oliFirst off, I’m gonna be that guy and gush on how honored I was to interview Nick Oliveri.  He’s been jamming and singing to me since I was nine years old, especially with Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, and Mondo Generator.  Being an artist can be a thankless job, but it must be pretty cool to know that you’ve influenced generations of kids like myself.  In anticipation for the show tonight, I’m releasing our chat.  The interview was taken in the middle of the night after a long day for the hard rocker, but luckily Oliveri is a super chill and down to earth guy, and he did his best answer my questions.  Enjoy.

How and when did The Uncontrollable begin?  Cuz I know you were doing some acoustic shit with Blag Dahlia from the Dwarves recently.

The Uncontrollable began as a name I used to draw on my peachie folders in sixth grade (hahaha) that I would someday turn into a band, but I didn’t. Eventually, we started using it for an acoustic tour I did with Blag Dhalia in England and it was a name for the both of us playing at the same time, like a lil duo-band.

What’s the name of your new album?  I was told that you recorded the entire thing solo–from drums, bass, guitar, to the vocals.  Did you find this experience more frustrating than liberating, or was there a combination of the two?
The name of the new album, “Leave me Alone”.  I called it that cause I did the record basically by myself with all the instruments, but I had some guest guitar solos, so yeah, that’s pretty much why. Yeah it was frustrating and also very satisfying to finish. I had a lot of things happen while making the record that set me back, like rolling my car-which made for some good lyrics for one the the tunes I didn’t have lyrics for at the time.
This question always intrigues me in a confusing way, kinda like the old “Chicken before the egg” quandary.  Do you start a song in your head with lyrics, a hook/riff or chorus, bass line, or drum line?  What’s your method on this one, especially when recording an entire album from start to finish by yourself?
It’s always different, but mainly I start with a riff, then build on it from there. With this last record I did a lot of stuff with drums then transposed it to record and transposed it to guitar (what I was humming in my head) and reversed it and demoed it a bunch of times before I went into the studio. I’m not the slickest drummer in the world but I practiced my ass off. I did record it myself but had Harper and Trevor helping me, they were behind the controls, recording me. I did some of the stuff at home on my Protools in the little apartment I had but yeah, it was the chicken before the egg, man (laughs).
Speaking of range, I’ve always admired your ability to go from the soothing sounds of songs like “Auto Pilot” and “Another Love Song”, to pissed and charged songs like “Tension Head” and “Six Shooter”.  Is this adjustment easy for you?  Are there times when going from a mellow jam to something pissed a difficult exercise and vice versa?

Right on thanks. It’s easy for me to transition from going softer vocals to harder vocals, but going hard vocals to soft vocals is not as easy I guess. I’m not very good at singing but I can scream my ass off though. So yah, that’s a tough one for me. I guess I just do the best I can do, sometimes it’s off (laughs)


It seems like you’ve had worn a hundred hats, from Kyuss, to Queens, Mondo Generator, The Dwarves, B’Last and now The Uncontrollable.  You’re a bit of a musical chameleon.  Does this flexibility give you a sense of freedom?  It must be cool to be constantly collaborating with so many great artists.

Yes and no. Yah it’s good to play in bands that you like, its great– I’ve been very fortunate on that. But I’ve been home for a bit, haven’t been working or touring for some time, a few months now. So I’m getting ready to get back going and start back up with this new tour. I guess theres some sense of freedom to that and it’s a lot of fun to collaborate with some of my favorite musicians. Fortunately I’ve been able to play with a lot of really cool bands. So yah there’s a sense of freedom but at the same time theres a lot of free time-you’d think that there’d be every minute would be taken up, but everybody’s got their lives as they get older, lives that they’re tending to.  You know when you live at mom’s house you have that all for one, one for all band thing going when you’re a kid, and lots of my friends are parents now, like Mark (Lewis from Doors to Knowhere). It makes things a little more difficult to go down and jam on a nightly basis, plus I’ve got my band in the Desert and now I’m in LA.

Oliveri and BL'AST

Oliveri and BL’AST

 On the topic of BL’AST…how did you hook up with those guys?  Cliffords a great friend of mine, and growing up surfing and skating in Santa Cruz, that band is engrained in my musical DNA. 

I’d known Clifford for a long time and he’s come to see some of the first Queens shows that were in Santa Cruz, and I’m sure he was at some of the Kyuss stuff too.  Anyways, he was at the Catalyst and we (Mondo Generator) played on a tour with Wino and The Saviors and it was the last night of our tour. He asked me and my drummer Hoss if we would do this BL’AST thing they were doing, the remix of Blood. They were at Dave Grohls place and he was remixing it. He asked if I would do it and I said, “yeah sure, I’d love to do it” and same with Hoss, he was down with it too. So we did that for awhile and it was great, had a lot of fun. Now we have Joey Castillo and it’s even better, you know. I mean, nothing against Hoss, Hoss is a great drummer, but I think Joey comes from that hardcore school of drumming and he really just fit the bill better—he plays his ass off and I think he understands the music more, he understands BL’AST more. That’s pretty much all it comes down to. Hoss grew up up with some Skynard, which is great, but Joey was in some really hard core bands so it makes sense to him—he’s seen blast in the old days and Hoss was like, “BL’AST Who?” So that was the difference.

Nick's down with the Murderers.  Oh yeah, Gi Gi too

Nick’s down with the Murderers. Oh yeah, Gi Gi too

What do you think about the current crop of bands in Santa Cruz?  Obviously you are fans of Doors to Nowhere and B’Last, but what do you think about other cats like The Highway Murderers?

