Feature for September 2015
Genre: Instrumental Action Adventure
Bass - Rippy plays a very unusual and unidentifiable fretless bass that has been modified extensively, including parts of the body sawed off.
Drums - John plays a DW drum kit, a Ludwig chrome kit and, for outdoor gigs, he plays a generic kit.
Amps - I have a blonde 1965 Fender Showman amp with a 1x15 cab w/JBL D130F speaker, and a blonde Reissue '63 Fender Tube Reverb; Jerry has a Fender Super-Sonic 60 head with a 2x12 Bassman cab w/Utah speakers, and a Surfy Bear FET Reverb. Rippy plays through either a Peavey bass head w/2x15 cab or a 1965 Gretsch 6159 Dual Bass 2x12 tube combo amp.
Pizza/Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster Imperial IPA
I email clubs and other persons responsible for bookings, and I give them a brief introduction to Surfer Rex. I point them to our website at surferrex.com and to our Facebook page where we have some videos. I also mention similar places where we've already gigged. Mentioning my Big Surf Radio show on WOBC also seems to help. Persistence is definitely a virtue when it comes to getting gigs. We got our most recent gig when another band asked us to open for them. As we play more gigs, we're meeting bands from other genres who are interested in what we're doing.
The songs we play are unique and exciting and they don't all sound the same. We use a lot of reverb, which is distinctive among bands around where we are. We also practice a lot and we're gear heads. As a result, when we start playing at a gig, the quality of our sound sometimes surprises people.
Our Facebook page seems to be more effective than our website. We use Facebook events and we post videos. That helps spread the word. The interaction is also nice and it gives us timely feedback.
Playing on the Main Street Beach in Vermilion as part of their Third Thursday concert series is always fun. Seeing the sun set behind us over Lake Erie while we play is very cool. At a gig in downtown Amherst a go-go dancer joined us and danced our entire set. Nobody was complaining! One of our first gigs was at a retirement center in Norwalk. We took the gig because the oldies band that John and I were playing in thought it was too far away, but Surfer Rex was gig hungry! We had a lot of fun and the highlight was when one of the residents requested 'Pipeline!' It wasn't a song we had ever played, but of course we all knew it. So, we played it and the elderly man who requested it was all smiles!
The comradery and mutual support among NESMA bands is inspiring. Thanks for all you've done with the nesmasurf.org site and for keeping it going!