Static and Surrender
Every once in a while, paths cross at just the right time, in the right place, and within the right circumstances. Such is the case for San Francisco alternative rockers, Static and Surrender—Jeff Campbell [lead vocals, guitar], Adam Schuman [guitar, vocals], and John Schuman [drums]. By 2016, brothers John and Adam had established themselves in popular Bay Area stalwarts such as The Trophy Fire, landing critical acclaim and gigging alongside everyone from Dredg to The Dear Hunter. Within that same scene, Jeff earned recognition by receiving national songwriting awards and played on Jimmy Kimmel Live, shared the stage with titans such as John Mayer, and fronted Pine and Battery, among other acts.
“I ran into Adam and his wife at a restaurant,” recalls Jeff. “We started talking about the static and stagnation we’d both been feeling about our careers, and how we’d both sort of surrendered to it. A day later, he sent me a bunch of demos. As soon as I heard them, it just felt right. It’s the brother dynamic that attracted me to Adam and John. They’ve been playing music together for two decades. They finish each other’s sentences, in life and on stage. At the same time, we grew up in similar households. When we met, it felt like we’d known each other forever. Everything fit. It was like we were meant to play together all along.”
They wasted no time. Within a few months, the boys entered a Berkeley studio with producer Jim Greer [The Rondo Brothers, Foster The People]. Elegantly fusing rock ‘n’ roll energy and alternative emotionality into tight songcraft, the trio forged a style of its own steeped in grunge palatability and modern indie panache.
“The writing is so collaborative,” explains John. “Everybody’s voice is heard.”
“We grew up in the nineties,” continues Jeff. “All of our influences really come together in what we do. For me, it’s about the mood and delivery. We want to share a feeling.”
That feeling caught the attention of Funzalo Records in early 2017. After one listen, the label signed the group. Now, the debut single “Fall on the Blade” introduces Static and Surrender. On the track, a propulsive groove entwines with a hyper-charged riff as Jeff’s voice immediately captivates via an unforgettable hook.
Paving the way for their upcoming full-length Static and Surrender, the follow-up single “If Only We Could Sleep” pairs a drowsy buzz with a blues-infused kick. Brought to life in a 360-degree VR music video, the song showcases the band’s depth and dynamics.
“Lyrically, I wrote that song when I was struggling with insomnia,” recalls the frontman. “It was around the time of the election, and there was a lot of negativity popping up. The climate brought out the worst in people. That negativity drives some of us so crazy we can’t sleep. The video reflects the nightmare.”
Rounded out by touring bassist Lauren Stockner (Cruel Youth, Meg Myers) Static and Surrender evoke that feeling whether they’re on stage or in the studio. It has the power to really resonate too.
“If a song stirs emotion in you, speaks to you, causes you to sing in the shower, or makes you want to have sex, we’ve done our job,” Jeff leaves off. “The music we like gets us through our days. We hope we can do the same for other people.”