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‘Hollywood Undead’ Breaks Down Los Angeles Myths With “California Dreaming”

Hollywood Undead

Hollywood Undead’s a band that I’ve never heard of, and these days being an old dude really doesn’t cut it. The group’s new single “California Dreaming” immediately grabbed my attention thanks to its music video and, more importantly, its satiric yet heartbreaking take on the illusory aspects of Los Angeles.


Hollywood Undead

The music video features bystanders arguing with police officers, mayhem in the streets, fires that aren’t exactly being used to roast marshmallows, and the members of the Hollywood Undead looking absolutely scary underneath those masks.

On a first impression level, one can appreciate the single’s blend of hip hop, hard driving rock and melody (the chorus of “We never sleep, in California we’re dreaming” is well written and infections). But on a deeper level the band seems to be pointing out the sunny side and glamour myth of Los Angeles, Sure, there’s beaches and snowboarding and sun, but amidst all that there is a ton of understandable frustration (rising rents, gentrification and displacement, financial disparity) that’s a part of La La Land’s fabric.

“I can see rejection/in my own reflection/I can feel my dreams go cold,” is my favorite line from the track, and although that feeling can be applied to any part of the world, it’s amplified when you’re trying to “make it” in Los Angeles.

“It dissects both sides of California,” J-Dog reveals. “You’ve got the glitz, glamour, sun, and surf. Then, you’ve got the super fued side of people not being able to afford rent, celebrities being aholes, and that fake façade. We wanted to do a heavy song with a Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque chorus. It’s an old school vibe explored in a new way.”

Though Hollywood Undead and The Mamas and The Papas are far from musical bedfellows, both “California Dreaming” and “California Dreamin'” effectively capture the sheer desperation of my sunny and smoggy city.

I really dig Hollywood Undead’s video, as it gives a very pointed look at Los Angeles and, even though the message is a bit somber, the end of the clip is pretty funny. Check out the NSFW video (due to language content) below:

The five man outfit’s appropriately titled new album Five comes out October 27 and you can pre-order it here.

Hollywood Undead Tour Dates

9/30     Louisville, KY                        Louder Than Life Festival
10/1     Atlanta, GA                             Masquerade
10/2     Ft. Lauderdale, FL                   Culture Room
10/3     Orlando, FL                            The Plaza Live
10/5     Tampa, FL                               State Theater
10/6     Jacksonville, FL                      Mavericks Live
10/7     Norfolk, VA                            The Norva
10/9     Charlotte, NC                          The Underground
10/10   Pittsburgh, PA                         Stage AE
10/11   Joliet, IL                                  The Forge (950)
10/13   Cedar Rapids, IA                    Club Five @ US Cellular Ctr.
10/14   Madison, WI                           Majestic Theatre
10/15   Sioux Falls, SD                       The District
10/16   Des Moines, IA                      Wooly’s
10/18   Colorado Springs, CO            The Black Sheep
10/20   Spokane, WA                          Knitting Factory
10/21   Boise, ID                                 Knitting Factory
10/22   Sacramento, CA                      Monster Energy Aftershock
10/23   Santa Cruz, CA                       The Catalyst
10/26   Hollywood, CA                      The Roxy Theatre
10/27   Las Vegas, NV                       The Pearl At The Palms
10/28   Salt Lake City, UT                  In The Venue
10/30   Portland, OR                           Roseland Theater
10/31   Seattle, WA                             Showbox Sodo
11/2     Vancouver, BC                        Commodore Ballroom*
11/4     Calgary, AB                            Macewan Hall*
11/5     Edmonton, AB                        Shaw Conference Centre*
11/7     Winnipeg, MB                        Burton Cummings Theatre*
11/8     Fargo, ND                               Sanctuary Events Center
11/10   Omaha, NE                             Sokol Auditorium
11/14   Milwaukee, WI                       The Rave
11/15   Grand Rapids, MI                   20 Monroe Live
11/17   Rochester, NY                        Anthology
11/18   Portland, ME                           Aura
11/19   Albany, NY                            Upstate Concert Hall
11/21   Stroudsburg, PA                     Shreman Theater
11/22   Worcester, MA                       The Palladium
11/24   Sayreville, NJ                          Starland Balloom
11/25   Lancaster, PA                          Freedom Hall
11/26   Baltimore, MD                        Rams Head Live!
11/28   Knoxville, TN                         The Mill And Mine
11/29   Memphis, TN                          The New Daisy Theatre
12/1     St. Louis. MO                         Delmar Hall
12/2     Kansas City, MO                    The Truman
12/3     Oklahoma, OK                        Diamond Ballroom
12/5     Lubbock, TX                           Lonestar Pavilion
12/6     Albuquerque, NM                   Sunshine Theater
12/7     Tucson, AZ                             Club X’s


#HUArmy – go check out our #HU5 preorder bundles at

A post shared by Hollywood Undead (@hollywoodundead) on



Greg Srisavasdi
I've been a movie reviewer/interview since 1991 (as a UCLA Daily Bruin scribe), worked at Westwood One, Deepest Dream owner, co-editor of Hollywood Outbreak, podcast co-host of "CinemAddicts" and "Matt and Greg Used To Interview Movie Stars." I can be reached at for inquiries or whatever the case may be!

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