Of course I’m fans of Doors to Nowhere and BL’AST. Yeah, the Highway Murderers. Those guys are great. They are a fantastic band. I played with them last time I played at the Catalyst and it was rad, totally, totally rad. Those are the bands I like from Santa Cruz, but I’m sure that there are some others that will come to mind after this interview (laughs).


What are some of your best and worst experiences in Santa Cruz?
Everything’s been good there, for the most part. Anytime we’ve had a bad time, good people such as the Lewis’s household, they always took care of us up there. Having the BL’AST guys from up there has been good, places to stay and shit like that, so that’s cool. I don’t know about any seriously bad experiences up there. So far so good.
.Everyone is super psyched about your show on March 27th…what is it about Doors to Nowhere and You Know Who that inspired you to tour with those guys?

What inspired me to go on tour with You Know Who, is that they kick ass. It’s also Mike Pygmie’s band who also plays in The Uncontrollable and Mondo Generator as well, and he’s a fucking ripping guitar player, and he writes some cool stuff. Doors to Nowhere, they’re my friends and they kick major ass, just a group of great guys. That’s why I was inspired to do it- my friend Mark (Lewis of Doors to Nowhere) called me up and said, “Hey, you wanna do this tour, and these shows?” I was like, “I dunno if I can” cause I had some overlapping stuff going on with the Dwarves, but that fell through till April so it just so happened I had the time off and the time to rock with the Uncontrollable and my friends. So Mark set it up. It’s his fault that we are going to have a good time. So I’m really looking forward to seeing all those guys. Sorry my interview is so jumbled…I’m pretty thrashed.  Thanks, see you at the show!

Stoner rock show

Andre Giorenelli…Um Brasileiro Muito Bom (A very nice Brazilian)



With Gabriel Medina’s dominant World Title campaign last year, and the strong performances of his countrymen in the opening event of the World Surf League earlier this month at Snapper Rocks, it’s clear that the Brazilian Storm has arrived, and boy is it strong.  In the past, Brazilians have gotten a bad rap, but every one I’ve come to know personally have been solid cats.  The perfect example is my good friend Andre Giorenelli.  Andre moved to Santa Cruz a number of years ago and earned respect and friendships with his positivity and kindness.  Not only is he a great surfer, he’s an excellent representative of his Nation and exemplifies this in his role as Portuguese webcast announcer for the WSL.  I recently chatted with Andre about his life and work, and about how he’s adjusted to being an outsider in a very localized town.  Listen well, this man has a great deal of wisdom…

Setting up for the tube-photo: Nick Borelli

Setting up for the tube-photo: Nick Borelli

Where were you born?

Rio  De Janeiro Brasil


Power Play

Power Play

At what age did you start surfing and at what beach? 

At 9 years old at Postinho, Barra Da Tijuca


How were the waves in your local area?

Sand bar with fast barreling waves and two slabs on the outside. When it’s over 5ft the waves connects to the inside where the is a big barrel, and on the south swell the rights are very fast and on the east swell the lefts are pretty sick, shallow, fast and hollow.

Doin thangz in Brazil

Doin thangz in Brazil

I know you did some surfing professionally in Brasil. Describe to me the atmosphere around surfing competitively in Brasil. I’ve heard that it’s very hard to make a name for yourself over there?

Yes, I competed for many years and I was top 30 in Brasil and runner up in 2004. I also did some WQS events and my best result was a second place in Panama. Competing in Brasil is very different. You have to constantly fight in and outside the water– there was no priority in my day and no man on man heats. It was literally a war. Here in America is a little different most of the time. I did have some very heated heats– at one occasion a guy splashed water right in my face while I was trying to catch a wave. I understand this is part of the game, we’re not competing to lose, and sometimes the blood boils in the water. It’s nothing personal. After this incident we even apologized to one another and everything was fine. Another fact the is very different is that that in Brasil you need contest results to get a sponsorship and here you can get a sponsorship based on photos and videos. There is a lot of talent in Brasil that are unsponsored for that reason. Not everyone can win a contest but that doesn’t mean they are not good surfers.

What made you decide to move to the United States?

I lost my sponsorships and I was 30 years olden I knew it was going to be very hard from that moment on to get a new one. At the same time my wife Daniella got pregnant with my first son Zack. I have already visited Santa Cruz and I really liked the waves and the town, so in 2006 I decided to move.

Andre--loving the Santa Cruz surf

Andre–loving the Santa Cruz surf

Were you surprised at the difference in the lineup compared to Brasil? Or were things very similar?

Of course. In Brasil it could get really ugly if you don’t respect the rules in the water. I have seen many fights in and out of the water. And in most of the spots are full of Jiu-Jitsu fighters, but for my luck I have always trained Jiu-Jitsu and knew most of them. In Santa Cruz there are spots that the locals are more protective of, and some other spots not so much– just like everywhere else in the world.

He's got game. Photo-Fabio Minduin

He’s got game. Photo-Fabio Minduin

Santa Cruz surfers are very protective of their spots and territorial. Was this a difficult thing for you to navigate as you began surfing here? How did you break through to earn the respect of the locals?

I think Santa Cruz for being a small town there are people with a protective attitude of their spot, but at the same time there are a lot of surfers that if you respect them they will respect you back regardless of you being a local or not. I think I earned the respect little by little and also knowing how to surf helped me out. But just knowing how to surf is not enough you also need to be respectful. In the beginning it was really hard because I was competing against the best surfers in town and the reputation of Brazilian surfers are not the best. But I think with respect and dignity I conquered my space. I don’t consider myself a local but I think people respect me enough so I can surf in peace.

On duty in Hawaii

On duty in Hawaii

So now you are working as a Portuguese web caster for the WSL. How did you get this job, and how has it been so far?

Yes! This will be my 6th year, I’ve always had a good relationship with all the people involved in the surf industry in Brasil. When I used to compete I always used to go to the web cast booth to talk about the surfers and the contest and with that I got the opportunity to work at the Hurley Pro 2010.

slotted. photo-alexander Genari

slotted. photo-alexander Genari

Is it pretty unreal to get to interview some of the best surfers in the world?

Of course! It’s a pleasure and an honor.

Andre and Slater

Andre and Slater

Any memorable interviews and/or free surfs with WSL competitors?

It was cool to have Kelly Slater a couple times with us and the free surfs are insane!

Andre, Gabby, and the Brazilian Storm

Andre, Gabby, and the Brazilian Storm

Now Brasil finally has a world champ. How well do you know Gabby?

Finally! Yes I know Gabriel and his family. They are great people.

His surfing last year was flawless. Some accuse him of having too much focus, and not connecting with his fellow world tour surfers on a personal level. Do you pick up that vibe from him, or if that just he he feels he needs to do to win, in other words, he’s not there to make friends?

I think if you want to be #1 you have to be a little bit egocentric. It’s easy to judge but he had to sacrifice a lot of things to get to be the world champion. If he wasn’t focused I don’t think he would support so much pressure for a 20 year old. Let’s be honest, it’s not that he doesn’t like his fellow competitors, it’s because he’s there to win. Kelly, Andy and Mick did the same. Gabriel has a great relationship with all the competitors.

Andre, an Awesome ambassador of stoke for Brasil

Andre, an Awesome ambassador of stoke for Brasil

You must be very proud of the rising Brazilian contingent coming up as of late. With their performance and styles matching there other counterparts, Why do you feel like the internet message boards are full of anti Brasil sentiment, which a lot of the times boarders on out right xenophobia and racism?

To be honest, we’ve already had plenty of good surfers in the past, but this new generation is the best one so far I’d say, without disrespecting any other generation. But the fact is the majority of surfers from generations past didn’t speak english and that created a big cultural barrier and this new generation most of them speak english so they can express themselves more politely in and out of the water. About xenophobia and racism unfortunately this happens in every culture, in surfing was dominated by Americans and Australians for a long time. So there is some prejudice against Brazilian surfers because there are many of them coming up at the same time. But I think with time this will change independently of your nationality.

Did you know Ricardo Dos Santos? How has his death affected the Brazilian surfing community?

Yes I knew him since he was a kid. He was a great guy and a really good friend. I
 think it had a very negative impact but unfortunately this happens daily in Brasil.

Family Man

Family Man

Besides your web casting job how do you speak your time when you are not surfing?

My life is not only surf… I love to be in contact with nature, hanging out with my friends and family. For me friends and family are the most important things!


A Young Man and the Sea…FJ Anderson









Previously featured in Santa Cruz Waves magazine

The Santa Cruz coastline is at times an oily canvas of seaside serenity without a cloud in sight. At others, it’s a violent maelstrom of colors, both bright and brooding—an evolving pallet of textures you can almost taste. These are the visions that artist FJ Anderson lives for and strives to recreate with his hyper realistic, ocean-centric artwork.


Anderson, a humble 29 year old, grew up in a picturesque A-Frame home overlooking Sunny Cove. From his bedroom window, Anderson awoke every morning to postcard views of the Pacific Ocean and the gorgeous cliffs that line Santa Cruz’s Eastside. Living a stone’s throw from this natural splendor, Anderson developed an early appreciation of the beauty of the temperamental sea. After some encouragement and art supplies courtesy of his grandmother, a talented painter in her own right, Anderson began his love affair with creating art, a passion that was intrinsically tied to his love for the ocean.


“I feel extremely fortunate to have grown up by the ocean,” reflects Anderson. “As a kid, it’s great because there’s always something to do—surfing, fishing, tromping around in the tide pools or just hanging out at the beach. As an artist, it’s a blessing to be privy to the ever-changing conditions of the coast. For example, lighting is a huge part of my work, and it’s always different and in flux, depending on the time of year, time of day, and weather conditions.”


Anderson began to hone his artistic talents in Mark Marengo’s art classes at Shoreline Middle School, and continued his tutelage under Michael Emery at Soquel High. At this point, Anderson was beginning to move from realistic portraits and illustrations into his obsession with painting waves and ocean scenes. In the meantime, he furthered his repertoire by earning a degree in Scientific Illustration from UC Santa Cruz in 2007.


It was from this point forward that Anderson began to focus his creative crosshairs on painting the sea and skies above them. Other than the occasional coastal landscape piece (such as his Black’s Point series, which depicts the iconic point at three different times of day, presented with painstaking photo realism), Anderson jumped head first into a concerted effort to produce series of sky and ocean paintings.

“I basically have two different, ongoing oil series—one of the skies, and one of seas,” he explains. “The ocean ones are more first-person perspectives, from inside the water, whereas the sky series are pulled back images from the shoreline.”


It’s fair to say that the results are mind blowing. At first glance, it seems as though you are looking at a photo—his attention to detail and presentation are that convincing. The closer you inspect the image, the more you can discern that it’s actually artwork, and that revelation borders on startling.


