Local Band Feature: Surf Dads

Dads, not duds by Christina Bourne

Dads, not duds
by Christina Bourne

Not real dads, probably don’t surf either

Separation and distance have killed a lot of bands.

Surf Dads is not one of those bands.

The outfit was founded in April when Chris Dimas, a Queen City product who was living and studying in Los Angeles at the time, asked fellow Reginan Gage McGuire if he wanted to start a surf band.

Dimas was inspired by his time on the beach, and McGuire jumped at the opportunity.

“I would send him iPhone recordings back and forth and, when he came home at Christmas, we made a four-song record and it ended up being something more than we ever expected it to be, I guess,” says McGuire, who previously crossed paths with Dimas when they were in local bands a few years ago.

The two later teamed up when Dimas joined McGuire in Bermuda Love a few years ago, paving the way for Surf Dads, which McGuire describes as a “natural progression from punk to a more listenable but heavier rock sound.”

“Think of, like, music you’d listen to at the beach or when you’re going to the beach or something,” Dimas adds. “I was in Los Angeles and going to the beach quite a bit and listening to a lot of that music because it was summer and it seemed like the right thing to do.”

The secret to sustaining a long-distance band seems to be chemistry.

“It’s not even a long chemistry; we’ve just always seemed to work together really well, musically,” McGuire says. “When I send him a guitar track, I know that he’s going to put the right drum track over it, right?”

“It’s actually pretty easy.”

Despite the nearly 2,800 kilometres separating Regina from Los Angeles, Surf Dads has performed live more than forty times and are in the process of a five-show tour with Library Voices. After the tour ends, they’re set to play in Montreal and, a little further down the road in early 2016, they’re taking the time to produce a full-length record.

The partnership hasn’t been without its challenges. The band’s second EP was recorded half in Regina and half in Los Angeles, as McGuire sent his guitar and vocals from the Queen City to Dimas in California.

Thanks to the pair’s chemistry, they agree any distance-inspired challenges are quickly and efficiently dealt with. Dimas goes a step further, saying the distance between the two is a positive.

“It’s definitely positive because we’re able to spread our music in two different cities and, when we’re together, it feels like a little bit of a reunion,” Dimas says. “When I’m away, we don’t play too much, so whenever we play again, it’s a really good show. I don’t know if that makes sense, but sometimes playing too much isn’t a good thing (laughs).”

The two have made the most of their time spent together during the summer in Regina. But that time is coming to an end; Dimas is soon headed to Toronto to hopefully continue his producing on a larger scale.

Will Surf Dads survive another move?

“Oh, absolutely,” Dimas says, “absolutely.”

“If anything, it’ll be better,” McGuire continues. “In Toronto, the shows we’ve played have all been really, really good down there and they seem to receive us really well, so I think having Chris down there being able to kind of spread the word, if you will, and having us go down to Toronto as a second home will be really, really good for us.”


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