Fossil Arms, Swamp Ravens | Buzz Blog
We need your help.

Newspapers and media companies nationwide are closing or suffering mass layoffs since the coronavirus impacted all of us starting in March. City Weekly's entire existence is directly tied to people getting together in groups--in clubs, restaurants, and at concerts and events--which are the industries most affected by new coronavirus regulations.

Our industry is not healthy. Yet, City Weekly has continued publishing thanks to the generosity of readers like you. Utah needs independent journalism more than ever, and we're asking for your continued support of our editorial voice. We are fighting for you and all the people and businesses hardest hit by this pandemic.

You can help by making a one-time or recurring donation on, which directs you to our Galena Fund 501(c)(3) non-profit, a resource dedicated to help fund local journalism. It is never too late. It is never too little. Thank you. DONATE

Fossil Arms, Swamp Ravens



If you were out and about on Saturday, chances are you were attending more than one event as everyone was desperate to get out of the damned house after a week of gray weather. --- I myself made it around to a few events, including a concert over at Kilby Court that started off looking damned near abandoned until the bands started playing, then the bodies came out of the woodwork as if they woke up and realized, “Oh shit, it's Saturday, why am I not somewhere other than home?”


This show featured Detroit post-punk band Protomartyr along with locals Fossil Arms and Swamp Ravens. Today, we chat with the local acts about their music, and you can check out more than 100 photos from the show in this gallery.

Swamp Ravens (Mikey Blackhurst, Joey Mayes & Kristin Maloney. Not featured: Courtney Holman)


Swamp Ravens on Facebook

Gavin: Hey guys, first thing, tell us a little about yourselves.

Swamp Ravens: The band is made up of Mikey on vocals and guitar, Kristin on bass, Joey on drums and Courtney on keyboards. We like to get drunk and play rock & roll together.

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

S.R.: People being dismissive and evasive. Bo Diddley.


Gavin: How did you come together to form Swamp Ravens?

S.R.: Mike started the band a while back and just finally found the right members to get it moving.

Gavin: What was it like for you coming together as a group and figuring out your sound?

S.R.: Fun, drunk, messy and exciting.


Gavin: You've only been together for a short time, how has it been playing around town and gaining a following?

S.R.: We didn't know we had a following. We love playing together and always have a lot of fun.

Gavin: Are you working toward writing an album or an EP yet, or are you mainly just playing around for now?

S.R.: We put out a tape for Diabolical Records last month on Record Store Day, but we've gotten a new drummer since then so our sound has been changing. We're writing some stuff now, and we'd like to record soon, then we want to put out as much stuff as possible.


Gavin: Any plans on possibly taking a tour down the road, do you plan on sticking around in Utah?

S.R.: We want nothing more than to get out of town! Our next plan is to go to Denver. But we'd love to play and see more of the country.

Gavin: What are your thoughts on the local music scene right now and the bands coming out of it?

S.R.: Frustrating, but there is a lot of good music coming out right now. And there's a ton of great local bands out here.


Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make the local music scene more prominent?

S.R.: Stop standing still. We're not too worried about the local scene, we just enjoy playing. Adam and Alana down at Diabolical Records are doing a ton to give bands a great place to play, and we couldn't be more thankful for those guys and what they're providing in this city.

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

S.R.: Discoid A, Fossil Arms, Satanic Hispanic JAWWZZ!!, Eagle Twin, Chalk and Gut Wrought.


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

S.R.: It doesn't seem like the local stations play a lot of music made in this city. I don't feel like the radio really affects the scene. They should just play whatever they want.

Gavin: What do you think of the rise of sites like Bandcamp and bands essentially marketing themselves?

S.R.: I think it's great; bands who don't have much money can get their music out there and available to people want to hear it. And it allows fans to find tons of new music on their own that might not otherwise be available. Getting your music out there is the most important thing.


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

S.R.: We're a group of misanthropic dreamers. We are going to keep progressing. We are just going to keep doing our thing.

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

S.R.: Diabolical Records, go buy records!

