Hi! Today, I have the pleasure to chat with Jeff Welch and Mike Bradford, bass and lead guitar from The Reverb Syndicate 3rd wave band! Thank you Jeff and Mike for taking time to answer us. Let's surf and start the interview if you please. 😉
SRR: What year was The Reverb Syndicate founded?
Jeff Welch: The band was founded in 2006, or 1966. We’re never quite sure.
SRR: Who are the members of The Reverb Syndicate?
Jeff Welch: Originally me on bass; Mike Bradford, lead guitar and whatever other instrument takes his fancy and James Rossiter, rhythm guitar; Mike Rifkin, drums who both retired. Now Michael Sheridan on drums and percussion.
SRR: From which city did The Reverb Syndicate originate?
Jeff Welch: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
SRR: Where did the idea to form an instrumental band come from?
Jeff Welch: The instro idea was Bradford’s brainchild. He wanted to start spy-themed instro band. I thought it sounded like a fun project but would that it likely wouldn’t go very far. Handful of shows max. That was 10+ years, four albums, two over-seas tours and countless Canadian and USA headlining shows later.
SRR: How did you meet each other?
Jeff Welch: The band was basically formed when I drunkenly approached Mike Bradford at a show we were both attending. My previous music project had just folded and was looking to get a new thing started. I had known Bradford for many years through the music scene and had had always got along reasonably well with him. At that point it was more important to be in a band with someone I liked than the style of music. The rest of the founding members were hand-picked from our mutual musical contacts.
SRR: What were the influences of the band?
Jeff Welch: Our early influences were bands like The Ventures, The Shadows, The Atlantics, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet. The style of old spy-movies and basically the 60’s in the general. As the years went on, we found elements like spaghetti westerns, 80’s home computing and even Devo creeping into our sound.
SRR: How did you guys describe the band at the time?
Jeff Welch: We are Ottawa's or perhaps Canada's only surf/spy.spaghetti western/go-go/ band.
SRR: When was your first gig?
Jeff Welch: Spring of 2006 at Irene’s Pub in Ottawa. This would be our home base for many a year.
SRR: What year did you do your first recording?
Jeff Welch: Later that year of 2006.
SRR: Did you have a label?
Jeff Welch: Nope. We are proudly self-funded and self-produced.
SRR: Which instrument did you used?
Mike Bradford: A lefty Fender Jazzmaster reissue from the mid-90's and a lefty Burns Marquee also from the mid-90's, depending on whether we feel like sounding super-clean or a bit twangy. Our keyboard is a Commodore 64 breadbin with 6581 SID chip, one of the early models. Makes some fantastic bleeps and bloops which occasionally fit with what we're trying to do!
Jeff Welch: I use a Burns Jazz bass reissue from the early 90’s and a my back-up is a Eastwood H-Flyer.
SRR: Which amplifier did you use?
Mike Bradford: A Traynor YGL-3 that someone crudely hacked apart to turn into a head, with a Workhorse speaker cabinet I borrowed long term from my high school in 1994.
Jeff Welch: Various Ampeg amps including a B200R, a Micro VR for recording and a Portaflex 350 for staqe shows.
SRR: Did you use a reverb tank?
Mike Bradford: No. The YGL-3 has a gorgeous reverb that goes on for days. I rarely turn it past 4, but 10 is great for those Astronauts sounds.
SRR: What are the effects used on the guitar?
Mike Bradford: Very minimal effects. Lately a Roland Space Echo has been a great source of amusement though!
SRR: What type of strings did you use, flatwounds or roundwounds?
Jeff Welch: I think we all went through a flatwound phase during the Mondo-Cacti spaghetti-western phase of the band.
SRR: How long has The Reverb Syndicate been active for?
Jeff Welch: Never stopped since 2006.
SRR: Were the members in any band(s) after The Reverb Syndicate?
Jeff Welch: Our original drummer Mike Rifkin has turned family man but he still buts out music under his own name from time to time.
SRR: Where can we buy and follow The Reverb Syndicate?
Jeff Welch: The Reverb Syndicate can be found on all the popular streaming sites and for purchase on iTunes and through CDbaby. You can find us online and on Facebook and Twitter. Its pretty easy to find us. Google is your friend. While we are currently in the writing phase for our fifth album, we will playing in Ottawa at the Surf & Turf Festival this November at the House of Targ. So if you are into the live rock and roll thing.
SRR: Thank you very much Jeff and Mike for taking time to answer me today.
Jeff Welch: No problem. Thanks for including us in your search for Canadian Reverb. There are so many good bands out there, both historically and the current wave of bands.