His wave paintings take you up close and personal with pitching lips, undulating swells, and deep inside the barrel, with reflections of light and water droplets furthering this sense of actually being there. His cloud pieces are equally impressive, elegantly encompassing the emotions of nebulous formations—from the wispy, swirling haze to the thick and twisted storm cloud.

“Clouds and waves are essentially just energy moving through water, so I try to capture that moment in time, but also try to show the energy and movement through my painting,” he says.


Anderson uses all mediums, but has recently been painting primarily with oils, which he says are ideal for his preferred subject matter. In order to achieve his desired effects, he opts to work in multiple thin layers, or “glazes.” The oils allow him to stack many layers of paint on top of one another. He also utilizes gouache, a thicker, opaque water color that provides additional versatility, as he can use it either thick like acrylic, or watered down like a water color. This proves effective when working on smaller, more detailed illustration.

All of Anderson’s images are based on photographs that he personally captured with his camera. Some of the factors he considers when choosing which photos to paint include interesting color combinations, the amount of movement, composition of the overall painting, and how well it fits within a series.


“Instead of a picture, it becomes an experience, and the finished product brings me back [to when I took it],” says Anderson.

People are catching on to Anderson’s personal portrayals of our beloved coastline, There is something about the ocean and the sky, and especially the combination of the two, that is incredibly visually arresting, and Anderson’s skill in capturing this essence is gaining a reputation as nothing short of remarkable.


Whatever his craft may lead him in the future, this young ocean lover is content with creatively expressing his gratitude for living in an area with such natural beauty.

“Almost every day I find myself staring deeply into the ocean and clouds and getting lost in the movement and majesty,” he says. “It’s a great feeling.”

The Legend himself, Fruit Juice!!

The Legend himself, Fruit Juice!!


 Brief description of the show–  Its at Sawyer Land and Sea Supply on westside Santa Cruz. It will be up through March. I have about 25 oil paintings that range from really detailed and clean to more abstract and loose. All different sizes and shapes
 What your featuring/ what makes them appealing-  I have a new series I’m working on, continuing the ocean theme but a bit more abstract.  In these I’m trying to simplify the colors of the ocean during different lighting conditions. I took the reference photos with a longer shutter speed so they have a softer dreamlike feeling.
 One piece in particular–  One piece I’ve had a good response with is called “The Point”. Its a view of pleasure point looking towards the shore from the ocean during a sunset.  I’ve been doing some commission work painting peoples costal homes and I thought this one shows a cool perspective that people wouldn’t see unless they were on the ocean. It seems to really appeal to people who fish, surf, sail or paddle and see this view often. Its really detailed so you can see all the houses along the point as well.

Visit for further examples of his artwork.



Mike Pygmie is one talented dude. He’s a guitar player for Mondo Generator, guitar and vocalist in You Know Who, and did a stint drumming for Waxy. Ex-bands and projects include: Invitro, the Whizards, Melodious Pygmies, Brant Bjork and the Operators/Bros, the Agents and the Pedestrians. It’s clear that Pygmie doesn’t have a hard time adapting to new projects, and he brings decades of talent to everything he chooses to involve himself in. On March 27th, at the Catalyst, he’ll be doing double duty, performing with both You Know Who, and Uncontrollable with Nick Oliveri. Split Peak Soup recently caught up with the shredding guitarist to pick his brain.



How long have you been playing guitar?

I wanted to play music as long as I can remember. when I turned 13 I got my first descent guitar and started taking lessons and that same year I started a band. What did you start out playing, and who were your early influences? I started out with a fender strat, Hendrix was my biggest early influence.

                                          This place has bred some fantastic musicians

How influential was the desert scene to your music?

When I was a freshman in High School Mario lalli opened up an all ages club right down the street from my house and everyone used to play there. It was a really big deal to me and shaped not only how I play music, but also who I am as a person.

How do you think it shaped the type of musician you are?

It’s a tight-knit musical community. Not saying that everyone always gets along, but definitely a lot of life long friends that are into the same kind of sound. We are constantly challenging each other to be better musicians.

A man and his Axe

A man and his Axe

What kind of gear do you use? Do you have a trusty, go-to axe of choice?

I play a Marshall super lead 100 watt head and my guitar is a Gibson sg with a bigsby.

You Know Who?

You Know Who?

You are currently wrapping up a full length album with You Know Who…  Can you tell us a little bit about the album, and what we can expect to hear when it drops?

We’re mixing it right now it will be done real soon. I’m very proud of how it’s turning out. We did it at Dead End studios in palm desert. Brad Garrow is producing it. It will be released this Summer on Vinyl by Self Destructo records.

John Garcia, of Kyuss fame.  Not a bad cat to collaborate with

John Garcia, of Kyuss fame. Not a bad cat to collaborate with

Word is that John Garcia is going to make an appearance on the record.  Man, that guy’s got some pipes.  How long have you known John and how was it collaborating with him?

John is singing with me on a song, Sean Wheeler is on one and Nick Oliveri sings on two of them. It’s a big deal to us that our bros back us and want to be a part of it and it was a pleasure working with all those guys. I’ve known John for many years but last year I started playing bass for his solo band so we’ve gotten much closer. Same thing with Nick. I’ve been playing guitar for Mondo Generator and now Nick Oliveri’s Uncontrollable and he’s like family. I have a lot of respect for all those guys.


Have you played shows in Santa Cruz before?

Yes, I’ve played there a couple of times with Mondo Generator. Also with my old bands the Whizards and Invitro. Always a great time.

