9th Wave revisited
Name: 9th Wave
Genre: Hot Rod Surf Rock
Geographical Area: Northeast U.S. and beyond
Interview with: Mike & Sandy Rosado on 8/31/10 in person
Last Interview date: 1/2/07
Band formed: 1995
NESMA member since: 2002 (founders of NESMA)
Mike "Staccato" Rosado - Lead Surf Guitar
Sandy "Oceana" Rosado - Farfisa organ, flute, rhythm guitar, alto saxophone
Phred Rawles - Drums
Negative Ed -
Yes – previously Phred was our alternate drummer. Back in 2007 when our drummer Tommy (who recorded our 5th CD, Creepsters from the Deep, with us) left the band to pursue other interests, Phred returned as our full-time drummer. Phred had been our drummer in 2004-2005 but then moved out of state so had to leave the band. We were glad he returned to CT! Another change has been that Sandy & Mike got married in 2009, resulting in a name change but not a line-up change.
2a. If so, what process did you use to deal with the change in the line-up?
We have had some line-up changes over the years – the whole history of this is listed on our band website at http://www.9thwavesurf.com/bio.htm . Mike started the band in 1995 and is the only original and continuous member of the band; he writes the tunes as well as playing lead guitar. He has replaced members who have left for whatever reasons, causing the band to grow and change over the years. From 1995-2002 we were actually a 3-piece, and have been a 4-piece band since 2002 when Sandy joined the group, adding first flute, then Farfisa organ, and then a variety of other instruments to our line-up.
2b. Did the change in line-up affect your sound or the direction the band was moving in?
Somewhat. The change to a 4-piece line-up allowed us to move in some new directions and add more diversity to our sound and the sub-genres of instrumental music we play. Every individual player adds something to the band, based on their strengths and past musical experiences and interests.
3. Since your last interview has your music taken on new or different directions? If so, how?
Mike feels the music has been expanding in the last couple of years. 9th Wave has gained opportunities in the growing tiki scene up here in the north eastern U.S. We continue to play car and motorcycle shows, parties, clubs, and other public and private events.
All of them! Well – we have networked with all of them in the process of them becoming NESMA members. We have seen a majority of the bands perform live, whether we have shared a bill with them or just trekked to a show to check them out and support them. We often share a bill with traveling bands from near and far, including other CT bands, sometimes at Bobby D Surf Night events (including the Clams, North Shore Troubadours, Aquatudes, Commercial Interruption, Crustaceans). Sandy & Mike are also half of 9th Wave’s acoustic identity, The Acoustic Surf Tones. 9th Wave has had many opportunities to play with fellow surf bands from neighboring MA, such as Fathoms, Gein & the Graverobbers, SPF-4 and Preston Wayne 4. We also often play with New York City and New Jersey based bands, especially at Unsteady Freddie’s monthly Surf Rock Shindigs at Otto’s Shrunken Head in NYC – this includes the Rip Chords, TarantinosNYC, Octomen, Mister Neutron, Fisherman, El Muchacho, Coffin Daggers, Hang Daddy, Sea Devils, Strange But Surf, Supertones, Venice Beach Muscle Club, Chillers, Blue Wave Theory, Fin-dicators, and Retroliners. We have traveled far to play at regional surf music events like Surfapalooza, the Instro Summit (NC), and Guitar Fest (Nova Scotia) with bands such as Killer Filler (NC), Atom Bumz & Atomic Mosquitos & Reverb Galaxy (DC), Urban Surf Kings (Canada), Cocktail Preachers (from Chicago), the SURGE! (from Georgia) and the Serfs (from NH). And we have had the pleasure of playing with some bands traveling far from their home base, even hosting some of them in our own home, such as Big Surf and Ronnie Lake (MN), Vivisectors (Russia), Laika & the Cosmonauts (Finland), Daikaiju (Alabama), and Robi from The Bitch Boys (Slovenia).
