Surf Dads is a Garage/Surf rock band signed to Split Tape Records. They are based between Regina, Saskatchewan and LA. We caught up with members Chris Dimas and Gage McGuire over Facebook about their three Ep’s and upcoming Western Canadian tour.
Lets start with the origin story of Surf Dads.
CD: Me and Gage had played in a hardcore band called Bermuda Love before Surf Dads. Our old hardcore bands used to play shows together and then one day We started jamming. I moved to Los Angeles and came home for Christmas, and we made the Denny’s EP in that time. We really liked the whole genre, of like Surf Rock. Gage came to LA for a week and after that it really kicked off because started getting inspired by that amazing place as well. Pretty much, we both started getting into the same genre and thought we would start another band. I have recording gear so we just did it in my basement.
GM: Yeah. I found Chris on Youtube and he came and played drums for our hardcore band and it kind of changed everything. We became friends and started sending iPhone recordings back and forth when he was in LA. We just wanted to do something different in our town. Personally I’ve only really ever played in hardcore bands so it was time for a change.
So you met each other through the internet? I think that’s how everyone got involved in Split Tape.
CD: Well we had met in person before, he just didn’t know I played drums. I was playing guitar in the hardcore band I was in that the time and Gage used to come to those shows.
GM: Yeah. I just thought he was a dork that jumped around on stage a bunch while playing guitar. He never used strap locks so his guitar always fell off and I’d strap him back up, nice guy Gage.
CD: I was a complete idiot as a guitar player.
You said there was pretty much only hardcore where you’re from, since it’s not popular there what are you major influences for the Surf Dads project?
GM: That’s not totally true. There is a lot of really great indie where we’re from. I was just never a part of it. There’s acts like Rah Rah, Andy Shauf and Library Voices from our town that are doing really cool things all around the world. That said I fucking love Wavves and Weezer. And I know Chris is super into FIDLAR.
CD: Yeah and we kinda wanted to make stuff like that but now we are finding our own sound.
So you’re about to put out your third Ep in the span of 6 months. How long does it take to record one and what’s the process behind it?
GM: Playing in a Shoegaze band (Good Girls) really developed my guitar playing style. I kind of accidentally incorporate it in some way or shape in a lot of songs. Each record has been different in that regard, Chris buddy take this one.
CD: Denny’s and the new one, A Nice Boy were recorded in my basement. So I would track drums first, then bass then guitars and then vox. I did all the mixing, with a few notes from Gage on what should be louder and quieter, and then for Denny’s we sent it off to our buddy Errol in Vancouver who mastered it for us, but I mastered the new one. Dark Dads, was recorded in LA / Regina with Gage sending me the guitar parts, bass parts, and vocal parts and I put them all together. Then I added my drums and mixed everything! Errol mastered that one too.
GM: On Denny’s we actually jammed the songs a bit beforehand and had a good idea of what we wanted to do. Dark Dads was me sending tracks down to LA. A Nice Boy was a whole other ball game. Chris was leaving to LA the next day and we were like “well.. want to record another EP?” We were planning on keeping it at the two EP’s and working on a full length, but we ended up caving and making another one. So we wrote and recording A Nice Boy in 9 hours. I had loose ideas of songs, but we just mapped it all out and pressed record pretty much. We only played the songs once together before recording them.
So far it’s been only Ep’s. When can we expect a full length album?
CD: The full length is next, and there is already 7 songs ready for it. We are going to demo the whole thing at my house, and then find somewhere to do it professionally in the future.
GM: We’re in talks with a pal who is going to do our full length. We’re not doing it ourselves this time, so we’re not 100% sure on a deadline. We have a bunch of songs pretty much ready to go for it though.
CD: The full length will also be more then 7 songs
Before the full length you’re going on a tour to support these three Ep’s, talk a bit about where you’re playing and what you’re looking forward to during the tour?
GM: We’re heading out west (Canada). It’s not a massive tour first time around. We’re playing a bunch of really cool shows through the prairies, and then a handful of shows in Vancouver. I’m just looking forward to being on the road with my 3 best pals and meeting some new folks along the way. I haven’t been on the road in 4 years, so it’s long overdue.
CD: Yeah, I’m excited. The other 2 guys that play with us were in my old hardcore band and they are the best dudes. We are all really good pals and it’s going to be one of the best times of my life by far.
So the live band has four people while the studio band is just you two?
GM: Yeah exactly. We have two amazing dudes (Nolan Grad, Brett Wyatt) who learn our songs and are there every step of the way. But they’re both going to school on opposite ends of the country in September, so fuck those guys! Just kidding. They rule.
What can people going to your shows expect to experience?
GM: Awkward banter if I have the mic and a pretty good time. Maybe a bit of dancing. It’s surprisingly loud too, so…
CD: I should probably be the one talking in between sets. It will be the fun. The songs are really fun to play live.
Awesome. Just remind me when the tour starts and the next Ep is due to be released.
CD: Next EP July 9th. Tour starts July 10th.
Thanks guys, good luck with both!
CD: Thank you!