Surfbort and their hazy, scuff-kneed punk rock have already made fans of Wolf Alice, Amyl and The Sniffers, Interpol, Lana Del Rey, Blondie and Karen O. Now, with debut album ‘Friendship Music’ finally getting a UK release (via Julian Casablancas’ Cult Records), it’s about time you fell for them as well. Their music, sometimes fuelled by protest, other times coming straight from their bleeding hearts but always packing a smirking punch, is irresistible.
“I’ve never been like, ‘You should like my band’,” says frontperson Dani Miller “But you should join the Surfbort Family if you’re into fun. We’re here to party, scream, dance, talk about the world and get through this insane, crazy shit together. If you’re into dancing and listening to the best music, you should love Surfbort,” she grins. And she isn’t wrong. Here’s why.
They started as a joke; now they’re touring the world
“In the beginning, it was very primitive,” says Dani. “We started as a complete joke at a party and now it’s turning into something super real and really important to me. I’m not really familiar with the music industry. My parents didn’t tell me about it. I’ve just learned from experience, so I don’t know how to release things properly or get the proper reviews from the dude upstairs of the music business but the response from other musicians and all the new friends we’ve made on the road, that’s all I need to keep going and keep making stuff.”
Debut album ‘Friendship Music’ is a brilliant, ramshackle collection of riotous party anthems, blood-letting honesty and solidarity
“I want people to feel like they aren’t alone in their suffering and their struggles,” says Dani. “There’s a tonne of people who feel the same way as them, and who are trying to get through the exact same life that they are. The world is fucked up, and there can be people coming at you who are really mean and really evil. It can make you feel alone and like this isn’t worth it. But it totally is worth it.
“There’s a whole group of people, the Surfbort family, who are there for you. I want it to feel like you’re hanging out when with a friend when you’re listening to this record. I just wanted to boil it down to something really pure and simple and that everyone can just enjoy, which is friendship in music for everyone forever.”
Their live show is total chaos
“I realised the show isn’t about me, it’s about everyone getting together and doing this weird dance of communication,” says Dani. “It’s cool that the shows explode into everyone releasing their pent up feelings but also being understanding of each other and showing compassion to random people you meet through music, which is really awesome. It might feel like the craziest day and you can’t handle it but it’s way easier to navigate when you know you have friends on your side.”
Surfbort are down for fun, but it’s not all about having a good time
“I think a lot of people who control the world or who have evil intentions want people to be super bummed out and hopeless or stuck in a rut,” says Dani. “It’s super powerful to take the community back, have fun with your friends and enjoy shit. It’s good to take some of that anger, sadness and frustration and turn it into powerful acts of resistance but it’s also cool to give yourself time to enjoy life as well.”
“You’ve got to help people and have fun at the same time. You’ve got to ask how can I use the platform of music and use my voice and keep opening the conversation so less people are suffering.
“From day one, we had a tonne of empathy. I think that’s what’s missing with some people, especially people high up in the government. Seeing other people suffer really makes me upset and I really want to help people, it’s always been a part of this band. I just don’t think there’s room to not help other people and talk about important subjects.”
They’re already planning album number two
“We make so many new songs, we’re always writing and we have endless music,” says Dani. “We’re about to start getting everything ready for a second record. And I’m stoked to just be able to make music. It’s at the very beginning stages and I want to keep Surfbort, Surfbort forever but I never want it to be stuck in a genre or a style or with the same message or feeling. I want it to evolve as we evolve and work with new people. I want more romance songs.
“I also feel like anyone who is super into music or whatever type of art and wants to start something, should just go for it because it’s brought so much greatness to the world and to me.”
Surfbort play Jubilee Square, Brighton, today (May 9) at 5.15 and The Haunt at 12.30am as part of The Great Escape