All pics by Madison Bowen @mediocremads_ and Owen Mills @mysteriousmills_

The Surf Machine IHOP Interview

Written by Julian Gutierrez

Surf Machine is a Wichita based emo band that recently released an EP entitled 5000 on December 22, 2023. I had the opportunity to meet this young band at their homebase IHOP some Saturday morning. After chatting with two Surf Machine members, Floyd and Maric, the waiter came to our table and asked Maric what he wanted to order. He politely declined, then the waiter moved on to me. Not thinking anything of this situation, I said my usual – the delectable 2x2x2. From here, the waiter then moved on to Floyd who then declined an order as well. Seeing me visibly stunned, Floyd laughed and said,”I genuinely thought he [Maric] was going to order something”. After having a laugh, I later gave them my pancakes which they readily devoured. From here, we moved on to the interview portion which was held in a pristine recording spot (the IHOP parking lot). The transcript can be found below or click here to listen. You can check out Surf Machine anywhere you stream music or their instagram @surfmachine5000.



Julian: Hello, I am Julian Gutierrez and I am here interviewing Surf Machine. Would you guys care to introduce yourselves?


Maric: I’m Maric, hello.


Floyd: I’m Floyd, I play guitar and sing.


Maric: Oh yeah, and I play guitar.


Julian: You guys are missing Camden right?


Floyd: Yeah, we’re missing our buddy Cam, he plays bass. We play drums with a guy named Luke, he’s also not here.



Maric, Camden


Julian: In December you released the 5000 EP, could you tell me more about why you decided to make the EP?


Floyd: Like how we decided to record it and stuff?


Julian: Yeah, like the process behind it and what led you to decide to make an EP.


Floyd: Back in the beginning of 2023, we started working on original stuff and once we’d written about 3 songs, we started thinking about doing an EP because we had been around for a while we felt. I asked Nico, who’s one of my friends that plays in a band. I asked him if he could recommend someone that could record us super clean. Because we really like 90’s emo stuff, we just wanted a really clean, raw recording and he told us to go with Paul Digiovanni from Ferris Wheel [Regulars]. Coincidentally, the best producer is in the best band.


Maric: Yeah, it was a pleasure working with Paul.


Floyd: Yeah, it was really fun. So yeah, I just texted him and we figured it out and he had me send him a bunch of records that we liked. Then we went in during the summer. I think it took 3 or 4 days?


Maric: Yeah, but it was all day, like 8 hours.


F -Yeah, we’d be there for 8 hours, but it was such a blast. Camden will text in the groupchat that we made for the recording process, he’ll text in there every other week, “I miss recording with you so much Paul” because Paul is such a joy to be around.


Maric: We genuinely just miss it, he was fun to work with.


Julian: That is all wonderful to hear. So, as people listen to your music, what do you hope people feel or take away?


Maric: Probably a good emotion, I would say. Maybe take away that it’s good.


Floyd: Yeah, I just hope they don’t think it sucks.


Maric: Yeah, I guess that’s it. I can picture someone, maybe not because it’s a bad album or bad EP, I think it’s good. Just the idea of someone listening to it and not liking it I guess. 


Floyd: I think it’s good every other listen and think it’s bad the other every other listen. So, I hope other people only have the good listens. 


Maric: Yeah, I don’t listen to it often and I don’t listen to it after I like it.


Floyd: Yeah, the songs can be received a couple of ways and you can attach different emotions to them. Maybe inspire someone? I’m into that. It would be cool if, for us, and this kinda ties back into the last question, that we got super close to these guys that play in Delirium, some other bands too, so that was really inspiring to us to see that we can just go out and record our songs and put them out before we’re even adults I guess.


Julian: Do you feel like the Wichita music scene is what helped shape all of that?


Maric: Yeah, everyone’s really nice.


Floyd: Honestly, yeah, I think we have such a great scene and I think it’s really exploded in the past couple years because it really lulled when COVID hit, and I just think so many people are doing so many great things. Like Delirium, Ferris Wheel Regulars, and Nothing Special who we watched last night, those are three of the best bands I’ve ever seen play. It is just ridiculously good, so yeah the scene is really, really inspiring and kind to us.


Maric: I’d agree, yeah.


Julian: So in your music, from performances to songwriting, who do you look up to or draw inspiration from?


Floyd: Yesterday, I told Nico that to have a good band you just have to copy The Beatles and Fugazi as much as possible, then your band will be good, so that’s like maybe a part of it, at least in terms of new stuff. I don’t know if I’d have made that genius adage back when I was writing the 5000 songs. 


Maric: It is pretty genius though, if you think about it. The Beatles just have good songwriting and Fugazi got that edge you know. It’s all you need.


Floyd: I think my biggest songwriting inspiration is Elliott Smith, I just really like his songs.


Julian: Why?


Floyd: I think that they are worded so perfectly and the melodies are so creative and catchy at the same time, and he was the craziest guitar player. Everything about it is so technically impressive on the first level and so emotionally touching I guess. He was just a genius with words I feel like. 


Maric: Yeah…


Floyd: [laughs] Then the guitars play a big part and we just cared a lot about Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Sunny Day, and Hum. Just like super huge fuzz. 


Maric: Yeah, pretty much


Julian: Could you guys describe what the typical songwriting process looks like for you guys?


Floyd: I kinda just play acoustic guitar for hours everyday and I’ll just write something and I write a lot of stuff that never turns into a Surf Machine song.


