Fronted by the infamous "Captain Reverb", The Surfonics have been treating their audiences to their own brand of twangy, reverb-tinged, western-flavored instrumental surf music since 1993.
The Surfonics were formed in Springfield, Oregon in 1993 when drummer Kevin Angvick answered a "drummer wanted" ad posted in a music store by guitarist Mike Graves (myself) and bassist Mark Emmons. We soon discovered that we shared a love of "old-testament" instrumental surf music, and after a little head-scratching to come up with a name, The Surfonics were born. We spent the next few weeks working up some old surf tunes and writing a few originals, as well as recording a demo tape on a 4-track cassette recorder in the garage. We played a few shows in Eugene that year, and recorded a couple of original surf tunes in a local studio. For the next few years we played about 3 shows a month, from bars to car shows and outdoor festivals, developing a loyal following and spawning a local surf music revival in the process. The Surfonics were also the subject of a critically acclaimed piece produced for National Public Radio, and were featured in a video which aired on community access television. We also had a few different drummers in the band during that time, and in 1999 bassist Trey Longstreth replaced Mark Emmons. In 2001, local studio drummer extraordinaire Pete Berger collaborated to record some more originals in the same studio as our first recording several years earlier. After a lengthy hiatus from playing live shows, we are pleased to herald the release (finally!) of our first CD!
The Surfonics play live shows in the Eugene-Springfield area of Oregon, where fans are treated to a mix of instrumental surf covers and Surfonics originals.
I try very hard NOT to be influenced too much by any band in particular, preferring instead to draw on my surfing experiences and impressions of my misspent youth in '60s Southern California for the inspiration for my original surf tunes.
Okay, that and also The Ventures and Duane Eddy.
Contrary to standard practice in the surf genre, we don't play Fender guitars. I play an early '70s BC Rich Seagull Jr. that I've owned since 1980 and is the only electric guitar I've ever owned. It has a solid bridge so I have to bend the neck to get the whammy effect. I play through an early Musicman "sixty-five" 112 combo amp. I swapped springs in the reverb pan until I found a combination that gave me the reverb character I was after.
The basses used are a BC Rich "shorthorn" Mockingbird bass played through a Musicman "One-thirty" bass amp head and a 4-12 cabinet (a complete coincidence) and later a Warwick bass played through an SWR amp.
Drums used vary, but are mostly vintage Ludwigs.