jppitts_picnik.jpg
Late last week Surfer Blood announced that they'd be releasing a 4-song EP on October 25; this morning I spoke with the band's frontman JP

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Surfer Blood's JP Pitts on Tarot Classics + Running Into Kim Deal at the Airport

jppitts_picnik.jpg
Late last week Surfer Blood announced that they'd be releasing a 4-song EP on October 25; this morning I spoke with the band's frontman JP Pitts about the EP, which is called Tarot Classics, and also about their upcoming fall tour with the Pixies.

SW: Does Tarot Classics have any major sonic departures from your full-length, Astro Coast?

Pitts: I think sonically you could say it's a lot tighter and maybe not as huge-sounding with all the reverbs and everything. I think we've toned down some of the effects a little bit, but I think also the palette's a little bit wider. There's horns on one song, there's more use of synthesizers and interesting percussion instruments. So I think the sonic palette has expanded.

When did you write these new songs?

We wrote them around January of this year. We all got together at my apartment with a drum machine and just a directing guitar and came up with three of these songs. But two of the songs on the EP are actually older songs that we've been playing live for a while.

What's your favorite song on the new EP? Why?

That's a good question. I think they all turned out really good. I'm really proud of the song "Drinking Problem," that's the last song on the EP. There's only one acoustic guitar in the entire song, and usually when people think of Surfer Blood they think of guitar-driven rock band. So it's a nice deviation from that for me. It uses samples, it uses synth and a drum machine and kind of takes our sound in an entirely new direction. But every time I show it to people they still say it's completely recognizably us. So I think it's a good taste of things to come for the next record. We're going to be in a real studio, which is something we've never done before, and we're going to have a lot of options before us, and it's good to know that we can take advantage of that.

Where'd the title Tarot Classics come from?

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The artwork we're using, I was talking to my sister about it--my sister's done all the artwork for us up to this point--and she works in textiles, she goes to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and that's sort of what she's into, so she was doing these big pieces that were like mock stained glass that I thought were really awesome and that I wanted to use because I thought it went really well with the songs. And then I wanted to kind of make it look like a tarot card, like that sort of style of artwork. It didn't really turn out like that, I think it looks a little big more like Pink Floyd's The Wall cover. Which is cool. But then we sort of came up with that name together one night in her apartment in New York. It just seemed to fit really well.

When can we expect the second full-length?

We're going to be recording in October, and then we're going on tour with the Pixies in late October/early November. And that's going to be awesome by the way. But we're going to be recording right before or right after that, so we're hoping maybe spring of next year we'll have a new full-length coming out.

How did that Pixies tour come about?

I met them at an airport one time in New Zealand. We were on a festival run. I talked Kim Deal for a while, she seemed really nice, and they all happened to know about our band. Which is really cool, because we all grew up listening to their records a lot.

And you just covered one of their songs for A.V. Club.

Yeah, we did a cover of "Gigantic," and I like to think that maybe that's the needle that broke the camel's back when it came to the decision. It's probably one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me, so we couldn't be happier about that.


Surfer Blood covers The Pixies

Surfer Blood will be in Seattle on Wednesday, August 31, playing 107.7 The End's Concert 4 a Cause at Neumos.

 
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