitely, I mean we’re always working on new music really. We were actually working on a new album when the whole “Lay Me Down” track hit and it kind of took us by surprise. We had a ton of new music already written and “Lay Me Down” was supposed to be on the next album but the radio got a hold of it so we had to just put it out and that was the reason for putting out the Special Edition album. So we have a lot of new music that’s already written and we’ll probably try and put out some sort of EP this summer even if it’s just free online or something so that we can keep the fans happy because that’s what we really care about. In terms of a full length album, I think we’ll try and put one out late this year or early next year.
You have shared the stage with so many great bands, what is your most memorable show to play and why?
My most memorable show has to be when we played at Red Rocks with 311 and Matisyahu. Right before we were about to go on stage it just started pouring down rain and the staff had told us that if it kept raining the show would be pushed back and we wouldn’t have been able to play, it would have just been 311 and Matisyahu. So we were starting to feel a little stressed and were worrying that we wouldn’t play the show when Matisyahu came and talked to us and said not to worry that he was going to say a little prayer for us to get the rain to stop and like 10 minutes later the rain just completely stopped. So we got to go on and played to a sold out Red Rocks amphitheatre crowd and it was just a mind blowing experience making it one of my most memorable shows.
How’s the first national headlining tour going so far for The Dirty Heads?
The tour has been awesome, a lot of the shows have been sold out and the fans have just been bringing out tons of energy to the shows making it an awesome experience.
With the natural disasters that had happened in Japan you guys have set up the “Team Duddy vs. Team Jared” to provide relief funds. Can you explain the contest and tell me a little bit of why you guys set this up and if you know who is currently in the lead and/or estimation of how much money you have raised total so far?
We always try to do anything we can to help for any cause, especially when something of that extreme nature. We can’t do a bunch, you know we don’t have a bunch of money that we can just give up and donate because we’re still a young band but if we can do anything we can to help we will even if it’s something small like this. Basically we got a t-shirt with my face and a t-shirt with Jared’s face and we’re seeing who can sell more of their shirts and the loser has to get the other person’s face tattooed on their body while the proceeds from that are all going to help out Japan. It’s just a good way to get our fans involved with helping out too and a way to spread the message that people need help sometimes. I don’t know an exact amount right of how much we have raised so far but a week ago I know that the difference was only a two or three t-shirts for one or the other. I’m not sure who was winning or not but it’s really close right now so people should go and support team Duddy!
You guys are good friends with Rome Ramirez having him on your album and going on tour with Sublime with Rome last year, can you describe how that friendship was introduced and why you guys are so close?
We became friends with Rome long before there was any thought of Sublime ever getting back together. We’ve always recorded in the same studio, 17th street recordings down in Southern California, and Rome was just a young kid who was hanging around the studio. We would be in there practicing or recording and he would always be in there so we started to become friends just with that. He was actually a fan of The Dirty Heads so he would be stoked just to be hanging around but then one day he showed us some of his stuff and we’re just like “Wow this kid is really FUCKING good”. So we started doing some harmonies on some of songs or whatever, you know just messing around, but one day I invited him over to my house for a barbeque with some friends and that’s when we wrote “Lay Me Down”. Then around a year later the whole Sublime with Rome thing started and that’s why “Lay Me Down” was released because people were fiending for any material. It was really funny when we went on tour with them because I never thought that Sublime would be touring again and that I would be touring with them let alone that Rome would be singing for them so it was really funny how it all went down.
Can we expect more collaboration in the future?
Definitely, I mean we still live in the same area together and we still record in the same studio so really there is no way around it.
Some people play music to relax but with music as a career I can imagine it gets stressful. What are some activities you like to do that help you get you mind off music and let you relax?
Shit it’s been so long since I’ve had time to actually do that so I don’t know haha. I love to just hang with my family, we live by the beach and it’s always nice to just go to the beach because it’s so relaxing. Whenever I do get free time it’s really whatever, I mean I like to play video games or whatever I can do that just help me relax.