Dustin Bushnell says not all that much has changed for him since his band, The Dirty Heads, was named one of the best new bands of 2010 by Rolling Stone magazine.

He still lives in Orange County, Calif., where he grew up and where he and fellow Dirty Heads member Jared Watson met as high school freshmen some 15 years ago and started playing music together.

And he still tours all over the country most of the year, just as The Dirty Heads have been doing for almost a decade.

The main change is that now when the band tours, they have a lot more company.

“Places where we used to get five or 10 people, now there’s hundreds, and they’re singing all the words,” said Bushnell, who sings and plays guitar in the band.

As for the fact that The Dirty Heads were named a best “new” band after some seven or eight years of serious touring and recording, Bushnell doesn’t have a problem with that.

“For us, it’s a little weird to hear that, but to 90 percent of the people hearing us now, we are new, so we get that,” he said.

The Dirty Heads will bring their reggae-tinged rock to Port City Music Hall on Tuesday. The show, sponsored by local radio stations WCYY (94.3 FM) and WJBQ (97.9), also features New Politics and Ballyhoo.

Watson and Bushnell grew up in Huntington Beach, Calif., a place with a definite beach and surf vibe. They were both drawn to reggae, surf music, punk and lots of other music, especially that of the ’90s ska-punk band Sublime.

So even though some of their music has a definite reggae flavor — such as “Ring the Alarm” or “Lay Me Down” — Bushnell says reggae doesn’t completely define them.

“We grew up listening to a lot of different (music), so we never said, ‘Let’s play this style, or that style’,” he said. “We didn’t even say, ‘Let’s start a band’; we just starting writing songs and playing.”

In a nod to their roots, The Dirty Heads recorded “Lay Me Down” with singer Rome Ramirez of the band Sublime with Rome (the current incarnation of Sublime). Released in 2010, it climbed to No. 1 on Billboard’s alternative songs and rock charts.

Bushnell says his tastes remain eclectic to this day. He’s currently listening to a lot of The Black Keys and Beastie Boys. And he’s a big fan of the Pandora Internet radio service.

“It’s a great way to find new music to listen to, because there’s not a lot on the radio,” he said.

Whether it’s the reggae influence or the fact that they grew up in a beach town, The Dirty Heads have had several songs used on beach-themed films, including: “Surf’s Up,” an animated movie featuring the voices of Shia LaBeouf and Jeff Bridges; and “Surfer, Dude” with Matthew McConaughey.

“Every time we hear one of our songs on TV or with a movie, we laugh, because every time, the thing has surf in the title,” said Bushnell.

“I guess it’s because we have some reggae sound, and that makes people think of surfing. I don’t know.”

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: [email protected]