Surplus 1980 is a San Francisco Bay Area-based post-punk band founded in 2009 by former Sleepytime Gorilla Museum multi-instrumentalist Moe! Staiano.
As alluded to in its name, Surplus 1980's music takes cues from the angular bands of the 1980s such as Dog Faced Hermans and Diagram Brothers and fuses it with the heavy, fierce attack pioneered by The Ex and The Fall to create their own blend of modern no-wave angst. Combined with Staiano’s playful lyrics, Surplus 1980's music is a thick slab of out-jazz, with more than a dash of punk ferocity.
Staiano originally created Surplus 1980 as a studio-only collaboration, with the goal to further a musical journey begun with Staiano's previous no-wave instrumental group, Mute Socialite. After recording, Moe! assembled a live configuration of the band with guitarist Bill Wolter (Inner Ear Brigade). The line up coalesced with the addition of guitarist Melne, drummer Mark Pino and new addition, HL Nelly on bass.
Surplus 1980's debut album, "Relapse In Response," was released in 2011 on Staiano's micro-indie label, Dephine Knormal Musik. Moe! plays most of the instruments himself, but the recording also features a noteworthy stable of musical collaborators including Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, and Dan Rathbun (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum), guitarist Ava Mendoza (Mute Socialite, Fred Frith), violinist Meredith Yayanos (Faun Fables), and cameo appearances from Andy Moor (The Ex) and G.W. Sok (the Ex, King Champion Sound).
In 2013 Surplus 1980 released a new work, "Arterial Ends Here," which features the current live band, as well as another vocal/lyrical collaboration from G.W. Sok, and orchestral textures from clarinetist Aaron Novik, percussionist Jordan Glenn and oboist Kyle Bruckmann.
Two new recordings are planned for 2017 — a new full-length record, and a Surplus 1980 Large Ensemble, composed of three drum kits, five guitars, bass, contrabass, saxophone, oboe and keyboards.
Since 2011, Surplus 1980 has played shows all over the region with some of the Bay Area's most notable creative music luminaries, including Fred Frith Trio, miRthkon, Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack O’ the Clock, Moetar, Dominique Leone Band and Grex. In 2012, Surplus 1980 was one of the 8 bands chosen to participate in Undercover Presents' "Black Sabbath Paranoid," a unique show in which an influential album is chosen to have its songs reinterpreted with the personal vision of different artists.