“We call our music ‘grit pop,’” says Subsurfer bassist/singer Deric Fernandez. “Really gritty with a pop sensibility.”
After making their live debut in January 2011 at 710 Beach Club in PB, they released their debut We Are Stars in October, recorded with Brian Karscig (Nervous Wreckords, Louis XIV) at White Horse Recording Studio. Karscig also sang backup on the track “Girl Problem.”
“The album is about girls and stars, Hollywood and outer space, along with all the dark and sexy craziness of being in the Hollywood scene,” says Fernandez. The band includes singer/guitarist/keyboardist Dave Montalbano (“I was an actor in San Diego and L.A. for years”), guitarist Greg “Bones” Jones (“I used to babysit Jim Belushi’s dog”), and Greg Patus (drums, percussion).
Jones recalls one of his non-music day jobs: “I got fired from the PB Bar and Grill. At sunset, the manager wanted me to take down all the table umbrellas, so I did, even the ones where people were still eating. While I was cranking the umbrellas shut, bugs and stuff were falling into people’s food and drinks.”
Their song “Girl on Girl” was heard in July 2012 on the third episode of season eight of the Showtime TV series Weeds. A full-length called Devil's Lounge was released in July 2013, produced by Erik Groysman and recorded at Flight 19 with Valery Saifudinov.
Drummer Rich Slinkard was replaced in early 2014 with Dennis Key. A video was released for their song “Teenage Love Gone Wrong,” off of their second album Devil's Lounge. It's the directorial debut for Jimmy Ovadia, who created album art for Matisyahu's album Akeda.
The band's next full-length La La La, engineered by Steve Albini (Nirvana, the Pixies, the Breeders) at Electrical Audio in Chicago, dropped November 20, 2015, preceded by the first single "Barney's Girl." The Bittersweet EP followed in 2019.
January 2021 saw the release of the grit pop single “Hollow,” from their fourth album, Subversive, announced for a mid-2021 release and featuring new bassist Barry Sinclair. The melodic pop-driven vocal track sports a dance vibe within the grunged-out guitars. Recorded with Louis XIV frontman Brian Karscig, the engineer who produced their second album, the band says "We wanted to capture the darkness and uncertainty of the moment, which is something we went through at the time they recorded that album. At the same time, the hope of light at the end of the tunnel is captured with backup singers and light keyboards."
Lead singer David Montalbano says “I had a lot of friends who have personally not made it through these dark times. It’s had a profound effect on me and the writing of the song. I want people and friends to know we are all in this boat together, and though it may look like I have everything that anyone would want, the Covid reset has affected me in profound ways as well.”