Music Profile | New Swears

Ottawa’s New Swears are stuck. It’s their first day off on tour and their van has decided to break down on the side of the road somewhere in the interior of BC. The energetic pop punk band, known for decimating stages across the country, is currently watching Goosebumps on their iPhone screens. “We’ve been out here for a couple hours already," says Sammy J. Scorpion, New Swears bassist. “We were driving and everything just kind of shut down and went to zero.” They pulled over to make sure the brake lights were still working but when they tried to start the van again, it just wouldn’t turn over. The band is currently out promoting their newest release and first full length for Dine Alone Records, And The Magic Of Horses, and until now everything has been amazing. “We’ve been having a good time, playing some sick games in the backseat, doing full calisthenics, got pulled over for not wearing seatbelts, found a nice piece of a fur tree to keep the front seat fresh,” Sammy deadpans. “The shows have all been great and we just need to get to Revelstoke tomorrow and then everything should be good.”

And The Magic Of Horses, The New Swears' third full-length album is a blast of fun and magnetism, ten songs brimming with an animated forcefulness that will worm their way into your brain. The band, besides Sammy on bass features Beei Eh and Scrubar on guitars and Nick Nofun on drums, have been at it for about five or six years now starting in their hometown of Ottawa where they all lived together in a communal home that they dubbed, the Fun Boy Club House. “We all lived there and jammed in the basement and kind of turned it into a venue.” From the sounds of it the Fun Boy Club House was quite legendary. “We probably had about 100 bands come through and play,” Sammy says. “We all ended up moving out after about two years, mostly because of the rats. There were these rats, these big, big rats,” he continues laughing. “Like, the size of a cat. It got pretty gross. They all burrowed into the house through the water tank and ended up living under the stage we set up in the basement. They became like the mafia, they took over, wouldn’t have surprised me if they were charging cover at the front door.” Before the rat takeover, the band had a blast in the house, hosting parties. “We had this huge Canada Day party once, where we got a permit to block off the road. We set up a half pipe out there and had bands playing all day and when the cops came we just showed them the permit and they were like, “Ok”. It was great”. By the time the Fun Boy Club House came to an end, the band threw one last party. “I told people that Miley Cyrus was coming,“ Sammy says giggling. “The place was practically 800 square feet and we had over 300 people in there, it was awesome.”

Now with the band out on the road with their new album, the only real worry they have is if their tow truck is coming. “We’ve been out here for two hours so far and I’m starting to get a little nervous to be honest”, Sammy admits. “We had the window open a bit when the van died and now it’s stuck so we are all just inside trying to keep warm.” “Yeah we’re all just naked here under one blanket,” another one of the guys yells through the speakerphone, “human warmth is the most effective way to keep warm.” It this kind of amusing, positive camaraderie, even in the face of being trapped, that really shines through on the album. The band, you can tell from the moment you listen, seem very much a tight unit of good friends and that comes through and adds a whole extra layer of charm to the record.

With it’s upbeat, super melodic and very lively songs, And The Magic Of Horses, suggests that not a lot has changed since the boys were fighting off crowds of partygoers and rats in the Fun Boy Club House. Now, with the record out on a big label and a tour that stretches out over a couple months, things must surely be different. “It’s good, people are coming to shows and actually buying records now which is great, “Sammy says, then adding with a smile, “but our van had never broken down before, so that may be the biggest difference of our current situation.”

New Swears, hopefully, play the Cobalt (917 Main Street) in Vancouver tonight, September 15th, with Pet Blessings and Rifflandia 10 in Victoria on Sunday, September 17th at the Capitol Ballroom (858 Yates Street).

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