5. What bands of any genre have you played with or networked with?
We are most likely to play shows with and network with bands in the rockabilly or tiki genre (Waitiki is a favorite tiki band in the northeast).
6. What is the break down of cover vs. original material in your live shows and/or recordings?
We play very few covers, depending on the nature of the show & the crowd. Usually it’s only about 15-20% covers – and sometimes these are to throw in a few vocal tunes when the situation requires it.
6a. Has this changed since your last interview? If so, how?
Actually, it’s about the same as it was in 2007. We play primarily original surf and instrumental music.
7. What recording have you done since your last interview?
We released our 5th studio CD, Creepsters from the Deep, in 2007. We are planning to record our 6th CD this fall with new material we have already been playing live for a while.
8. Where does your band typically practice?
We are fortunate to live in the country in our own home, with a large basement and/or garage space where the band can practice – usually once a week.
9. What does your band typically wear for a performance?
It depends on the show/event; Aloha shirts for the guys when it is a festive atmosphere; Sandy will usually wear a Hawaiian dress or 60s retro go-go style mini dress, often with go-go boots. Negative Ed is partial to a cowboy hat on stage. For the hot rod car shows we have matching black shirts with a flame stripe on the right side.
From 1999-2002 we had 2 go-go dancers perform with us regularly. Sandy was one of them, so when she started playing more, she started dancing less, until the go-go dancers were phased out. We love to have a fellow surf musician join us onstage for a few tunes if someone is in the audience – especially a guitarist - or a saxophone player (like Aaron from The North Shore Troubadours), who can join Sandy for a 2 sax rendition of something. We talk about having a large horn section sometime, for a really special show or recording.
Mike generally spends a fair amount of time networking at shows when he’s not actually on stage. There is definitely something to be said for playing well with a good attitude, professionalism in performance and behavior, and longevity and good reputation of the band.
Although there was a time we were playing 50+ shows a year, for the last few years it has been more like 20-24. This averages out to about 2 shows / month, but honestly we play a LOT in the summer, and less in the winter months when traveling to in New England can be an issue.
13. What have you found to be the single most effective promotional tool you’ve used to further your band’s musical path?
There is not just one – the internet of course, and networking that we do in person and online (such as through NESMA contacts). Also putting on shows and playing live shows are effective promotional tools.
14. What’s the most interesting performance experience you’ve had since your last interview?
We have been infiltrating the tiki sub-culture. Some of our best shows recently have been large tiki events, such as Ohana (link) for the past 2 years. Tiki cocktails by the pool, Polynesian luaus and dinner shows with fire dancing, surf and tiki music, cool people dressed in their finest tiki and retro attire – what could be a better gig?
15. What have you gotten out of being a NESMA member so far?
The chance to meet and greet, share not only the stage, equipment, but opportunities, to network with some of the nicest surf band people and players and fans. The goals and visions of the North East Surf Music Alliance were really brought together by bands, through their own personal choice, willing to travel, play and commit themselves to grow this musical genre that we all love
16. Have you had opportunities to promote NESMA? If so, what have you done?
We try to arrange to attend, support and play with other bands. Whenever someone is looking for a band, we pass them a NESMA business card. We attended and played at Surfapalooza (MD) and Instro Summit (NC) this year. We keep Unsteady Freddie and Bobby D (of Surf Night) informed about new and upcoming acts we encounter. Sandy & Mike even went to the Surf Guitar 101 convention in southern CA this year to network and spread the word about east coast surf bands to the west coast.
17. Do you have any suggestion on how NESMA can grow?
Mike could write pages on this! He says: “In my opinion, the more shows that are put together by bands or promoters, the greater the exposure of the music to the public and media. Event sponsorships are helpful (such as Longboard Ale, Malibu rum). Add www.nesmasurf.org to your hot links / band website and share. Let people know about NESMA.”
18. Anything else?
Arrange a show, invite some bands, make it BIG, and make a difference.