BlackBook Interview: Surfbort’s Dani Miller on Mother Earth, ‘A Star is Born’ and Aliens in New York City

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Image by Mason Poole

 

We love the fiercest of musical females. It probably started with Chrissie Hynde, but naturally would go on to include Joan Jett, Patti Smith, Courtney Love, Marianne Faithful (the old raspy version), and the wondrous Yolandi of Die Antwoord. We could write books about Karen O.

And while no one’s going to replace Deborah Harry in our hearts, we did not hesitate to make room for new discovery Dani Miller, from the geniusly named Brooklyn band Surfbort.

She and her three male musical accomplices churn out fun, loud, fast punk that will almost make you forget that so much of the new music you hear these days sounds like it was made on a mini Casio keyboard in a eunuch encampment. Surfbort have balls. (Just check out the video for “Trashworld.”)

And like any true punks Surfbort work for it: the next two months of touring see them crisscrossing the US, before heading to Australia for a week of shows, including one at the…Brisbane Zoo. (Okay, it’s not an actual zoo). New Yorkers get their chance to catch them at Baby’s Alright on Oct. 27, a special record release show celebrating their debut full-length, Friendship Music.

We caught up with the orthodontically challenged – no judgements – singer for some riotous, rapid-fire Q&A.

 

Image by Daggers For Eyes

 

Congrats on the new album – it sounds great and is super fun.

Thanks! We are super into fun and it definitely rubbed off on the record.

Did you grow up listing to any specific bands that influenced your sound, or was it maybe the opposite: too much Mariah Carey drove you crazy?

X, No Doubt, the Go-Go’s, Destiny’s Child, Siouxsie and the Banshees. What influences my sound the most are my bandmates’ intense experiences with classic punk. Every time we hang, I enter music school.

Your November tour will have you playing some deep red states – are you scared?

Most of us are from a deep red state! We are excited to go on tour and spread the rainbow. The freaks will come out and hang, the haters will stay at home and hate.

What’s worse right now, politics, ignoring climate change, or men wearing flip flops on the subway?

Love is power. Love is freedom. The more love we practice even towards Mother Earth, the better off we will be. It’s not just about recycling, it’s about taking down the huge corporations who are polluting and are destroying the earth. So I would rather let the flip flops slide.

 

If you had to suddenly flee America, where would you go?

We want the mothership to pick us up and take us home. Mexico City or Holland would do, too.

Did you see the new A Star Is Born remake? What did you think?

I love A Star is Born. The reason it was a hit for me is it highlights a human who is getting treated like shit at her job and being told she isn’t pretty enough to be a singer; and she rises above all of that and shines. She finds love and loves herself the way she is, and I think that’s so important. It’s easy to get put down by haters, but the main secret is everyone is so special for being themselves.

Any story behind your awesome name Surfbort?

It’s a dedication to Beyoncé.

How do you imagine the crowds will be different at the New York and LA release show parties?

I don’t think there will be a huge difference between crowds. The freaks will show up and it will be a giant party! I’m really excited for Friendship Music to finally be coming out…okay, maybe more aliens will be in the crowd in New York, and more clowns will be in the LA crowd.

 

Image by Daggers For Eyes