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Text by Adam Baidawi

Surfer Blood

JP Pitts from the Palm Beach foursome chats to Dazed about their debut, 'Astro Swim'

It doesn’t take long for the poppy, reverb-drenched sound of Surfer Blood to endear itself. The unabashedly melodic Palm Beach quintet created waves with their debut “Astro Coast” — and the devastatingly catchy ‘Swim’. Dazed caught up with JP Pitts a few days after the band’s return to sunny Florida.

Dazed Digital: Was the hype surrounding “Swim”—and all before the release of your album—a little overwhelming? 

JP Pitts: It’s definitely something we weren’t expecting, we put that song up on the internet and before we knew it our song was everywhere. It’s funny too—it never occurred to me that ‘Swim’ was going to be the big single off our record, it was actually Thomas who suggested releasing it as a single.

DD: How did your surf-pop soundscape come about? What influences did each of you bring?

JP Pitts: I was trying to write my favourite songs growing up. I don’t know, I don’t think we are necessarily surf-pop, I just have a real weak spot for guitar reverb and falsetto harmonies. I just wanted to write catchy songs with expressive lyrics, I think that’s always a winning formula. 

DD: Your songs are so melodic—do you find yourselves writing around little hooks?

JP Pitts: I come up with a lot of hooks while I’m driving in my car or in the shower, sometimes when I’m mowing the grass too. I come up with so many, but I always forget to record them! I should probably invest in a portable recording device.

DD: What are your indispensible pieces of music equipment?

JP Pitts: My Gibson SG is pretty crucial. It’s a prototype, so it was never actually released. It has a slightly longer neck and scalloped frets. I love guitars with big necks because I have big hands and tend to be kind of clumsy, so it’s nice to have more room for error.

DD: What bands/songs are you digging at the moment?

JP Pitts: I secretly heard a copy of the new Women record and it’s one of the coolest things I’ve heard in a long time. The new Sleigh Bells record is awesome, Derek is a good friend of mine and it’s awesome to see him doing something so unique. There is also a band from West Palm Beach that’s starting get some buzz on the internet called the Jameses, we played with them just a few days ago and they are awesome. Also, everyone should listen to Dead Meat.

DD: Your tweets are exotic — I’m counting three different cities where you guys have put shout-outs for beds to crash on.
JP Pitts: We are a very frugal band. We don’t really mind sleeping on sofas, probably because we are all pretty young. We like to have fun with the Twitter, usually it’s Tom quoting someone in the van who just said something ridiculous.