Jared Watson of Dirty Heads Talks About “Vacation,” Spiritual Journeys, and Pivotal Moments From The Band’s Music

Dirty Heads’ own Jared Watson checks in with Surviving the Music Industry podcast to talk about the viral success of “Vacation” and new music from California Island. 

In the latest episode, host Brandon Harrington and Watson walk through the key moments from Dirty Heads’ album cycles, the risks involved with sobriety, the skepticism behind DMT, spiritual journeys, and how the band writes their songs that built a community around their music.

If there ever was a movie that mimicked the childhood of Jared Watson, it might be Jonah Hill’s Mid90s, a coming-of-age film that follows a 13-year-old boy who spends time with older skateboarders in 1990s Los Angeles. Watson reflects on his own skate/surf culture where, “Literally all we did was skate, record our skate parts, sell weed, and hang with the Magnum Mafia. To get in the crew—a group compromised entirely of his friends— you had to drink 3 forties of Magnum [Malt Liquor] in one night, but you were allowed to throw up. All we did was scrounge for money, and take the bus to different skate spots up until high school, when I met Duddy,” Watson recalls.

Cutting school to hang with Duddy B (Dustin Bushnell) in his music classes eventually became the evolution of Dirty Heads. Watson shares the real story of the formation of the band after years of creating fictitious bios, much like the Joker does in comics, admitting that it was a joke that kept evolving. But after Watson’s spiritual journeys with DMT and alike, the truth finally had to come out. 

Through the course of the conversation, Watson talks about the truths behind many lanes of his life and the music from Dirty Heads. As Harrington and Watson walk through the album cycles and the pivotal moments that came from their releases, Watson continues to share the inner details behind the risks involved throughout their career as a band, including recording an entire album through detox. Watson also talks about the celebration and the risks of sobriety after building an identity on a stage, followed by the anxieties of creating music under a newly formed identity without substances. After understanding the science behind alcoholism, Watson came to terms with the fact that it hasn’t defined him or his vocation as a frontman.

Throughout the episode, Watson talks about his unique take on songwriting that formed a community of fans who engage. Case in point, Dirty Heads’ viral hit on TikTok, “Vacation,” has garnered over 1.3 million users to date, and the #vacation and #vacationtransition trend has reached more than 5.4 billion views, which only proves that it was a natural, viral hit through conversation that only a community could support, rather than a brand paying millions of dollars for. It’s a long way to come for a band from southern California, who was dropped from their first record deal. Even though the conversation takes a look back at pivotal moments for the band, like recording with Dave Cobb and discovering his favorite restaurant, Dirty Heads are looking ahead with their newest releases “Bum Bum” and “Earthquake Weather” from their upcoming full-length album California Island

To stay in touch and know when there’s new music happening for Dirty Heads follow them @dirtyheads across their socials and visit www.dirtyheads.com. For more links and episodes of Surviving the Music Industry with Brandon Harrington, subscribe on your podcast app here and visit www.smipodcast.com.

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