Swindlers, Aviatrix, Steady Machete | Buzz Blog

Swindlers, Aviatrix, Steady Machete

by

comment
blog6095widea.jpg

While the city mourns the loss of Club Vegas (or celebrates it, depending on which camp you were in over the weekend), the old saying of “the show must go on” still applies. --- Reports came in that many shows were briefly dedicated to the venue, some with kind words and praise, others chanting “burn in hell,” all to raised beers. ...This show had neither.

31805_med.jpg

If anyone out there has a brand-new transformer and can put it in a neon sign, Kaci at Bar Deluxe would love to have a chat with you and correct this problem that has been a staple of the bar for over three years now. In the meantime, I popped in to check out this show on Friday: headlining local act Steady Machete, the fluent rockers Aviatrix, and the last-minute addition from Provo in Swindlers. All three interviewed with photos for you to check out here.



Swindlers (Door, Marc, Chris and Jason)

31897_med.jpg

http://www.facebook.com/Swindlersband



Gavin: Hey, guys! First off, tell us a little about yourselves.



Door: We like music, mostly.



Gavin: What first got you each interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?



Door: All the greatest rock bands over the past 70 years

31932_med.jpg

Gavin: How did you all come together to form Swindlers?



Door: Music brings people together how it pleases, so it just happened or it's a plot in a movie.



Gavin: What was it like for the four of you to come together and hammer out your own experimental sound?



Door: Nothing special, just interpretation of everything around you.



Gavin: As a band from Provo, have you found it easy or difficult getting attention from the music scene beyond the Utah County audience?



Door: People are people. Everywhere has their opinion on you. It's just about where you fit in.

31943_med.jpg

Gavin: You recently released your debut self-titled album. What was it like recording that album, and what issues did you have to deal with along the way?



Door: We got 99 problems, but making a record ain't one.



Gavin: What's the reception been like for the album since its release?



Door: Positive, people seem to dig it. Going up, top floor.



Gavin: What made you decide to self-release, and have you found it easier or harder putting out an album without a label?



Door: We're not rich so it's really our only option.

31921_med.jpg

Gavin: Are you looking to head out on tour soon or mainly playing local for now?



Door: Everyone loves to tour. We plan on it if we get signed from someone reading this. Always more gigs, of course.



Gavin: Going statewide, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?



Door: The problem is some people want to just impress and not make music. But some make great music and are unheard.



Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it more prominent?



Door: It's entertaining to watch people that are exclusive.

31912_med.jpg

Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?



Door: Nicholas Allen, The Lunatic, Tabernacle Choir and The Shit Kids.



Gavin: What's your opinion on the current airplay on community radio and how it affects local musicians?



Door: Being different is great, but its not always the answer, PB&J. They seem hard to get a hold of.



Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and a music lovers?



Door: Sharing is caring, and some people feel it's worth paying for.

31902_med.jpg

Gavin: What can we expect from you guys over the rest of this year?



Door: We can only hope for the best of things.



Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?



Door: Thank you Carson Daly for TRL, made the world go 'round.





Aviatrix (Luis, Brian, Alexis and Adam)

31898_med.jpg

http://www.facebook.com/aviatrixtheband



Gavin: Hey, guys. First off, tell us a little about yourselves.



Adam: We the Aviatrices hail from the planet Earth. I'm a Cali kid, Luis reppin' Colombia, Alexis from nowhere in particular, and Brian the savage Utahn. We're essentially a pack of strays. We met while touring the International Space Station and hit it off slurpin' liquid cheeseburgers and watching the horizon of the home world fall away.

31885_med.jpg

Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?



Alexis: My parents loved listening to music and my mom always sang, so I've been interested in music forever. Some music I grew up on ... Cranberries, Alanis Morissette, U2, OMC, The Cure, Counting Crows, New Wave '80s, radio '90s. In middle school, I listened to a lot more rap and hip-hop.



Brian: I was fascinated by music from a young age because it was LOUD and was definitely influenced by '90s bands like Smashing Pumpkins, NIN, and Tool. Later, my tastes got heavier, bands like In Flames, Deftones, and Misery Signals.



