Surfer Blood: Keeping It Chill With Bagels, NPR And Musical Evolution
In anticipation of their live show at the Music Box on September 29, Surfer Blood drummer, Tyler Schwarz, 24, shared thoughts on playing at festivals, the future of the group, and discovering their biggest fan…in Japan.
The five-member West Palm Beach indie rock band Surfer Blood released their first album, "Astro Coast," in January of this year.
They continued to garner attention at the SXSW music festival in March, playing in NPR’s showcase with other bands like Sleigh Bells, Local Natives, and Smith Westerns.
In terms of playing in conjunction with NPR, Schwarz was enthusiastic. “Their showcase [at SXSW] was awesome. NPR is really cool, they should be the tastemakers.” The band members are fans and frequent listeners of public radio.
Describing how he fits into the group, Schwarz explained, “Well, I’m the drummer, I’m easy to be laughed at.”
Maybe so, but an 8.2 out of 10 rating for a debut album on music website Pitchfork.com is nothing to chuckle at.
“I’m also the guy who eats a lot of bagels,” he added.
Pressed about crazy stories from life on the road, Schwarz insists the band is low key in their day to day. “We used to be crazy,” he said in a moment of sage reflection, sounding like he was referring to a band much older than their current make-up of mostly twenty-somethings, “but now we keep things pretty chill.”
They did once play a festival in the Netherlands that was connected to an amusement park. They played their set and then rode rollercoasters. That was a good day, in Schwarz’s book.
In Osaka, Japan they encountered a fan who went out and bought a particular T-shirt because he had seen percussionist Marcos Marchesani wearing the same one. “That was wild,” Schwarz said, “I didn’t think those types of music fans still existed.”
Despite his easy-going demeanor, when he’s on stage, Schwarz is not immune to the pressures of performing.
“I’m thinking, 'Don’t fuck up, everyone’s watching you, you’re a joke, you’ve gotta give 110 percent.'”
What can an audience do to help ease his anxiety?
“I like people to applaud,” Schwarz said. “Hopefully they connect with our energy. It’s all about the energy.”
In the coming days and weeks, Schwarz looks forward to seeing some new places and to start working on fresh songs.
“I can’t give you an exact date, but we hope to start recording pretty soon.”
As the band plays more live shows, Schwarz can tell that they’re evolving as a group, chiseling away and fine-tuning their craft.
“We’re getting older every day, and I think it shows in the music.”
To see for yourself, come to what Schwarz promises will be a fun show at the Music Box.
If you’re feeling especially generous, maybe you could bring him a bagel.
To reach reporter Kaitlin Parker, click here.
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