Feature for May 2015
Event Name: Great Lakes Surf Battle
Interview with: Blue Demon #1 by email on 5/5/15
First Surf Battle: 2006
1. What is the “Great Lakes Surf Battle”?
2. What made you pursue such an event with all the work, planning and scheduling behind it?
It all started with Tiki Tena's first visit to Toronto in 2006. Dano Villaino then with the band The Von Drats and I got together and decided to put together a show for her while she was here.
3. In what ways do you promote the Battle?
One of the things we did was to bring in a publicist Holly Hawlstar to help out with promo. It can be hard to blow your own horn sometimes. Holly makes the poster and FB event and also sends out PR to various online and media outlets. Dano is in charge of the GLSB website to promote events year round. I do old school promotion like college radio, handing out flyers and putting up posters.
4. Can you rank the importance of the various promotional
activities that you do, for the Battle or other projects?
5. What’s the geographic range of bands that play at the Battle?
Most of the bands who play are from Toronto and across Ontario. We also have bands from Quebec. Burnin' Sands from Alberta drove 48 hours (!) one year to play. Cocktail Preachers from Chicago and Del Rios from Cleveland. Los Oxidados flew in from Mexico City!
7. Who are you in contact with that are important to your instro activities (such as bands, other promoters, etc.)?
Some of the bands and people we work with are Luau or Die, Rocket XL5, Cliffdivers, Gnarly Ones, Cadillac Lounge and Cherry Colas in Toronto, The High Tides, This Ain't Hollywood and Casbah in Hamilton, The Greasemarks (Guelph), Huaraches (Kingston), Reverb Syndicate (Ottawa), Men in Gray Suits, Mighty Swells and Vanessa in Montreal, Bob D in Bridgeport (CT) and Unsteady Freddie, Octomen, and of course 9th Wave were extremely helpful to us when we have played in NYC. Big Tiki Dude, Sean Spycee and last but not least (!) Tiki Tena in California.
Now, let’s talk about you.
8. You have a band “The Blue Demons” – what kind of music do The Blue Demons play?
The Blue Demons play Instrumental Surf music.
9. What instrument do you play in The Blue Demons?
I play a Fender Precision Bass in The Blue Demons with an Ampeg Svt amp.
10. Personally, what music has influenced you the most?
11. How did you get interested in surf instro music?
12. What percentage of covers vs. originals do you prefer to hear when listening to a live instro band?
13. What are your favorite food and/or beverage to fuel your surf music passion?
We rehearse at BD#9's studio in Hamilton and usually have brunch first at a place called Jack and Lois. For a beverage I have to give a shout out to our GLSB sponsor Mill St.Beer!
14. How many “blue demons” are there? What number are you?
There are 11 Blue Demons, I am #1. They are all fantastic players and real nice guys, my surf brothers! We also have 8 amazing go-go dancers from Great Canadian Burlesque who perform with us. Also - we have our manager the Grand Wizard (Mysterion) and MC/Referee The Wolfman, who have been with us since the beginning.
15. How did you discover NESMA?
I met Mike Rosado from NESMA when The Blue Demons played at the SG101 Convention. I was impressed with his genuine desire to help out the bands any way that he could.
16. What do you hope to get out of your NESMA affiliation?
We're here for fun and friendship and we take NESMA's ideals about cooperation between bands to heart.
17. What's coming up in the coming year for you and your band, after the Battle?
After GLSB 10 I will start planning for our Fall Brawl tour.
18. Anything else?
Thanks Mike and Sandy for your continuing support! Cheers!