Interview - Surfer Spud

Interview: Surfer Spud, Musician, Drifting Sand: 15th October 2003


Hey ya go, dude!

What's your background?

I was born in cold Canada but quickly came to my senses and moved to sunny California in the 70's. Then I bought the Beach Boys Endless Summer Greatest Hits and have been feeling good vibrations ever since. I also majored in filmmaking (after seeing Star Wars) and have worked in radio for many years before starting Drifting Sand in the early 90's. I sing and play keyboards in the band and love writing songs about my favorite things in life, including surfing, surf culture, waves, beaches, girls and root beer floats. One day, I'd like to be the Governor of California!

How did you get your break? pun intended...

I never gave up or backed down! Never stop going for it, whatever "it" is, because you won't believe how much you can actually achieve just by making the effort. No effort equals no break!

Describe your style?

I'd like to think we're what you get when you toss traditional 60's surf and new wave 80's pop into a blender and hit the shred button. I also like the idea of being a cartoon surf band...if we ever get a Saturday morning TV show, I'll call it quits after a season or two because you can't top that!

Where do you mainly perform?

Beaches, night clubs, amusement parks and local zoos. We've also decided that when we go on tour, we'll only play places with beach access and good surf spots. And New York so we can go to Rockaway Beach!

What are your favorite titles?

Seastar, Surfin' With Britney, California Myth and Drifting Sand (title track), all from the new self-titled album. The songs are pretty good too!

Where do you get your inspiration?

Surfing, the sea, sand, girls and anything/everything ocean-related. But I also love astronomy, so the band may be headed in a spacey direction in the future. Maybe the next album will be called Drifting Sand in Space!

Who have you been compared with, and why?

The Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Fantastic Baggys, Rip Chords, Surf Punks and DEVO, probably because they're all bands that sing about surfing, except for DEVO. We get compared to DEVO because of our matching uniforms and robotic behavior.

What's the largest and smallest crowd you ever performed to?

We played to over a thousand people at a beach party in Santa Cruz a couple of years ago and to about 20 people the other night in San Jose. We also once played a gig where there were more frogs in attendance than people!

What are a few funny stories from the road or the dressing room?

Once when we played a club in San Francisco, we told the owners that it was gonna be a battle of the surf bands. When we got to the club, they had two dressing rooms, one for us and one for the other band. What we didn't tell the club was that WE were both bands. We just changed our clothes after the first set and came back and played again with a different look under a different name. Win some, lose some...or both at once! Then there was the gig in 2001 that made my girlfriend at the time break up with me because she claimed I cared more about Britney Spears than her. She was worried that if Britney heard Surfin' With Britney, she might actually go surfing with me! I can laugh about it now but at the time, it was painful.

When did you know you had "made it" in the business?

I really like this question because you assume we've made it! I'm just gonna keep believing that. But I DO like the idea that we've already "made it" and now we're just working backwards! I think the most important things about being in a band are to be happy doing what you're doing and having as much fun fun fun as humanly possible!

How has the internet helped you?

The internet has helped us tremendously. People from all over the world have gotten in touch with us, bought our CDs and visited our website at We've also been given excellent opportunities to tell people about our band .

Case in point, this interview!

Tell us about that video in the making...Birds Can't Surf?

Well, Birds Can't Surf was released way back in '93 and we've talked about making a video for it for years. When I say "we," I mean original guitarist Surfer John and I. But I've been too busy recording and surfing and John has been too busy BBQing in his backyard and chasing gophers so we keep putting it off. It's the first song we ever wrote as Drifting Sand, maybe it'll be the last video we ever make in 2033!

What are your current projects and what are you focused on right now?

After releasing our new album this past summer, we've been playing some shows in the SF Bay Area to promote the new album. We recently opened up for Dick Dale, which was a dream come true and just played my favorite amusement park in northern California, Paramount's Great America. We also may start recording a couple of new tunes for our alter-ego winter band Drifting Snow for a Christmas release.

What's your message to your fans?

Have as much fun in life as you possibly can and try to stay healthy and do positive things. And if you're feeling down, go surfing or listen to great music so you can be stoked about life!

Surfer Spud, thanks for this great opportunity. Thank YOU Greg...root for the internet!

I look forward to continuing to help out and be in touch. And we look forward to playing live in Australia. I was there a couple of years ago for New Year's Eve and caught my first wave of the millennium at Narrabeen! G'day mate...sea ya in the water! Surfer Spud DRIFTING SAND.


Editors note: Drifting Sand and Surfer Spud are super cool! Check em out.


Drifting Sand official website

Surf Rock Resource