Q&A with Dentist



Asbury Park’s Dentist makes their LPR debut on August 20th with a bill full of some of our favorite surf rock and indie bands. We asked the group what it means to hail from Asbury Park, if surf-rock is always a guitar-based sound, and more. You can catch them live at LPR with Coastgaard, Surf Rock is Dead, and Little Racer. More info on that show is available at LPR.com. Read on!
From Bruce and Southside Johnny’s blue-eyed soul to the crushing metalcore scene of the 90s, Asbury Park has a diverse musical history. How has connection to this scene influenced your sound? Do you feel rooted in an ongoing musical conversation in Asbury Park?

We have all been part of the Asbury scene since we were old enough to play shows. We all love the scene and the current bands, but none of us were part of the scenes you mentioned. While we respect all of those bands, I don’t think any of that has influenced us much as far as our sound goes.
Justin, you’ve said in the past that Dentist’s work is influenced by “surf inspired music” like Dick Dale and the Ventures. Do you believe the surf-rock sound is always based in guitar music?
I think surf music is definitely guitar based, but I think something could still have that vibe and not be guitar based.
Many of the bands we book for our On the Rise shows are based in Brooklyn or Manhattan, but many musicians and artists formerly in New York cite rising costs as reason to move from the city. How do you find being a band close to New York, but not in it?
We all grew up taking the train to New York and It’s a great city, but we definitely feel like outsiders. We know some great people and bands from New York, but I feel like there are probably countless cliques and scenes, but in Asbury I feel like I’m aware of just about every band and have hung out with most of them. We definitely have loved just about every time we have played in New York, but we are still working towards getting it to feel like a second home.

Many venues in Asbury Park are smaller, personal venues geared towards the local population. Does the intimacy of these venues affect Dentist’s sound?
I don’t think I’ve ever thought much about it. I’m not sure it has affected our sound, but possibly the way we perform and interact with an audience.
Such ethereal., aquatic, surf-punky textures from your latest record, “Ceilings”, (thankfully) do not evoke feelings of getting one’s mouth pried open and violated by a professional in a long white coat. At the risk of asking an oft-pondered question, why ‘Dentist’?
We get asked this all the time and we don’t really have an answer. I think we thought it was funny and just liked the way it sounded for a band name.

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