Gig Michaels (lead vocals) and Keith Inman (guitar) from SwampDaWamp were kind enough to do an interview with puresouthernrock.com and here’s how it went:
For those readers who are not familiar with SwampDaWamp, give us a little background info and what have you been up to lately?
Gig – Well, a lot has gone on since our first release in May of 2007. We have been doing a lot of touring of the States with our most recent release 2.0, which was a pre-release teaser with 3 tracks on it leading us into our next full length record. Since we shot the video forDance we’ve experienced a lot of upward movement with the band and have been enjoying it! We are currently wrapping up pre-production for the next disc which will be a 12 song release. This disc is going to show growth in the band, leaning a little more toward the roots of southern rock which is country. The band is tighter than ever and the new songs are just good relative fun stories from the heart. We are still waiting for the release date but it looks like April/ May will be when it drops. Once we hit the studio I intend to start up my blogging again for our fans, I had a lot of fun doing that last year.
I have heard your bad ass version of Steppenwolf’s Magic Carpet Ride, any chance that will end up on your album?
Keith – Well, we do a few covers, when you play as many Bike Rallies as we do, you learn to throw out some familiar tunes every once in a while, to keep the beer flowin’. ZZ Top, Three Dog Night, The Allman Brothers Band, Jimi Hendrix, Charlie Daniels, etc…We like’em all, whether or not any will make it on a CD, it’s hard to say.
Gig – We have struggled for a year and a half trying to find the right tracks to cut for this record and I will say that Magic Carpet Ride is a candidate; we have kicked it up a notch or two so to speak! We’ll let you know ASAP.
You guys create such a unique music, that I had trouble naming artists that have influenced you. What were you listening while growing up?
Keith – All kinds of music really, Rock-n-roll mainly. British rock, Stones, Led Zeppelin, Cream etc… American artists like Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws, Allmans, Doobies, Hendrix, and many, many more. Everything you hear in your life becomes part of you and then the challenge is to create your own sound, drawing from all your influences without sounding like a carbon copy of someone else. Creating your own sound should be every bands goal.
Gig – I agree with Keith and would add that my youth was spent with all of the above as well as Phil Collins, Yes, Genesis, Beatles and the Stones. Southern Rock has always seemed to be a bad word like a genre that the others just wouldn’t let in the game for fear it might take them over !LOL! No really, like the red headed step child. Southern rock to me is simply the rock n roll of country and rock music fans everywhere. The down home relativity that we all possess can be found in there.
What do you think about the state of music these days, especially southern rock?
Keith – Musicianship is way up, lots of great bands all over the country. Bands are getting great exposure through Myspace and other internet outlets. However, the state of the music business is what has changed the most. It’s quite tricky to keep the bread on the table, so to speak. High profile remakes by Kid Rock help. Southern rock bands have always had to work a little harder to get noticed, so that hasn’t changed.
Gig – All I can add to that is the sad reality of tons of alternative rock one hit wonders that are released every week. They are killing themselves by way of repetition. Not that there aren’t some really good ones out there, but you know the ones that all sound the same. Don’t get me started on that.
Last year you guys went to Sturgis, any good stories you would like to share with readers of puresouthernrock.com? And don’t be shy, we’re all adults here…
Gig – Man, The tour to Sturgis was a 28 day out run that kicked off in Charlotte, NC. And so we were off… our SwampDaWamp road family was 12 heads deep on a bus with the gear in a 25 ft trailer in tow making us a 75 ft long monster machine! We played all over the place in about 23 different cities in the Midwest. Sturgis was a fuckin wild ride indeed!! The chicks weren’t shy and the whiskey was a plenty, let me tell you! I had my fun but had to really be careful due to our schedule. When you play 9 days in a row, your throat is going to let you know you need to rest, but hell, who could rest in Sturgis!! LOL! Bad ass bikes everywhere, dogs and cats getting along… it was crazy! I caught hell the last couple shows out there, but ultimately pulled it off. As far as stories… well I will give you a scenario and you can use your imagination… two 22 yr old strippers, a tube of tooth paste, bottle of crown royal, bottle of Jager and a Chris Rock mask – all in the back lounge of the bus… Go figure! That was my favourite part of the trip. Love them Midwestern girls!! Whew!!
I’m glad to see you have a busy touring schedule, have you seen a raise of interest over the past couple of years for southern rock?
Keith – I think so. People still love to go out and hear good music. I don’t think that will ever change. Southern Rock in our neck of the woods (Southeastern US) remains popular, and seems even more popular up North. We love to play shows, we live for it and we will continue to do our little part of spreading the sounds of the South.
Gig – Indeed. As you see country getting raunchier & southern every day I predict a fusion is about to spawn yet again a new country or southern rock, if you will.
Besides the new album, any other future plans for SwampDaWamp?
Keith – We just want to keep it going, play more shows, write more songs, see new places and meet new friends. To me, being successful means doing what you want to do and we want to make music. God willing, we are just getting started, spreading the Swamp, trying to make a name for ourselves.
Gig – Just keep your eye on the Swamp, we hope to break into new territory in 2009! More shows, more wine, women & songs. Bring’em on!!
Thanks to Gig & Keith and be sure to checkout SwampDaWamp‘s profile on Puresouthernrock.com