Backstage with Surfaces at Austin City Limits Festival
Like They Should
Story by Madisyn Siebert
Photos by Cory Weaver
“Feeling good, like you should” is a motto carried by the band Surfaces, a Texas-based duo composed of 24-year-old Colin Padalecki and 26-year-old Forrest Frank. Together they’ve been bringing a mix of fresh beats with jazz, soul, pop, hip hop and reggae to fans since 2017, when they released their debut album, Surf.
We got a chance to sit down with both of them before their show at Austin City Limits Music Festival and discuss the past, present and future of the band, including their upcoming stop in Saint Louis on November 14th.
As soon as I brought up the STL show, Frank immediately jumped at the chance to ask me, “Are you gonna come?” to which I immediately made sure he knew I was planning on being there. “We’re on tour right now actually so this (ACL) is like in the middle of it,” he said. “It’s really fun, it’s like a different experience. There are so many people you can’t really fathom what’s happening.”
“It’s (ACL) amazing. I’ve been coming to this festival for many years and I always dreamed of playing any stage here,” he said.
“The fact that we get to play a main stage at 2:15 is just mind blowing,” Padelecki added.
“It’s like the Super Bowl,” Frank laughed.
(L-R) Forrest Frank and Colin Padalecki on the Honda Stage at ACL Weekend Two.
The band came together in 2016 just for the fun of making music and dropped it onto the internet with no promo or marketing, and the fans just ran with it. Now, they are in their home state, playing one of the biggest music festivals. “It’s Forrest’s first time ever being at ACL, so the fact he plays his first time is super super cool,” Padalecki said.
“We are in our Texas leg right now ,so we have days between ACL. So, we have just been chilling at our houses and getting to drive to the venues instead of buses,” Padalecki stated. “But the West Coast month days were really fun, just getting back into the swing of things and doing bus life. It is equally as rewarding as well as tiring. We are gonna do Florida and the East Coast in a month, so really excited about that.”
The pair were definitely excited to play their show at ACL, and after catching their set it was easy to see why. The two were bouncing around the stage, playing everything from new songs to covers to engage the crowd. “We love that every time we play festivals it’s new fans. We’ll usually ask who has seen us before and there are a few hands, but then it’s like who hasn’t seen us and all these hands go up, but they’re also having such a good time. So, it’s like we are making new friends out there. It’s an awesome experience,” Padalecki smiled. This was obvious during their set, the pair gleaming on stage.
On lead vocals, Frank can be seen galivanting across the stage and engaging with the crowds. He is not afraid to let himself loose and even display a few dance moves. Padalecki is the man of many trades, playing guitar, piano and even the man behind mixing most of their music. Frank waves him on to join him every once in a while from the instruments to jump around the stage and interact with the crowd at their feet.
“It’s more intimate at our own shows,” Padalecki grinned. “For our own shows those fans bought tickets to our show to see us as a headliner.” This differs from the festival mentality of just wandering around the grounds from gig to gig.
Their latest album Pacifico dropped in June 2021, and sticks to their same energy of good vibes and good times. “There seems to be a progression or refinement process of the same core of what it is,” Frank commented about Surfaces’ album growth. “I think maybe in the future we may stray from that narrative and still feel like it is consistent.” Frank suggested. “Start a new chapter,” Padalecki piped in.
This new album still has more to be explored by the duo with the filming and release of a music video for a “personal” song on the album. But, they are still venturing out crafting new music, even teasing some unreleased music with Big Wild—that just dropped—and Quinn XCII after they randomly met at a studio session last year.
Speaking of Quinn XCII, they recently surprised fans at an Austin concert between the two weekends of ACL. “It was super impromptu. We didn’t rehearse anything, it was just like, ‘hey you’re in town, you wanna hang out?’ And he was like, ‘yeah, by the way you should sing “Sunday Best” if you want to,’ so we just winged it. I don’t even think his band practiced, they just did it on the spot,” Frank laughed.
We are excited to see what surprises Surfaces holds for the Saint Louis show this November at the Pageant. Tickets are $25 and they are even offering a VIP package with a chance to hang out with the band before the show.