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Feature for December 2014


SPF4 - Revisited



Band Name: SPF4 (Sun Protection Factor 4)

Genre: Surf Inspired Instrumental (formerly "Surf-Rock-Instro")

Geographical Area: MA / Northeast US

Interview with Dave Kroll by email on 11/30/14

Last interview date: July 2005

Band formed in 2004

NESMA member since 2004



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


2. Has your line-up changed since your last interview? If so, how? 

Yes, Mark Archer is now drumming with SPF-4, Craig Nieske was drumming from 2004-2013. Craig, now based in North Carolina is still "in the band" as a founding member and performing artist on the original recordings.


2a. If so, what process did you use to deal with the change in the line-up?    

We searched for about 6 months for someone who was into the genre and preferably someone we knew. Mark Archer was a friend in our musician network. Rob, Craig and I knew Mark from a studio we recorded at in the '80s.


2b. Did the change in line-up affect your sound or the direction the band was moving in?   

Somewhat...Mark has his unique style with an "ethno-rock" foundation, as Craig's drumming seemed more Jazz rooted and '60s flavored. It's been neat to integrate both percussion styles into the material (original). Mark is also evolving his style toward more of a trad-surf hybrid style. It gives our sound a heavier, but we hope unique, backbeat. Seems like we play louder though!



3. Since your last interview has your music taken on new or different directions? If so, how? 


4. What NESMA bands have you had an opportunity to perform with, or share a show with?

Many over time...the Clams, 9th Wave, Atomic Mosquitos, TarantinosNYC, Insect Surfers, The Fathoms, Preston Wayne 4, The Undertows, East Coast Tremors, Dick Dale, The Vivisectors! Also a bunch at the 2014 Instro Summit in Durham, NC...



5. What bands of any genre have you played with or networked with? 

Incredible Casuals, Spampinato Brothers, Clamdigger, lots of openers for Dick Dale...mostly pop rock, or surf instro bands.


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

25% covers / 75% original at this time


6a. Has this changed since your last interview? If so, how?

Yes, more originals...many sets we play are mostly originals, with 2 to 4 covers.


8. Where does your band typically practice?


9. What does your band typically wear for a performance?



10. Do you ever have additional performers on stage with you (such as an occasional additional guitarist, saxophone, theremin player, dancers, etc.)



11. How do you continue to get gigs? 

They seem to "pop up", although we have not been too active in bookings lately, we look for the gigs that are "right" for the style of music. NESMA has always been a good connection for "surf-friendly" gigs. Then there are the perennial events like the ones our friends "Murdercycles" like to put together. We are always open to creating a gig somewhere as well...beach, fundraiser, private parties, etc. We also hone in on the Dick Dale openers - Cape Cod or inland when he tours. Emails with previous relationships are our booking contacts.



12. Approximately how often do you perform out? 

13. What have you found to be the single most effective promotional tool youíve used to further your bandís musical path?

14. Whatís the most interesting performance experience youíve had since your last interview?  


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