Premiere: Tom Curren, “Summerland Road”
By Jake Howard
Tom Curren recently released his newest LP, a four-song compilation entitled “Summerland Road.” For those that have been living under a barnacle encrusted rock for the last 30 years, Curren is to surfing what Johnny Cash is to music, the essence of cool, a figure transcends generations and style. So when Curren’s record label approached ESPN surfing to see if we’d be interesting in teaming up for an exclusive premiere of his video for “Summerland Road” of course we jumped at the chance. Folky and airy, yet filled with complexity and thoughtfulness, Curren’s musical abilities are not to be denied. Directed by Chris Malloy, produced by Tim Lynch and Tieneke Pavesic with FARM LEAGUE, the video is a pleasant jaunt down the back roads of Santa Barbara County, Curren’s home turf. The following is a conversation we had with the three-time ASP world champ late last summer. Enjoy. The full-length album is scheduled to drop early next year, the LP is available for download on iTunes.
You play drums, guitar, bass, the keys, can you talk a little about experimenting with different instruments and how you’ve evolved into a multi-instrumentalist?
Well, I was just able to record at home. I had some recording equipment with two different channels, so I was able to record a guitar track and then I would record a bass track, and then percussion. All the time I was learning about engineering because it’s another really interesting part of music. Nowadays it’s a lot easier because it’s all digital, but to be able to be able to play bass, guitar and drums on the same track was something that I was enjoying a lot.
So how does the songwriting process begin for you?
Songwriting is something that’s really interesting. It’s another thing that I’m really interested in getting better at. It’s really hard to do. Sometimes you can work at it and barely progress, and then sometimes it comes together really quick. Over the years I’ve learned a little bit about how I can write better songs, and that’s kind of where I’m at today. I just want to keep improving on my guitar playing and songwriting.