Spotlight on Night Surf!
Punk music has its roots in grimy, people-filled basements or dive bars...and Night Surf definitely yells back to those mosh pit filled days. Their latest EP Enemies hints to those times but it's raw energy hits all punk fans and needs to be on your playlist.
We spent time with drummer, Kyle Burkert, to talk about their latest EP, cheesy hair bands from the 80's, and why online gaming can be like working with crappy co-workers.
NOM: How did Night Surf get started?
Kyle: Well, I moved to the New York area around 2016. I joined this band and we played one show...and then the vocalist moved and left the band(laughs.) So, we are all leftovers from another band. It took us a little bit to get together and practice, but once we started writing solid songs it started snowballing and here we are!
NON: So where does the name of the band come from?
Kyle: Nothing really cool(laughs.) It was like, we are a new and different band now...anyone got any ideas? And everyone would say, "I don't know." Then next practice, we would ask again...."no idea." So, we put together a list of names and we picked Night Surf because we thought it sounded like a punk band(laughs.) I wish we had a cooler story...it's not that cool of a story(laughs.)
NON: You just dropped the EP Enemies. And the title track was the first single dropped. Any reason why you chose that song out of others on the album?
Kyle: In my personal opinion, I feel like the song "Enemies" is the strongest track on the EP. It's my favorite song that we have written and we all thought it caught the energy and vibe of us as a band. It should probably be the focus of our EP, so let's roll with that.
NON: Tell us about the song. What's the meaning behind it?
Kyle: I have my personal interpretation of the song. As the drummer, I sort of stay away from the whole lyric writing thing. I just like to bash stuff. I get all my anger and creativity out in that sort of outlet. But for me, this song is about being your own worst enemy by overthinking things. And the way that we write things as a band, we try not to overthink things. We tried not to take too much time doing things and turn down too many ideas. We just kept rolling with what was working. We kinda equate that with what you should do in life.
NON: Personally, what type of music do you like?
Kyle: I really started getting into music through pop punk. I never played pop punk before, but I got really into that type of music through watching videos like "Basket Case" by Green Day. One of the first albums I bought was Blink-182's Dude Ranch. That was the first kind of music that got me hooked and wanting more. I went through a wave of...I am not ashamed to admit it, I absolutely love cheesy-hair 80's bands and hair metal. I love fresh metal, I played heavy metal for years. I'm into old school hardcore punk like Black Flag. I'm into The Descendents. I'm a huge fan of Bad Religion. So anything around rock, punk, and metal...I'm into that.
NON: Sweet! So, tell us...we all have that one embarrassing CD or album that we don't really tell anyone we have it. What do you have in your collection that you aren't too proud of?
Kyle: I have every album by the band Winger. I actually know the drummer from the band. He gave me lessons for a bit. I think people should give their music a try.
NON: So, what's going on right now for you guys?
Kyle: We just played a show in Chicago and did some video for a session for the YouTube channel, "Live from the Rock Room." It should be released in a week or so. We spent the weekend out in Brooklyn doing shows. We've been travelling a bit more out of our Brooklyn-area.
NON: Being in a band, you guys have played in some crazy awesome places. Do you have a dream place to play one day? A place on your bucket list?
Kyle: It's hard because the type of music we play seems to be meant for grungy dive bar type places. That's where our music fits the most. But I would be lying if I said it wasn't a dream to play at one those big arena shows at Madison Square Garden or at the Download Festival in England where you see people as far as can be in the crowd. That's always a musician's dream.
NON: You guys are New York based. Does where you are from play an influence in your music?
Kyle: I think just being in New York, you have this underlying feeling of rush and stress. It's just this collective hive mind of stress. And that kinda does sound like our music a little bit.
NON: We've noticed a lot of references to the 80's on your social media. We saw some Mike Tyson's Punchout on one of your videos. I saw an image of Corey Feldman from the 80's on your Instagram. Tell us about that. Are you guys just huge fans of the 80's in general?
Kyle: We still feel like we are kids from the 80's a bit. That type of pop culture just sticks with you for some reason.
NON: So does that mean you are a fan of movies from that period? What movies are your favorites from that time?
Kyle: My most watched films from the 80's....The Goonies and Beetlejuice. I love cheesy action films, so you have to throw in Predator and Robocop. I loved Ghostbusters. Also a movie that not a lot of people have seen, Monster Squad. It's about a bunch of kids who team up against some monsters.
NON: We love Nerd Culture, it helps us escape anxiety and depression. Personally, I use video games to escape from mental illness. Are you into any fandoms or other aspects in Nerd Culture?
Kyle: I love gaming. I was pretty much born with and inherited a NES. I went on to Sega Genesis...Playstation...Dreamcast...Playstation 2...PC Gaming along the way....Gameboy. All of that stuff! That was always my stress-free thing I could latch myself onto that I enjoyed as a kid. And I still use that now.
NON: So, what are you playing now?
Kyle: I'm really into single player open world type games. I like Horizon Zero Dawn, The Witcher III, any of the Fallout games, and Skyrim. Any of those with a snap, I can lose like 40 hours of my life just playing a game in a couple of days(laughs.)
NON: A game everyone is excited about, Fallout 76 is dropping soon. I know you aren't a fan of the online multiplayer type of game. How do you feel about this one?
Kyle: I've always been a fan of the Fallout series, even when it was on the PC. So, I'm conflicted on this one. I will probably still get it, I know that you could technically play it as a single player. Maybe this will help me get used to playing with strangers(laughs.) I'm a perfectionist when it comes to gaming and sometimes other players can ruin that(laughs.)
NON: Personally, I'm also torn on this new game. I like the idea of a solo player and his NPC companion.
Kyle: Yes, you can always depend on Dogmeat(laughs.) You can't always depend on a random person. I compare it to having really crappy co-workers(laughs.) It's like I'm really trying to enjoy something but it just becomes a really bad day at work.