Aptos Club, RIP. Legendary joint

Aptos Club, RIP. Legendary joint

Any favorite “touristy” attractions you’ve enjoyed in your downtime there?

The first time I played in Santa Cruz was back when I played guitar for Brant Bjork and we played the Aptos club. That was a super cool spot.

On March 27th, you’ll be doing double duty, playing with You Know Who and Uncontrollable.  How do you find the stamina and drive to put on a good performance when you’re up there for so long?

Time flies when your performing and having fun. To be honest I think it goes by too quick, and wish I could play longer.


Mr. Pygmie

Finally, are there any new bands out that are getting you amped and inspired?

I’m looking forward to seeing Doors To Nowhere again. They aren’t new, but Trash Talk, Baroness, Dillinger Escape Plan and Graveyard are in rotation a lot lately along with Mahuvishnu Orchestra and Captain Beyond– which is not new at all but still refreshing.


Come On and Take a Free RIde

Come On and Take a Free Ride

 When I first met Noah “Waggy” Wegrich, he was a tiny little tadpole with a bald head ruling the inside bowl at Manresa.  Nowadays, he’s sporting a magnificent mane and is turning heads with his stylish and progressive surfing.  He’s super fun to surf with and is humble and respectful to boot.  His energy and humor is infectious, so I decided to divulge a recent discussion we had….

Hurry up and come in from getting tubed Noah...

Hurry up and come in from getting tubed Noah…

What makes Waggy wag his tail?
Ice cream, girls and tubes
I can see it now

I can see it now

If you were to star alongside one actor in a movie who would it be, what kind of movie, and how would it end?
It would be Will Farrell and it would end with us being best buddies and building a tree fort and getting crossbows and Hustler magazines!
Would you rather do three kickflips on one wave or 10 chop hops?
Three kickflips FOSHO everyone can do chop hops nobody can do a kickflip though….
Locks of Love

Locks of Love

Your mane is rather luxurious. I bet all the chicks dig it. Any hair care tips or favorite products?
Hahahaha I don’t know if chicks like it…. I hope they do (laughs). Most people think my hair is a wig and ask to touch it. It’s kind of weird
I'm waiting for you Noah...

I’m waiting for you Noah…

 If you had a gun to your head which would you choose….go left at Mav’s on a 35 footer or go left into the cliff at the Slot at the Lane on a 4 footer?
Left at Mavericks for sure! Better chance of getting tubed!
The resemblance is uncanny

The resemblance is uncanny

Beavis or Butthead.  And why?
This ones difficult (sigh)…I’ve always liked Butthead more– but I have blonde curly hair so I’m kind of automatically Beavis, I also get really excited about things like Beavis does hahaha so I guess my hair and attitude are Beavis– but my heart is all Butthead!


Everyone’s got a secret talent.  I can wiggle my ears and talk like Pee Wee Herman and Kermit the Frog.  What’s yours?
My secret talents….. Awwww I’m not sure I have any maybe kissing heard I’m a good kisser (laughs)
Waggy get's me amped, personally photo-Joe Foster

Waggy get’s me amped, personally photo-Joe Foster

Who’s your favorite person to watch surf in person and why?
Ohhhh this ones tough Id probably say anyone who’s going for it! Like if your going fast and doing anything radical it’s going to get me fired up to try something crazy. Ya dig?
Waggy, weightless

Waggy, weightless

If you could name your style of surfing what would it be?  Mine’s Brokeback Bucking Bronco.
Hahahaha that’s a intense name, but solid. My style’s name would be Butterfly Euphoria.


Big Pete

Big Pete

I’ve known Peter Mel since I was twelve years old, when I was rinsing the piss out of the wetsuits that Freeline Design (a surf shop on Santa Cruz’s Eastside owned by the Mel family) rented out to tourists and beginning surfers.  Not only was this my first job, it was my first sponsor, and the Mel family did a lot for me over the years, from shaping me surfboards, to paying for contests and chipping in for trips to Hawaii.  Of course big Pete has always appeared larger than life, and with his yearly accomplishments at places like Maverick’s, I was always nervous talking to him as a grom– he was on his way to legend status.  As we get older of course, our idols become more human and approachable.  I’ve always loved chatting with Pete on everything surf related, and I recently pinned him down outside Freeline Design to chat about his role on the new World Surf League’s commentary team.

Big Pete close to home

Big Pete close to home

I wanna get some thoughts from you on this new career you’ve made for yourself.  Briefly tell me how you stepped into the fray as a webcast announcer?

It originally started, in the very first few events that were ever broadcasted.  I’m trying to think what the very first event was, but anyways, the opportunity came from a guy named Jay Johnson, who was with “Surfing Live”.  He gave me that first gig.  You know, you’re doing the first live webcast for a pro event in California, the first webcasts to be broadcasted ever actually, so it’s all very new territory.  So I had my chance, someone gave me an opportunity to sit, and that was the start of that. Then, through my affiliation with Quiksilver, more gigs came my way.  I was doing webcasts throughout those early days, stuff like NSSA’s, Surfing America comps, and other little pro events.

I basically went to the big leagues with the Quiksilver Pro’s, which was the Gold Coast and France.  Quiksilver produced them and hired me.  So I finally made the ‘CT (laughs).  I started interviewing all those guys and getting familiar with all the characters. So it started locally, and grew internationally, more or less.  All of that work translated when the new WSL took over producing all of the events.  Last year, I was picked to be a part of the roster of a team who’d travel with the tour throughout the year.

