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Inner City Surfers to celebrate 20th anniversary with one-off show

Dustin Jones speaks to SooToday about the Surfers' Aug. 3 reunion at Loplops, dishes on new recordings with original lineup
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The Inner City Surfers return to the stage Aug. 3 at Loplops to celebrate the band's 20th anniversary. Photo supplied

It’s a reunion show without an actual band break-up. 

At least, that’s how Dustin Jones views the upcoming Inner City Surfers 20th anniversary show, which will see Jones reunite with Mikey Hawdon, Dave Bahun and Brad Example on stage for the first time in a decade.       

“Everybody’s been asking for the last 10 years when we’re going to play again,” Jones told SooToday. “I figure we’re not getting any younger, and if we don’t do it now, we probably wouldn’t do it.” 

Jones says the idea for the one-night-only performance - slated for Aug. 3 at Loplops - evolved organically, simply by talking with bandmates about the Inner City Surfers turning 20 years old. 

The reunion show didn’t even seem real, Jones says, until the hard copy tickets for the event were in his hands.  

“It’ll be a good time. It’s going to be good,” said Jones. “It’s different - everybody’s older, and the Surfers were always a rambunctious group to say the least, so it’s fun to relive some of that without living the actual debauchery.” 

The Inner City Surfers released a handful of albums over the course of its initial run, amassing a loyal following locally and in southern Ontario through recording and touring. 

Although the band was known for fostering a debaucherous party atmosphere with its live shows, Jones says that the Surfers’ extended hiatus from the music scene was far from some kind of stereotypical rock-and-roll band break-up.   

“There was never a disbanding of any sort, and there was no fighting or anything. It was more like, alright, let’s give everybody a chance to go do what they want to do,” said Jones. “Those things just happened to be grown-up stuff that took everybody different directions.” 

Jones formed Dustin Jones and the Rising Tide soon after the Surfers took a break, throwing himself back into touring. 

Since that time, Jones has launched Tidal Records and Mission Control Studios, both located in the Sault. 

He’s also the father of two children - Jet, who is eight years old (and has been joining her father on stage during Rising Tide shows lately) and three-year-old Jaycee. 

“Obviously, your mindset changes when you have kids. There’s no doubt about that,” said Jones. “So that’s where the debauchery kind of ends.”

But the soundtrack to that debauchery will live again, for one night in August, in the form of an old-school ‘power set’ of all the Surfers’ most popular songs.  

“The songs are great songs, and they’re just so much fun to play - especially with that group of guys,” said Jones. 

The Inner City Surfers will also debut three new singles, which the band is currently in the midst of recording. 

Jones believes those three singles could be released as early as this fall. 

“When we started recording it was funny, because it almost felt like...we were stealing somebody else’s music, because it sounded so much like the Surfers,” he said. 

When asked if there will be another chapter to the story of the Inner City Surfers, Jones basically took a never-say-never approach when discussing the band's future. 

“We’re going to see how this show goes - you never know,” he said. “We toured for so long, I can’t see us touring anytime soon, but for doing some one-offs in Toronto, or down south where we used to have a good following...if this show goes well, I can see possibly that happening.”

But for now, Jones will relish the opportunity to celebrate 20 years of the Inner City Surfers - and the sense of brotherhood he shares with his bandmates - on stage during the Civic Holiday long weekend. 

“It reminds me of old times and old parties. It makes me want to let loose,” said Jones. “The music will be the same and the energy will be exactly the same.”

“Will we play naked? Nope, I don’t think so. Little too old to be pulling that stuff off, I think.”

Tickets for the Inner City Surfers' Aug. 3 show at Loplops are $20, and can be purchased at Case's Music and The Rad Zone.