An Interview with Surf Curse! (Part One)

December 10, 2017

At the end of October I had the incredible opportunity to see Surf Curse perform at the 89th Street Collective in Oklahoma City. I love how raw their energy is on their records and was very excited by how well that energy translated during their live show.

Before their set I spoke with the incredibly kind Nick Rattigan and Jacob Rubeck of Surf Curse about what it's like to be in a band. Read on below for Part One!

Dissolving Film: I'm always interested in learning where a band's name came from. How did you pick the name Surf Curse?

Jacob Rubeck: Well, um, yeah, it started with


(Jacob and Nick begin to laugh)

Jacob: It's a wholeit's a whole thing but basically it's from a Brady Bunch episode where they go to Hawaii and there's a Tiki necklace that curses whoever wears it, gives them bad luck and, so, yeah it kinda just came from that.

Nick Rattigan: It's just so funny because I've totally forgotten that's where it came from and we were in San Antonio and everyone always asksthe first question someone asks when you're like, "Oh yeah we're a band" or like, "I play music" is their like, "Oh what's the name?" and you have to be like, "Oh Surf Curse" and most of the time people are like, "Okay."

(Nick laughs)

Jacob: Yeah.

Nick: Or like, "Oh okay whatever" you know like, "Oh maybe I'llI'll check that out" or something. It's always an awkward response but this guy was like, "Oh like the Brady Bunch?" and I was like, "Whoa."

Jacob: (laughs) Yeah.

Nick: "You're the first person in like six years to ever just like get it."

(Jacob and Nick begin speaking in unison)


Jacob and Nick: Yeah.


Nick: It was crazy.


Jacob: So wild.


Nick: But yeah that's uh, pretty much where the history of it comes from. And it just sounds good off the tongue.

(Jacob laughs)

Nick: Surf Curse.

Dissolving Film: You had quite a gap between the release of Sad Boys and your latest release, Nothing Yet


Nick: Oh yeah.


Dissolving Film: I was wondering if your process for writing songs has changed between then and now?


Jacob: Yeah definitely I mean wewe spentyeah there's a big gab between that because we were off doing our own things.

Nick: Yeah.

Jacob: Nick was living in New York I was living in Nevada whether it was like Reno or Vegas and then I'd move to one city and then he'd move back and then we were never in the same spot but we would always come to play shows together and it wasn't until likewell I guess we didn't start writing new songs until we actually like lived in the same place right?

Nick: Yeah I mean like the one song, "All is Lost," which is a song we wrote in 2013 probably like 2014 like right after Sad Boys came out or something,

Jacob: Yeah.

Nick: it was one of the songs we had written a long time ago and that was like the only one we had already and then the rest of them were like fragmented stuff from like half stuff Jacob wrote and like half stuff that I wrote then we came together and made them into Surf Curse songs. Just like little bits and pieces--whether it was like a melody or like a chord structure or something. But that's kind of always how we've written I feel like.

Jacob: Yeah like the writing process for us is always kinda the same where just we bring something together but I think lyrically and then what we want to do has changed just because you know like when we started making music we were like

Nick and Jacob: 19.

Jacob: 20 you know.

Nick: At least in this band.

Jacob: Yeah. And then we you know we didn't release Nothing Yet until this year and we're both like

Jacob and Nick: 25

(Nick and Jacob laugh)

Jacob: now so it's like a huge age gap. It's definitely like a maturity in writing and who we are and stuff 'cause we went from like you know "I'm Not Making Out With You" to like you know, songs about like, experience or our references are way more like obscure.

(Nick laughs)

Jacob: It's just very interesting.

Nick: Yeah so I think like our song writing process hasn't changed as much but there has been like a conscious effort to change the uh

Jacob: Subjects.

Nick: The subjects yeah.


Dissolving Film: What is it like to be in a band with your best friend?


Jacob: It's crazy 'cause we've been close since we were like 15?

Nick: Yeah.

Jacob: 14, 15 something like that? And like for me at least

Nick: 13.

Jacob: 13 yeah.

Nick: We were 13 yeah.

Jacob: The older we've gotten and being able to like you know process who we are like, with friendships especially. When you're young it's like, "This is the person I like hanging out with all the time" and it feels as simple as that and then the older you get the more you realize what a relationship means and what a friendship means and like a better understanding of things. And like Nick is more than a best friend likehe is like a partlike a brother. He's like family to me so it's reallyit feels great. We can always just talk about anything. We can always like you knowwe don't feel afraid to share ideas and stuff and joke around all the time when we know everything about each other and we finish each others sentences or like we'll just say the same thing (laughs) at the same time.

Nick: Yeah I feel like as you mature your relationships also mature like the intimacy in them and like thejust everything. You just go through so much together and it is like more than just like ait feels like more than like a, you knowwhat's that TV show where they're like in the factory like friendship like making bottles and stuff? Like they parody it in Wayne's World you know like, "Best friends forever!"

Jacob: Yeah.

Nick: Like skipping through things and stuff. I feel like it's more likethere's so much more depth to it. And I think that also comes with like being creative and vulnerable with someone and likeyeah it's a really special thing.

Jacob: Yeah.

Nick: I think that like goes beyond just like the simple barriers of like a friendship it's like a relationship that has so many layers to it you know?

Jacob: A lot of emotions

Jacob and Nick: we've experienced together.

Jacob: We've cried in each other's arms

Nick: Yeah.

Jacob: plenty of times. Whether it's internally or just like, you know, which ever relationship

Nick: Whatever's happening

Jacob: Yeah all of it.

(Nick and Jacob laugh)

Jacob: It's just likeit's nuts but it's great because

Nick: It's like family.

Jacob: Yeah.

Nick: I feel closer to like Jacob then like most of myany of my family.

Jacob: Yeah. And that goes for Nick too. I'd do anything for him.

Nick: It's definitely (Nick trails off).


(Jacob and Nick laugh)


Stayed tuned for part two of my interview with Surf Curse which will be published on December 30th!


Interview by Zoë Bridgwater

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