If you look in the space between Anchorage’s local cover bands and the acoustic songwriters, you’ll find The SpeNerds. The surf-style band found inspiration from iconic groups such as The Ventures, Dick Dale and even the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. They enjoy playing covers of songs just as much as writing originals and their shows feature a mix of both.
“The most fun part about being in a surf band is taking a popular song that everyone knows and can sing along to, but re-inventing it a little to make it our own surf song,” Fred Brosius, the band’s guitar player, said.
The SpeNerds features Fred Brosius on guitar, Allen Strah on bass and Joel Ramert on drums. Surf music was formed in 1960s California and consists of heavy guitar and reverb with little-to-no vocals. However, the SpeNerds thought to shake things up when they decided to bring on vocalist Meagan Hayes, who would change up the band’s genre with her singing.
“We wanted to do a James Bond thing with all those great vocal tunes. Our idea was that we’d play what we know but add a singer to sing all these spy songs and that’s how we found Meagan as a singer. We started doing that and it evolved into 60s pop. As Meagan brought more to the table the sound turned into what it is now, which is retro rock ‘n’ roll,” Brosius said.
The band formed in early 2012 and played their first show in June of that year at the Spenard Farmers Market. They’ve been playing together ever since.
“With our first show being in Spenard at the market, we feel it’s extremely important to keep playing there and just in the neighborhood in general,” Brosius said.
Many of The SpeNerds’ original song names come from the neighborhood itself, with some of their most popular being titled “The Spenard Strut” and “Being from Spenard Confidential.” Strah says that there’s something iconic about the Spenard neighborhood.
“I have always thought of it as the funky, artsy area of Anchorage. That in itself, plus the many venues that have either passed through or stayed” Strah said, “Music is so happening here, it feels like every night is Saturday night in Spenard.”
Brosius, Strah, Hayes and Ramert are hoping to record both their covers of songs and their original pieces before the year ends. They can be found playing shows anywhere from dive bars to private events.
Photo courtesy of the Spenerds.