The Secret Samurai: Instrumental Surf Music from San Diego, CA

Today’s surf band interview is with the Secret Samurai. They are a 3-piece instrumental surf band from San Diego, CA. They are just coming off a recent tour, so we caught them at a great time. By the way, they recently played a show at San Francisco’s Hotel Utah with top surf bands Daikaiju, Pollo Del Mar and the TomorrowMen. I would have loved to see that show!

The Secret Samurai: Instrumental Surf Music from San Diego, CA
The Secret Samurai: Instrumental Surf Music from San Diego, CA

Today’s surf band interview is with The Secret Samurai. They are a 3-piece instrumental surf band from San Diego, CA. They are just coming off a recent tour, so we caught them at a great time. By the way, they recently played a show at San Francisco’s Hotel Utah with top surf bands Daikaiju, Pollo Del Mar and the TomorrowMen. I would have loved to be at that show!

  1. How long have you been playing together?
    Steve and Ryan have been playing together for about 15 years. For 10 years in Surf Report, and most recently with The Secret Samurai. Bill, our drummer has played with us for two years.
  2. What city do you claim as your hometown?
    San Diego
  3. Do you have any nicknames?
    Ruhar, Steve-O, and Bilbo
  4. What songs come up on shuffle on your ipod?
    Anything from Mahavishnu Orchestra to The Madeira
  5. If you had the chance for some interstellar travel, what planet would you colonize?
    Titan, because it is the only moon in our solar system to have a dense atmosphere and is rich in carbon-bearing compounds.
  6. What kind of music do you say you play?
    Instrumental
  7. Tell us about everybody’s gear.
    Ryan plays a Fender ’62 AVRI Stratocaster and Jazzmaster depending on mood through either a ’67 Dual Showman or ’63 Vibroverb Reissue. Steve plays a Frankenstein P-Bass through a Gallien-Krueger 800RB Amp and Ampeg 4×10″ Cabinet
  8. Spaghetti westerns or spaghetti meatballs?
    Ennio Morricone is my lord and personal savior.
  9. What’s your favorite venue to play?
    Bar Pink in San Diego, Hotel Utah in San Francisco
  10. Who’s your favorite superhero?
    Silver Surfer, of course
  11. Are there any other surf bands we should check out?
    The Madeira, The TomorrowMen, Pollo Del Mar, Los Twang! Marvels, The Barbwires
  12. If all of your band members were in a knife fight, who would win?
    Bill, due to his lean profile, he would be nearly impossible to strike
  13. Have you ever actually surfed?
    Yep. Surfed pretty actively for a couple of years, but haven’t in quite a while so I’m only partially legit.
  14. Favorite surf guitar song?
    Impossible to answer, but for the sake of argument, a tie between Return of the Space Cossack by Los Twang! Marvels, The Rattler by The Huntington Cads, and Undercurrents by The Madeira.
  15. Favorite SciFi movie?
    Star Wars. I know boring, but it is what it is.
  16. If you saw Mothra standing on the sidewalk asking for change, would you give him a buck or tell him to get a real job?
    I would give Mothra whatever he wanted. I’d tell Godzilla to get a real job though.
  17. Do you drink beer while you play?
    Not as much as I used to. I’m a pretty moderate drinker these days. The reduction has lowered my suck ratio on stage.
  18. When is your next tour?
    We just finished touring actually, so it might be a while.
  19. Have you released an album lately or do you plan to release an album anytime soon?
    We released Gun-Sho-Gun in Feb. 2008 and have enough material for another album. Just need to find the time and resources to put another one out. Hopefully we’ll be able to get our sophmore out in 2010.
  20. If you could make a worm hole to any time and place, where would you go?
    To the Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City, 1959 during the recording sessions for Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue album. I would want to witness absolute perfection just once.

Thanks to Ryan Ruiz from the Secret Samurai for the interview. Also, I think the Secret Samurai have some of the best show fliers around. Here are a few:

Surf Band Fliers: The Secret Samurai from San Diego, CA
Surf Band Fliers: The Secret Samurai from San Diego, CA
Surf Band Fliers: The Secret Samurai from San Diego, CA
Surf Band Fliers: The Secret Samurai from San Diego, CA
Surf Band Fliers: The Secret Samurai from San Diego, CA
Surf Band Fliers: The Secret Samurai from San Diego, CA

Cheers & Reverb!

Daikaiju – Japanese Monster-Battling Surf Music

I definitely wanted to post about Daikaiju based on their personality alone. 

“Daikaiju” name means “giant monster” in Japanese.  Sticking with the Japanese theme, they wear kabuki masks on stage, which looks both cool and alien live.  As well, song names often reflect the Japanese monster theme. Each band member is anonymous and go by the names secret man, rumble man, hands man, rock man, radiant man, and electro man (although it seems that they used to be only 4 guys).

Take a look for yourself at the stage show (they’ve even got a dancing girl at this show), but be warned the video quality is terrible:

The Japanese-surf theme is weird knowing that they are from Alabama, but whatever. Musically, they aren’t a classical surf band by any means, and include more of a distorted sound.  But the music they’ve come up with is very cool.  They’ve got 1 album out as far as I can tell and include some songs on their MySpace. One guitarist plays a Fender Strat, I’m not sure about the other one.

Daikaiju Band Members in their Kabuki Masks
Daikaiju Band Members in their Kabuki Masks

Tell us what you think of Daikaiju, or if you have some info on them let us know. Here’s another video to play you out, a little less of a stage show but higher quality: