Surf Dads hail from the town of Regina located in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The band started off as a 2-man project between Chris Dimas and Gage McGuire, and has since grown to be a full band with four members. Surf Dads offers a surfy, yet pop-infused indie rock sound that can be compared to the likes of Surfer Blood, Yuck, and Wavves.
Chris of Surf Dads took some time to chat with me about the local music scene in his hometown in Canada, the origins of Surf Dads, and their newest release, All Day Breakfast.
Hi Chris! Nice to meet you – so who’s all in the band?
The lineup started as myself (Chris Dimas) and Gage McGuire. Now its kind of a dialysis, we have Nolan Grad on bass and Kieran Smith on Guitar. So we have four people now.
Nice, and how do you all know each other?
I met Gage from playing in other bands with him, and eventually we started liking the same kind of music and then started Surf Dads as a complete joke. But it ended up being something that we liked a lot more than the other projects. Nolan I’ve known since high school and I used to play shows with him when we were like 13 years old. So everyone’s kind of known each other for a while.
What other bands has everyone been in?
We play in a lot of other bands, but Surf Dads is the main one. Gage sings another band called Blue Youth that he’s a part of right now. And we have another band, me and him, called Bermuda Love. We try to switch it up a bit just to keep things fresh but Surf Dads is what we always come back to.
Is the music for Bermuda Love similar to Surf Dads at all?
Oh no, it’s very different. It’s a lot more scream-y and loud. Surf Dads is like our pop-outlet and everything else that we do is really loud.
It’s good to mix things up and let it all out. And where did the name Surf Dads come from?
I was actually in California and Gage came to visit me, and we wanted to try surfing. We were also making a lot of dad jokes at the time so we kind of just put the two together. We never ended up going surfing but we came up with a name, and it was just so dumb that it stuck. I think that people hear it once and they remember it, so I kind of like it for that.
Yeah, definitely. And the music isn’t necessarily “surfy” but in a way it makes me want to be by the beach or in like a beach town.
Yeah, the sound definitely started out wanting to be surfy – influenced by bands like Wavves.
But we kind of changed our sound after we toured a bit and our new release from April is more of the sound that we’re going for now. We’re really proud of it.
Is Regina sort of like a beach town at all?
No, it’s in the middle of nowhere. The population is something like 200,000 and the closest ocean is a 24 hour drive. If you’re looking at the map, it’s like the middle of Canada.
Wow, when’s the last time you’ve been to the beach?
It’s been a minute. It would be the last time that I’ve been to Los Angeles. We’re actually going back to Los Angeles in a couple of weeks so we’ll definitely be making a beach trip.
Are you going to be playing a show while you’re there?
No, we’ll just be going for vacation. We actually haven’t played the states as Surf Dads just because it’s really hard for Canadian bands and other international bands to play the United States. Getting a Visa and then getting through the border is just really difficult, and we don’t want to do it unless we have the proper credentials. But we’ve been doing a lot of Europe and Canada, so our tours mostly are around there.
Do you want to play the US soon?
We would really like to, it seems to be where a lot of people are finding our music – which is frustrating because we run our own merch store from our Bandcamp – so whenever people buy our merch I go send it out, and I see that it’s mostly people from the US. Also our highest Spotify numbers are the states as well. So yeah, we’d really like to play the States, just have to find out how to get there.
So switching gears here – you mentioned you released an album from April and it’s called All Day Breakfast. Where did that name come from?
So on tour, we would try really hard to always eat bacon and eggs in the morning – no matter how long it took or how far a bacon and eggs restaurant was. There was a time when we walked 2-3 hours in Toronto trying to find a nice bacon and egg. And then there was a local restaurant that popped up that just said “All Day Breakfast” on it and I thought that it would just be a really cool album title.
And we ended up having the album cover as Gage’s dog in front of the “All Day Breakfast” sign. We love breakfast a lot.
That is a cute dog. How many takes was it get to get the photo of him?
His name is Indie, short for Indiana Jones. And there was a couple of takes involved. There was actually other artwork involved but none of them really worked out, and then about a week before we had to get the cover, we just really wanted the dog in it. Because the album before that had a dog on it, so we thought we should put a dog on this one too. There was a couple of outtakes that we posted on our twitter – one where the dog was licking his nose, and another one where he was looking directly into the camera.
Are there any other bands from Regina that I should check out?
Yeah, there’s a ton. Definitely check out Gage’s other band, Blue Youth, they’re doing some really cool things.
There’s a band called The Steves that are from Regina as well, they’re really cool.
And there’s another band Seed, but they may be changing their name soon.
There’s a ton going on in Regina. It’s not really isolated, but it’s far away enough from major centers – so I think a lot of times our music scene gets overlooked. We’re trying to push as much as we can and hopefully do a lot more traveling to promote what we can.
That’s great. Do you guys play a lot of local shows currently?
We’ve played a couple of times in town, but we’re taking a break now – we’re writing another album, hopefully to be done by next year. We’re just going to wait until that’s done before we play home again. But all of our other bands are constantly playing.
Bermuda Love (the scream-y one) are playing later next month, and Gage and I are also in another band called Doubt It. In that band, I play guitar and Gage plays drums, which is like a swap of Surf Dads. And our good friend Daegan Harper plays guitar and sings in that one. Definitely keeps us busy.
Listen to Surf Dads’ latest album All Day Breakfast below:
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THIS INTERVIEW WAS EDITED AND CONDENSED FOR CLARITY