The Power of East Coast Surf


Feature for 

December 2010




Name: SpyTones

Genre: Surf / Instro

Geographical Area: Central MA / Boston

Interview with: Bob Conroy by email on 11/24/10

Band formed: 2009

NESMA member since: 2010

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

Bob Conroy – Guitar
Tom Wood – Guitar
Ken Holland – Bass
Brian Bourgault – Drums, Theremin


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

We have all been playing in various bands for a long time. Tom, Brian and I got together two years ago to record some stuff just for fun. We started off doing blues and gradually started doing originals. Since we have all been huge Surf fans we evolved in that direction. Brian has been an avid collector of Surf music in vinyl and CD’s for most of his life and has been a long time supporter of the live Surf music scene. I was inspired to write by a Laika and the Cosmonauts live show. Tom is a jazz/fusion fan so some of that may creep in, who knows? We are only limited by our imaginations. We added Ken on bass when we started doing live shows. Whatever we do will have lots of reverb and whammy bar throughout!


3. What bands or music have influenced you most?

The Ventures – that classic surf sound, Dick Dale – for his ferocity. For me personally – Laika and the Cosmonauts.


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

We do all original music.


5. What recording have you done?

We just completed our first CD of original instrumentals. You can hear our entire new CD on our MySpace page:



6. What kind of gear do you use?

Guitars: DiPinto Galaxie 4, Fender Telecaster (with Bigsby!)
Amps: Fender Blues Deville, Rivera
Bass:  Fender Jazz w/ Flat-wounds, SANS Bass Pre-amp, Carvin Power Amp, 4-10 cab.
Drums: Sonor kit with a DW Craviatto snare


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


The SpyTones heartily endorse Sam Adams beer.



8. How do you get gigs?

Networking with other bands. Getting contacts through the internet. Cold calling clubs.



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


Many of the clubs/cafés etc. in our area tend to stick to certain genres – like classic rock or folk music. It’s a bit hard to find places where people ‘get’ what we’re doing.


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

Our music is immediately identifiable as Surf music and that’s what we want. But we’d like to think we add a little something original in there somewhere. Our motto is ‘changing the world one surf tune at a time’. We are professional and easy-going. We have a great time playing and I hope that comes across in our music.


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

Networking by band members.


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

We’ve had a few. We opened for Bill Kirchen last summer and that was an incredible audience. Very attentive and enthusiastic. And we played a Surf night at Otto’s last September that was just a really fun gig. We had a blast playing and Unsteady Freddie was very cool – we like what he’s doing and how he does it.


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

Getting to know other musicians and bands – we love the variety of Surf music out there.  We have already met a number of bands, doing some gig sharing where possible.


14. Anything else?


We love this music and we are having so much fun, it’s just unbelievable. Support independent music and buy a copy of our CD! Email Bob at for copies.



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