Surfing in 2016 was not remarkably funny. And that’s a shame, because whenever the sport goes through a cycle of being taken too seriously, things seem to get weird for everyone. Save for a small handful of one-off edits and a few Instagram accounts dedicated to the matter, the past twelve months felt a little bit more like the PGA Tour peppered with John John and Mason Ho doing some really great shit on their own. But is that the two lane race track that surfing is beginning to funnel down into? Alex Kemp and Scott Brown hope not.
The two founders + creative brains behind Lone Wolfs Objets d’Surf are working hard to ensure that surfing maintains a balanced diet of laughable absurdity, and their latest endeavor with good guy Zach Williams—a YouTube series titled, “Everything’s Not Working”—is doing a pretty stellar job of it.
After finishing this past week’s episode, I got on the line with Scott and Alex to discuss their vision for the show, doing things well at random and if there’s any particular folks they’d like to have on the show in its coming days. Apparently, Kelly Slater is considerably fond of the emoji keyboard.
The show has a uniquely quirky and spontaneous tone to it. What was the idea behind the its offbeat vibe and do the guys getting interviewed have any idea what they’re in for?
Scott: A lot of content these days has gotten really polished and overthought. We thought it would be interesting to take a more human/hand-made approach. We like to keep the guests in suspense of this so we can capture really honest responses. We love showing a human and vulnerable side to these characters.
Alex: I suppose the ‘creative’ part of making the show is that we had a very immediate vision of just how silly and off-the-cuff we wanted it to be. I’m not sure we’re reacting to what’s out there in the world of Surf (with a capital S) as much as we had an idea of a show we’d like to watch—and be a part of—so we went and made it. Sound dumb? Well it is!
The episodes so far have featured pro surfer who surfs, Dion Agius, Salt Surf’s Nabil Samadini and now Eden Saul of Dead Kooks fame. Who has delivered your favorite question + answer combo in the series so far?
Alex: Nabil from Salt Surf is a secret comic genius. In episode two, Zach asked Nabil what superhero he’d like most to design a board for, and Aggro Surfer Bro pops out and screams at Zach for ‘dropping in’ on his question. Nabil’s timing when he calmly says “um, Superman” is fucking priceless. He had us laughing the whole time we were shooting.
Scott: And Dion’s thoughts on starting a business are so true… “a fucking nightmare.” And delivered in his Tasmanian accent makes it gold.
What’s the production process and lining everything up like? Are you hitting up folks you have connections with and just like, “Come meet us in Brad Gerlach’s garage. We’re gonna ask you some questions”?
Alex: Wait, there’s a process? If you could email that over, that would be rad. Thanks.
It seems you guys have found an unlikely but very impactful advertising partner in Lincoln Hardware. How did that get set up, and do those guys even know they’re store is being advertised on the show?
Scott: Yes, Lincoln Hardware! We can’t give enough thanks to our aggressive, non-compensated sponsorship partners. We couldn’t have not done it without them!
Not only is the show presented in black and white, but everything from Lone Wolfs seems to enjoy the absence of color. Do you guys hate rainbows? Love black and white? Why is that?
Scott: Surf culture is filled with bright colors and sunshiney, groovy days. Which is great. But we just ain’t those types of guys.
Alex: So true. And there are definitely surf companies that use colors in cool ways, like Mowgli and Mollusk, who are both rad! But for us, we wanted to pare it down to something really classic and simple. And by keeping things black and white, we’ve had to push in other areas we find more challenging and meaningful.
One non-surf-related legend you would be down to have cameo on the show and maybe roundhouse kick a cameraman in the face?
Alex: I think there’s a LOT of non-surfers we’d like to have on the show! Nick Cave would be rad, cause he’d make us all cry and/or pee our pants. Or we could dig up Walt Whitman’s corpse and have a good time rapping with that nutball.
Scott: If we’re re-animating corpses, I’d want Julius Caesar on the show. I’ve been listening to this Roman History podcast and I have some questions.
Alex: Ok now we seriously have to figure out how to re-animate dead people. Let’s get on that.
Can you drop a tip on any upcoming peeps you’ve got lined up? Anyone you’re hyped on that you can tell us about?
Alex: Kelly Slater keeps texting us but he uses way too many emojis so fuck that.