Happy Mondays Interview Series: Dentist


The surf rock sound has become a unique component of today’s indie alternative scene. You see full on revivals of the surf sound with drums and guitars soaring like a crushing barrel on the sun soaked Cali shores.

Then there’s that beautifully breezy and sunny and yet still lyrically insightful and emotional surf sound that is evident in acts like Best Coast…and Asbury Park’s own Dentist.

The band, fronted by Emily and Justin Borenmann, create a wonderfully infectious sound that is perfect for its sand swept city of origin. Yet, let’s not pigeonhole them into a beach band that the local summer bars break out to entertain during happy hour on the deck. No, Dentist takes the vibe and beauty of surf music and makes it immediate and now — a sound one could hear on any major music festival right now and hopefully with the right breaks, this’ll happen for the band.

Until that happens, Dentist takes the stage of Asbury’s premier night, Happy Mondays at The Wonder Bar as they play along with Accidental Seabirds, Seaside Caves and Sour Boy, Bitter Girl. We spoke with the band’s Justin Bornemann about their new record, their sound and the Asbury scene.


Dentist Is (Members of the Band): Emily, Justin, Nick, Matt, and Andy

We Formed In: End of 2012

We’re Based Out Of: Asbury Park

Any Records Coming Out Soon?
We released our full length on May 9th, but we will start recording again in the fall.

Our Sound Has Been Likened To: Wavves, Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls

You’ve Seen Us Before [In Other Bands]: No Wine For Kittens

Famous/Awesome Bands We’ve Performed With Before: Fort Lean, Bow Wow Wow, Laura Stevenson, Modern Rivals, Paper Streets, Accidental Seabirds, Dollys, and many other awesome local bands.


Pop-Break: When I hear the name “Dentist” the last genre of music I would associate it with is surf rock because usually surf rock bands have a name that reference something nautical or beachy (at least in my opinion). Can you give us the background behind the name?

Justin Bornemann: We don’t have a very good answer for that question, but people always want to know what the deal is with our name. I guess we just thought it was funny at the time for whatever reason.

Pop-Break: Why choose surf rock to be the genre of choice for this band?

Justin Bornemann: We definitely love surf inspired music, so writing those types of songs came very natural for us.

Pop-Break: The band is fronted by you and your “life partner” Emily. They say being married and working together is never a good thing. Obviously, Dentist is doing well –releasing music and playing shows, but does the fact that the frontmen/people of the group are married change the dynamic of the band from a creative and business standpoint?

Justin Bornemann: Emily and I met because of music and we played together before we had a relationship. I don’t think it would be possible for us to not play music with each other. It’s actually an awesome situation.

Pop-Break: You just dropped your new record in early May. Can you walk us through the album creation process — what was your favorite moment of creating this record and what was the worst?


Justin Bornemann: We recorded songs that we had been playing live with the addition of an acoustic song that we wrote specifically for the purpose of closing the Album. Our drummer Andy has a studio, so we tracked everything there except the drums, which were done at a church. I’m not sure if pinpointing a favorite moment is possible, but we were happy with setting out a goal to do it quickly and avoid things getting stagnant. Achieving that goal and being happy with our final product was probably the best thing about the whole process.

Pop-Break: The record was released on Good Eye Records, a label created by the guys from Speak Into My Good Eye, one of the sponsors of Happy Mondays, and one of the premier music magazines in the region. You guys could’ve self-released or worked with anyone else — why these guys?

Justin Bornemann: It’s always nice to work with people that are passionate about music. They also have a really cool blog and we respect what they are doing in general so much.

Pop-Break: If someone is reading this and discovering you for the first time and wants to listen to a song of yours to truly get the essence of Dentist, which song would it be and why?


Justin Bornemann: “No Matter,” because it’s short.

Pop-Break: What can the people coming out to Happy Monday expect to see from you guys in terms of a live experience?

Justin Bornemann: Our bass player wears shirts without sleeves sometimes, so keep your fingers crossed.

Pop-Break: The Asbury scene has so many bands performing in it right now, so what makes Dentist stand out — from a musical standpoint?

Justin Bornemann: We standout?

Pop-Break: What are your plans for the band for the rest of 2014?

Justin Bornemann: Playing a bunch of shows and finishing recording another record.

Pop-Break: Last question — what is it that you love about being in this band the most?

Justin Bornemann: Everything.

Dentist performs tonight at Happy Mondays at The Wonder Bar along with Accidental Seabirds, Seaside Caves, and Sour Boy, Bitter Girl. There is no cover.

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

Comments are closed.