There’s an interesting synergy between surfing and music. If we’re led to believe that one informs the other, we’d surely be confused at the manifestations of such a relationship, which in contemporary music range in volume and texture from the earnest acoustic musings of Jack Johnson to the primal thrashings of Noah Deane’s solo project Blister.
Yet, a synergy between the two—surfing and music—does exist, nonetheless. Case in point: surf clips (or, if you grew up in the ‘90s, “video parts”). A good song (or well chosen one) seems to enhance a surfers performance and turn something which is intended as a visual experience into something multi-sensory. It also makes the performance, as most of us old enough to have worn out the tape of our VHS copies of “…Lost Across America Vol. 2” can attest, re-watchable.
Speaking of re-watchable: a new edit featuring San Clemente wunderkind and youngest of the Coffin clan, Parker Coffin has all the qualities necessary to entice multiple viewings. The surfing, videography, and editing are aggressively straightforward. There’s Coffin—with his classic, Curren-esque steez—pulling in super deep under azure curtains and carving up Fijian playgrounds, all of which is soundtracked by a thumping, atmospheric riff-rock soundtrack provided by Jacksonville’s own (and longtime friends of Void Magazine) Darkhorse Saloon.
The three tracks used in the Coffin edit, all of which arrived to Spotify in early December VIA the band’s newest EP Moth, are certainly not of the aforementioned laidback, Jack Johnson-esque variety. Pulsing baselines and ferocious drums provided by Darkhorses’ capable rhythm section (Mitch Mitch Mullaney on bass and Carl Nishiyama on drums), drive the songs on Moth, which twist around intricate, multi-dimensional guitar parts (provided by lead guitarists Jason Hoey and Matt Phillips), forward. Combined with lead singer Michael Fitzgerald’s ambient, primeval yowls, Darkhorses’ new tunes are tastefully belligerent—a perfect remedy for the more precious soundtracks preferred by many of today’s highbrow surf auteurs.
It’s not background music, to be clear. It’s music meant to augment an experience or push that experience forward—whether a surf clip or a night of revelry at a dark, dive-y live music venue.
In any event, we were thrilled to see Coffin’s edit blowing up the Internet in the days following its release. And even more ecstatic to see one of our favorite local bands getting some much deserved exposure as a result. We reached out to Darkhorses’ Fitzgerald to find out more about the new album and how the songs ended UP soundtracking a Californian pro surfer’s tropical escapades.
First of all, the new songs sound great. Tell us all about what you’ve been working on!
Thanks! We are really excited about our new material. These songs are a part of our new six-song Ep called Moth, which folks can listen to on Spotify. We recorded with our friend Chris Flowers. He is a total wizard and knew exactly what we needed even when we didn’t. I had a meeting with him a few months before we were slated to start recording. We were shooting the sh** and he uttered “Ya know, these microphones record more than just sound.” I was sold after that! I knew the vibe was gonna be strong and it was. His edge also has to do with his singing studio Husky named Avalanche, who is terrifying at first, but really is a big softy. The experience was definitely the most fun and productive time we’ve had recording so far.
Now, how the hell did Parker Coffin get ahold of these tracks?
Parker used to ride for Volcom and our good friend Daniel Terry [who works for Volcom] hooked us up with him. We had no idea Parker would dig our music enough to use half of the EP. Daniel and Volcom have been very instrumental in a lot of our forward progress as a band and we love ‘em for it.
Certainly ten foot Cloudbreak can do much to amplify a song. But the music seems a great fit for the footage. And, to put this to the test, we put the same tracks to some clips of Mikey Sasser surfing out behind the office. Not the same! So my question is how’d it feel to see Coffin surfing to your tracks?
Growing up, I picked up most of my music taste from Surf and Skate Vids. From “Tweak Freaks” to “Momentum II” I can still remember where a particular turn or air would sync up to a part of the song—back in the VHS days, that is. That makes having our music being used more personal and even more of an honor. Not to mention I could watch Parker rip all day!
As far as a “Mikey” edit: We have a nice slow jam where I picture him riding a Segway through the Void office in Slo-Mo, bossing people around [laughs]. Let’s make it happen!
This feature originally appeared in Void Magazine Vol. 9, Issue 9, Rad Pads under the header “A Dark Horse of a Surf Clip.”