The Power of East Coast Surf

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Feature for 

August 2007

The Bitch Boys


Name: The Bitch Boys

Genre: (Instro) Surf

Geographical Area: Slovenia, Europe

Interview with: Robi Biloderic on 7/23/07 by email

1. What is the current line-up of your band?

Marko Valant – Drums
Lev Honsic – Rhythm guitar
Igor Ferlic – Bass
Robi Biloderic – Solo guitar

2. How and when did you get started with your band?

We started in November, 1999, a few months after our funny guitar lessons with Dado Iglicar started... he played drums in a few rockabilly bands and wanted to be able to play guitar also. So I showed him chords and while he was changing them I played melodies and what is more propper than Sleepwalk or Pipeline to enter the magic of the instro world...? Soon I met my ex-student Tomaz Urgl who also had a punk band called Virus and he mentioned they are also experimenting with surf... What a coincidence!!!! I told him to come by. He did and next time he brought also Virus' drummer Marko Valant and the Bitch Boys were on their way -  after a few months we went to the studio, recorded 19 tracks, sent them to Phil Dirt and got 4 stars, the rest you probably know - ha ha.


3. What bands or music have influenced you most?

Like I said, the drummer and (previous) bass player came from punk bands and I belive that was the music they loved first. I know Tomaz is a crazy fan of Toy Dolls, on the other hand Markan (drummer) likes different kinds of music, from Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, to Mano Chao, psychobilly and surf of course (he really likes the way surf music is  presented by the Surf Coasters). Ex rhythm guitarist Dado likes pure dirty rock'n'roll, from '50s rockabilly to Teddy Boy stuff, neorockabilly, Motorhead, Status Quo and both old and new surf. Me, I'm on the opposite side... I am an example of a doo-wop and rare late '50s and early '60s teen music addict - I adore those nice teeny-weeny melodies especially if they are rare and forgotten, sometimes performed by unknown artists. Of course I love all R'n'R subgenres, especially '50s rockabilly and original '60s surf (of course, the rarer the better!!!)

Now since we have a new rhythm guitarist and bass player, maybe it's time to introduce their music backround. Igor (bass) played in a rock band, mostly influenced by '70s and '80s rock, he's a big AC/DC fan and started with surf music by becoming a Bitch Boy. He felt in love with surf music and now he knows the reverb he heard before was nothing compared to the reverb-echo-delay overflow he's getting now - ha ha!

Lev (rhythm guitar) liked and experimented with surf much before he entered the Bitch Boys, however he also explores the music of solo guitar magicians like Satriani, Stefanovski,...

Well maybe I should mention one important fact that brought me closer to vintage music than anything... at the age of 12 or 13 I started exploring my mother's old records, finding Elvis (of course!!), Beatles, but also Shadows and old Yugoslav instro bands which covered US and British classics like Walk Don't Run...  Thanks Mama!!

4. What is the breakdown of cover vs. original material in your live shows and/or recordings?

We try to perform as many originals as possible, but since we were the first in Slovenia to present instro surf music it was our duty to bring music as close to traditional as possible, so we prepared a few classic tracks (which are quite common and people recognize them from movies - songs like Wipe Out, Pipeline, and Miserlou) and on the other hand, we covered a few hits everybody knew. Soon audiences realized the meaning and magic of surf music. We did Paint It Black, Take On Me, Theme from Snowman,...). Of course, none of the songs was taken coincidentally - each track we covered we liked first, we knew what we were gonna do with it and knew how to make some new quality of it! I belive we were quite succesful.

Of course, there is nothing so beautiful as getting ovations and nice feedback from the audience for an original track knowing they really like YOUR music.


5. What recording have you done?

We recorded 3 (you could say double or triple) albums, containing 20, 20 and 30 tracks: ...In Heat, Behind the Hound Dog Walls, and Ride the First Wave plus various CD-Rs with material released only for friends and fans or foreign releases. The last project we did with original members was recording a Grease soundtrack.


