Hanging out with local cornucopic-surf-punk band
I met up with the members of local noise/abstract/blissful punk band The Miami Dolphins three hours before a warehouse show and found them putting together a remote control flying inflatable fish. We sat on couches in a circle and watched the goldfish mini-blimp cruise above our heads while the band pondered sea cows, ice cream, death, and decay as they move out of their 20s. Consisting of Beth Bambery (vocals), Patrick Larkin (guitar), Zack Warpinski (bass), and Joe Scott (drums), The Miami Dolphins have been creating full-speed fuzzy mania for four years with four album releases and another on the way. With a few Wake alumni in the group, their mania will be proudly presented at The Wake’s 13th birthday show at the Triple Rock Social Club on April 16!
The Wake: So you guys did an interview with the Wake back in 2011 Zach McCormick where you described your music as “surf punk” or “math-y surf rock.” Would you like to add any adjectives to that label, four years later?
Patrick Larkin: Cornucopic.
Zack Warpinski: Lampshade-core.
Beth Bambery: Lampshade-core… that’s kinda cool.
Patrick Larkin: Depends on the lampshade.
The Wake: What was the journey like getting to your current sound of cornucopic-surf-punk? Did you intend to make this kind of music from the start?
PL: It just kind of happened naturally.
BB: I remember doing my laundry and then you guys happened to be playing and I took the microphone and just like made stupid noises. Then I think Pat said he liked it; he said, “Keep doing it!”
The Wake: If you guys could add one instrument or effect to your sound what would it be?
Joe Scott: Cowbell.
BB: Maybe like some fun marimbas or xylophone.
ZW: Toy piano.
BB: To orchestrate an album would be super cool, like if we had a full orchestra.
The Wake: The Miami Dolphins have been together for about four years now and you’ve got a pretty well-known name locally. What have your experiences been in the Minneapolis music scene?
PL: Well we finally met Garrison Keillor. He said “Don’t steal my pen.” No, we didn’t really meet Garrison Keillor.
BB: We’ve seen a lot of different venues change, that’s kind of fun, and we’ve played at a bunch of different places that we didn’t have the opportunity to in the beginning. We’ve seen a lot of bands come and go and morph into different bands. And then when we went on tour I got the idea that Minneapolis is pretty cool, and I don’t think anybody else has a better music scene.
ZW: Shots fired.
The Wake: In your 2011 Wake interview, you mentioned that you were working on a zine called Rot Milk, which you’ve since stopped doing. Have you guys worked on other zine stuff recently? What other things have you been up to?
PL: Joe writes for a blog called Street.mn.
JS: I blog, yeah, it’s like local land use and transportation issues. It’s juicy material.
PL: We did a photo zine about commuting. That was fun. It was just photos that were taken in rush hour without looking, which sounds boring. We took thousands of photos. It’s called Commuters; that was back in 2013. The time just flies now. That’s another thing, as you get older the time just flies.
JS: I can feel by body rotting…
BB: They’re into buying houses now.
ZW: Yeah, we should do a real estate zine.
The Wake: People always seem to work the irony of your band name into any mention of your music. Has the band ever played a show in Miami and have you ever seen a dolphin?
PL: I’ve seen a dolphin at the Minnesota Zoo before they got rid of them because they decided it was inhumane, which was a wise choice. Never played in Miami. We got written up by some blogger in Miami once. We aspire to one day play in Miami I would say.
ZW: I don’t even know if I could name any bands from Miami.
BB: I’ve seen a dolphin.
JS: I’ve never seen a dolphin.
ZW: I’ve seen a manatee.
BB: I’ve also seen a manatee.
PL: That doesn’t count, man.
ZW: They’re kinda like dolphins.
BB: They’re sea cows.
PL: They don’t have sex for fun.
JS: That we know of. They’re very private.
The Wake: The style of music you guys create is pretty hard to pin down, what do you think is the best mood to listen to your music in?
JS: While you’re trying to put together a toy fish.
BB: When cooking?
PL: When you can focus on it because it requires attention, maybe. It’s short-winded and requires attention.
ZW: I feel like it’s nice when you’re doing something with your hands on a table. Like a jigsaw puzzle or playing Jenga with your friends.
PL: Getting high and playing chess.
BB: Or when you’re at a Dolphins show when you see us, you should maybe listen, please.
ZW: Please listen.
PL: A really active pool party, like when you’re playing volleyball really intensely the whole time.
The Wake: In the past you have said your inspirations include hummingbirds, robotics, cuttlefish, and ice cream. If the music of The Miami Dolphins was an ice cream flavor, what would it be?
ZW: I’d say pistachio.
BB: Grapefruit, pistachio and like, chorizo.
PL: I’d say pineapple, shrimp, and anise.
JS: Oh man, that sounds good.
The Wake: Joe and Patrick, you guys used to contribute to The Wake some years ago, what did you write about?
JS: I did a dumpster diving article that probably was the same as some other dumpster diving article from like three years before that.
PL: I wrote about the most failed transit line thus far in the Twin Cities, the North Star commuter line, although I didn’t write about it in that light. I wrote about a couple of other things. My friend was the Editor-in-Chief, Ali Jaafar of [local band] Hollow Boys.
The Wake: How does it feel to be playing The Wake’s 13th birthday show?
BB: Very good.
ZW: Pretty excited, yeah, I like all those bands.
BB: Yeah, good lineup.
ZW: Are you guys gonna have a birthday cake? Otherwise I’m gonna make something.
The Wake: How would you describe The Miami Dolphins experience people will have if they come to the birthday show?
PL: Hold on to your butts. And yeah, we look forward to being ourselves.
ZW: And trying our best to hold everybody’s attention.
The Wake: Any final comments? What are you guys up to next?
BB: We’re working on a new album, it’s gonna be the bomb diggity.
PL: Don’t litter.
JS: Sign up for a compost bin.
The Wake: When is your album going to be released?
BB: I think we’re going to try to record within the month.
PL: We’re in an exploratory phase. We’re re-finding ourselves and growing.
BB: And slowly dying.
PL: And dying. Your life is pretty much over after you turn 25.
JS: What percentage have we died just during this interview? Like, we’re .01 percent more dead than when we started rolling.
PL: So hold on to life.
ZW: And sign up for that bin, cause you’re gonna need it one day. You’re gonna die and go in that bin.