SURFING MAGAZINE: how do you guys create your sound?Aaron Hemphill: Well, we all make and write songs by ourselves on a four track, then we bring them to the table together later. So, you kind of work around mistakes or accidents. We're always trying to fine-tune it to find that balance between being just "artsy" and making something special.
What influences you guys? What keeps us motivated and inspired is the opportunity to be in a band that you always wanted to hear. Like being able to make music that's not out there to listen to for yourself, that's motivating to me. We sound nothing like the music we all listen to. We try to find whatever sound we feel isn't being provided and make that.
How important are live performances to you guys? They're really important, because they allow for people to connect with the music and see how traditional it actually is or what it's comprised of.
You just got off a tour with Interpol. WHAT'S IT LIKE PLAYING MASSIVE VENUES LIKE MADISON SQUARE GARDEN? It was amazing because the Interpol audience is so diverse. So a lot of kids who'd never even been to a show before, or have no reference point to music, or if they do it's like My Chemical Romance or something, are all there. It was cool to see that kids have patience and will listen to something even if it doesn't catch their ear right away and that not everyone is a victim of this convenient society.
How did surfing become such a big part of your life? I guess different musicians need different things to stay inspired, but for me it's surfing. Even though the music doesn't sound like surfing, it's the feeling you get out of it and the sense of place it gives you. It's pretty cool that we have the opportunity to live this nostalgic, '60s surf lifestyle and also live the music lifestyle, too. Like, I've been surfing Venice every day and the whole vibe, with the boardwalk and all that, I just love it. The experience can make up for lackluster waves. Like catching a wave in Huntington, that's so cool. There's so much history behind these places and surfers should appreciate that more. Instead of it being this offshoot of jock culture, people are starting to appreciate the history and nostalgia of it all. I think that definitely takes surfing in an awesome direction.
So, your tour is over tomorrow — now what? Go surf. [laughs] And make music. We're always working, but it's the most fun time. Literally, your job is to inspire yourself and make good music. And again to me that involves surfing. Do you know where I can get a Danny Hess shaped board?
From the thrasher opener "Plaster Casts of Everything" to icy and crooning change-ups like "Sailing to Byzantine," this record is a shrapnel-filled serenade that will devastate your ears from all angles.