Asbury Surf Interview: The Sharkskins

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We’re proud to be one of the sponsors of the second annual Asbury Park Surf Music Festival. The fest will be taking place on Saturday July 11th at the world famous Asbury Lanes in, you guessed it, Asbury Park, New Jersey.

One of the cool perks of sponsoring a festival like this is discovering great new bands. Last year one of those bands was The Sharkskins. Nearly 20 years ago, the band was brought together by ‘Watusi Tuna Kahuna, the Atlantic god of surf’ Since then Buddy LuvGoo, Dash Riprock, Sonny Knight and Rod Bearings complete with slick, shiny suits have blended onstage humor with a sick surf sound. We caught up with the guys to talk about this year’s Asbury Park Surf Music Festival.

The Sharskins Are (Members & Instruments They Play): Buddy LuvGoo – Strummin’, Dash RipRock – Twangin’, Rod Bearings – Bangin’, Sonny Knight – Thumpin’, Dr. Strangemind – Blowin’

We Formed In: 1996

We’re Based Out Of: Bucks County/Philly – The Surfing Capital of Pennsylvania

The Story Behind Our Name: The suits we wear onstage – sharkskin. Plus sharks and surfing go hand in hand like gin & tonic, rum & coke, etc.

Our Sound Has Been Likened To: A bunch of old guys trying to remember how a song goes…

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What’s one of your proudest moments of being in The Sharkskins?

Being included in a Fender catalog and website as part of their “Make History/American Standard” launch several years ago. We were extremely stoked about that!

What’s been one of the most outrageous moments you’ve experienced being in this band?

An after-gig party with a burlesque troupe. That’s all we’ll say about that (laughs).

There’s an endless sea of surf bands, and bands influenced by the surf sound — what separates you guys from everyone else?

Well – it just HAS to be our custom-made Sharkskins Reverb-O-Matic amps by Alessandro combined with color matching Surf Green Fender guitars along with the outrageous sax-work by the evil Dr. Strangemind.

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You’ll be performing at The Asbury Surf Music Festival this year, which will be your second year doing so. Can you talk about the experience of performing at the very first ever, and why did you want to come back?

It was quite the groovy time. Everyone attending was extremely enthusiastic during the whole festival. Plus Vincent does a stellar job putting on one hip shindig, dig?

What is it about surf music that inspired you to form a band and play this type of music?

It was probably when me (Buddy) and Dash came together with a common interest in 60’s garage & surf music while in another band pre-Skins. Either that or playing surf gave us the opportunity to party after the gig with that burlesque troupe that we double-billed with.

What is the ultimate surf rock anthem of all-time, and why?

Any piece of crap that Fallout Boy farts out. Oh wait – I thought you said “suck rock.”

Probably “Miserlou” because when someone asks us what kind of music we play we tell them “surf” and they always say – “You mean like the Beach Boys?” That’s when we always refer to the Dickster classic – then they “get it.”

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What is your ultimate go-to surf-inspired/beachy style drink (e.g. Mai-Tai, Zombie, Margarita, a specific beer, etc.)?

Probably a Mojito – we wrote a song in honor of having one too many – “Mojito #4.”

What are you most excited about for the band for the rest of 2015?

Probably opening for Van Halen on the east coast leg of their upcoming tour. Eddie asked us for a few pointers on the use of the tremolo bar years ago and he’s FINALLY returning the favor.

The Sharkskins perform this Saturday at The Asbury Park Surf Music Festival. Their set begins at 6:15pm.

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Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named 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