Asbury Park Surf Music Fest Interview: TarantinosNYC

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On Saturday August 27, the third annual Asbury Park Surf Music Festival will take place at The Anchor’s Bend at Conventional Hall in Asbury Park.

This year will feature a number of cool new bands like The TarantinosNYC, a surf rock outfit inspired by classic surf music, and the works of director Quentin Tarantino. 

TarantinosNYC Are (Band Members & Instruments They Play): Paulie Tarantino – guitars, Tricia Tarantino – bass, Louie Tarantino – keyboards, Tony Tarantino – drums.

We Formed In: 2005

We’re Based Out Of: NYC

Tarantinos NYC

The Story Behind Our Name: We liked doing Dick Dale and Booker T songs in our first band, a ’90s rock band with vocals. We love spy and spaghetti western music. So we thought, hmmm surf, soul, spy, spaghetti western – sounds like a Tarantino soundtrack. So then we learned a bunch of Tarantino movie songs, dropped the vocals and became the Tarantinos. We added the NYC after hearing from a London-based Tarantino revue-type group with vocals who requested we change our name. So now it’s TarantinosNYC. (The is optional.)

Our Sound Has Been Likened To: It’s different for different songs. Sometimes Los Straitjackets, or Booker T & the MGs, or Jet Harris or Link Wray.

Everyone in the band has the last name “Tarantino” — is this an homage to The Ramones, and if so, how much did that band impact The TarantinosNYC?

Only in the sense of humor.

What’s the best Quentin Tarantino movie?

Wow, no way. We change our minds on that all the time. Obviously, the top choices for playable music include: Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill(s), Jackie Brown and Reservoir Dogs, even Django. We also do the Davie Allen song from Inglourious Basterds and are working on something from the Hateful Eight. He loves music so much he sometimes chooses the music then films to it. And we make surf songs out of some of them.

What do you love about being in The TarantinosNYC?

It’s the choice of music we get to do. And we write originals in those styles. Also the humor and the uniforms. We always know what to wear.

TarantinosNYC

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

We have a keyboard, that’s a little unusual, male and female members (still unusual for surf), and we don’t stick to one kind of surf. It’s not all traditional or all hot rod or all power surf, etc. We think the audience likes variety too. Plus we have the soul and spaghetti western instrumentals like Booker T stuff and Ennio Morricone.

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

There’s something about the sound of deep reverb that’s just a great emotion. And the surf beat is kind of Latin-inspired and really cool. Plus you don’t need vocals! Our first rock band went through many singers including Tricia, but it’s great not worrying about that. Also, the vibe is all about fun. With no lyrics, you’re not getting too heavy. You’re just bringing the party and lots of times people are dancing.

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

“Miserlou.” Every surf band knows people go nuts when you play it. It’s primal. Bless you Dick Dale! We’re going to see you again soon. He’s in the area now.

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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.)?

Most of the band drinks beer, but Tricia is a straight up Margarita girl. Cuervo Gold preferred but hard to find in bars these days.

What are you most excited about for the band for the rest of 2016?

This Asbury Park Surf Festival is really exciting. Also we’re going back to the Riis Park Beach Bazaar on September 3, we have the Sidewalk Café on Avenue A on September 23, then we have Unsteady Freddie’s Surf Rock Shindig October 1. That’s an all surf, four band show that’s been on the first Saturday of the month for more than 10 years at Otto’s Shrunken Head on 14th Street. And there are so many more songs we want to learn! We put out our second studio CD in 2015, called Surfin’ the Silver Screen, and we plan to do a live recording next year.

The TarantinosNYC will perform at the Asbury Park Surf Music Festival at The Anchor’s Bend in Asbury Park on Saturday August 27. Click here for tickets.

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