Surfer Blood: Back in Florida

In Journalism, Music on September 18, 2010 at 9:11 pm

You can tell a lot about a band by its MySpace profile. Go to the page for the indie rock band Surfer Blood and all you’ll get is a white background with the “Sounds Like” section featuring timeless videos like “cat eating sour apple lollypop” and “Cat says NOM NOM NOM while eating sour cream.”

Surfer Blood--Photo by: JUCO

I asked Thomas Fekete, 22, guitarist for Surfer Blood, to explain.

“Basically our label really pimped our MySpace out and put up kind of a cheesy background and just, like, all these weird links to MTV,” Fekete said. “One day we just went on our MySpace and we were like, ‘Whoahhhh, what the fuck is this?’ so we just took it all down and put those cat videos up. “

It’s this boyish sense of humor that has helped the alt-pop band stay grounded through the media whirlwind surrounding their lauded single “Swim.”

Sound-wise, Fekete said comparisons to Weezer, Pavement and Sonic Youth are flattering and pretty accurate as they are definitely huge influences. Heavy emphasis on guitar and singable, noisepop choruses make Surfer Blood’s album “Astro Coast” perfect for road trips. And thankfully, they avoid corny, Beach-Boys-esque lyrics about the ocean and its visitors.

The West Palm musicians had been playing together for only about six months when things really started to get big. That’s when their reverb-heavy summer anthem “Swim” made it to number 37 on “The Top 100 Tracks of 2009” created by the highly influential music Web site Pitchfork, landing them in the company of Jay-Z, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Lady Gaga.

It’s a teenager’s wet dream. The band went from playing to small crowds of friends in West Palm to the festival circuit where up to 9,000 people were in the crowd. What Fekete describes as “a crazy year” is an understatement, filled with intense moments both good and bad.

One of the good ones happened at the BBC studio in London. Head down, sound checking before a radio program, Fekete looks up to find none other than Jason Schwartzman, who ends up being a huge fan of their record.

“We couldn’t believe it,” Fekete said. “And then he actually went on air for an interview and told the interviewer he was star struck when he saw us. It was pretty cool.”

It’s probably easy to have a good time at any venue when you’re in a band that’s blowing up, but Fekete is eager to play in Gainesville and enjoy our delicious vegan eats.

“Reggae Shack is my favorite place ever,” Fekete said. “I get the jerk tofu. It’s the most insanely spicy thing I’ve ever had. So good though.”

Surfer Blood will be playing at Common Grounds Monday, Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. Entry is $12.

[Official story for the Alligator]


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