Experimental prog-punk trio Gentleman Surfer includes drummer and bandleader Jon Bafus with guitarist Barry McDaniel and synth player Zach Bissell. Bafus started Gentleman Surfer in 2006 as a solo project, drawing from influences like Captain Beefheart, King Crimson, experimental jazz and punk rock.
Gentleman Surfer joined Insight in October 2018 to preview their fourth album “Hard Pass.” They recorded at Earth Tone Studios with Patrick Hills, and the group’s former bass player Blake Armstrong.
The group experiments with their sound constantly. “Usually we are putting songs together with really concrete ideas in mind,” Bafus says. “Zach and I have really direct visions for how they’re being structured, how certain parts in the main melodies interact. Then we leave a lot of room for other things to happen spontaneously. Barry comes in with a guitar part I never would have thought of there."
Every track on the record has a name that often refers to an inside joke or family saying. The song “Posivator” was named after the nickname Bafus’s daughter gave to popsicles. “Part Time Cruiser” is a riff on the name of a sedan.