Maric: There is a fair amount of things that we tried, like recordings of songs, that just didn’t work out.


Floyd: It’s not necessarily that they were bad, it’s just that we only go with certain ones for some reason.


Maric: Yeah.


Floyd: Like ones that are easier to turn into this loud monster of a thing I guess. So yeah, I’ll usually just write a verse and a chorus then I’ll show it to them. For example, in one of the new ones we’re doing I wrote this whole song before we even had “U see it too”, which was the last one for the EP. I wrote that whole song and we kinda forgot about it because the second one that we wrote was way better. I kinda just scrapped the whole thing and turned it into something different, and now we’re doing that. Maric said it was his favorite song that we have when I played it.So, it’s kinda slow sometimes with some of the songs and fast with others, but usually I’ll write half of a song then show it to them, then we’ll see how we can make it into a dynamic loud thing. 


Maric: Yeah pretty much.


Julian: So the Surfheads or Surfcels want to know, how did the band start?


Maric: Surfcels?


Floyd: How did the band start?


Maric: Me, Cam, Floyd, we’re all just really good friends and like jamming out together and making music.


Floyd: In 4th grade, I started getting into Pink Floyd, so we just started getting into all that born in the wrong generation music when we were like 10.


Maric: [giggles]


Floyd: So basically from there me and him [Maric] started taking guitar lessons and we started hanging out with Cam in 6th grade. I don’t remember what year it was, but one night we were having a little sleepover, this shows how young we were – we were having a sleepover, and I taught Camden “Smoke on the Water” on bass or something just because I thought it would be funny if he could play some random song on some random instrument. He just learned it surprisingly quick. I expected there to be a lot more learning curve, I mean it’s an easy song, but he just kinda stuck with it and him and Maric started fooling around with surf stuff. Eventually in summer 2022 maybe, we were like we should probably be a band now.


Maric: Yeah, that’s pretty much how it happened actually


Julian: So, given the band’s young age, as you said with the whole sleepovers thing – 


Maric: [giggles] Bruhh


Floyd: We’re not still having sleepovers [laughs]


Julian: Alright, where do you guys see yourself in one or two years?


Maric: Hopefully college


Floyd: That’s like the worst thing I think about everyday.


Maric: Yeah [laughs]


Floyd: Because we’re like a local band thing that we’re doing, but I just really enjoy it. So, I guess I have to go to college, I probably should.


Maric: Yeah, pretty much same way of thinking. It’d be cool to do this as long as I could, but I’m probably gonna have to go to college.


Floyd: We might go to WSU (Wichita State University), if we both go to school here then we’ll definitely still play, and if we don’t I guess we’ll take a break. In one year, we plan to do a tour the summer after we graduate, which will be summer 2025. We were thinking and like trying to play at venues that our friends have gone and done runs to that they really liked. We’ll also have an album, maybe like a split out.


Julian: When do you expect for that to possibly end up coming out?


Floyd: Album, we want to record that this summer. We recorded the EP this summer and it didn’t come out till December. So, I just want it to line up like we did something in 2023 and we did something in 2024. But it might, because the mixing process and stuff, especially for a guy like Paul where we’re not the only band he’s recording because he’s good.


 Maric: Yeah and he’s probably doing more now.


Floyd: So, yeah it took a while so maybe like early 2025 or maybe we’ll luck out and it’ll be a Christmas time thing. 


Julian: Do you guys have any advice for people wanting to or starting a band?


Maric: For one that’s already in a band, just text a venue to play a show.


Floyd: Yeah, I’ve been asked by a lot of people how you get started booking shows. I just say, actually go to them and it’s really easy to be friends with people, and once people find out you play, like it’s hard to get a bill full a lot of the time. You’ll get called. I remember we were not a good band when we started playing. We didn’t even really play with a drummer that often. It was just having fun and people still asked us to play every week at that point. My second advice is to just get a really big amp.


Maric: Yeah get a really nice, big amp. It matters more than your guitar.


Julian: Why is that?


Floyd: You can’t really blow someone away unless if you do, honestly. When we were playing with the same amps we had to learn guitar, like that little Peavey and Mustang LT60, I think it was called. We’re using these little puny things and it’s fine for a little small room and you play clean guitar, just fun stuff, but once it’s a real band I just had those experiences of seeing another band and it’s like standing there absolutely amazed. It’s usually because their guitar is really loud.


Maric: Yeah it helps to be really loud.


Julian: Do you guys have anything that you would like people to know about with Surf Machine? Or just in general?



Floyd, Luke, Camden


Maric: I guess just listen to whatever we have out.


Floyd: Yeah, shows are fun, we play new songs there a little bit better I think. [laughs] That’s about it.


Maric: Just come to shows.


Floyd: Go to other people’s shows too.


Maric: Buy merch.


Floyd: Not from us because we don’t have any but.


Julian: Are you guys expecting to get merch soon?


Floyd: Yeah, I can show you. We actually just did our first screen printing test prints. We talked to a couple actual print shops, and they kinda all ghost you eventually for some reason. We have the most simple black line art on a white shirt. We’re in this art class and we’re doing printmaking, learning how to do screens and stuff, so I think we’re going to have shirts soon.


Julian: Well, it was nice talking to you guys.


Floyd: You too, Julian.


Maric: It was a pleasure, Julian.