Sublime with Rome’s Rome Ramirez and Dirty Heads’ Dustin Bushnell (AKA Duddy B) have contributed to some iconic records over the years and are beloved by fans worldwide.
Together they made history with their remake of the Dirty Heads’ 2010 smash hit “Lay Me Down” as the first track from an indie label to reach #1 on Billboard’s Rock Songs chart, in addition to holding steady as number one on the Alternative Songs chart for 11 weeks.
Now Rome & Duddy are about to make history again with a brand new joint EP called “Cactus Cool“. The two California duo boarded themselves in a cabin in the woods to block out the outside world as they jammed, and write a fresh batch of tracks. The new music combines all of Rome & Duddy’s musical influences into a melting pot from Peter Tosh to country artists that nobody would expect.
The Pier.org sat down with Duddy to discuss the band’s new EP “Cactus Cool”, as well as the track “Cannabis Tree” that dropped today, their podcast, and what we can expect from the upcoming Rome & Duddy.
We got a chance to listen to the EP. First and foremost, it’s spectacular man. It’s really a feel-good record.
Duddy: I appreciate it, man.
This project did feel to me like a bunch of friends, sharing joints, having beers just sitting around the campfire; having fun. If you could, tell me a little bit about the sessions.
Duddy: I mean, that’s not far off from what it was, to be honest. It started out we wanted to just go and do some acoustic tours, you know in between our bands touring (The Dirty Heads and Sublime) it wasn’t a band or a side project, It was just let’s go out you play some of your solo stuff and some Sublime stuff and I’ll play some Dirty Heads stuff and my solo stuff and then maybe at the end we’ll get together and play a couple of songs together you know.
During that, the tour got started so we were like, hey let’s do a cover song or something that we can put out just to kind of promote the tour and we can play that song and we did “And It Stoned Me” We had so much fun writing that song and then you know the tour happened and the songs got great response, and then we did the same with “Lalania” and we were like this is kind of cool. Maybe let’s try and start a side band together. You know, let’s see what happens. Let’s not do a cover song. Let’s try and release some of our own originals.
We went up to the mountains, me, Rome, and his brother up in Idyllwild, California. It was just me and Rome hanging out, having some beers, smoking some joints, you know, around the campfire, and just trying to figure out exactly what the project was. We knew going into it, we can’t just go out and do some Reggae where Rome sings and I do some rap because we already do that, what would be the point? So We kind of figured it out there in the mountains around the campfire. And that’s when we actually wrote Cannabis Tree that’s going to be the first single and that kind of set the vibe for the album. And that’s kind of how we figured out the sound right there.
Talk to us a little bit about the first single “Cannabis Tree” that just dropped.
Duddy: So that was the first one we wrote and we just kind of started freestyling. Rome, I think was playing a couple chords and we just started mumbling melodies and freestyling lyrics. It just came about very naturally and once we hit on the chorus, it was kind of easy for us, to be like okay, let’s set the vibe almost like the Dirty Heads have their “Cabin By The Sea”. This was almost like our calm you and like, getaway, come over to this place, bring all your friends, once you get here, you know you’re going to feel much better and we’re all going to be one, big family type of vibe.We were trying to create our own world. Like you know, like the Dirty Heads have created their “Cabin By The Sea” and the fans seemed to really gravitate towards it and we were like, ok, let’s try and create our own Zone, you know, that’s kind of where that one stems from.
Let me ask you about the podcast a little bit, man, because it’s a super fun podcast. Your guys’ chemistry is undeniable. You guys have been around each other for so long, but was there a particular moment when you kind of realized, this is my buddy this is my guy?
Duddy: Yeah, it was kind of like when we started to realize that this project was growing into something that we felt like was going to be something for a long time. You know, we were on the road The Dirty Heads were touring with Sublime with Rome and it was during that tour We were just like we should do a podcast, we’re around each other so much, you know, we’re going to be touring with each other with the new project, Dirty Heads and Sublime with Rome always tour together. So there’s a good chance we’re going to be touring with each other a lot in the next, 10 years. Why don’t we just do a podcast we can talk about the CBD, talk about the Rome and Duddy musical project, talk about the Dirty Heads and Sublime with Rome, and then, just whatever else is going on. And it just started like that, you know, we were on the road and said let’s do it and we just literally turned on a couple of mics and just started talking. In doing that we figured out like oh let’s do a talent show, so we were having people send us demos and it’s just been so much fun and it seems like the listeners have a good time with that. We actually have a lot of big plans for this tour coming up “The Winter Moon Tour”. We’re going to try and pull off a podcast every day. So yeah. We’re going to try to do it every morning while we have our coffee. We’re going to do a podcast and put them up daily. So we’re excited about that.
I wanted to talk about the tour, you guys are getting ready to head out on tour again this time you’re coming out with a full band. You obviously have a lot more material together, so tell us a little bit, what the fans have to look forward to this time around.
Duddy: Man, this is going to be so fun and I’m actually very excited because I know that it’s not going to be exactly what people are thinking. You know, I think a lot of people are going to show up thinking “I’m just coming to a reggae concert and I’m going to hear some Dirty Heads and Sublime” and yeah. You’ll probably hear some Dirty Heads and Sublime songs, they probably won’t be exactly how you’re used to hearing them, we’re definitely going to switch them up a bit, but it’s just going to be a good time. We have an amazing band we’re bringing out with us. Great dudes, insane musicians. We’re putting together a really fun set, like I said, you know, some Dirty Heads and Sublime, but then all of our original songs we’ve been writing and we’re gonna throw in some covers, it’s just going to be a party. And I love it that some of these venues are so tiny, which is amazing because it’s gonna be the first time people are gonna hear this project. I want it to be intimate, I want it to be right up in your face, you know, it’s going to be a lot of fun. If we were coming anywhere near you, please come out. I promise you will not regret it.
Interview/Story by Adoo & James Wright