independent music magazine

Surf Curse im Interview: “Music is such a huge part of being connected with humanity”

An Surf Curse kommt man schon lange nicht mehr vorbei. Und wenn doch, dann spätestens jetzt nicht mehr. Ihre Außenseiter-Teenie-HymneFreaks” ging nun nämlich unglaubliche acht Jahre nach Veröffentlichung viral! Meiner Meinung nach kein Wunder – der Song verkörpert musikalisch ein Gefühl, das beim Hören in einen Coming of Age Film versetzt, irgendwo nachts, irgendwie ganz verloren, ein bisschen morbide. Nach diesem Gefühl sehnen sich junge Menschen heute genauso die damals. Ursprünglich 2013 auf ihrem Debüt-Album “Buds” erschienen, wurde der Song in 2021 blitzschnell so erfolgreich wie keiner ihrer bisherigen. Das schließt ihn plötzlich unter anderem in die Top 80 der globalen Spotify-Charts und sogar in die Top 10 der Spotify-Viral-Charts in Deutschland und Österreich ein. Um diesen Erfolg zu zelebrieren veröffentlicht das Duo jetzt endlich ein, etwas verspätetes, Musikvideo zu Freaks.

Kurz ein paar Fakten zur Band: Nick (Gesang, Drums) und Jacob (Gitarre), aus denen Surf Curse besteht, kommen aus den USA und machen seit 2013 in dieser Konstellation Musik, die mit einer Mischung aus Indie, Garage und Surf Rock eine einzigartig rohe, ehrliche, leicht düstere Stimmung erzeugt. Obwohl sie musikalisch wie eine kleine Underground-Band klingen, kommen sie nun doch im Mainstream an. Vor allem spielt dabei TikTok eine große Rolle, denn damit wurde Freaks auf fast 180 Millionen Spotify-Streams katapultiert und wurde zum Hit mit Identifikationspotential. Mit über 9 Millionen monatlichen Spotify-Hörer*innen sind aber nicht nur Surf Curse erfolgreich, sondern nebenbei auch Nicks Solo-Projekt Current Joys, das über 4 Millionen monatliche Hörer*innen mit ruhigeren, verträumten und melancholischen Songs versorgt.

Zugegebenermaßen haftet an Surf Curse nun häufig ein schlechtes Image, da vor einiger Zeit Beschuldigungen, die Band habe jemanden auf einer Party sexuell belästigt, auf Instagram veröffentlicht wurden. Nach einem öffentlichen Aufschrei (was ich sehr befürworte, denn die Musik- und Konzertszene sollte immer ein sicherer Ort für alle sein) löschte die betroffene Person jedoch den besagten Instagram Post, zog die Anschuldigungen zurück und entschuldigte sich, da die geschilderten Ereignisse nicht wahr seien. Auch Nick und Jacob veröffentlichten jeweils ein Statement dazu, dass sie nicht rechtlich gegen die Person vorgegangen seien und sie den Post aus freier Entscheidung löschte. Auch, dass die Geschichte nicht wahr sei, sie nie auf der benannten Party waren und darüber, dass auch sie aktiv dazu beitragen wollen, dass die Szene ein sicherer Ort bleibe und dass man mutigen Sexual Assault Survivors im Normalfall glauben solle.

Sowohl Surf Curse, als auch Current Joys begleiten mich mit ihrer Musik seit einigen Jahren und ich denke es gibt kaum bessere Alben, die man nachts oder – ehrlich gesagt – zum Heulen hören kann. Die traurigen, oft dunklen Texte “My head is filled with parasites / black holes cover up my eyes” wie in Freaks untermalen den lässigen DIY-klingenden Garagen-Sound und treffen dabei genau den “Wieso-versteht-mich-denn-niemand”-Nerv. Passend zum heutigen (05.08) Release des Musikvideos habe ich Nick und Jacob ein paar Fragen zu dem späten Erfolg von Freaks gestellt.

Acht Jahre nach “Freaks”

Dascha: Hey guys, I’m glad we could make this happen. How are you doing right now?

Jacob: We’re doing great.

Nick: We’re doing okay right now, yea.

Jacob: You know, like losing our minds a little bit but also staying afloat.

Dascha: You seemed to disappear for like a year, at least on social media. How did you spend that time?

Nick: In reality, the cold, harsh real world.

Jacob: I mean, Surf Curse wasn’t really doing anything during that time period because Nick was doing Current Joys stuff, I was working on my own stuff and the pandemic happened. And you know, it was really hard to just get together and do whatever. It wasn’t until things started popping off on the viral TikTok sensation that we could actually get back together and do Surf Curse stuff. The thing about Surf Curse is like, you know, we live our lives before we set everything around the band, like we’ve done that over time. There have been different times where we didn’t really get to work on stuff because we were off elsewhere; like sometimes I’d be living in Reno, sometimes Nick would be living in New York vice versa, same place, LA all over. So it’s always about living life, before everything is just always about the band.

Dascha: Now, so many years after Freaks has been originally released, the song is going viral. Did you ever expect that to happen?

Nick: Oh yes, we’ve been waiting on it.

Jacob: Don’t you think that it was bound to happen?

Nick: I don’t know if I said that but I think it actually was kind of surprising.

Jacob: Yes.

Nick: I mean it was less surprising because the Current Joys thing happened, like the [Current Joy’s] “New Flesh” thing happened and then it happened with “Freaks” and that I was like: Oh, this makes sense because “Freaks” is kind of like Surf Curse’s New Flesh“.

