Five minutes with Winston Surfshirt

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Five minutes with Winston Surfshirt

Introducing Winston Surfshirt, the Sydney-based band who developed a cult following with their smooth style and raucous live shows. The band originally emerged as the solo project of singer/rapper/producer Winston Surfshirt, before organically adopting other local artists and snowballing into what is now a six-piece musical collective. To kick off 2017, the band released their debut single ‘Be About You’, which reached Number One on Spotify’s Australian Viral Charts, followed by ‘Ali D’ and ‘Same Same’. Now they’re on their way to Bendigo’s Groovin The Moo with their debut album Sponge Cake in tow. We have a quick chat with frontman Winston.
Hey Winston, thanks for chatting to Forte Mag. You guys had a crazy year last year, and now recently signing to BMG – congrats! Has that been a goal for a while?
Yeah well it seems crazy! Thanks, that has been a goal for a little bit – not that we ever thought anything like that was possible – but the past year we’ve been working on that so it’s pretty amazing.
You guys have been labelled by many as ‘Australia’s most laidback band’, is that how the band has always been?
Yes! To be fair, we just toddle along and it organically happens. As little equipment as possible is a pre-requisite, we hardly have anything usually. The bass player used to play a uke-bass which is the smallest possible bass he could find and the drummer was on a sample pad so that was a little box, and I just had a loop pedal and a guitar at the time.
Has that setup changed much?
I’ve stopped playing keyboards and guitars, I just sing now, it’s a lot more fun and a lot easier. I play my instruments every day anyway when I’m writing so it’s not like I need to do it on stage anymore… now I can dance about.
In regards to the debut album Sponge Cake, that one was finished quite some time ago. Have you been working on new music since?
I think we finished it like three years ago now, but then we got signed to a label and management and we had to take some songs out and put some songs in so that took time. As for new music, I’m just doing the same thing, writing music and whatever happens, happens.
You guys are also heading to tour UK and Europe this year, are you keen?!
Oh, cannot wait! I’ve gone back to the UK every year for the past three or four years and played some shows, but they are mainly solo. This will be the first time with the band! It should be a lot of fun, we sold out the London show already and we just changed venues as well so that’s a good start.
Organically adopting other local artists and snowballing into what is now a six-piece musical collective, have you finished adding members to the band or is there more to come?
You’ll never know, but there’s so many people, let’s just settle down for a minute! It’s definitely harder than one person but we’ve got people organising us now otherwise we’d be screwed… I’m hopeless at Australia, I’d be in Bunbury instead of Bendigo.
Thanks for the quick chat, hopefully we see you in Bendigo!
You hopefully will see me in Bendigo!
When & Where: Groovin The Moo @ Bendigo – Saturday May 5.
Check their track below.

Photo by mcleanstephenson