Was there any type of interview process involved in getting the job?  Were you vying with other guys to get the spot, or how did that all come about?

There were basically try-outs, more or less…I mean there were times when we’d come into work, and he gave us try-outs.  Literally, we all went in and did our thing, did some staged Pipe announcing, and tried to impress the group that was making the choices.  So yeah, try-outs, but you could really call them auditions…yes there were auditions (laughs).

No guts, no glory.  Pete in his element

No guts, no glory. Pete in his element

You’re a very thoughtful and articulate speaker, especially in interviews and stuff like that.  Did you find that there was a bit of a learning curve—being live and having that pressure of maybe even thinking about what you’re saying, while you’re saying it?  Did your act become more polished with time?

Yeah, practice makes perfect with anything right?  Ultimately, my goal has always been to educate everyone, whether it be the newcomer, who’s never watching surfing before, or the guy that’s been watching every single webcast since their inception.  I’ve been able to try to educate them and so you have to talk in ways that allow people who have absolutely no clue to learn something, as well as someone who, like I said, is a thirty year surfing veteran.  So it can be hard to straddle that fence, ya know?

At work-your humbe roving reporter

At work-your humbe roving reporter

Ultimately, I’m just being myself, and I think I learned that skill working in the surf shop (laughs).  That’s just what it is, ‘cause here at Freeline Design, I’ve had to talk to customers and educate customers who have no clue, as well as guys who have been surfing their entire lives—to be able to communicate with all of them and that has always been my goal.  So it’s definitely prepared me for this new line of work.  The live part, you know, at times, yeah I my have been a little nervous and bobbled a few times, but like I said before, practice makes perfect.  I’ve just kept at it, and now it just comes more naturally. I perform better when it’s live, rather than knowing that I can take a few takes (laughs)!

Board Talk

Board Talk

I really dig the board talk you do during the events.  You’ve really grown into that role and I like that the powers that be have given you that opportunity, as you and your father both shape surfboards. Is that part of the job special to you?

Well, it’s comfortable.  It’s what I know.  I feel like I can bring that knowledge to the general public.  Surfboard design is always changing, so there’s always something new to talk about.  The competition side, generally speaking, it’s a slow change there.  Whereas design, I think, everyone is always looking for a little extra something out of their racecar.  I’m trying to find that little extra something and show it to the public.

The historic JJF/Slater heat

The historic JJF/Slater heat

Right, and I think a lot of people dig it.  So, switching gears a little here, what has been the highlight of your tenure as a member of the commentary team thus far?  Was it sitting in the channel for that legendary John John Florence vs. Slater heat out at Chopes?

Yeah, for sure.  The ability to be sitting in the water with those guys was pretty magical.  With that event, a lot of things happened—first of all it was the first time I’d gotten on a surfboard with a camera in the water.  All of the other times I reported from the water I’d be sitting on the sled of a jet ski.  That was the first time the audience literally got a front row ticket straight into the channel.  And, obviously, it worked out well–being in Tahiti, with the waves being as gigantic and perfect as they were with this blue, beautiful water—nothing could have topped it.  It was just the most perfect scenario, and for everything to come together like that was a trip.

For that historic John John and Kelly heat, all the stars aligned, so yes, that was the highlight.  The funny thing is, it just happened, it really did.  It wasn’t something that was forced, and that’s how I’d like it to be every time.  It’s like a life principle—you enjoy what you are doing and enjoyable things happen around you.  Ultimately, that’s the goal, and everything seemed to click that day.  When you start trying to force stuff, it doesn’t work out and when you don’t put your best foot forward, it doesn’t work either.  You have to just know what you know, do what you do, and enjoy it.  I’ve got the best part, for me at least.  I don’t have to have to be in the booth all the time, where you are more opt to say the same things over and over again.  I kinda sit in a really neat position.  I just get to bring you little blips of happiness, I’m not sitting in the booth for an hour and a half straight.  I have done that, and I think I still could, but for right now the position that I’ve been put in…you know I get to do beach interviews to bring you little tid bits.

You’re on “the “beat” more or less.

Yup, I’m on “the beat”—roving reporter (laughs).

Finally, the Quiksilver Pro is coming up.  I’m excited to see Dane Reynolds as a wildcard.  Who are you most looking forward to see really push the envelope this year?  Who are you most excited to watch?

Well, we’re always excited to see what Dane brings to the table…I mean I know that is one things I know for sure I’ll be excited about.  There’s a couple new kids on the block this year.  You’ve got Keanu Asing and guys like that.  I’ve always liked seeing the new additions, and we’ve got several of them this year, which is rare.  The last couple of years we’ve had only one or two new additions, and now we’ve got five.  So with that, you’re going to see a whole new crop of these kids bringing fresh looks to Snapper Rocks, and I love seeing that.  They’re going to be up against hard seeds so the veterans are going to have to change up their game too. That’s why I always love this first event at Snapper, which is a very high performance wave.  The sandbar is really good right now, so were not worried about the sand being lame.  I’m just hoping we get some good swell!


logoPatrick Eichstaedt, aka “Tupat”, is an accomplished videographer and photographer, having worked for …Lost on countless projects over the past two decades.  His hilarious cameos on flicks such as “The Decline” and “5’5”, 19”and ¼” “are the stuff of legend.  Nowadays, senor Tupat is still shooting photos, but has set his sights on the culinary world, with his Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce.  I recently caught up with the Floridian to get the lowdown on his new gig.

