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Black Zeros Prove That You Don’t Have to Surf In Order to Write a Good Surf Song

RSVP to catch them play at our free Sydney party at the Sly Fox on Thursday September 4!

Though it was written for a surf movie and features the sound of lapping waves, the new Black Zeros track “ride” has no references to riding a board, zinc cream or even the beach. It actually mentions David Bowie, one of the least ‘surfer dude’ like dudes on the planet. But as the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson proved, a guy who was afraid of the ocean, being able to surf has never been a prerequisite to writing a good surf tune.


Ahead of the Black Zeros, Yes, I’m Leaving and Food Court gig Noisey is presenting with the Sly Fox and Pistonhead in Sydney on Thursday August 4, we had a chat to the Black Zeros Joe Jackson about surf music created by landlubbers.

Entry to the gig is free but you need to RSVP HERE!

Noisey: “ride” has a relaxed surf vibe though it has very little to has to do with surfing.

Joe Jackson: I never intended it to actually be as surfy sounding as it is. I wanted it to be dark and brooding and make people cry. When I write music I find it hard to program beats so I use loops as a guide. This loop is just so easy and happens to be a real surf drum beat. I had been listening to the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s song "(David Bowie I Love You) Since I Was Six" on repeat and happened to doodle it on a piece a paper and just went with it.

What makes for a good surf song?

I don't know, maybe it's best if you are NOT a surfer to make good surf songs. Maybe!

Yeah I’m not sure if some bands who write the best surf type songs - TV Colours, Dirty Beaches even surf. Do you surf?

I tried a couple of times but I’d laugh too much when I’d actually stand or catch a wave. I think I imagined body surfing which for some reason reminds me of Falcor from the Never Ending Story. Plus I'm a little terrified of the ocean or getting eaten by a shark. I actually used to live across the road from the beach when I first moved to Sydney and literally never went to the beach not even in the summer time.


Do you have a favourite surf song?

Cyndi Lauper's “The Goonies 'R' Good Enough”. I don’t know if it would be a surf song but I love it anyway.

The upcoming Noisey gig is at the relaunched [Sly Fox.](http:// Is there anything surfy about Enmore Road?

You can make anything you want. If I walked around Enmore Road in swimmers and carried a surfboard under my arm, people then might get surfy vibes. Or perhaps they'd ust think that I’m mentally insane. I don’t know which is worse to be honest. Plus I think you can get arrested for wearing togs in a non-coastal area now too.

Noisey, Pistonhead and the Sly Fox presents Black Zeros, Yes, I’m Leaving and Food Court Thursday September 4 at the relaunched Sly Fox . Entry is free but you need to RSVP here.

Related reading:

RSVP to Ruined Fortune and the Stevens Thursday August 21 at the Landsdowne

RSVP to Iceage, Housewives, Low Life and Ausmuteants Wednesday September 17 at GoodGod