Deadfellow Hosts Record Release Show this Friday at Milkboy: Why You Need to Be There

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Mescalifornia began as a challenge for Sammak to see if he could create an album inspired by a band he doesn’t like. 

It doesn’t take long listening to Mescalifornia to hear the strong Beach Boys influences found throughout, from the surf rock sounds to the harmonies to the strange background noises a la Pet Sounds. Surprisingly, Sammak is not a fan of the iconic California group. “I don’t like The Beach Boys at all, and everyone kept challenging me on it,” Sammak says. He then challenged himself to exclusively listen to the Beach Boys for 6 months, morning to night – and then write an album all inspired by a band he didn’t like.

In an uncanny full circle moment, on the last day of tracking the record he went to a diner nearby and was talking to his collaborator when a man approached them after hearing them discuss recording. “Are you musicians?” asks the man who just happens to be Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys. After talking to Johnston for over an hour, he invited Sammak to the Beach Boys’ soundcheck at the Keswick Theatre.

While he says he finally understands their “sonic palate,” he’s not exactly a Beach Boys convert. “I haven’t listened to them since [recording the album],” he shrugs.

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