From the Rolling Stone Rock Room at SXSW, singer-guitarist John Paul Pitts and guitarist Thomas Fekete of Floridian rockers Surfer Blood told of their journey from obscurity to success — or, as they put it, from using Dell computers to meeting Timbaland. “[Surfer Blood drummer Tyler Schwarz] is really good at meeting people, so he went up to Timbaland and said, ‘You have to hear my band,'” Pitts amusedly recalls. “Timbaland, being a pretty open-minded guy apparently, walked into our control room and asked to hear a few songs. It was kind of surreal.”
Brushes with Timabaland are a far cry from where the band started, which Fekete says involved “cheap microphones” and “college apartments.” “It was the first time I felt like a real professional musician. I don’t know if I actually am, but in the studio it felt like I was,” Fekete said.
Interview by Eric R. Danton; text by Joe Pinsker