Surrender Friday’s motto says a lot about this band’s devotion to the songs they play. Each member of the group is enthusiastic about a repertoire that’s as diverse as any cover band you’ll encounter – classic rockers like U2, Badfinger, AC/DC, and Van Halen sit comfortably in their sets next to ‘80s bands like Modern English and Blondie as well as contemporary artists Jimmy Eat World, Green Day, and Fall Out Boy.
They bring decades of collective experience as musicians to the task as well, from Philadelphia to New York to St. Louis to Washington, D.C. The members of Surrender Friday cut their teeth and polished their chops across the musical divide from schools of music to blues, weddings, and garage bands all over the east coast and beyond. But this isn’t another collection of long time friends looking to recreate their high school days. “We’ve all been through band drama, turf wars, arguments, and all that,” Surrender Friday says. “It’s amazing that we’ve managed to put five strangers together and create a pretty harmonious group of friends out of it. And also create some great music at the same time.”
Singer/guitarist Cathy Broadwell – who also designed the arresting image the band uses as its logo – puts it this way: “I had been looking for a new band for about six months. I had been asked to be in several other bands, but the fit wasn't quite right. When I met Dan and Mike B. (and the late Glenn Stone), I knew I had found my new musical home.”
Currently based in Bethesda, Md., Surrender Friday got started in 2008 when the bands original drummer, Dan Wasser, had been wanting to switch to bass guitar but that summer “figured I'd better go back to being a drummer if I was going to join a band,” he recalls. Wasser put an ad up at Craigslist. “Mike B. picked up on my re-post and we met at Panera in Frederick, each of us armed with a list of about 50 or 60 songs that we'd like to play in a band. It was obvious from the start that we were both on the same page musically so we proceeded to search for other players. Clearly needing a lead singer, Cathy came to the rescue with her musical enthusiasm coupled with graphic skills." Following the loss of a battle with leukemia endured by talented guitarist Glenn Stone, Mike Smith joined the new lineup in early 2011 on guitar and vocals. In June 2012, the band welcomed Matt Rowan as the second guitarist. Steve Snyder joined in September, 2013, following Dan Wasser's departure from the band.
Broadwell is the nominal front person, but since four of the band members share singing duties – both lead and backup – she’s happy to share the spotlight. “I love playing acoustic guitar, and love the change of pace from singing and being the probable center of attention,” she says. “Plus it looks cool and inspiring when chicks play guitar.”
Give in to the music. It’s Surrender Friday’s motto. It’s what you’ll want to do when you see them play.
Go ahead – give in.