Artist of the Month, August 1997
The Ultras are one of H.E.A.R.'s all time favorite bands! Their music
is pure fun. It makes you want to call in sick, head out to the beach
to ride the waves, and catch some rays. We at H.E.A.R. are especially
grateful to Eric for his loyal support of our organization's work. Give
a listen, sit back and enjoy "Surf- Pop- Sludge".
THE ULTRAS are a mostly-instrumental rock'n'roll trio from San Francisco formed
in l988 by guitarist Eric "Sludge" Lenchner. They call their sound "Surf-Pop-Sludge".
In their early days, the Ultras played the "new lounge" supper clubs
in San Francisco utilizing their diverse musical palette of Surf, Rockabilly, Salsa,
Pop, Blues, Country, Jazz, and Psychedelic styles. This was a low-volume sound with
the instrumentation of electric guitar, acoustic "string" bass, and brushed
In the l990's, as the Ultras began to play more and more original music (at a
more electrified volume), they moved from the lounges to the original music showcase
clubs of San Francisco and Northern California. The Ultras toured the West Coast
several times and shared the bill numerous times with surf music legend Dick Dale.
1993 saw the release of the Ultras' CD, SURF-POP-SLUDGE Produced by Scott Mathews,
the man responsible for the Dick Dale "comeback" CD" on Hightone,
"Surf-Pop-Sludge" was a college radio hit, going Top Ten on numerous stations
throughout the U.S.
In 1995 the Ultras stopped playing live shows due to guitarist Lenchner's hearing
damage. They have continued to record, and their latest projects are "Rocket
Jockey" (video game), "Attack of the New Killer Surf Guitars" (compilation
featuring Ultras' track "THE ULTRA FACTOR"), and "Just Write"
(feature film starring Sherilyn Fenn - soundtrack features "Steel Twist"
by The Ultras).
WHO ARE THE ULTRAS?
Eric Lenchner ("SLUDGE") - electric guitar; vocals
Hailing from Long Island, New York, Sludge's first band in junior high school
in 1966 was called The Ultras. In San Francisco Sludge first made his mark as part
of the punk-new wave outfit The Readymades (1977-1979) and later as part of nouvelle-lounge
swingers The Dinos in the latter 1980's.
30-plus years of playing in bands has left Sludge with hearing damage. He suffers
from hyperacusis (oversensitivity to sound), tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and
hearing loss. He presently is a full-time guitar teacher, running the Professor Sludge
Guitar Academy in San Francisco.
The Sludge Academy is partnerd with H.E.A. R . ( Hearing Education and Awareness
for Rockers) of San Francisco. Proceeds from Sludge Academy Concerts go to H.E.A.R.
in support of their many programs. This year The Sludge Academy helped to fund the
printing of H.E.A.R.'s new brochures that are distributed to recording studios, rehersal
halls, music stores, music venues and schools.
Eric and his students appeared on Tom Brokaw's NBC Nightly New this May in support
of better hearing for young musicians and music fans!
Trey Sabatelli ("TREY KING KOOL") -drums; vocals
Originally from New York City, Trey King Kool has played with some of the top
groups in rock (Jefferson Starship; The Tubes) since relocating to the Bay Area.
Kool's amazing fluidity on the drum kit, stylistic versatility, and dynamic showmanship
have earned him a growing reputation and following among musicians and fans alike.
Bing Nathan ("STRING BING") - acoustic and electric bass
Originally from Illinois, String Bing has been a fixture on the Bay Area music
scene since performing at the Fillmore Auditorium in 1968. He now performs regularly
with swing jazz act Lavay Smith and the Red-Hot Skillet Lickers (a 1997 Bammie Award
1992 - We Love You and You Love Us / full length album (Vanilla Sludge)
1993 - Surf-Pop-Sludge / full length album (Vanilla Sludge)
1994 - Live at D.N.A. / video (Vanilla Sludge)
- Planet Surf / compilation (Tri-Surf)
- Beyond the Beach / compilation (Upstart)
- California Music / compilation (Australian magazine)
1995 - Xmas, Ultras-Style / single (Vanilla Sludge)
1996 - Rocket Jockey / video game (Seqa Soft)
1997 - Attack of the New Killer Surf Guitars / compilation (Shanachie)
1997 - Just Write/ feature film
INFO-ULTRA-MATION / (415) 239-5390
Vanilla Sludge Records
PO Box 460205
Noe Valley Station, San Francisco, CA 94146-0205