Tupat and Uncle Mike Ho

Tupat and Uncle Mike Ho

Most of the world knows you from your appearances and efforts in filming …Lost movies such as The Decline…  what have you been up to since your stint as a filmer for …Lost?  How long were you filming them for?  Is filming and photography still a passion you’d like to pursue?  Who are your favorite surfers to shoot?

Since the pre marriage days and younger years with Lost I have always continued to shoot both video and photography when the waves are up or my select travels. I started filming for Lost in 95, but actually we were filming stuff that Mike Reola ended up using after we met in Waikiki in 94 or 95, that’s a longtime ago to remember exactly. I still am very passionate about my filming and photography. I have my own wedding business, we offer Cinematography and Photography. I also shoot a bunch of other cool things as well. My favorite surfers to shoot are my son Ethan, Hopper, Gorkin, Noah Beschen and all the kids at Shea Lopez’s surf camp, it’s six weeks of pure stoke!

In simple terms, what is a “grueler”?   Who are your favorite grueler’s and why?

A grueler is someone that will do what is needed to make things happen with respect and honor to others. All the while having a stoked and blessed life doing what you love and loving what you do!

Some of my favorite gruelers are my brother Hopper, Mason Ho and CheeseBurger, Gorkin, Ryan Simmons, Casey Collins among others that are all over the world finding their path and trying to make a difference.


You’ve released your own Poke Sauce, called Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce?  Where’d you get the inspiration?  I know fishing is huge in Florida where you hail from, but did spending long stints in Hawaii influence your new passion?

Yeah I’m really excited about my sauce endeavor, it’s all started to fit nicely as of late. I’ve always been a foodie since I was a grom. My mom was a flight attendant so we were well cultured with food growing up and always trying different sauces with dinners and such. Once I started to go to Hawaii around 16 my taste buds for their cuisine gave me a whole new flavor. It was later years that I would come home from Hawaii and make Sashimi and Poke for family and friends. This would propel my early thoughts to one day bottle my own flavors. On July 9, 2014 the first Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce bottle came off the line in Winter Springs Florida. Our growth currently is expanding and all of our customers are so involved with their creations. It’s truly a unique sauce that can bring people together and enjoy a fun filled lifestyle.

Like Try?

Like Try?

What makes a good Poke Sauce?  How long did you experiment with flavor combinations until you found that right taste?

In my opinion a good Poke sauce is one that all elements agree with your palate. I had been experimenting with these combination of flavors since I was young, and then changed things numerous times because I would find other ingredients that would fit. Our current sauce took 13 months of R&D to perfect the flavors we were trying to achieve.



What would you suggest using your Hawaiian Poke Sauce on?

Our sauce has been tested and proven on many items and is currently in print on 11 different menus and a restaurant chain with 6 stores. The flavors are great on Sushi, Tuna, Seafood, Meats, Chicken, Pork, Poultry, Vegetables, Dips and Sauce mixtures. It’s very gratifying to see the hard work paying off with happy customers.

Any big plans for expansion, or are you happy with your current creation?

That’s a great question, yes we are going to expand with other flavors and also hope to brand others that would be interested. The possibilities are endless.

Tupat's support team

Tupat’s support team

You’ve always been known for always keeping it real.  What is your thoughts about the current state of professional surfing, and surfing culture in general?

The “Surf Industry” – To get right to the point, It’s Cut-Throat. Bottom line is the “Big Fish” eat good and the minnows barely survive. But besides all that stuff, surfing will always be from the soul and for the soul with a ton of stoke in between. My favorite surfers right now are Noah Beschen, Mason Ho and Kelly still keeps me glued to the screen. JJF is in another league that will evolve as Slater did–that will give all us fans something to look forward to. As for the surfing culture, that is growing rapidly.  All types of humanity are embracing this awesome thing called surfing.

Where can we find Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce?

Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce is in many locations in New Smyrna Beach, Central Florida, Naples and Melbourne Beach. We are currently finalizing broker deals and gaining traction each day with social media, print ads and word of mouth. It’s just a matter of time before the sauce goes completely global. We have our Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce name on 11 menus currently. This is a really cool marketing tool for us and we could not be any happier.

Tupat flaring

Tupat flaring

Any shout outs?

I would like to shout out to my wife Yoseline and son Ethan for putting up with me and all the support, I love you guys! I would also like to thank my parents for always supporting Hopper and I. Thanks to my business partner Trey Peterson and his family for friendship and support. All of the Tupat’s Hawaiian Poke Sauce family and friends, Many Thank you’s! Thank you to all of my Hawaiian friends! I would like to thank the Lopez and Beschen family for their genuine friendship. All of our business owners that believe in our product, Thank you! Here’s to a Flavorful future! Thanks to ALL!



As promised, SPLIT PEAK SOUP will be bringing you front and center into the minds of three band members who will be playing a hard rocking show, March 27th at the Catalyst.  In this installment we chat with the prolific guitarist/vocalist, Marc Lewis, of Doors To Nowhere.  Here’s an excerpt of our conversation regarding his inspiration and motivation to create the music he loves.

Tell me a little bit about the formation of Doors to No Where.  I know you’ve played in several bands, what led you to focus on this current project?

