The Power of East Coast Surf

 

Feature for 

January 2007   

9th Wave

9th Wave with NESMA honorary member Dick Dale, June 2006

 

Band name: 9th Wave, Northeast's premier Hot Rod Surf band

Genre: Hot Rod Surf (& spaghetti western, exotica, spy, lounge, etc.)

Geographical Area: Northeast U.S.

Interview with Mike Rosado on 1/2/07 - founder of NESMA as well as 9th Wave


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

Mike "Staccato" Rosado, lead surf guitar

Sandy "Oceana" Brooks, rhythm guitar, Farfisa organ, surf flute, saxophone, percussion (& vocals)

Negative Ed, bass (& vocals)

Tommy "Tsunami" Prince-Warinsky, drums

Phred Rawles, drums (alternate)
 


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

I had been playing in various styles of bands since the late 80’s - punk and blues with some surf standards mixed in, but I really got started after an accidental fall from a 2-story roof in October of 1994. I realized after my accident (when the fall didn’t kill me), I should have been writing and playing the music for which I always had a passion - “Surf - Instrumental”. So, as I was recovering from back surgery (L5, L4 & 4 cracked vertebras) during the start of winter January 1995, 9th Wave was created. Starting out; we played coffee houses, art opening shows, back yard parties and later the club scene.
 

3. What bands or music have influenced you most?

For the surf: Dick Dale, Ventures, Paul Johnson, The Chanteys, Belairs, Link Wray, Southern Culture on the Skids, Los Strait Jackets, Agent Orange, The Shadowy Men From a Shadowy Planet, Man or Astroman, The Fathoms, Joe Satriani, Al Di Meola, Satan's Pilgrims and others.


For the other forms of music, I would stay: rock 'n roll, punk, jazz, reggae, metal, and classical.
 

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

Currently, we’ll play 2 covers per set (of 15 tunes) the rest is our original music. As far as recordings, I have always felt that our originals could stand on their own - Cruising for Mako, Surf Denial, Hurricane, and Time Tunnel are all original recordings. This past year, we started playing the cover “Hot Line” and I have decided to record it and include it on our new upcoming CD release Creepsters from the Deep (2007). The cover tune will be duly licensed for use.
 

5. What recording have you done?

Cruising for Mako (all originals - 1998)

Surf Denial (all originals - 1999)

9th Wave Gets Sleazy (3-song original collector's edition, released for Sleazefest 2000);

Hurricane (all originals - 2000)

9th Wave Live at Daddy’s Music Cruise Night (2002)

Time Tunnel (all originals - 2003)

Upcoming - Creepsters from the Deep (10 originals, 1 cover - 2007)

Also tracks on various compilations, and we've provided a soundtrack to a video "Backyard Bike Builders". We've done some video performances that continue to be aired - on various cable stations. Some others have used our music in video productions.
 

6. What kind of gear do you use?

For most shows I play:

Fender Jazzmaster guitar(s), red sunburst; Fender reverb tank (reissue), 1970 Fender twin amp.

Negative Ed's amps & bass:

#1 bass - Fender P-Bass Lyte, customized electronics w/ Seymour Duncan pickups, paint by M. Rosado, Dick Dale autographed headstock, flat wound strings; #2  bass - Fender Mark Hoppus Sig. model bass (Seymour Duncan pickup, stock) w/ flat wound strings; Amp - Ampeg VT-22 (100 W tube guitar amp w/ reverb, same as V-4) into Music Man RH-115 cabinet.

Sandy plays:

Farfisa 1973(?) mini compact organ or VIP 233 (she has one from 1968 and one from 1969); Fender Jaguar guitar red sunburst (reissue); Deford silver flute (she prefers her Yamaha silver flute, but after one-too-many times having the flute knocked over at shows, she saves it for recording); guitar & organ amp (two channels) - Fender twin reverb 1998 reissue; Fender reverb tank (reissue); Jupiter alto saxophone

Tommy plays:

Yamaha Drum kit (1980’s black Touring Series) 4 or 5 piece –  7” X 14" chrome metal snare or 14" wood Tama snare, 14” & 13” toms, 16” floor, 22" bass drum; Cymbals - Zildjian 20" Ping Ride cymbal, Zildjian 18" medium crash, 16” light crash, one pr. Zildjian 14" Hi-hats and Vic Firth 7-7A wood tip sticks.
 


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

I can’t real speak for the whole band, but generally the food portions of our on- the-road activities or during practice consist of Sandy’s home baked cookies – cake – snacks, or just sometimes a big bag of Doritos Cool Ranch chips.

The liquid portions range from PBR’s to micro brews, frequent Jagermeister (ice cold) shots straight or mixed with Goldschlager, or tiki mixed cocktails such as Zombies, Blue Tiki Waves, anything with Malibu, and so on.
 