6. What kind of gear do you use?

If you have asked me that a year ago, I couldn't have given you the proper answer since most of the recordings (2nd and 3rd album +...) I recorded with an unknown guitar... supposed to be some strange Teiscp model or an eastern copy of it? It's probably my favorite guitar, especially since it was a present of an ex-student (he got it from a friend who found it in some basemant). Now I play a Jazzmaster (Japan) and have experience also with a Jaguar (Japan) on the 1st album. The loveliest guitar I have is my Italia-Modena Classic (but  to prepare it for surf I'll have to put JM pickups in), - oh yes, also a Framus Jaguar is also cool + a few (actually 10 more) which are all quite rare and collectable items and of course I don't know the brands.

I used to play (always stereo on 2 amps!!) on a late '70s Twin and Melodija 100 (similar to a Twin copy). Now i finally got the best copy of the '60s Twin, called Guyatone (it's funny - even the letters on the logo are the same as Fender's) and I combine it with a Peavey Classic 30. It's no need to add both  - I go through a Fender Reverb (I am a booch booch reverb addict also !!)

Lev plays on my other Fender Reverb and my ex-reserve amp, Fender FM 212 combined with a Strat. I am planning to get him a Jazzmaster soon.

Ferdo (bass players nickname) plays ,,, hmmm? Well I don't know the bass but I am sure he uses a Peavey bass amp. Markan uses.. well I don't know either, but whetever he touches it sounds great!


7. What is your band’s favorite food/beverage?


I can't speak much for the others but I am almost sure we're all into BBQ specialities. I try to have at least 2 BBQ parties a week. For drink, beer and wine are OK, oh yes - and lately Markan likes to practice Andrew Sisters' recipe for Rum & Coca Cola.


8. How do you get gigs?

We've had a manager for a few years. Later he decided to spend more time with his family and now he just opened a restaurant! I haven't been there - I hope he has a nice grill (ha ha). So we're on our own at the time. But I am sure NESMA will be able to help us have a tour J and also lot's of friends from the west coast offered us help us, also with places to sleep!!


9. What are the difficulties you find playing your kind of music in your area?

Actually none, except for the fact that we're not main stream and can not expect thousands of people in the audience... although I must stress, we HAVE played at such crowds a few times and it was great. Oh yes, and it's funny sometimes when sound technicians try to persuade us we have too much reverb on guitars (ha ha), but it's fun!!


10. What positive attributes does your band have that sets you apart from other bands (of any genre)?

I'd say that's up to the audience to decide.

Maybe there is just one thing that doesn't concern the audience but more the other (surf) bands. We were always willing to help them as we knew it was quite hard for an alterantive band to start... and what goes around, comes around! And we are happy!


11. What have you found to be the single most effective promotional tool you’ve used to further your band’s musical path?

From our experience, once you're on the big stage the best promo thing is to perform and play like nuts, drive your audience crazy and the rest will come by itself... once you hear feedback about a "crazy" instro band  who made ravers, rappers, punks and metals dance, you know your job was well done!

But before we entered the world of frequent stage appearances, the most influential thing was the fact that we were "well accepted in the USA". Once jurnalists were able to check the rumors and be able to visit Reverb Central, and other pages with great reviews we received, than they started writing "Our Bitch Boys" with big letters. That's nice but on the other hand it's sad you first need to be recognised outside your homeland, to be latter appreciated at home...


12. What’s the most interesting performance experience you’ve had?

Well no one can forget our experience at Ex Yu Rock Festival in Bosnia a few years ago. They gathered bands from all of the ex-republic of the former Yugoslavia.

We were representatives of Slovenia. I will never forget their kindnes, happy faces, and optimism which was really a miracle after what they've been through. Besides, each of us had personal help - a guy who moved and prepared the equipment before the concert just the way it was at the sound check.

Everything was brilliant and after seeing their smiling faces and a few thousand people crowd dancing and partying on our music we decided to give all our CDs and merch. for free as a good will and thank you for all the good times we had!


13. What do you hope to get out of being a NESMA member?

To be honest, I already got it! AND I MEAN IT! You were all so kind with me and my girlfriend last time we spent time in the USA so the only thing I could wish is that the rest of the Bitch Boys experience your generositty and kindnes once we make it all here with God's help.


14. Anything else?

Thanks once again for this interview and for having the Bitch Boys among you and NESMA. See you on 4th of August (at Unsteady Freddie's Surf Rock Shindig at Otto's Shrunken Head in NYC), with my reverb tank at 10-10-10 (ha ha).




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