The Asbury Park Surf Music Festival has done something great. Obviously, the fact this festival even exists, and is bringing in national, and internationally renowned headliners, and virtually taking over the city that Bruce built is GREAT.
But on a personal level — this is one of their crowning achievements.
They’re bringing Great White Caps back to New Jersey.
For those in the dark, Great White Caps was a premier surf rock band that had a terrific catalog of fantastic surf music. They’re also known for creating one of the single best live, interactive concert experiences ever. Yeah, forget anything U2 just did at a stadium, or the innovation Kanye West brings to his stage show. The Great White Caps’ Point Break Comes Alive! show is the best live experience ever. The band literally live scores the film Point Break (the film this site is named after), and it is so much fun.
Sadly, the band went on hiatus a number of years ago, and pursued other music ventures.
But, like we said the Asbury Park Surf Music Festival came through. After years of pursuing we’re finally going to Montag the Magnificent, Johnny Utah, Sylvester Seaweed, and Warchild back together. Not only will they be performing a live set, they’ll be taking over The Asbury Hotel for a special edition of Point Break Comes Alive.
We recent caught up with Montag the Magnificent to talk about the comeback, Point Break, and the Surf Music Fest.
You’re back!! It’s been quite a number of years since we’ve seen Great White Caps performing — what was the impetus to reunite?
It has been a long time and we are super stoked to be playing some shows again! Vincent has been asking us every year to play the Asbury Park Surf Fest and not only do we miss playing together, it never ceases to surprise me that people seem to want to see us play together as well! Vincent is also an extremely good hearted and awesome friend to GWC and I’m terrible at saying no to people I like.
Can you talk about why the band decided to take a break?
Well, we had such an amazing run and inspiration was pulling all of us to explore different artistic endeavors and mostly the break has kept because I have since moved to Austin, TX.
Have you guys gotten to perform together whether it be in concert or at practice yet? If so, how does it feel to be back together? Is it like no time passed/like riding a bike, or are/were things different?
Only in my mind, Bill! Since I am so far from everyone it hasn’t been possible to get together yet, but I fly in the Tuesday [today August 22] before our shows and am looking very forward to cracking some Pacifico’s and playing together. We did however do a performance of our Point Break show here in Austin about a year and a half ago, and I have to be honest, it was like we never stopped!
Has this time apart allowed you all to grow as musicians and improve upon the already stellar set you have crafted?
I do believe that our time apart has done something great for GWC, in that it gave us time to reminisce and realize how much this band has meant to all of us.
You’re performing your world famous POINT BREAK COMES ALIVE show as a part of The Asbury Park Surf Music Festival. Can you talk about the creation of this show, and what people can expect from this event?
Well this show was spawned from my absolute adoration of everything about Point Break. Dating back to the dubbed VHS copy I had back in 1991, I saw it as a movie about surfers above all else. And why on earth would a movie about surfers not contain any surf music?! Fast forward to 2010 and I sat down with my upgraded blu-ray of PB and wrote a 7 page script intertwining “probably the best movie ever” with originals and covers of surf classics, doing my best to keep enough of the movie dialogue as to preserve the story line for the audience. Sound fun? I assure you it’s a blast!
Let’s talk about how Point Break is the greatest film ever. Legit — you’re favorite character that isn’t Bodhi or Johnny Utah, and your favorite scene?
Well it’s undeniable that Angelo Pappas played by the completely unhinged genius that is Gary Busey, has perhaps the best dialogue throughout the whole damn movie.
“First turkey cemetery” anyone?! But my favorite scene featuring Pappas has got to be after Utah had fired him up and gotten him to reveal his theory about the Ex-Presidents being surfers, they are back at the station with a bottle of whiskey and the back and forth between the two of them is simply perfect. As he points at surveillance footage of Roach’s ass and says “it’s right in our faces!” I mean cmon does it get any more classic. If this is all going over the head of anyone who hasn’t watched Point Break over 200 times don’t worry, I preserved this scene in our show so you can see it in all its glory.
How terrible was the 2015 remake?
The simple fact that anyone had the balls to try and remake a movie as iconic as Point Break is a travesty. I assume it was the worst piece of shit ever put to a screen but I refuse to watch it. [Writer’s Note: I watched it, it’s terrible.]
I know this is just a short run for you guys — but do you think there’s any hope of a full-fledged return of Great White Caps, or maybe even a once a year “summer vacation?”
Unfortunately, my proximity to the rest of the band will prevent a full-fledged return of GWC but I do hope we will be able to play together at least once a year.
For those who haven’t heard the band perform what song would you recommend they check out so they could really get a sense of what GWC is all about?
I would suggest that someone who isn’t familiar with us to get on YouTube and watch our video for “Pacifico,” an ode I wrote for the Mexican cerveza, which in spirit completely sums up who we are as a band. But continue down the rabbit hole that our vids are and see how varied and fun our sound and performances always turn out to be.
What are some of your favorite memories of being in this band?
I have so many great memories of touring and playing with in this band! One of which was while we were playing at an art loft in San Francisco, we were playing the Santo and Johnny classic “Sleepwalk” and I look up and there is a guy slow dancing with a bong in front of me. Another would have to be playing in a northern suburb of Chicago called Libertyville in front of a lake, to a giant hillside of families and dogs while the sun setting.
Where can people follow the members of GWC when they aren’t playing with the band?
You can catch me in my metal band Fog Cult and in various harsh noise projects. Seaweed plays in the instro dance punk band Holy Toast. Utah and Warchild you can see in there monstrous tribute to the Talking Heads, Start Making Sense and Utah has also resurrected his mighty band the Insidious Rays!