Dig the Now Sound (now at its new time Thursdays at 10:00pm eastern) on Turn Me On, Dead Man on Live365 plays standout recent garage, punk and psychedelic rock. This week the featured track is “No Thanks” by LE Yikes SURF CLUB from their self-titled EP released last year. I recently corresponded with Gary Viteri of LE Yikes SURF CLUB.
Turn Me On, Dead Man: How long have you been around and how did the band form?
Gary Viteri: LE Yikes SURF CLUB has been a group just under a year. We released our first 5 song EP in February of 2012. Yikes formed in early 2010, in between full time touring with my old band, Dirty Tactics.
It started as an organ based pop group after I moved to what would become “Titan Haus” where we hosted many memorable shows. It was a way to demo songs I wasn’t going to use for Dirty Tactics and also a way to experiment with organs and acoustic instruments (you can hear the remnants of those sessions in “trabajo, trabajo, trabajo”)
Yikes was resurrected in its new amplified inception as LE Yikes SURF CLUB after our label informed us of a short lived group called Yikes as well as a current group called Surf Club.
Turn Me On, Dead Man: It looks like the EP was your first release and I see you put out a couple more tracks on Bandcamp in December. What do you have in the works?
Gary Viteri: We have 5 more songs recorded and we hope to release the first 5 and these new ones on a full LP for this year and stay on the road.
Turn Me On, Dead Man: So how would you classify your music? I’m not trying to pigeonhole you but I was just curious to see how you view yourselves. On Bandcamp I see that you chose the label “basement” but not “garage”. Is that a literal thing?
Gary Viteri: I don’t know if we really classify ourselves as anything besides punk rock. I grew up on ’77 punk and 60s soul and r&b, combined with first wave reggae and ska, and traditional Spanish songs, growing up in a Latino family. People will call it what they will, but I think there’s a timeless nostalgia hidden in the songs we’ve been producing.
We’ve had a small rotating cast of friends that have been taking care of live duties. I recorded songs as demos in my basement last year and Vinnie started coming by to lay some bass down and it just kind of became a band from there. I think the basslines are crucial to what we eventually ended up sounding like.
Our label called us basement punks, but mostly because we record/rehearse in our basement, and we played a few basements when we started playing out. We’ve supported Agent Orange at The Trocadero and The Rezillos at Kung Fu Necktie, as well as starting to play our own shows in other clubs like The Barbary, Level Room, and Connies, and a lot of warehouse parties and basement shows every now and then.
Turn Me On, Dead Man: Where will you be playing next?
Gary Viteri: Our next show is March 07 at Underground Arts [1200 Callowhill St., Philadelphia, PA] with some old friends of ours, Obits (members of Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu, Edsel, Girls Against Boys). That show will sell out. [Tickets]