By Jonathan Crane
CALGARY – Silence the Swamps aim to bring a sludgy new voice to Calgary punk, steeped in horror imagery and geared towards a raucous Saturday night out.
The trio, comprised of Cam Jonze, Dylan Sutton, and Brendan Toft, draws influence from a wide spectrum of music like grunge and early AFI. However, each member cites The Misfits’ blending of grim lyrical content with big rock riffs as one of their key influences.
“We reference a lot of dark images in our lyrics, whether it be prostitution, drugs, addiction, abuse, depression, anxiety,” says Toft. “But then there’s the other side too, and it’s just about having fun, playing music, and wanting to hook up”
The three have known each other for 15 years, but it was an impromptu jam lesson last summer that turned the possibility of forming a band into a viable project.
“I kind of know when shit isn’t going to work, or when to not even bother with it, but within the first practice it was like ‘we can actually do this,’” says Jonze.
The group had three songs written within the first two weeks, and now with a debut album slated for mid-March release, their focus has turned to their live show.
“You see a lot of bands now, at whatever bar on whatever night, show up with their nine-to-five fuckin’ gear, play a little bit and get out,” opines Sutton. “I think we want to do something a bit different.”
“Yeah, put some showmanship into it,” says Jonze.
According to them, this is something the local punk scene needs more of.
“The punk scene in Calgary isn’t exactly flourishing,” alleges Jonze. “That’s one of the reasons why we make punk. Not only because we love it so much, but we think that the time in the world is right, right now.”
“Too many people are just stuck, pigeon-holed in that alt-rock thing, writing songs about flowery bullshit or whatever, and sometimes on Friday, Saturday night you don’t want to go hear that shit… You want to go have fun,” Sutton muses.
Toft points out that music is cyclical, and believes that punk is at the start of a resurgence. The goal of Silence the Swamps is to be at this new movement’s cutting edge.
“It’s time for a punk band to have that raw edge and vision,” he says.
Catch Silence the Swamps EP release March 16th at Nite Owl with Inch to the Right and Dear Rabbit out of Colorado.Colorado, Dear Rabbit, Inch to the Right, Nite Owl, Silence the Swamps