Surfer Blood Are Vunerable and Euphoric on ‘Pythons’

Later this month, Floridian indie-rockers Surfer Blood will start playing some of the songs they wrote for their forthcoming second album and major-label debut, Pythons at their concerts. It’s an LP that’s been in the works  a long time, and the process of making it found Surfer Blood whittling down 24 demo tracks to the 10 that made the cut. “Compared to our past records, the songs are less ADD, in a way,” frontman JP Pitts tells Hive. “It’s not just us throwing every good idea that we have into a song just because we can.” Some of the highly refined songs he and his bandmates recorded, under the supervision of producer Gil Norton (Pixies, Jimmy Eat World), include the lead single “Weird Shapes,” “I Was Wrong,” which Pitts describes as “one of the heaviest and slowest songs we’ve ever written,” the “waltzy, acoustic” “Needles and Pins,” and “Say Yes to Me.” Of the latter song, Pitts says it “comes right at the beginning of the B-side, after you flip the record, and might be the most perfect pop song we’ve ever written.” In anticipation of the album, Hive caught up with the frontman, who was taking some time off in London to spend with his girlfriend, to find out about just what got Pythons slithering.

So Pythons, huh?

The concept for the artwork and the title came at the same time. A lot of the songs on the record are really vulnerable but some of them have a sort of euphoric, invincible thing to it. So we were talking about imagery, and TJ [Schwarz, drums] liked the idea of a really skinny, scrawny-looking kid flexing his muscles in the mirror, living in a fantasy world where he’s really strong. We were like, why don’t we call the record “Pythons,” because it’s like, “Show me your pythons.” It has a sort of eerie feel, with us coming from Florida, and it just sort of made sense.

How long has it been done?

We finished tracking it in mid-July, and it’s been done completely since Halloween. We’ve been playing a few songs live. “Weird Shapes,” which is one of my favorites on the record, is one of them. Our upcoming tour is going to be the first time we’re playing a lot of songs off the new record. We’ve been doing “Demon Dance.” And we’ve been playing a song called “Gravity,” the second song on the record.

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