Asbury Surf Music Interview Series: Los Pocos Locos

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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, but Los Pocos Locos is a band we’ve enjoyed for a quite a few years. We first head the trio two years ago at the now defunct Press Room’s (located in Asbury Park) first (and last) Surf-A-Palooza. The three ripped through a set of surf classics and we were hooked on these guys.

When we spoke with festival organizer Vincent Minervino, he said this about the band: ” One of the longest running NJ surf bands out there, these guys spice things up with their mix of originals and covers – many done in a Mexican style. Oh and the costumes and brilliant!”

Pop-Break caught up with Steve from Los Pocos Locos to talk about how the band is ‘a couple of schmucks wearing matching mariachi uniforms with fake mustaches playing their hearts out.’

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Pop-Break: What is it about surf music that drew you guys together to form Los Pocos Locos?

Steve from Los Pocos Locos: Nearly everything about surf music drew me to it. The eerie quality of songs like ‘Penetration’ and ‘Surf Rider,’ the pure energy found in songs like ‘Misirlou,’ and the goofy, happy-go-lucky qualities of songs like ‘Surfer’s Stomp.’I was instantly in love with the album covers and the overall style of the surf bands from the ’50s and ’60s. The guitars, the suits, the poses; everything. It is all such a perfect representation of California; which is a place that I love. I wanted to create my own take on surf music. I envisioned something a bit more aggressive but humorous at the same time.

Pop-Break: What’s been the coolest thing that’s happened to the band since it’s formed?

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Steve from Los Pocos Locos: We were able to open for Los Straitjackets at the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania MusicFest a couple years back. We played to our largest audience there. I felt we played a real strong show and we kept the audience engaged, which is obviously an important thing to do. We were finally playing surf music to a surf crowd!

Pop-Break: 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 Los Pocos Locos is all about?

Steve from Los Pocos Locos: I recommend listening to one song off of each of our two albums. Both albums (Los Pocos Locos and Humunga Cowabunga) are entirely different when it comes down to how they were recorded and how they sound. Our first album tends to be more punk and garage influenced surf music. There is a real aggressive edge to it. Our second album has more of the classic laid-back California surf feel to it. I recommend checking out ‘Spanish Surf’ and ‘Saw Red.’ The song ‘Saw Red’ is our instrumental surf version of Barrington Levy’s masterpiece which was also covered by Sublime. We often take a well known rock or pop song and convert it into our own instrumental surf style.

Pop-Break: When people see a Los Pocos Locos show, what can they expect from you guys as a live band?

Steve from Los Pocos Locos: They can expect a high-energy live performance. Even if you are not a fan of surf music, you will be entertained by the shenanigans that occur on stage. A couple of schmucks wearing matching mariachi uniforms with fake mustaches playing their hearts out.

Pop-Break: What is it that you love most about being in Los Pocos Locos?

Steve from Los Pocos Locos: I love that the band consists of my brother and I – who have been playing together since we were 10 years old. That’s 22 years of playing in bands together. Los Pocos Locos has obviously outlasted them all. I’m proud to say Los Pocos Locos has been together with the original lineup for almost 10 years. It is just myself, my little bro, and my close friend connecting and playing music together.

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

Steve from Los Pocos Locos: We get to share the stage with other surf bands AND we get to play for an audience of surf music-loving fans! It is a win-win situation!

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Pop-Break: 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).

Steve from Los Pocos Locos: ‘Mr. Moto’ just never gets old. The surf movie would have to be Endless Summer. I’m sticking with the classics, but there is a lot of great new surf music and movies coming out these days. Surf is alive and well!

Pop-Break: What are you most excited about for the band for the rest of 2014?

Steve from Los Pocos Locos: Creating new music with the guys, playing at some new venues, making new fans, and trying out some of my new rock-star poses on stage.

Los Pocos Locos perform at 3pm 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