Timmy Curran has long wowed us with his aerial and free-surfing abilities, but his foray into the world of recording artists has left us equally impressed. Here Curran opens up to SURFER about his latest album Word of Mouth, his experience touring with the Foo Fighters, an upcoming film, and becoming a father.
Obviously you’ve always had an interest and talent based in music. When did you finally decide to pursue it full time?
I have played guitar ever since I was about 13, it was something I always loved doing. Playing guitar was like surfing for me, since I started I have been addicted to it. Ever since I wrote a song in Japan a few years ago called “If I Only Had A Way” I began to write a lot more songs because I was so excited that I had a song that I enjoyed singing. It still doesn’t really feel full time due to surfing. The bands that do it full time are gone like the guys on the CT or WQS. I have been taking it slow with touring. The last few years it has fit in with my surfing trips, and its all been coastal so my gills don’t dry out. Maybe one day I will tour more seriously, but my main focus is on surfing right now.
I’ve heard you occasionally have or had bouts of stage fright. How does that work when you’re opening for the Foo Fighters?
It was really hard to sleep the weeks before I went out with them, and while we were touring. We were playing huge sold out venues, and there is nothing worse than thinking about forgetting your words or chords in front of all there fans. I knew it was an opportunity of a lifetime and that I had to do it, even though I had only played a few shows before that happened. It was so good actually to have had that opportunity so early on because I got to put myself out there and survive. I still get nervous, but now that I have played a lot more shows I know that if I mess up, its ok, and I just have to keep on playing. Most of the time you have little mess ups no one knows. I always ask Shanoah if she noticed, if she did then I know more people may have caught it, but if not I know most likely no one would of heard it.
What’s the biggest thing you learned by touring with them?
That there are different levels of bands and that they are the top. Listening to them you know that they take it very serious and have had so much time under there belt playing shows. They really have it down to a science. They still put on the best shows I have ever seen. The great thing about them though is the have fun and goof off in between songs. I think Dave could sell out the same size venues if he was going out on stage just to tell jokes and stories. Its hilarious just listening to him talk.
Your album Word of Mouth was originally released for free download. That was cool. Tell me about that.
Thanks, I just thought that it would be fun to give it away for free. There is so much free downloading going on, but I thought it could actually work for me. I am so glad that I did it that way and looking back now I would of done it the same exact way. It was really exciting to see how many downloads we were having. I also thought the surf industry was a good place to start and am so thankful for the support from everyone as well.
Would you say that Word of Mouth has a unifying theme or message for listeners to absorb?
Not really, each song has an different meaning to me. Also I feel each song was written so far apart and about different things that were going on in my life or others around me. The best part of writing is the release, I feel so much better when I get out how I’m feeling on paper. Its a bit like therapy for me.
Do you have a song on it that you’re proudest of?
Comatose, this life is crazy.
Do you believe that there is such a thing as “surf music?” And if so are you are part of that? Not really, what’s football music, or skate music?
Maybe if every song was about the beach and surfing, but I don’t believe its surf music if you surf and play music. Or actually it would be surf music if you were riding waves and playing guitar. Now that’s a sweet combo.
Similarly, has surfing at all affected the music you write?
It has given me a lot of extra time to write and play the guitar. Daylights Coming is the only song that I have written that is about surfing, but I feel it was abstract enough that you may not know what its about.
Did you ever play music with your brothers?
A little bit, they don’t play that much. I have played a lot more with my Dad and uncle Anthony who also has a independent cd out.
You’re stuck on an island for the rest of your life with a stereo. What five CDs do you bring with you?
Ray Lamontage “Trouble”
Ben Harper “Live From Mars”
Radiohead “The best of Radiohead”
James Taylor “Greatest Hits”
Anthony Curran “On My Way Home”
Are you still getting lots of time in the water?
Yes, I’m working on a movie with Josh Landan called “The Union Express.” I’ve been riding the Amtrak Train, surfing in towns where there is a stop, and also playing shows. Its been really fun hooking up with my buddies in each town and surfing there favorite spots.
You filmed your video “Blue Eyes” with your wife as one of the protagonists. Tell me a little bit about that experience.
It was really fun having Josh Landan direct it, so there was no pressure even though she was really nervous. It was a true story so she was perfect for the part, and she did great.
Do you have any specific goals in mind with your musical career?
My goals are to keep writing, and hopefully start recording my next record at some point this year. We are really exited to record again and getting the songs out there that we have been playing for about a year now. Its funny how you put out a record and by the time its out you have all these new ones that you want to play but no one knows them. We have been playing half the songs from “Word Of Mouth” and half new ones on this last tour so its time to get those new ones out there.
What’s next for Timmy Curran?
We’ve been laying low since I’m so blessed to become a father recently. We had Lily on January 9th, 2009 so that has been amazing. Otherwise, I will be working on “The Union Express” with Josh Landan, Recording another Citsuca Ep, and the new record. Then we will be working on the tour for the movie as well. A lot going on in ’09.