Luis: I started taking piano lessons when I was seven and I've been playing different instruments ever since. I grew up loving bands like Blink 182 and Linkin Park, but right now I'm into bands like Mutemath, Hot Hot Heat, and I really dig all of Jack Conte's stuff.



Adam: My grandmother has been a percussionist for over 50 years so that was my first real immersion. My father is also a music lifer and got his start on piano and also plays guitar, so I was surrounded by music growing up. On top of that, my influences growing up were classics like The Beach Boys, Billy Joel, and Electric Light Orchestra.



Gavin: How did you all get together to form Aviatrix?



Brian: Alexis and I wrote the first couple Aviatrix songs in a band we tried to start around February '09. That project didn't really work out so the following year we tried again. Luis played bass in a band I was drumming for at the time and jumped on board. We met Adam through the almighty craigslist. He was actually the only drummer we had audition and we've been Aviatrix ever since.



Alexis: Turned out Adam and Brian had worked together in Utah County a few years back. Pretty coincidental, pretty cool.

31879_med.jpg

Gavin: What was it like for all of you to come together and create your own kind of alternative/pop sound?



Adam: It came with a lot of blood and sweat. We rehearse constantly and are perpetually pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones to create something new and fresh with every song. We all come from different musical backgrounds so the collaboration has been truly a melting pot of ideas.



Brian: Yeah, we've got everything from heavy, catchy riffs and progressive song structures to beautiful melodies and epic choruses.



Gavin: Having been around a year and somewhat new to the music scene, how has it been for you playing around the state and hearing the crowd reactions to you?



Luis: We love playing live, it's definitely our favorite part of being in a band. Having positive crowd response keeps me going, for sure. Sometimes the crowd can be small, but we try and put on the best show we can anyway.



Alexis: I don't think we've played a show where we haven't heard some awesome compliments from other band members, audience members or venue owners. It's pretty exciting getting support from others in the local music scene.

31892_med.jpg

Gavin: Are there any plans in the works for recording an album or an EP yet?



Brian: Yes, actually, we're in pre-production right now for our debut EP with our friend Skaught Parry. We hope to have it finished before Christmas.



Gavin: Are you looking to possibly tour out of state, or mainly sticking to home for now?



Adam: Our first show was actually in Malad, Idaho. There we were asked to step off the stage prematurely for our music not befitting the Welsh festival.



Brian: Ironically, also our highest paying show.



Alexis: A small tour is in our not-so-distant future, but right now we're mostly playing in the Salt Lake Valley.

31873_med.jpg

Gavin: Moving onto statewide stuff, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?



Luis: Venue owners are sometimes not very excited about having new bands play at their venue just because they aren't sure of what to expect. Some are only money driven, but the ones who recognize talent are very supportive.



Brian: I think the Utah music scene has a lot to offer, especially as far as bands. What I don't like is the predatory way some venues do business. All these battles of the bands and showcases that entice bands to fill their venue with paying customers in exchange for “exposure” is wrong.



Alexis: I agree. But on the better side of the local scene, it's a lot of fun to work with other local bands. There's a lot of talent here.



Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it more prominent?



Alexis: I think if more establishments, especially downtown, opened their doors to local music acts it would bring a greater awareness to all the talent, all the good music in the local scene.



Brian: Venues giving bands a fair split promotes mutual respect and helps the scene to flourish. And, of course, people going out to see bands play live. A concert cannot be experienced properly through a computer

31890_med.jpg

Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?



Adam: Steady Machete for sure, but besides them, Loom, Bee's Table, and I am the Ocean.



Luis: The Trademark have a kick-ass live show. The Whits were pretty good, too.



Brian: I am the Ocean, and Ayin (RIP), but I'm looking forward to Skaught Parry's solo project.



Alexis: We've played with The Direction a couple times now and they have a really fun live show.



Gavin: What's your opinion on the current airplay on community radio and how it affects local musicians?



