California-based band the Dirty Heads plans to immerse Columbus in a lively blend of alternative, hip-hop and reggae.
Established in Huntington Beach, Calif., in 2003, the Dirty Heads consists of vocalist Jared Watson, also known as “Dirty J,” percussionist Jon Olazabal, drummer Matt Ochoa, bassist David Foral and vocalist/guitarist Dustin Bushnell, better known as “Duddy B.”
The Dirty Heads are set to play at Newport Music Hall Sunday evening.
Bushnell said he started out playing the drums while his brother would play the guitar until, one day, they switched roles.
“My brother started playing the drums and I started playing the guitar more and it just grew into having this love for guitar,” he said. “It was all just for fun in the beginning and I had a good group of friends that were all musicians and we all just jammed for fun.”
Bushnell said he went to high school with Olazabal and Watson and the band originated as a three-piece until Ochoa and Foral joined later.
The band released its debut album “Any Port in a Storm” in 2008. The Dirty Heads’ sophomore album “Cabin by the Sea,” released in 2012, peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Alternative Albums chart.
Though Dirty Heads just released its latest album “Home: Phantoms of Summer — The Acoustic Sessions” in October, Bushnell said the band has already finished recording its next album.
“We’re expecting (the new album) to be out this summer and we’re really excited about it. It’s new music, we’ve definitely changed our sound a little bit, but I’m not going to exactly go into detail — you just have to buy the album and figure it out for yourself,” he said.
Shrub, a Columbus-based reggae/rock band, is set to open the show Sunday night and vocalist Jay Shawberry said he is looking forward to playing with the Dirty Heads.
“Not only are we excited about getting on the Newport stage and playing, but we’re also fans of the Dirty Heads,” Shawberry said. “When we go on the road, we have quite a few CDs that we might listen to in the bus or we might throw on a Pandora station here and there, and we always seem to come back to the Dirty Heads at some point, so it’s kind of like a band favorite.”
Moreover, Shawberry said Shrub performed with the Dirty Heads the last time the band visited Columbus in July.
“They’re down-to-earth and we always hang out a little bit after the show with them too, which is cool. They’re real genuine, nice guys, so I appreciate that,” he said.
Additionally, the Dirty Heads caught the attention of some Ohio State students. Monica Backs a first-year in environmental engineering, said in an email she started listening to the Dirty Heads after hearing about the band from her brother a couple years ago.
“I love the variety of their sound, actually. Most people consider them alternative, but they give off a little bit of reggae too,” Backs said. “Some of their music is the typical relaxed reggae sound, while some of their newer stuff mixes a bit of rap into smooth melodies and nice guitar parts.”
Backs said she is excited to see the Dirty Heads live for the first time.
“I just enjoy the fact that their music is ‘feel-good and kick back with your friends’ music. It makes me feel like summer, so listening to it is almost like my escape, especially during the cold Ohio winters,” Backs said.
Tickets for Sunday’s show are $22 in advance, and $25 the day of the show. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.