Dragstrip Murder Mystery


A half century since its heyday, guitar-based instrumental music, a/k/a instro surf-rock, is still catching fire throughout Europe. Of course instrumental means no heady words to get in the way of what guitar freaks call gut level and pure music. A Dutch treat by way of the drag strips and beaches of Southern California circa 1962, The Surfaders hit hard and fast on their 13 track CD entitled Dragstrip Murder Mystery. Self-released, though professional recorded and pressed CD project, the CD features the guitar chops of Jonas Morberg, who gets some fine help from his band mates along with several guests. The electrifying instrumental “surf-noir” music of The Surfaders echoes the sounds of early ‘60s guitar heroes like Dick Dale and Davie Allan with a wink and a nod to 21st century guitar bands such as The Bambi Molesters and The Madeira. Taking the Surfaders’ debut album around the block for a couple of spins it’s more than satisfying to see today’s bands from Holland continuing the sights and sounds of vintage ‘60s instro music. presents an interview with
Jonas Moberg of THE SURFADERS

mwe3: What’s the scene like in Holland for surf-rock instrumental music in 2012? When was the new Surfaders album written and recorded and what’s been the reaction in Holland and beyond to the new Dragstrip Murder Mystery album?

JONAS MOBERG: There are lot’s of great surf bands in Holland: Phantom Four, Anacondas, Spaceguards, Bevel Emboss, Biarritz Boys, Black Tarantula, Bunny Bonanzas, Apemen, etc. I guess there’s a audience for surf music here, but it’s not a tight scene like punk or metal. There are people who are interested in rockabilly, tiki, garage-rock etc. who show up, but we see all kinds of people at our shows. Promoters of music cafes and youth centers like to do surf nights, so we often play with other surf bands. We played with Black Tarantula and Spaceguards quite a lot.

We recorded Dragstrip Murder Mystery in January 2012 at IJland Studios in Amsterdam. We had all the songs pretty lined up by then and we knew what we wanted soundwise. Some stuff we made up in the studio. For instance the spoken word part in “Mellow Moonseed” and the harmonica part in “El Pistolero Desmemoradio”. We had a blast being in the studio.

The reaction to Dragstrip Murder Mystery is pretty good so far. We had some rave reviews in magazines like Pipeline Magazine and Continental Magazine, and a great review on Reverb Central. Some blogs and internet radio shows picked us up. The CD sold pretty well. Nowadays it seems we’re selling more via downloads and streaming services like I-tunes, Spotify, etc.

mwe3: Which guitarists and bands made the biggest impact on your musical influences and your guitar sound? And in addition to the legends what other bands, artists, guitarists, singers, etc. are you currently listening to?

JONAS MOBERG: I’m really into Dick Dale and Hank B. Marvin of The Shadows. As for the other guys in the band, they also listen to a lot of different styles of music. Evert, our drummer is into old school goth, Alan Parsons, Alice Cooper. Stef, our other guitar player was into various metal bands and likes prog-rock, stoner and 70’s sludge rock. Gaston, our bass player, is not so much into pop music. He’s more into classical and world music. It all filters down in the music. For instance, the turn of key and tempo in “Showdown” at the “Tumbleweed Inn” in the middle is really a prog-rock thing.

mwe3: What guitars and amps and effects (pedals, processors) are you playing on the new Surfaders’ CD? What other guitars and gear are featured in the Surfaders?

JONAS MOBERG: I used my own gear: a Fender Jazzmaster (CIJ), a Fender Bandmaster amp and a Fender Reverb Unit reissue. I used a Big Muff pi on some tracks for extra warm overdrive. I also played a guitar synthesizer for a sitar effect in “El Sheik”.

Stef used his Fender Stratocaster and Fender Hotrod Deluxe amp. Being a prog-rocker, he used a lot of effects like a compressor, an Electro Harmonix Worm Wah/ Phaser/ Vibrato and a Dirty Monkey tube overdrive. That way we tried to mix a more traditional surf sound with a dirtier rocky sound. Gaston used his Fender Jazz bass on a very vintage amp in the studio. It belonged to Remko, the producer. I don’t know what brand it was. Evert used the studio’s kit with his own cymbals and snare.

Jan Frans, a friend of ours and musical genius, contributed a lot of keyboard parts. He pretty made everything up in one night: sat down and played along the tracks in his home studio. We used quite a lot of his stuff.

mwe3: What are some of your other interests and causes these days in music and outside music and what other things interest you in Holland and the whole world?

JONAS MOBERG: We are with four different people in the band, and we all have different interests. As a surf band, having played at the beaches a couple of times, we feel kinship with causes like preservation of oceans and beaches. Rise Above Plastics for instance. Try to use less plastic. Every single small step counts I guess. If there are local organizations who deal with these issues who like to organize benefit-shows, contact us.

mwe3: What are the future plans for the Surfaders as far as writing and recording new music and also live performances coming in the future?

JONAS MOBERG: We’re busy writing new songs and we like to record these in the near future. At the moment we’re trying to incorporate more diverse influences in the songs. Dragstrip Murder Mystery was self-released which was cool but also a lot of work. So we hope to interest a label in releasing our new stuff. Furthermore, we hope to play more gigs outside The Netherlands.

Thanks to Jonas Moberg @


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