Surf Dads are back together and ready to shatter some waves
Music by Chris Morin
With Stoop Kids
Tour van troubles due to a Playstation 2. Collusions with Library Voices. A long distance relationship that spanned nearly 2,800 km. Three sunshine-inspired garage-pop EPs, not to mention an admirable 60-plus gigs on the touring circuit.
In their quest for an endless summer, Gage McGuire and Chris Dimas have an impressive cadre of accomplishments despite having only been making music for just over a year as Surf Dads. In their relatively short amount of time together, the duo have cemented a memorable sound that’s rooted in the brat-punk clack of skateboard wheels hitting rotting sidewalks and late night convenience store slushy benders.
What essentially began as a DIY bedroom-bash project with the two sending iPhone recordings to each other between Regina and Los Angeles has now coalesced into an abrasive full-band effort that evokes sun-drenched garage pop.
Having started the band in 2014, the duo quickly discovered a kindred love of all things punk rock, video games and BFFs. Despite living a long distance lifestyle, the Surf Dads – who aren’t actually dads by the way — managed to bang out several well-received recordings, a practice that admittedly started as “a joke” says McGuire.
“We definitely didn’t have a master plan because we had prepared those initial songs for a show that was meant to be a one-off,” says the singer.
While the band’s most recent EP, A Nice Boy, featured a ferocious set of rippers written and recorded in a mere nine hours when Dimas scored a quick visit to Regina from Los Angeles, that frantic work pace is about to come to an end.
After a year of separation, Dimas has moved back to Regina and settled back into band life. Aside from rekindling in-real-life relationships and taking breaks to play Call of Duty between jam sessions, the Surf Dads are finally able to spend more time and energy crafting their recordings.
In other words, look out, world.
Having teamed up with producer Rob Morrison (who worked with Rah Rah and Close Talker), the band recently wrapped up a new full-length album that showcases an evolving sound.
“The new record was less improvisation. We put a lot more time and care rather than just blasting through them,” said Dimas. “Since I’ve been back we will spend a couple of months on writing the songs and it’s a huge step forward for the band.”
“Touring a lot definitely helped,” adds McGuire. “And it’s nice to feel like we are a real band again.”
The group’s previous records showcased frothy harmonies mixing freely with fried amps and pummeling rhythms. But while those EP dealt with darker themes, such as resentment and unrequited feels, the new material is more “accepting,” says Dimas.
“It’s also a lot more diverse. There are songs that will do well at a party and songs that will take you home at the end of the night,” he said.
In addition to having added several members to the line-up in order to help flesh out the live mosh, the Surf Dads also plan on more shows across Canada, including gigs in the U.K. and Germany. But as for the new album, fans are going to have to wait until it’s officially bikini weather.
“I feel like it would be a really weird to release it in the winter. It’s such a summer album,” says McGuire.
“We are called Surf Dads and that vibe has really followed us around with the whole beach-and-drinking-beers-with-friends thing. So that’s exactly what we are going to do when it comes time to release the new record.”