Fossil Arms (Chaz Costello & Melody Maglione)


Fossil Arms on Facebook

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

Chaz: It was an accident. I was shanghaied into joining a terrible middle school pop-punk band when I was younger because I had a bass and a Green Day shirt. I had an ever-changing range of influences growing up, the top of which were Blink 182 and Kiss, but as of late it's a combination of rap and dark wave. For hip-hop, it's a lot of Y.G, Drake, D.J Mustard, Danny Brown. For wave music, it's been Silk Flowers, Art Fact, Cold Cave, the Minimal wave tapes compilation and all-time favorites New Order and Depeche Mode.

Melody: I first started becoming genuinely interested in music when I was 13 and read an article about Cibo Matto. I just really wanted to listen to any band that could write an entire album with food-based song titles. I stumbled across their CD, and my music choices were never the same. I still love them. I also still carry a torch for amazingly weird J-Pop group Morning Musume that I have been listening to for about 14 years.


Gavin: How did you first come together as a band and working as a trio?

Fossil Arms: We originally had a third member, Kyle Luntz, who used DIY instruments and synthesizers to create a layer of noise over the more organized song structures. We all really liked what that element lent to the band, but he eventually decided to work on some solo projects. While we'd be interested in instituting more chaos into our music, his department help us to adapt to an alternate songwriting process and establish our current genre.

Gavin: How did you eventually transform into Fossil Arms and turn the band into a duo?

F.A.: It was a rather transformative process. We first created a covers-only band called Tiny Animals on Fingers; our song list included hits by The Thermals, Men at Work and Del Shannon. That band morphed over the years into a mock-2003-dance-punk joke band called Tra-La-La-Lightening. Some friends convinced us to get serious, which we are still working on ... We also owe a lot of credit to OMD. Seriously. They are incredible.


Gavin: What was it like crafting a new-wave type sound with a more modernized take on the style?

F.A.: We tend to create our songs in the spirit of the post-punk aesthetic, by pushing boundaries in trying to deconstruct and reconstruct sounds that we are inspired by. We don't know how much we are succeeding, as we don't feel that we are doing anything revolutionary. We just try to incorporate different aspects of varying genres into our music. It's almost more about the process of crafting the song than the final product.

Gavin: Back in early 2012 you released your first EP, Tyrannosasurs Flex. What was it like recording those tracks and putting them together as a release?

F.A.: A tape recorder was set in the middle of the room during band practice to give us a reference for the songs we were currently writing. We don't even know what inspired us to upload them to Bandcamp or put them on a tape, but it happened. It's received mixed reviews not only from us, but from our fans as well.


Gavin: Since then, you've only done a couple of singles. Are there any plans to put another EP or a full-length album together?

F.A.: We have plans to record in the very near future.

Gavin: What are your thoughts on the local music scene right now and the bands coming out of it?

F.A.: We need to give a shout out to Diabolical Records/Albatross Recordings & Ephemera. They are putting so much effort into presenting a wide variety of free, all-ages shows on a consistent basis. It's so critical for young people to have access to free art and alternate forms of expression in a safe environment. They provide support not only to touring bands, but put a huge focus on local efforts. Our favorite local acts right now are Chalk, Foster Body, Koala Temple, Jesus Christ & the Goddamns and Baby Ghosts.


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

F.A.: Musical diversity, not that there isn't a good selection of bands, but a continued growth and expansion upon what is happening now. Also, general show ethics: mutual respect between venue, band and audience. Maybe that sounds preachy, but it doesn't make it any less true.

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

F.A.: From our perspective, local radio has been really supportive. We always hear live studio recordings, interviews and general airplay of a wide variety of local acts.


Gavin: What do you think of the rise of sites like Bandcamp and bands essentially marketing themselves?

Chaz: I think it's great. It's an easy, free way to showcase your band in a way that allows have complete control. Fossil Arms doesn't like to charge for what little music we have, especially since a majority of our recordings are lo-lo-lo-fi. Bandcamp is an easy way for us to present ourselves in a low-pressure manner.

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

Melody: We want to focus on new songs and have a bigger pool of material to pull from in order to add diversity to our live performances. In a way, we've been constantly changing since we started, but that has mainly affected the sound and structure of our songs. We mentioned that it tends to be more about the process than the result, and I want to see how working through new ideas alters the trajectory of the band.

Chaz: We are incorporating a new drum machine/synth. Melody might start doing more vocals.

Follow Gavin's Underground: