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Nothing Stoopid about Dirty Heads' summer tour pairing
As far as Dirty Heads is concerned, Everything Is Awesome is an apt tour name for its late summer jaunt with fellow Southern California alt.rockers Slightly Stoopid -- a long-overdue pairing at that.
"My excitement level is very, very high just 'cause we've never toured with them," the group's Dustin "Duddy B" Bushnell says by phone from a tour stop in Ocean City, Md. "I think everybody assumes we toured with them before, but we never have. We've only played a handful of shows with them even though we've both been on the scene for a very long time.
"Plus they're, like, a really, really good band. They're definitely kindred spirits and made us feel OK about what we do."
Bushnell, 33, acknowledges that there was a time when putting the two bands -- who both blend elements of rock, punk, reggae and hip-hop into their music --on the road together might have been a dangerous proposition off stage. But that's not quite the case anymore.
"I would say maybe five years ago it would be pretty dangerous, but we've calmed down a little bit," Bushnell says. "The importance of our show and the longevity of the band has made us a lot more mellow. There's definitely some partying going on, but we've all realized our job is to make everybody else party and have a great time rather than join the party every night.
"Being the singer I can no longer go out and rave until six in the morning and smoke a pack of cigarettes and scream at the top of my lung and expect to sound 100 percent for five days in a row. I realize you have to keep your chops up and the most important thing is putting on the best show for people who spend their hard-earned money for the tickets. You can't just go out and lose your mind every night -- which I learned the hard way."
Bushnell and his bandmates are using the tour as a "victory lap" for their fifth album, "Sound of Change," which debuted at a career-high No. 8 on the Billboard 200 14 months ago -- and No. 1 on the Alternative Albums chart. New material is "starting to come around now," but Bushnell doesn't want to hazard a guess on what direction Dirty Heads will go in next.
"Y'know, in between (2012's) 'Cabin By the Sea' and 'Sound of Change' we did an acoustic album ('Home -- Phantoms of Summer'), and that was fun," he notes. "And we've never tackled a straight, head0on reggae album. So maybe we'll go down to Miami or the Keys or the Bahamas and do something like that. And we've never just buckled down and said, 'Alright, we're gonna do hip-hop end reggae and blend those and stick to one thing for 12, 15 songs.
"It's all a challenge. That's what keeps things interesting and keeps you on your toes. But right now we don't know, and that's exciting, too."
Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads and the Expendables
Friday, Sept. 4. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., on Friday, Sept. 4.
Tickets are $39.50 and $29.50.
Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com.
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