half century since its heyday, guitar-based instrumental music, a/k/a
instro surf-rock, is still catching fire throughout Europe. Of course
instrumental means no heady words to get in the way of what guitar
freaks call gut level and pure music. A Dutch treat by way of the
drag strips and beaches of Southern California circa 1962, The
Surfaders hit hard and fast on their 13 track CD entitled Dragstrip
Murder Mystery. Self-released, though professional
recorded and pressed CD project, the CD features the guitar chops
of Jonas Morberg, who gets some fine help from his band mates
along with several guests. The electrifying instrumental surf-noir
music of The Surfaders echoes the sounds of early 60s guitar
heroes like Dick Dale and Davie Allan with a wink and a nod to 21st
century guitar bands such as The Bambi Molesters and The Madeira.
Taking the Surfaders debut album around the block for a couple
of spins its more than satisfying to see todays bands
from Holland continuing the sights and sounds of vintage 60s
instro music. www.surfaders.nl
presents an interview with
Jonas Moberg of THE SURFADERS
mwe3: Whats the scene like in Holland for surf-rock instrumental
music in 2012? When was the new Surfaders album written and recorded
and whats been the reaction in Holland and beyond to the new
Dragstrip Murder Mystery album?
MOBERG: There are lots of great surf bands in Holland: Phantom
Four, Anacondas, Spaceguards, Bevel Emboss, Biarritz Boys, Black Tarantula,
Bunny Bonanzas, Apemen, etc. I guess theres a audience for surf
music here, but its not a tight scene like punk or metal. There
are people who are interested in rockabilly, tiki, garage-rock etc.
who show up, but we see all kinds of people at our shows. Promoters
of music cafes and youth centers like to do surf nights, so we often
play with other surf bands. We played with Black Tarantula and Spaceguards
quite a lot.
We recorded Dragstrip Murder Mystery in January 2012 at IJland
Studios in Amsterdam. We had all the songs pretty lined up by then
and we knew what we wanted soundwise. Some stuff we made up in the
studio. For instance the spoken word part in Mellow Moonseed
and the harmonica part in El Pistolero Desmemoradio. We
had a blast being in the studio.
The reaction to Dragstrip Murder Mystery is pretty good so
far. We had some rave reviews in magazines like Pipeline Magazine
and Continental Magazine, and a great review on Reverb Central. Some
blogs and internet radio shows picked us up. The CD sold pretty well.
Nowadays it seems were selling more via downloads and streaming
services like I-tunes, Spotify, etc.
mwe3: Which guitarists and bands made the biggest impact on
your musical influences and your guitar sound? And in addition to
the legends what other bands, artists, guitarists, singers, etc. are
you currently listening to?
JONAS MOBERG: Im really into Dick Dale and Hank B. Marvin
of The Shadows. As for the other guys in the band, they also listen
to a lot of different styles of music. Evert, our drummer is into
old school goth, Alan Parsons, Alice Cooper. Stef, our other guitar
player was into various metal bands and likes prog-rock, stoner and
70s sludge rock. Gaston, our bass player, is not so much into
pop music. Hes more into classical and world music. It all filters
down in the music. For instance, the turn of key and tempo in Showdown
at the Tumbleweed Inn in the middle is really a prog-rock
mwe3: What guitars and amps and effects (pedals, processors)
are you playing on the new Surfaders CD? What other guitars
and gear are featured in the Surfaders?
MOBERG: I used my own gear: a Fender Jazzmaster (CIJ), a Fender
Bandmaster amp and a Fender Reverb Unit reissue. I used a Big Muff
pi on some tracks for extra warm overdrive. I also played a guitar
synthesizer for a sitar effect in El Sheik.
Stef used his Fender Stratocaster and Fender Hotrod Deluxe amp. Being
a prog-rocker, he used a lot of effects like a compressor, an Electro
Harmonix Worm Wah/ Phaser/ Vibrato and a Dirty Monkey tube overdrive.
That way we tried to mix a more traditional surf sound with a dirtier
rocky sound. Gaston used his Fender Jazz bass on a very vintage amp
in the studio. It belonged to Remko, the producer. I dont know
what brand it was. Evert used the studios kit with his own cymbals
Jan Frans, a friend of ours and musical genius, contributed a lot
of keyboard parts. He pretty made everything up in one night: sat
down and played along the tracks in his home studio. We used quite
a lot of his stuff.
mwe3: What are some of your other interests and causes these
days in music and outside music and what other things interest you
in Holland and the whole world?
JONAS MOBERG: We are with four different people in the band,
and we all have different interests. As a surf band, having played
at the beaches a couple of times, we feel kinship with causes like
preservation of oceans and beaches. Rise Above Plastics for instance.
Try to use less plastic. Every single small step counts I guess. If
there are local organizations who deal with these issues who like
to organize benefit-shows, contact us.
What are the future plans for the Surfaders as far as writing and
recording new music and also live performances coming in the future?
JONAS MOBERG: Were busy writing new songs and we like
to record these in the near future. At the moment were trying
to incorporate more diverse influences in the songs. Dragstrip
Murder Mystery was self-released which was cool but also a lot
of work. So we hope to interest a label in releasing our new stuff.
Furthermore, we hope to play more gigs outside The Netherlands.
Thanks to Jonas Moberg @ www.surfaders.nl