EP Walkthrough: Surf Trash talk their debut EP, Busy Doing Nothing

EP Walkthrough: Surf Trash talk their debut EP, Busy Doing Nothing

Plus, go behind-the-scenes of the EP's creation in a new video.

Header photo by Andrew Brassington.

A few months back, we came across the stimulating sounds of Surf Trash, a Newcastle trio who take the crashing surf-rock sounds of some of Australia's biggest acts - including Dune Rats and Skegss - and inject them with this characteristically Novocastrian energy that really lifts it to the next level. For example, in the song Insane (which we premiered alongside the news of their debut EP, which we'll be talking a lot more about in a second), the wild and lively three-piece combine thrashing guitar riffs with bright, soaring hooks that give the track an almost pop-like, radio-friendly quality, putting them away from the general grom-rock masses and welcoming something different - something that's really important as this scene grows more and more saturated with every exciting newcomer.

If Insane signified the signs of a band starting to really make their mark, the full EP - a six-track release titled Busy Doing Nothing - is a release that takes this to the next level, offering moments of versatility and subtleness at times, but largely being focused on this loud-and-proud, in-your-face flavour of Australian rock that's already proven quite a force in their year-long rise. The EP-opening Mayhem, for example, incorporates these thrashing punk-rock sounds with mannerisms of the 80s glam-rock era, throwing in crunchy percussion breakdowns and drowning out the lead vocals with thick guitar riffs that never quite hold off. Peer Pressure is another exciting moment, proving a post-release favourite as the guitar riffs take a more sun-soaked, beach-rock flavour, while the EP-closing Wave M8 is something a touch rawer and DIY-shaded, with warped distortion meeting the band's typically quite slick and polished approach to rock songwriting.

There's a lot to love in the release and it comes in a super exciting for the band, with a collection of shows incoming off the back of support slots alongside Ruby Fields, The Bennies and The Delta Riggs, and plenty more in the pipeline before the year's out. In the meantime, however, take a listen to the EP below, with a track-by-track EP walkthrough where the band walk us through each of the EP's songs and discuss their creation and themes.


Mayhem was a track that I (Andrew) wrote about feeling like an outcast. It’s about people telling you what to do, particularly teachers, bosses and governments and how they try to knock you down and make you feel worthless. Lyrics like - “They’ll spit in your face" and “they’ll knock you down” are lines in the track that represent that. I guess it’s super easy to relate too for kids or anyone at all, but it makes sense right now with all the crap going on around the Australian government trying to kill our festivals and music scene in general. This one goes out to you Gladys. The music side of things, we wanted it to have a sound similar to our childhood favourite band Jet and I think the energy and intensity of their stuff suits what we’re singing about plus how wanted this track to have the same feel. Just generally though, both lyrically and instrumentally it’s just a really fun track to play live and the intensity it presents is certainly something we love to channel.


The verses are about second-guessing yourself and listening to negative voices in your head and the chorus is about not listening to those voices and not looking back on negative experiences. The funny thing about this song is that I (Andrew) wrote the lyrics before we had even jammed anything to go with it, normally that never happens and it’s the other way around. This song absolutely goes wild live. Our fans request the sh*t out of it.


Summer is pretty self-explanatory. It’s about having a good time with friends, enjoying your youth and never wanting it to end. It’s slower, more melodic and more chill. Never thought we’d write a song like that but we did and it’s certainly one that people love hearing when we play live. This was our first big song.


The cool thing about this song is it was written way after the rest of the songs on the EP and was recorded 12 months after everything else. The song came about after I (Andrew) went out with our friends Leroy and Kat (Gooch Palms) and Joab (Raave Tapes) and woke up on someone’s floor and all there was around was a pen and some paper so I wrote about my night out and how I felt these feelings of being socially awkward and the fear of peer pressure when your out at a gig or party.


Insane was written live when we were rehearsing. We wanted to write something that the crowd can get involved with, which explains the structure in the chorus. The lyrics and song are about losing your mind over someone or something. We also wrote a disco-styled bridge/breakdown cause why the hell not. We’re always looking to expand our style and sound and push ourselves and I think Insane does this, whilst still achieving that raucous, live sound we love.


Wave M8 is personally one of our favourites on this EP. It started out as two separate songs that came together as one. The songs about having a close friend that changes their ways and turns their back on you and then you both go your own ways.

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