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Feature for July 2013

The Supertones revisited

Name: Supertones

Genre: Surf (formerly Surf / Surfabilly)

Geographical Area: NYC

Interview with: Tim Sullivan by email on 6/25/13

Last Interview date: 10/24/04

Band formed: 1988

NESMA member since: 2003

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

Well at the moment... 


Tim Sullivan: Guitars keyboards


Simon Chardiet: Bass


Seth Lipscher:  Guitar


Drums: Sammy Baker and Tommy Matiliou

2. Has your line-up changed since your last interview?

Yes - Mike Mandina (guitar) moved and he was replaced by Seth Lipscher on guitar. Seth is Marc Lipscher's brother, who was our original bass player and someone who I had played with back in the early 80's retro music scene.

And drummer Presly Acuna left and was replaced by Sammy Baker. We do have a few drummers that play with us as needed but the ones we have been recording with lately are Glen Healy, Sammy Baker and Tommy Matiliou.


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

We have been really lucky because the replacement guys were old friends who are & were big fans of the Supertones and surf music, so they "got it" - the sound and what we were all about, and it was BIG plus that they were all pros.


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

Yes, a little - I think with our drummer Sammy he added that extra something that makes it happen - like "boom", you know what I boom booom booooom!


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

No, just more new material - we have on our playing set list about 62 tunes in all so we can play for three hours straight...


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

Probably most of them.


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

1980 - The Rock Cats (rhythm guitar) - rockabilly
1982 - String Busters (lead guitar) - rockabilly
1984 - The Loco Mustangs (guitars) - rockabilly and surf
1985 - The Dragsters (rhythm guitar and keyboards) - surf
1988 - The Supertones (guitars and keyboards) - surf


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

I would say about 50/50.


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

About the same - love playing all the old stuff, it's just a lot of fun to learn and play.



7.  What recording have you done since your last interview?

Let's see - we have done about six recording session with about 5 albums of material since 2005. Right now we just finished up "Mysto Incognito" which was just released, and we have two more to finish and we will release them in the next year or so. The next one will be all covers of all the surf hits we can fit on a CD, from Mr. Rebel to Delano soul beat. The name that record will be called "The Supertones Going to a Rock and Roll Dance Party" and that will come out in the fall at some point. The album after that will be all original Supertones stuff and that will come out next year, and will be called "The Sweet Ride". We recorded almost all of this stuff at Melody Lane in Williansburg, Brooklyn NY.



8. Where does your band typically practice?


At my place about once a week.


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


We used to wear sharkskin suits and still do sometimes, but it mostly depends on the gig as to what we wear.


10. Do you ever have additional performers on stage with you?

Yes, alot of the time we have an extra rhythm guitar, sometimes a sax, and go-go dancers.


11. How do you continue to get gigs?

Word of mouth...


12. Approximately how often do you perform out?

On average, about once a month. This month, which is June, and July we do about one a week, and when we do small tours we can do 3 shows in 3 days, etc.


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

Facebook is our biggest promotional tool right now, but we use them all to get the word out.


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

That would be our last gig we just did out at Rockaway Beach for the rockaway surfing community after Hurricane Sandy. Seems like 1000 people were there and they wouldn't let us stop playing... everyone was dancing up a storm. We played from 4 pm to 8:30 pm - all surf music, they couldn't get enough. Pretty amazing...


15. What have you gotten out of being a NESMA member so far?

Well what is great about NESMA was getting to know Mike & Sandy and everyone else. We have been having way too much fun and lots of love from you guys - just great people. I think you guys set the precedent on the surf music scene all over the world on how it is done.


16. Have you had opportunities to promote NESMA? If so, what have you done?

All the time spreading the word...



17. Do you have any suggestion on how NESMA can grow?

Maybe a FB fan page (we do have a NESMA FB page at - ed.) 


18. Anything else?

Much love and respect to you (at NESMA HQ) - Sandy and my fellow surfer and guitarist Mike; luv you guys. Cheers!


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