8. How do you get gigs?

Networking is 80% of the business. We trade shows with other bands (mostly NESMA bands). We also have places that we’ve been playing for a number of years. Any night that we secure for a 9th Wave show, we then will turn it into and bill it as a Surf Summit or a surf night, usually inviting other NESMA bands to join us on the bill. We've played with some incredible bands, local and as far away as Texas (3 Balls of Fire), Finland (Laika & the Cosmonauts), and Florida (Blue Flame Combo). Some shows are offered to us after people see us opening for Dick Dale or playing at a hot rod car show. We are also very fortunate to have some great supporters of surf music like Unsteady Freddie (NYC), who has a proven track record of creating and arranging amazing shows at Otto’s Shrunken Head, 14th Street, lower Manhattan, NYC, on the first Saturday of each month. 
 

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

This difficulty seems to be always changing, because the “live music scene” is in constant flux. It seems the club owners who do not offer a diversity of music are the most difficult to work with (like bars that only use 80s rock cover bands for example) and the “how many people can you bring” question becomes more of an issue. Other difficulties continue to plague bands of any type  that play mostly original music, competing with DJs (programmed music) or the commercial music scene. Sometimes being an instrumental band can be an issue, for those who feel music has to have vocals to be entertaining. We have about a half dozen vocal tunes (a couple are even original!) we can throw in as necessary/desired to bring the crowd along for the rest of the tunes.


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

Musical diversity is one of 9th Wave's trademarks. Our live shows, set lists and CDs encompass surf, lounge, spy, hot rod, sci-fi, western twang and exotica. Another band trademark is our professional attitude, which we practice on and off-stage.

Another attribute is that Oceana is a great player of many different instruments and is a classically trained musician who, in addition to 9th Wave, The Acoustic Surf Tones, go-go dancing with The Clams and her day job, is an orchestral flutist.  In 2000, I had ideas for some flute tracks on our Hurricane CD. The flute is rarely used in surf-instrumentals, but Sandy added some tracks to Hurricane and the rest is history...



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

The band's working attitude and tightness, our website (www.9thwavesurf.com), our North East Surf Music Alliance members and supporters.
 

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

This question is tough, because many of the shows we’ve played seem to have an element of surprise - any thing can happen, such as:

Sleazefest (national, annual band festival in Chapel Hill NC) on the main stage - Negative Ed blew a flame (using 151% rum) that almost killed/burned some people

Opening for Dick Dale at Toad's Place 2003 - opening slot for about 300+ people; sold 35 copies of new release Time Tunnel

Torrington Motorcycle Association - in club house - steel protective cage for the band, with bikers throwing beer cans at us - full service bar. Indoor facilities consisted of indoor motorcycle parking, tattoo parlor, gift shop run by a guy named "Spider" (they supplied us all with very cool sweatshirts). We were told we were "true" and our music carried the spirit of the biker (picture the road warrior from the movie "Beyond the Thunderdome")

Losing the brakes on the band van in New York City’s Buckner’s Expressway (I-278) - we actually missed playing that show and had to send 5 people packing off to a sketchy South Bronx train station to get home since the tow truck wouldn't tow us all home in the van!

Burlington VT January 2003 (18 degrees below zero) Surf Night - packed with people wearing Hawaiian shirts!

And - the many surf nights with members and our good friends of the North East Surf Music Alliance and supporters

 

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

Watching, working and helping our scene (area) grow to new levels and to assist in the positive direction in the rise of surf-instrumental music within the East Coast region. Back from 2000 - 2002, I watched the surf-instrumental music scene slowly unravel, bands dropping off, people / fans interest dropping off, and surf shows getting harder to find. The creation of NESMA was intended for growth and opportunity; by December 2003 we had 30 bands as working members. Today, we hold together around 73 bands and many true supporters, consisting of radio, Internet, online zines, news media and reviewers. The effort of many makes that difference.

 

14. Anything else?
 

We think of ourselves as ambassadors of surf – instrumental music, and we really like meeting other bands on the road and talking with all the great people who come out to support surf music. We take all of our show seriously and give it our best no matter what, acting and dealing with issues in a professional manner. Starting back around 1999 during our annual Sleazefest pre-show pool parties to the present time, hosting pre-show dinner parties, we still continue to host and enjoy sipping refreshments with fruit garnishes and drink umbrellas. For our performances - stage shows, we’ll wear flamed shirts or Hawaiian prints and often bring tiki torch lamps, which definitely adds to the festive atmosphere. But the Aloha spirit isn’t just a gimmick; it’s a way of life (yes, I do own 130+ Hawaiian shirts). We run our own record label; Beach House Records; we get out to see other bands' surf shows; we continue the tradition at home with tiki-god ceramic cocktail glasses, a collection of tiki mask-carvings, surf show posters and photos of our guest and friends. Our door is always open to bands that are on the road in our area, whether we’ve opened for them or not. Live it, feel it and play it.

From the surf side of life,

Mike

 

 
  

                   

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