Images via the band
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and anyone who thinks otherwise is only hurting themselves. A Regina alternative rock band called Surf Dads embraces the Eggs and Toast Life so much they dedicated an album to it called All Day Breakfast. The record is damn good, like steak and eggs with mimosas and a ton of fuzz pedal and gang vocals good. Thematically, All Day Breakfast deals with topics like existential angst, public shaming, and watching relationships fall apart—because emo lyrics are the hollandaise sauce of alternative rock.
Surf Dads frontman Gage McGuire and drummer Chris Dimas have been steadily coming into their own in the western Canadian music scene with their catchy songwriting. The group has released many EPs and toured Europe, and All Day Breakfast is their first full-length project. That said, we spoke to Gage McGuire and found out about the band's past connections to Sublime, Weezer, Alexisonfire and Billy Talent. McGuire also taught us about how to embrace pop punk and what makes the perfect breakfast. Listen to an exclusive stream of Surf Dads' All Day Breakfast and read our interview with McGuire below:
Noisey: Tell me about the new album All Day Breakfast?
Gage McGuire: It's our first full-length album. We've done four EPs in the past but this time we actually went into a real CBC studio and recorded it with Rob Morrison, who has worked with Rah Rah, Library Voices and Close Talker. He's a local guy but he has some heavy hitters behind him.
What are the stand out tracks we should know about?
"Up All Night" is our single right now and that one seems to be the one people are really like. "Fall Apart" is my personal favourite. I know it's my favourite to play live.
Who is "Scary Liza"?
Oh. That is deep. I can't divulge too much about that. I was at a bar [The Artful Dodger] with my buddy and he was like, "That person is scary." I got this hook in my head about this idea of having a reputation that can turn to trash in the rumour mill.
Speaking of Regina places: You have the dog in front of Mr Breakfast for the album art. A classic Regina staple.
A classic. Stan [Perentes, the co-owner] is the man.
What should people know about Mr Breakfast?
That's the only place you need to eat. I'm a regular there. When Chris came up with the name of the album. When they redid the building with the breakfast sign I knew that had to happen. It was nice to put my favourite restaurant on our first real record.
Who is the dog?
That's my dog, Indie.
Going back to breakfast, is it the most important meal? What makes a good breakfast?
First off 100% crucial meal. I have made our guys on tour walk two hours trying to find a suitable breakfast joint to eat at. I'm that dedicated to breakfast. What makes a good breakfast. It's an egg: I think the egg is the most versatile food in all of food. You can eat it with anything and cook it in so many ways.
I hear Chris Dimas, your drummer, plays in another band, Bleeker, on the side to pay his bills— to buy more pizza and subs—but that band plays shows with bands like Weezer and Sublime all the time.
Ha! Yeah, they spent a month and half opening for Sublime and a show with Weezer.
How did Surf Dads transition from from hardcore kids into a Weezer-y pop punk band?
That's a good question. Chris and I started in a hardcore band called Bermuda Love. At the tail end after we released a record, Chris had to move to LA. We became good buddies and then we kept texting. His idea was to start a surf rock project. He said everyone was listening to Wavves and Weezer down there… We eventually released some stuff and people like it more than they thought it would. It was supposed to be a joke.
What is the best sub sandwich?
Are you trying to get me in trouble here? I feel like I have to say Mr. Sub because of Chris. His family owns one or something. But really, if you're going for a sub go to Quiznos.
Gage tell me about the time when you were 12 and joined Alexisonfire on stage to play guitar on a song.
Man, you've done your homework. That's an old pull. My friend Jessie Wyllychuk and I had met [Alexisonfire] before and went to a bunch of shows. That was right around the time Dallas Green was starting to tour with City and Colour. He went through a local venue a couple times, and we hung out with him.
We had played with this other hardcore band called The Bled, and we made posters that said, "We know 'Red Wedding' can we play it with you?" The actually let us play the encores. So we were like, "Hey Dallas, we played with The Bled, can you let us play a song with you?" He said, "You can play a song by The Bled? You're 12." We showed up at a show the next time they were in town. They didn't even ask us to practice before, they trust us. They hooked us up with the guitars we wanted and life was good. It was the most ridiculous thing.
Didn't Chris also have a moment with Billy Talent on stage to play a song?
Yup. I don't know exactly how that happened, but he did a Youtube cover of "Viking Death March" and one of the guys from Billy Talent posted it on their Facebook. When they came through, their tour manager invited him out and he played for the soundcheck.
And you and Chris didn't know each other during this time?
No. And now it's extra weird because Jordan [Hastings] from Alexisonfire drums for Billy Talent now. So that weird child past is crossing with those two bands.
Are you in the Illuminati?
I can neither confirm nor deny.
What can we expect next from Surf Dads?
We've got a few release shows around the prairies with Library Voices, and some other festivals I can't confirm yet. Maybe another Europe trip. Who knows?
Devin Pacholik endorses all-day breakfast. He is on Twitter.