    I was looking to do something new, I had done Live Wire for so long that I was ready for a change. With Live Wire, there was so many lineup changes making it not feel like a band anymore. My favorite part about being in a band is that time you have with your bro’s in the jam room. It’s therapy and such a good outlet.  When I was in The Fire Sermon we reached a level in our live performances that were so powerful and moving. When we stopped playing and Live Wire ended I was a bit lost and not in the greatest place in my own life.  When I was looking to start D2N I wanted to find like minded people that just wanted to play music. I didn’t want to get involved with anything fake or with the goal of being a rock star.  I reached out to Sean (bass) and we just started jamming. It was just a natural and easy process. Once Pete joined us on drums and we started writing Lucky You I feel D2N really kicked into gear.  I started to get indescribable feeling music gives you. I started to feel that power and energy in our live shows that I had with The Fire Sermon and Live Wire. I was hooked again! Music does that to you.

 If you had to describe D2N’s style of music how would you put your sound into words?

 That’s is such a hard question. I have so many influences musically, it’s hard to nail it down.  I would hope that D2N has their own style and sound.

  How influential has the desert/stoner rock genre been on your own musical development?

Enormous. So many bands I listen to can be traced back to that genre. They either influenced desert rock or were influenced by desert rock. The four Kyuss albums are such a big influence on me even wanting to play music those albums are staples of my childhood. All the of shoots from that genre have also made a large impact. Just think about all the amazing bands that can be traced back to the desert scene in some way. That sound and style will never get old to me.

A young man and his Axe

A young man and his Axe

  When you sing, I can sense a great deal of emotion behind your words.  Are you the songwriter?  Or does the band collaborate as a whole?  Describe how you approach writing lyrics to a song, and how they reflect your personal experiences?

The songs I sing are all my lyrics. Sean who plays bass also sings and he writes his own lyrics.  My lyrics definitely reflect my personal experiences.  I always try to have a hidden meaning to my songs. I don’t wanna be too obvious but I usually have a point or a story I want to tell and if you have been in a similar situation you can definitely relate. I try not to be some prolific poet or preachy and just sing what I want and feel.

On the album Lucky You I touched a lot on the struggles that one could face and individuals that abuse power.  The song Set Me Free was about someone who was made to feel worthless and weak unless they devote their whole life to a leader .  The song Lucky You is about someone saying you can have it all as long as you you’re under my control and give up your free will.

Can you pick a song from Lucky You (maybe your favorite) and describe how it came together (from the riffs to the songwriting and lyrics and the gelling of the other musicians in the band) and what it feels like when all these elements come together?

I really dig the song Bones. I think Pete’s drumming really gives it such a unique and driving feeling that accompanies the main riff. Lyrically it is one of my favorite songs on the album. It’s about being your own worst enemy and letting negativity break you down. It’s so easy to let life’s bad breaks destroy you. It’s easier to be a victim of circumstances rather than own up to them and accept responsibility for your own actions. The chorus is a reminder that everyone has dark days. I know I have had my share, but these day’s really make the good in my life even better. The love I have for my family, friends and the good I have just becomes stronger and more appreciated.

  What’s it like playing shows with musicians you’ve looked up to like Clifford from Bl’ast and Nick Oliveri from Kyuss and Queens? Is it a surreal feeling, and does it make them feel more human when you are actually collaborating with them?

To me music is a surreal thing always. You can listen to a song and be transferred right back in time to the first time you heard it. Music can take you places for sure. When I listen to Blues For The Red Sun by Kyuss I can close my eyes and see myself right back in my dads car on the way to the beach. Playing with Nick is definitely a rad thing. I’m a huge fan of his music and we have become friends. I find that the musicians I have played with or met like Clifford and Nick that are doing this music thing because they have to or their life won’t be complete. Thats what I really respect because thats how I am.  Over the years I have played shows with so many bands that are all about being rock stars. Everything is so formulated and over processed all way down to the clothes they wear.  I don’t like to play shows with that vibe. Playing with bands like Mondo Generator, Bl’ast and You Know Who is what I want to be doing. We are friends and no ego’s are involved. Music is such a powerful communicator and source of inspiration. Nick, Mike and I could probably talk music all day and night.

Belting it out with passion

Belting it out with passion

What can we expect from this show on March 27th?  How do you think the lineup compliments each other and what sets them apart?

 You can expect to have a good time and see some kick ass rock n’ roll. It’s amazing that some one of Nick Oliveri’s caliber is playing a show for only $5 and at such a small venue. It’s gonna be a real intimate environment. We are pumped to bring this tour home to SC. All three bands are playing music for the love and passion of playing music. None of us are about gimmicks or playing for fame or money.  We are not gonna hide behind make up, tattoos or hair cuts. We just show up and give it our all to the songs we have written and rock out. All three bands play with energy and drive. All three bands are gonna bring big guitars and drums! Nick and the Uncontrollable are gonna bring that dangerous side of rock n roll. You Know Who is gonna deliver some incredible guitar playing. Mike Pygmie who plays Guitar for YKW shreds! As far as D2N, we are bringing new songs and heavy riffs. If you’re a fan of stoner rock or punk music you can’t miss this show. You’re gonna see three bands that are friends and ready to melt beards with Rock N Roll.

  What can we expect from D2N in the future.  Lucky You is an awesome combination of heavy riffs and heartfelt singing, can we expect more of the same?

We are gonna put out another record. We pretty much have most of it written already.  Like “Lucky You” you’re going to hear heavy riffs for sure. When I write songs I tend to do the lyrics last after I feel the vibe of the song. Sometimes Sean and Pete hear something different and put their touch on it and can really change the vibe. For instance one of the new songs I wrote at home top to bottom lyrics and all. When I brought it in to play with the guys Pete starts in with this slow driving beat. That was not what I was hearing, but it changed everything in an amazing. These new songs we have definitely have something to say and I can’t wait to start this new record.