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Surf Curse

Surf Curse

ALL ARTIST INFO IS PULLED FROM PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DATA.
IF YOU REPRESENT THIS ARTIST AND WOULD LIKE TO VERIFY YOUR PAGE OR UPDATE THE INFO, Click Here
Biography

Surf Curse is a rock band from Reno, Nevada. They’re known for their blend of surf rock, punk, garage pop, lo-fi, post-rock, and numerous other genres, and they’ve been active since 2013. The two-piece group consists of Jacob Rubeck on guitar and Nick Rattigan on lead vocals and drums. 

The band is currently signed to Danger Collective Records, with whom they’ve released three full-length studio albums since 2013. Their first, Buds, came out on June 21 of that year. It was followed by Nothing Yet on January 13, 2017, and Heaven Surrounds You on September 13, 2019. They’re known for songs like “Hour of the Wolf” and “Labyrinth.” Prior to their full albums, the duo released an EP called Sad Boys in October of 2013.

Heaven Surrounds You was largely inspired by cult films that they loved during their young adulthood in their hometown of Las Vegas, and these films are referenced throughout the album’s tracklist. It’s been described as something of a coming-of-age epic. Surf Curse’s songwriting and instrumental orchestration have received praise for improving in this third full-length LP, creating a truly cinematic sound. This vulnerable record satisfies old fans and is bringing in new audiences. 

Here’s everything you need to know about this viral surf rock band, which has worked with veteran indie producer Jarvis Taveniere of Woods.

instruments played
drums
guitars
Vocals
Genres

Surf rock
garage pop
lo-fi
surf punk
indie rock
indie pop
surf pop
post-punk
jangle pop

Labels

Danger Collective
Big Joy

Origin

Reno, Nevada, U.S.

Website
Years Active

2013(2013) - present

What Is Surf Rock, Anyway?

Surf Curse are forerunners of the modern surf rock movement. This genre evolved from the sound first pioneered by the Beach Boys, the Del-Tones, Dick Dale, and others, and it’s characterized by reverb-soaked guitars, multi-layered vocal harmonies, and pop-inspired drum and bass grooves.  There are several offshoots of surf rock, and multiple genres have been influenced by the surf sound. Surf Curse blends traditional surf rock elements with elements of other genres, and their biggest hit, “Freaks,” is a mix of surf rock, new wave, punk, and pop. They have layers of polish over a rough, visceral sound filled with passion. 

How Did Surf Curse Form? 

According to an interview with Clunk magazine, Surf Curse was originally called Buffalo 66 and has always consisted of Jacob and Nick as the sole members. The two musicians were still in high school when they started playing together, and they made an effort to get involved in the all-ages punk scene in LA, where they felt at home. Jacob told Clunk that the initial goal of Surf Curse’s music was to land a gig at The Smell, an all-ages punk venue in Los Angeles. “At that point, we could have been like ‘well, we did it,’ Jacob said in the interview. However, the band ended up going farther than they ever thought they would. Surf Curse was initially just a fun project for Jacob and Nick, who are now signed to a major label and out of obscurity for good. In interviews, the pair expressed that they believe that the key to musical success is believing in yourself, the content you’re creating, and not trying to be somewhere or someone you’re not. That’s what has driven the band’s songwriting from the start. “Wouldn’t it be better if you made things that you love and not give a shit?” Jacob said to Clunk magazine.

How “Freaks” Blew Up 

Surf Curse is best known for the song “Freaks,” which was originally released as part of their 2013 album Buds. Written in 2011, the song blew up ten years later on TikTok. At the time of the song’s re-release, Surf Curse had joined the Atlantic Records roster, and the single was their first major-label release. Since the song’s reissue, it’s been streamed hundreds of millions of times on Spotify and has been used in countless TikTok videos.  The band’s members, Jacob and Nick, were entirely surprised by the runaway success of the song. In an interview with American Songwriter, Jacob said, “It’s a very strange trajectory. It’s been a strange wave.” Part of the surprising nature of the success of “Freaks” came due to the rumors that had previously racked the band’s career. Allegations against members of Surf Curse first started appearing in 2020, and those claims were vehemently denied by the members of the band. The accusations involved sexual harassment or assault, which later dissolved due to misinformation that spread through a now-deleted Instagram account.  The song’s success followed the cancellation of the band’s Heaven Surrounds You tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even without the help of live shows, “Freaks” blew up organically online, allowing the members of Surf Curse to completely revitalize their careers.

What Are the Members of Surf Curse Like? 

In interviews, Jacob and Nick of Surf Curse are open about their geeky interests and hobbies. The two musicians have plenty of affection for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, YouTube rabbit holes, and graphic novels.  Jacob and Nick live in Los Angeles, California, a city that they both view with a bit of cynicism. In an interview with Clunk, Jacob shared his opinions on life in LA, saying, “More recently it’s a lot of people like smoking drugs in the street – it’s just like, it’s not a fun vibe, but the people here, our friends, the people we hang out with, they’re the ones that keep the place alive and feeling alive, otherwise it’s a pretty depressing environment.” The members of Surf Curse went on to share that the negativity that surrounds them in Los Angeles hasn’t changed the way they make music. Jacob and Nick continue to pursue their own unique creative vision, making sure not to be brought down by their environment.

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