From 1994 to 2004, guitarist Ryan Ruiz and bassist Steve Van Wyk played in Surf Report, a band known for retooling metal songs (“Ace of Spades,” “Crazy Train”) into instrumental surf tunes. They opened for Link Wray, Los Straitjackets, and Bill Clinton’s brother Roger, and they played at a Chargers game and were selected in a 2000 Reader’s poll as people’s choice for best local band.
When MTV came to town in 2004 to tape a Real World series, Surf Report was asked if they would share some of their music from the 1996 CD Inferno.
“The producers called us,” says Van Wyk. “The guy I talked to said our music was perfect because it had no lyrics. They put surf music and San Diego in a search engine and came up with us.”
Ruiz and Van Wyk say they understand that the instrumental surf genre is probably never going to bring a big payoff.
“Instrumental music has been deteriorating in popular appeal ever since the Ventures dominated the charts in the ’60s,” says Ruiz. “A big demand for surf guitar doesn’t really exist. You know if you are playing in an obscure niche you will forgo a lot of popularity.”
Van Wyk and Ruiz’s new surf-rock band Secret Samurai debuted in early 2009.