Asbury Surf Music Interview Series: The Sharkskins

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Pop-Break.com is proud to be an official sponsor of the first annual Asbury Park Surf Music Festival which takes place on Saturday, July 12th at The Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

One of the cool perks of sponsoring a festival like this is discovering great new bands. One of the first we discovered was The Sharkskins. Comprised of Buddy LuvGoo, Dash Riprock, Sonny Knight and Rod Bearings and complete with slick, shiny suits — this band lives the surf rock life. Blending onstage humor with a sick surf sound, they’re a band you have to see live.

When we spoke with festival organizer Vincent Minervino, he said this about the band: “The Sharkskins are the best dressed band in surf. Combining classic surf tunes with witty originals, these guys bring the reverb all the way from Philadelphia, PA – with style.”

We recently spoke with Dash Riprock about the band’s origins, their outfits and their upcoming performance at the Asbury Surf Music Festival.

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Pop-Break: Can you guys talk about the time when you were “summoned by the spirit of the great Watusi Tuna Kahuna, the Atlantic god of surf and dance to go forth and bring sounds inspired by his greatness.”

Dash Riprock: I was walking down the beach in Wildwood N.J., stealing change from the shoes on people’s beach blankets who were in the ocean, when I bumped into Buddy LuvGoo. He was selling fake autographed photos of Annette Funicello on the beach when all of a sudden, a giant wave crashed over us, sending us ass over tea kettles under the boardwalk, where we both hit our heads and became unconscious. When we awoke, The Watusi Tuna Kahuna stood before us and handed us two Surf Green Fender guitars and said in an echoey voice “Do something with your lives young men and go forth and play ’60s surf music for the unwashed masses”. We replied, “Oh, I don’t think so, thanks anyway.” In which the Watusi Tuna Kahuna said “WAIT, there will be lots of girls and money in it for you.” So we said “OK!”

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PB: You guys have some pretty sweet outfits, what was the inspiration for these?

DR: We didn’t want to wear some lame, matching Hawaiian shirts like every other surf band out there does. We LOATHE that look!

PB: If someone’s coming out to the Asbury Surf Music Festival and has never heard of you before, what song or songs would you recommend they check out in order to get what The Sharkskins is all about?

DR: That’s impossible! The Sharkskins are well-known all over America, and parts of Alabama. But, we believe required listening tunes from the Sharkskins catalog would be….”Mild Bunch Rides Again” for its surfy drive. “Cabo Del Sol” for its Mexican desert at sunset inspiration. “Surfing Man” to show people we can sing (if you could call it that) plus our ability to rip off ’70s prog rock bands like Rush and “Isle Of Palms” for it’s absolute beauty and it’s vintage ’60s feel. It’s the type of tune you listen to when you are sitting on a beach at sunset with your sweetie, sipping on a Margarita.

PB: When people see a Sharksins show, what can they expect from you guys as a live band?

DR: A bunch of old guys making a lot of mistakes on stage and an audience that is yelling “Hurry up and get done with already – we want to see the headliner!”

PB: What is it that you love most about being in The Sharkskins?

DR: Knowing exactly what I’m going to wear every show we do.

PB: You’ll be performing at The Asbury Surf Music Festival — what drew you to come play this show?

DR: Well, all the really great surf bands out there were busy that weekend so they called us and we said “OK, we guess we will do it – just as long as you have pizza and beer there for us.”

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PB: You’re deserted on an island and you can only play one surf song and watch one surf movie for the rest of your life. Which ones would they be and why? (And if you’re wondering how you can listen to the song or see the movie, let’s assume you’ve created something amazing out coconut shells, palms trees and sand).

DR: It’s doesn’t matter what song, all surf songs sound the same according to critics. As far as a surf movie… hmmm… have they made a surf “porno” movie yet?

PB: What are you most excited about for the band for the rest of 2014?

DR: Hopefully making more money than we spend on expenses playing shows and eating Manco Pizza that we have in our dressing rooms as rider in our contract.

The Sharkskins perform at 7pm at The Asbury Surf Music Festival at The Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Click here for tickets.

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Bill Bodkin is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Pop-Break. He can be read weekly on Trailer Tuesday and Singles Party, weekly reviews on Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Hannibal, Law & Order: SVU and regular contributions throughout the week with reviews and interviews. His goal is to write 500 stories this year. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English and currently works in the world of political polling. He’s the reason there’s so much wrestling on the site and is beyond excited to be a Dad this coming December. Follow him on Twitter: @PopBreakDotCom

Bill Bodkin is the owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites