Winston Surfshirt

Thursday 24 May 2018
Words Matt Zara

Bustlip, The Bone, Bik Julio, Dool, Mi-K, and Winston. No, they’re not 90s wrestlers, they’re the members of Australian funk band Winston Surfshirt. The boys are about head on their first UK/European tour, so we thought it would only be polite to introduce you before they reach these shores.

Hi guys. To start us off, could you give us a quick rundown of the meanings behind each of your nicknames?

There’s not a huge amount to be said, to be honest. They’re all born from a tendency to call each other names based on idiosyncrasies we each have and, over time, evolved into permanent features. The names we all have now are half a combination of this and half us deciding that nicknames would be a nice way to approach a project like Winston Surfshirt.

What was the idea behind putting out an EP of remixes?

Our record label have a heavy dance and producer-based lineup. One of the reasons we were interested in signing with them in the first place was because they have that open mindset and understanding about alternative genres. The remix EP was their idea. We thought it was a good one.

You’re embarking on your first UK/European tour. How does that feel?

It feels great, obviously. Feels incredible to have the chance to perform live to a collection of people that have likely never seen us before. Our main goal at this point is to make sure it’s not the last time they see us.

How does music scene in Sydney compare to Europe?

We’ve never played Europe before, but some of us have spent some time living here and would say that the main difference doesn’t appear to be in exposure to alternative genres or influences – the internet has broken that barrier – but is more to do with the opportunity to be heard at a grassroots level. Artists have a limited selection of places to play in Sydney, the world’s their oyster in Europe.

You’ve done a whole host of rap covers – everyone from 50 Cent to J Dilla to A Tribe Called Quest. Can you talk a bit about your musical influences?

My main influence would undoubtedly be The Beatles. As a group though we all have quite different influences. The one genre that really ties us all together is hip hop. I suppose that’s injected itself into our sound. Doing covers of hip hop songs is common musical ground for all of us, even if it’s not what we’d call it or necessarily attribute as any of our respective primary influences.

We’re aware you’ve been big fans of Zane Lowe for ages. How did it feel to end up on his show?

Pretty f*****g good, not gonna lie.

Elton John has also voiced his support. How did he come across you?

I think we were shown to him by Apple Music. Apple Music send Elton hours worth of new music every day and he sifts through it out of pure interest. He’s music obsessed. He found our first single in one of those batches of music and has been incredible with support since. We still can’t believe it.

What can we expect from the rest of this year?

We’re knuckling down and writing right now, but exactly when that’s going to be released isn’t set in stone. Hopefully it doesn’t suck. We’ll do our best.

Check out the full remix EP below.