Local Music Feedback – Surf Dads
Regina duo Surf Dads tell us about their new album, All Day Breakfast, and some of the music they love and hate along the way.
Drummer Chris Dimas and guitarist/vocalist Gage McGuire met on the Regina music scene, eventually playing together in a hardcore band. They started playing as Surf Dads for fun, and when one of them moved, separating the duo by over 2000 miles, they kept writing together using modern technology to send tracks back and forth.
I first heard their ‘Summer Vacation EP’ a while back. It’s most easily (lazily) described as California punk pop, but it’s also better than what that description usually implies (if we’re thinking about knock offs like Blech 182). Surf Dads is a fuzzier, noisier version of classic hook-heavy hits like ‘Surf Wax America’ with a wealth of amazing, sloppy energy jammed into each track. They toured ‘Summer Vacation’ pretty relentlessly, picking up a reputation for having a raw knuckled and bloody live set.
In this installment of Local Music Feedback, we catch up with the lads on the eve of the release of their new one (and the subsequent tour), this time a full-length, called ‘All Day Breakfast.’
THE FEEDBACK SOCIETY: A lot has been made of the fact that you guys were separated while songwriting. What is your process for writing when you aren’t together?
CHRIS DIMAS: When we are not together, our writing process is iPhone demos. Our second EP was made completely over the internet by sending iPhone recordings back and forth, eventually sending full guitar tracks and vocal tracks. When we are together, the songs come to us quite easy!
GAGE McGUIRE: I’ll do a lot of writing just on an acoustic and send Chris a voice note and be like, “Is this cool?” That’s where most of our songs start and then we piece it together when we can be in a room together.
TFS: How do you ensure you’re filling out the sound as a duo, especially live? Any top secret pedals or gear you can allude to? Or do you add musicians for shows?
CD: As a duo, we work really well together in the studio. Usually, we agree on everything and most of the time, end up having the same idea, always thinking on the same page. When we play live, we have a full band to round out our sound, so no top secret gear. Except a lot of Traynor amps!
TFS: Without forcing you into a genre, how would you describe your sound?
CD: A lot of people tend to say that we sound like, “Weezer on speed.” At least that’s what we try to be sometimes. Jangly guitars and drums that you can dance too. Our live show ends up being a little more speedy then the record. A very high energy show, although we love the mid-tempo jams too.
GM: That’s definitely my favourite quote as well. At the end of it all, we’re just having fun and want that to translate as much as possible through our records. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.
TFS: What’s the best live show you’ve seen lately? Local or not, doesn’t matter.
CD: We got the opportunity to play with a band from Vienna, Austria called Lorraine. An absolutely amazing show — completely blew us all away.
GM: True. Also, my absolute favourite band right now is actually our pals from Regina, Seed. I caught them playing at a local restaurant and even though they’re not at all a punk band, they had a crazy pit and it’s just unbelievable music.
TFS: Who would be a bucket list show for you to see?
CD: I think that we would both really like to see Kanye West. Yeezus was our most played tour album on our first few tours.
GM: Yeah. We had tickets to his Edmonton show but we couldn’t make it. A true shame. One day. One day.
TFS: What is the album you can’t stop listening to right now?
CD: Pretty addicted to the ‘White Reaper Does it Again’ record by White Reaper, the new Cloud Nothings, the new Code Orange record, Savage Mode…Yeezus?
GM: Doubling up on Cloud Nothings and Code Orange. Also, I’ve just been listening to a ton of country lately. Alan Jackson is a king in my books.
TFS: What is a song or band you can’t stand hearing.
CD: Wiz Khalifa. He ruined the song Payphone by Maroon 5.
TFS: What is your favourite Saturday night record?
CD: Definitely something really party. Depends on what kind of party, but probably Pinkerton by Weezer.
GM: You ever hear ‘Truck Yeah’ by Tim McGraw?
TFS: Your favourite Sunday morning record?
CD: Andy Shauf, ‘The Party.’ I think both of us can agree it’s one of our favourites.
GM: Andy is the best. My favourite album of 2016, for sure.
TFS: Aside from Andy, who is your favourite local act?
CD: There are tons of amazing Regina bands. Seed is a band that we really enjoy, killing it for sure. Stepping Stone is always smashing as well. Our fam.
TFS: Anything else you want to tell anyone?
CD: We have our Debut LP “All Day Breakfast” coming out on April 7th. We have been touring these songs for a couple years now and we are both so happy they are finally going to be on record. There’s some Canadian dates coming up with Library Voices that are going to be awesome and I’m sure we’ll have an EP or three out before you know it.
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Surf Dad tour dates:
April 14: Calgary
April 15: Edmonton
April 18-22: Toronto
May 5: Saskatoon
May 6: Regina