Alexis: It's exciting for the bands that get their first radio play, but I think it's also pretty underground. Meaning, I don't think the average Salt Laker tunes in very regularly, if at all.

31862_med.jpg

Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and as music lovers?



Adam: I feel that getting people listening to the music is the whole point. I don't care how they hear it, just that they do. If they like it, they'll come to a show and buy a shirt.



Brian: I think file sharing is here to stay, but it's the record labels, not artists, that are being pushed out of the equation. I would rather you hear our music and come to a show than get 66 cents from Itunes, anyway.



Gavin: What can we expect from you guys over the rest of this year?



Adam: A short West Coast tour, a solid EP, and a ton of SLC face melting.



Alexis: Also, we're always writing and moving in new directions, trying to keep our set diverse. We've always got something on the back burner.

31877_med.jpg

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?



Luis: Listen & Like us on Facebook. We list all our shows there, as well.



Adam: Love to the Naked Fish Japanese Bistro where miracles happen on your tongue, and to the Clark Planetarium where science meets imagination.



Alexis: **Approving nod**



Brian: Check out my photography and hand-crafted frames.





Steady Machete (Jake Moran, Eric Hofer, Tommy Hofer and Rob Jolley)

31859_med.jpg

http://www.myspace.com/steadymachete



Gavin: Hey, guys! First off, tell us a little about yourselves.



Eric: We are a four-piece Caucasian male alternative indie rock-ish group between the ages of 21 and 30. Tommy and Eric are brothers who “started” the band in Virginia in 2006, although we didn’t really get things moving until the project found its way back to Utah in 2007.



Gavin: What first got you each interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?



Tommy: We all come from very musical backgrounds. Jake has played the drums since he was a tween drawing major influences from drumming greats like Jon Theodore, Erin Tate, and John Bonham. Eric started out on the piano and moved to guitar during the grunge era, taking influence from '90s hunks like Jay Mascis and Billy Corgan. He was also very heavily influenced by more classic guitar players like David Gilmour, and Jimi Hendrix. Tommy also started out on the piano, playing mostly classical music, eventually picking up the bass as a means of helping Eric get his song ideas out. He’s a big admirer of bass players like John Entwistle, Justin Chancellor, and Chris Wolstenholme. Nobody really knows Robb’s story. Supposedly he has no influences and he learned to play when he slipped and hit his head trying to hang a picture in the bathroom. It sounds pretty unlikely, so it’s probably not true. There are a lot of liars out there.

31857_med.jpg

Gavin: How did you all come together to form Steady Machete?



Eric: Tommy and myself started out casually jamming while living in Richmond, VA in 2006. Back then, we were jamming with Tommy’s future wife, Julie, on the drums, and we mainly played mediocre imitations of Franz Ferdinand-esque songs. In 2007, Tommy moved back to Utah followed shortly thereafter by Eric. We had a good run with our first “official” drummer, but due to family obligations he had to bow out. The very next day, we moved into a new practice space that was being shared by Jake and his brother Adam (drummer for Aviatrix). After cornering him to jam with us, we realized that he was the ideal drummer for the project. He brought a slightly heavier, substantially more technical aspect which was missing from the previous incarnation.



Gavin: What was it like for you originally coming together as a trio and working out your sound as a three-piece alternative band.



Tommy: Being a three-piece was always a point of pride for us. Eric and Tommy had been playing together for a while, and their writing styles worked well for that setup. There were always times when we would kick around the idea of adding a fourth member on keys and/or second guitar, but we felt really comfortable pitting our three-piece against any other four- or five-piece bands. The few times we attempted to add a fourth member usually ended up with us not really being able to find a spot for them in the songs we were writing.

31834_med.jpg

Gavin: Back in 2009, you released your debut album Riots. What was it like recording that album, and what issues did you have to deal with along the way?



Eric: Riots was a very eye-opening experience for us. We had never worked with a studio or an engineer up to that point, and our excitement to finish it and get it out there clouded our need to find a place that really worked for us. Long story short, we spent more than we wanted to and ended up with a stranger’s interpretation of what our album should sound like. Lesson learned! DIY is the only way to go.