Jacob: Structurally they’re kind of like similar songs. It’s like a riff over the whole song that plays the whole time and then a chord change. So if you really want to break it down, how to write a hit TikTok single, that’s all you got to do.

Dascha: And how are you feeling about that success? I mean, there are a lot of artists who don’t like their own old music anymore.

Jacob: Well, we’ve always loved Freaks. I mean, I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but we’ve never taken it off our set list. There have been songs that we’ve taken off the back, you know, that are very popular. But Freaks has always been the one song that just has stayed on and we love it. But as Nick said before, it’s like it’s taken on a new meaning; playing it live after all these years has just been like a fun song to play. You know, it’s like, oh, that’s one of the classics but after hearing it now again, it does feel like there’s a resurgence in us that makes us like a lot more.

Nick: Yes, I feel like I also fit in with the belief that so many artists don’t like their own music like I don’t really love my old music, I don’t love playing it, you know. Like there are songs of ours that we hate playing live, but people will scream.

Jacob: Those are the most requested songs.

Nick: Yes, the most requested songs are the ones that we don’t play and people get really bummed about it but we still won’t do it because we just don’t want to play them. But Freaks holds the test of time for us, which is good. Thankfully it wasn’t like… well I won’t say, I’d rather not say.

Jacob: Could you put that as a mystery?

Dascha: Do you think there’s a specific reason why Freaks became so popular right now?

Nick: I think it’s just because TikTok is so hot right now, like Jacob said, yeah. TikTok is just such an interesting, weird way to experience the world and be connected with people. Like, if you go on it, you can just see some farmer in some random country doing like a back flip off of their house. You know, it’s like, this weirdly personal intimate thing that so many people needed during isolation and lockdown and everything because it was like this weird way to experience the world and feel connected with humanity. And our song just like slithered its way in there. So, music is such a huge part of being connected with humanity so I think it was like – right place, right time.

Dascha: Can you tell me more about the time you wrote Freaks? What was the process and the thought behind the song?

Nick: Well, I remember I was singing it wrong; we were playing it in my basement. Jacob showed me the song and it was like [singing] and I was singing it [singing], I’m just a freak. I’m just a freak, not actually like that. But Jacob was like; you don’t have to sing along with the riff, sing it separately. And then that was the golden ticket. And the song is about this graphic novel black hole which is about all these teenagers getting like an alien STD and feeling isolated from the world around them while also still trying to be loved, you know?

Dascha: Would you do anything differently if you wrote and recorded Freaks for the first time in 2021?

Jacob: No, I mean… the thing about it is it sounds so much of its time, I mean, we recorded the original version in the basement that we lived in, on Surf Curse Demos (Hier geht’s zur ersten Demo-Version), and then the Buds version we recorded in like a music venue in Los Angeles, a place called Smell. And I think people can pick up on the sense in time, and, you know, the low-fi, DIY energy of it, like that feels like more real than anything. That being said, we did re-record a version. That feels good, feels like it enhances everything. We had to record it for Atlantic. But, I think another reason why the people are picking up on it so much is because of the rawness and it kind of has like that hidden, humanistic and vulnerability of what the song is. There’s just an honesty to the recording and the lyrics and the vibe of the song.

Dascha: What is your personal favorite Surf Curse song?

Nick: My personal favorite is “Trust“. I feel like that song should go viral.

Jacob: It is so beautiful sounding, like the structure of it and just the sound of everything like the backing, the recording. It’s such a beautiful fucking song I think. My second is “Midnight Cowboy“, I’m very proud of that song. Personally, I’m proud of doing this song, writing that song. But I mean I genuinely love so much of what we’ve done.

Dascha: Midnight Cowboy is definitely one of my favorites! Can we expect new Surf Curse music soon?

Nick: Yes, you can. Maybe not so soon, but hopefully soon.

Jacob: Yes, we have half the songs written, so that’s good.

Dascha: For the last question, we always ask for an “untold story“, a story you haven’t told in an interview yet or a random fact that most people don’t know about you. Do you have anything in mind?

Nick: There’re too many: The Untold Story of Surf Curse. Well, we started the band because we got into a fight. We were living together and we got into a fight. And then we were like, we just need something to do together that’s productive. Like, we should just start this band now. And then Jacob moved out and we started the band.

Jacob: Yes, we were living together and the tension was so high there because I was in a couple. And then he was like there, you know?

Nick: And I didn’t do my dishes.

Jacob: …And didn’t do the dishes. And I was like, we’ve got to move out, but as soon as we did that me and Nick became closer and wanted to do music and stuff. The funniest thing about the fight was that I was so mad at Nick and I was going to go and yell. It was for the dumbest thing in the world and I was going to walk over and talk to him. On my walk there I was like, this is stupid. Why am I mad at Nick? And so I just saw Nick and I was like, I’m sorry. I don’t want to be mad at you, the last thing I want to do is be mad at you.

Hier geht es zum lang ersehnten Musikvideo zu Freaks, bei dem die beiden Regie geführt haben:

Foto Credits: Julien Sage

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
related articles
musikvideo der woche
UNTOLD ADVENTSKALENDER

Untold Adventskalender

Jeden Tag ein Türchen. Mit Musikempfehlungen, exklusiven Interviews, Konzerten und Verlosungen.
new untold releases
artists to watch 2021

Ihr wollt vor allen anderen wissen, wer 2021 zu seinem|ihrem Jahr macht?
Checkt hier die heißesten Newcomer – untold style.

all of the untold