Foto-© Julien Sage
Unverhofft kommt oft – so auch im Falle des US-amerikanischen Indie-Duo Surf Curse, bestehend aus Jacob Rubeck und Nick Rattigan (ansonsten solo auch als Current Joys bekannt), denn 8 Jahre nach der Veröffentlichung geht ihr Song Freaks urplötzlich durch die Decke. Warum, wie, was, wo – das sind eben die unerklärlichen Wege in der Musikindustrie…und doch scheint diese Coming-Of-Age-keiner-versteht-mich-Teenager-Hymne perfekt für diese, unsere Zeit. Und wenn man einer Band den Durchbruch gönnt, dann dem emsig tourenden Duo – wir haben den beiden eine Latte Fragen geschickt: Surf Curse in unserem Mailer-Interview! Obendrauf gibt es auch noch das nagelneue Video zu Freaks!
Your song Freaks just became some kind of viral hit through TikTok – when did you discover that this is happening and what did you think about that?
Nick: Oh God, time is so weird. We discovered it probably… like, it happened a few times. It happened once and it sort of went like this [points] and down. And then it happened again, and has not gone down yet. So a few months ago. And I thought it was cool and it’s sort of just happening with a lot of our music now like it happened with one of my current choice songs already, so it’s like, ‘Oh, I guess it’s happening again’. I was like the bald guy in Twin Peaks who was kind of like emotionless; ‘It is happening again’ [disguises voice].
Are you using TikTok personally and what do you like about it?
Jacob: I’m on it and at first I was like, this is the worst place of the internet because there was just so much weirdness that was happening and then I checked back on it a couple months later and it was actually really cool; kind of remind me of Vine in the sense that people were just being really creative and really crazy and smart about everything that they’re doing. But it’s also a way to connect with the world in the weirdest way just to see what everyone is into or what they like or how they experience everything, just life. And it’s weird, It’s a really weird thing, but I do I like it and also really hate it.
Nick: You were also on it when it was musical.ly like in 2018.
Jacob: It was like I used it when it was officially TikTok.
Jacob: But it just turned into it and then I was just reposting a bunch of hashtag vampire stuff. It’s like a vampire guy in an ambulance. And you know, just vampire couples and it was a lot of fun then I deleted the app.
How many of the 615k+ clips did you watch and what do you like most in the videos?
Jacob: I only watch the ones that gets set to me. It’s funny because I’ll try to look up, you know why it’s blowing up and it’s like the same video over and over again every time I type it in. But then every time I talk to someone else, that will be like it comes up like on my feed all the time. And every time it comes up for me, which is so funny. But yes, every time someone sends like a new video it’s always just insanely ridiculous because that’s the least expecting thing to see.
Why do you think that Freaks is connecting with people still, eight years after its release?
Nick: It’s the riff. Well, we wrote that song when we were really young and I just think lyrically it’s so to the point and it has like that angsty drive to it that it’s really attracting a lot of young people who are relating to it. And because of algorithm and viral sensation it just catches on with a lot of people and so it’s just making its rounds and hopefully it becomes an emotional punk anthem for the youth.
Jacob: It’s funny because I’ve been editing this music video for it because we shot a video for it and I’ve had to listen to the song like 100 times now. And I’m even having a new appreciation for it because I’m like, dang, this sounds pretty good. We play it every show and I’m so numb to it normally. And I’m just like, Oh this is the song we wrote like 10 years ago. But now I’m like, ‘Oh, I kind of like this song again’.
Freaks is from your debut record Buds – which other song from your discography would you expect going viral?
Nick: Hopefully “Disco”. I mean that’s the one that we want to go viral but you can’t really control it.
Jacob: Yes, I mean when the viral sensation started it becomes viral because it latches onto one thing and becomes its own thing. It’s not like people love it because its Surf Curse’s ‘Freaks’, it’s people love it because it’s ‘Freaks’. You know, I don’t think half the people who make videos about us even think about our band name as much as they think about the sound of it. But Disco I think is a really insanely catchy song that’s a lot of fun and it would be nice to have more people here that.
Could you tell a bit how the song was written, what it is about and what’s the story behind it?
Nick: Well, I still remember writing the song and we were playing it in the basement. And the way I was singing it was like I was singing along to the riff. I was like [SINGING] and Jacob was like, don’t sing it like that, sing it like [SINGING] so that’s how the song got written. But it’s about this graphic novel actually, ‘Black Hole’ [shows it to the camera], which is about a bunch of teens getting this alien STD that makes their skin fall off and like, they get like boils on their face if they lose their hair. So I was just trying to sing it from that perspective of like someone in the graphic novel, but it’s also about depression and feeling isolated from the world but still wanting to be a part of it.
We heard you are also planning a new video for Freaks – how far are you in the process, what’s the plan and when can we expect the outcome?
Nick: We’re very close. I and Jacob were just on a call about it right before this and I have like an edit done so we’re pretty close.
Jacob: Yes, it is looking really good.
Nick: Yes, I was fucking crazy.
Jacob: Nick is a fantastic director and knows how to lock into crew and make a vision happen.
Nick: This time I didn’t yell at anybody.
Jacob: Yes, easygoing.
Nick, you just released the new Current Joys record and streamed an amazing concert film – now this success. How do you feel at the moment?
Nick: Oh man, I don’t even think about it, I feel good about it. We’re actually doing another screening of the movie soon, like releasing the album on digital stuff just like the live songs that we did for it so that’s exciting. But yes, I think I’ve been so consumed in Surf Curse world that I really didn’t think about it.
Was it through the viral single that you got in contact with Warner and signed a major deal or how did this turn out?
Jacob: They got in contact before we even took it seriously because I got an email about Atlantic and I told Nick about it. He was like, Oh, you know, they hit up everybody like, whatever. And then our manager found out and she was like, forward this to me right now. Then all these other levels were after us like she flew in, we were not doing anything at all. And after that she flew in and she was like, I got this label, this label and this label, this offer and just all these things. And we’re just driving around doing all these meetings and it was just insane. But they were like, because of the vibes of the Atlantic they were you know, they’re the true winners.
What are your next plans for Surf Curse and when can we expect a new album?
Nick: We’ve got like half an album written now and probably another half soon, just got to record the thing. Probably next year. I’m sure Atlantic wants to shoot it out as quickly as possible
Surf Curse is also a lot about the great live shows – when do you plan to play live shows again?
Nick: We’ve got some shows coming up in September in LA, New York, if they don’t get cancelled because of COVID.
What are you doing when you are not doing music?
Nick: I’ve been buying and listening to a lot of records lately. Like that’s kind of been my schedule. I go for walks.
Jacob: I read a lot of self-help books.
Nick: Absolute legend.
Jacob: A journal, I meditate, I do yoga, I read self-help books and I play video games, and watch Marvel movies.
What did you learn up to now in 2021?
Nick: Still learning, still learning it.
Jacob: I feel like I appreciate music so much more in my life than I had in a while; where I’m like actually delving into the past and actually like, appreciating sound more, and I’m appreciating people in my life more and that is kind of like the beauty of everything right now in 2021. It’is to hold on to the things that you keep close and the people that you keep close to you.