Gavin: What did you think of the reception and attention the album got when it finally came out?



Tommy: The album did as well as we could have hoped. It got excellent reviews in various publications, and we had some modest sales on iTunes. The album ultimately suffered from our lack of promotion and touring. We didn’t push it very hard partly due to our uneasiness with the final product. That being said, the overall response to it has been very positive and we’re happy about that.

31837_med.jpg

Gavin: Since then, you've had a bit of a lineup change and picked up a fourth member. Why the change, and how has it worked out for you adapting and changing your sound since then?



Eric: Adding a fourth member has always been an idea that we have toyed with at various times. We have “auditioned” various guitar and keyboard players, with no luck. No matter what, another person just seemed to add more noise without complementing anything, so we essentially gave up. We got an email from Robb not too long ago asking about possibly coming and jamming with us. We knew him from previous projects that he was involved in and we knew he might be a good fit, so we tried him on. Almost immediately, we developed a good rhythm with him, and his distinct style fit nicely into the tricky realm of the second guitar. We finally feel like we sound the way we want to sound.



Gavin: At last check, you've got a brand-new album in the works with it set for “summer 2011.” Tell us about the album and the work you've put into it so far, and when can we expect to officially see its release?



Tommy: The new effort is way more focused than our last one. The album has a concept and a story, and we have been 100 times more meticulous with our writing and sound design. Since we are doing the whole thing by ourselves, it’s taking longer than anticipated, but we should still see a fall release. The album has a very Western feel mixed with some good old-fashioned prog-rock sensibility. We’re super proud of the songs and we can’t wait to release it.

31826_med.jpg

Gavin: When you finally release it, are you looking to head out on tour or stay in Utah for now?



Eric: Our goal would absolutely be to tour it on a regional level during the fall after its completion. Also, we really want to blow out the promotion this time, sending it to publications across the country/globe, online distribution, whatever we can think of. There are so many avenues available to get your music out there these days, and we want to take full advantage of that.



Gavin: Going statewide, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?



Tommy: The scene in Utah is an interesting one. There are a lot of really talented people here, and getting out and being able to play shows is relatively easy. The biggest problems that we have run into with the scene come from being, at times, laughably mismatched with the bands that we play with. Luckily, we have been able to develop a great rapport with our favorite venues so we have more license when it comes to putting shows together.

31816_med.jpg

Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it more prominent?



Eric: The one thing that we think would really nurture a great scene is to have more opportunities for local acts to open for national touring acts. There are opportunities, but they are few and far between. We would love to see the promotion companies and club owners integrate local music into touring acts. Opening a local spot for the Twilight Concert Series, for example, would do wonders for the scene both in the exposure of the band and the exposure of the concertgoers to the talent we have here in Salt Lake.



Gavin: Not including yourselves, who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?



Tommy: Our favorite local act, Bees Table, actually moved to California this last summer. The scene suffered a huge loss with their departure. King Niko is another solid band here. We have played with them quite a few times and they are delightful. Definitely the hardest working band in Utah.

31821_med.jpg

Gavin: What's your opinion on the current airplay on community radio and how it affects local musicians?



Eric: The opportunities are there if you want them. X96 and KRCL have good spots for local music.



Gavin: What do you think of file sharing these days, both as musicians and a music lovers?



Tommy: We all subscribe to the free-music policy. Not to say we are pirates, but that we support musicians like Radiohead and NIN who are trying to change the way music gets into the hands of listeners. It takes power out of the hands of the labels and gives it to the musician.

31806_med.jpg

Gavin: What can we expect from you guys over the rest of this year?



Eric: Our number-one focus is on recording and releasing our next album. We hope to have it done by the end of the year, at the latest. Watch for it!



Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?



Tommy: We recommend going to our Facebook. It’s the best way to keep up with what’s going on, and we have some exciting stuff on the doorstep.


Follow Gavin's Underground:
5170.jpg
5169.jpg
5168.jpg

Add a comment