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Feature for October 2014





Band Name: Cutback

Genre: Instrumental Surf / Surf Rock

Geographical Area: South Florida

Interview with Frank Ferraro by email on 10/3/14


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


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

The year was 2002 and Rich approached me & Nick with the idea of starting a surf band. The three of us had formed several rock bands since the early 70’s and played together very well.  But we were tired of the same-old ‘stuff’ and Rich’s suggestion was well received. Not-to-mention, being longtime surfers the genre was always a part of our lifestyle. Elliott joined us in 2012.



3. What bands or music have influenced you most?



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

We have a total of 62 songs that we can play:


14 are originals


16 are traditional covers


11 are new school covers


13 are "3rd Wave" band covers


8 are songs from other genres we converted to surf



5. What recording have you done?


6. What kind of gear do you use?

Rich uses a Fender ’62 AVRI Jaguar through a ’65 Fender Twin.

Frank uses a Fender ’02 Deluxe Fat Strat through a ’65 Fender Twin.

            We both have all the usual analog pedals & reverb tanks.

Nicky uses a Fender ’95 Precision Bass through a ’99 Fender Bassman 400.

Elliott uses a Ludwig drum kit.

Now with the above said, depending on the venue we’ll bring a variety of other gear – smaller amps, digital effects, other guitars, and different drum kits.  


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

Hmmm… often we play venues where there are food trucks and the one we seem to gravitate to is Nacho Bizness, serving up specialty tropical burritos. Beer is a favorite to drink on-stage when appropriate;  151 Rum Swizzles when the gig is over. 



8. How do you get gigs?

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



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



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

Probably our band’s posters, which Nicky custom designs for almost every gig, and we send out via e-mail & social media. We have 63 of them and they can be found here…



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



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


14. Anything else?

In May 2014, a book titled Surfing Florida was published.

To our surprise there was a chapter on Surf Music.  An even bigger surprise was what was written about us on page 235. We had no idea this was happening…


"Notable among South Florida’s instrumental surf rock groups is the Cutback Surf Band, which has been a prominent fixture in the Fort Lauderdale surf rock scene since the earliest years of the twenty-first century. Its core members are baby-boom surfers with a history in the local rock music scene & their repertoire includes a vast catalog of both classic and obscure surf rock instrumentals as well as more than a dozen original tunes, all featuring the dual-lead approach of guitarists Rich LaVoir and Frank Ferarro. Their surfing background, the band name “Cutback” (taken from a common surfing technique), the Florida-surf-themed titles of their original tunes, such as “Atlantico,” “Shark Pit, “Secret Spot,” and “Conan the Surfarian,” and a between-song surf-education-banter by bassist Nicky Ravine place them in the forefront of the fourth wave of instrumental surf rock in Florida. Additionally, Cutback plays a steady gig the first Friday of every month at the Molokai Bar in the world-famous Mai-Kai restaurant, a bastion of tiki culture in Fort Lauderdale since the 50’s. As longtime surfers, their music highlights the surfing lifestyle by presenting an educational diorama of Florida surf culture, musically expressed."


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