On Thursday, surf documentary Grey Whale Sessions, featuring surfers Keith Malloy, Tyler Warre, Chris Christenson and Garrett "G. Love" Dutton is premiering at the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach.
The film follows the quartet and documents a five-day road trip to Baja, Mexico, where all they did was surf, drink good beer, play guitar around a campfire and go fishing (for Humboldt squid!). The Grey Whale is actually a grey Volvo station wagon that they used to go off the grid.
In a phone interview, G. Love, who wrote and recorded the film's original score, explained that while he grew up surfing the Jersey shore (he's originally from Philadelphia), he got involved in the film through his label, Brushfire Records. "It was a cool group of people, and the common ground was surfing. I got to play with great surfers and play some great songs."
G. Love wrote the soundtrack specifically for the film, and most of it was recorded while sitting on the beach or sitting around the campfire. He'd had an idea for some of the songs he was going to use in the film prior to the trip: "I imagined the vibe in Mexico, and what kind of tunes would be appealing on the beach, while the sun was hot. I wanted the grooves to be pretty laid back, and I wanted the songs to complement the footage of the surfers."
But when he got to Mexico, the tunes evolved. "I'd be sitting on the beach watching those guys surfing so well--especially Tyler and Keith--and tried to play along to them surfing and catch their vibe [for the song], and go along with that."
G. Love had gone on many surfing trips to Mexico in the past: "Whenever we'd have a show in Cali my homies and I would drive to Baja, buy blankets from a street vendor, fish from local fishermen and surf all day. We'd do that for a couple of days, mess around, get busted by the federalis and then come home. (Laughs). Whenever you go to Mexico you always need $20 in your pocket that you're willing to part with just in case, you know?"
Filming Grey Whale Sessions was different. however. The best part of it was never having to get out of the water. "Usually when you surf you always have to get out of the water--whether to go to work, or meet your girl or pick up your kid...there's a million different reasons, there's always something."