Current Swell performs at Rock the Shores on July 11.

Current Swell

Current Swell tunes influenced by their teen partying days, have since evolved into the musings of musicians in the twilight of their youth

If there was a band that epitomizes the laid back, lovely island life on the West Coast, it might be Current Swell; the musical equivalent of cozying around a beach fire with friends, and a group founded by a couple of guys from Alberta.

A couple of guys from the Edmonton suburb of St. Albert who, 10 years ago, fell in love with Victoria and from here have experienced a slow climb to where they are now: winners of the Peak Performance Project, booked at major summer festivals and travelling the world in support of their fifth album, Ulysses.

“I feel like I was born land locked, but I knew it wasn’t the place for me,” says Scott Stanton, singer-songwriter/guitarist for the band, on the phone from Portland the morning after a gig. “Right when I got to Victoria I knew, This is home, from now on. … I was just coming up to visit a friend and I called my dad, told him to cancel my plane ticket home.”

Stanton met up with David Lang, an acquaintance from St. Albert, who was just as taken by the West Coast and wanted to make it his home. The new locale became a major part of not just their songwriting, Stanton says, but who they wanted to be. Soon the covers they had been playing during backyard jam-seshes gave way to early Current Swell originals – tunes at first influenced by their teen partying days, which have since evolved into the musings of musicians in the twilight of their youth, still rooted in a love for the lifestyle and packaged in the same tightly stitched harmonies and danceable beats for which they’ve always been known.

“All of a sudden we were starting to write our own music and then someone else said: ‘Can I be in your band? But this isn’t a band; this is just us jamming,” says Stanton, who was 19 at the time. “The next day, that guy showed up with a bass guitar, learning all our songs and getting us all these shows.”

That was Louis Savada, who eventually left the band due to the demands of touring on a young family, but also had the honour of showing Stanton and Lang the value of their work and motivating them to develop it further.

Savada, still a close cohort, now plays with fellow Victorians Jon & Roy as Current Swell tours the world in support of their sophomore release with Nettwerk Records, Ulysses. While the band hasn’t quite provided enough monetary gains to let the guys quit their day jobs, ending the band isn’t a consideration after all their growth to date.

“We’ve had a couple of ‘aha moments,’” he says. “It’s really amazing when we have such a great fanbase in Victoria, but we’ve been to places like Brazil where we walk on the stage and there are 3,000 people there who know all the words – but they don’t even speak English.”

Current Swell, including drummer Chris Petersen and bassist Ghosty Boy, returns to Brazil this September, but not before offering their broad local fanbase an opportunity to hear their latest songs. The band brings the sounds of Ulysses, recorded last fall in Vancouver’s Greenhouse Studios and produced by Nathan Sabatino (of Dr. Dog and Neko Case acclaim), to Rock the Shores for the second year on July 11.

 

“We’ve always held on to our fans and keep getting new ones from the younger and older generation. We were never in a place where we only had a bunch of 18 year olds coming to our shows. It’s always been like last night where there’s older women, they’re in their 50s, dancing harder than the 20 year-old Portland hipsters,” Stanton says with a laugh. “There’s all ranges of people at the shows – always. It never really changed. It’s just been growing.”

 

 

Just Posted

Juxtaposition key to art in The Lines Between at Gage in Oak Bay

The artist will be on hand for the opening reception on Sunday, April 29

FILM REVIEW: Violent vigilanteism helps cast disquieting spell

Robert Moyes offers his take on Joaquin Phoenix and You Were Never Here

Tickets go quickly for Tom Cochrane show at Elements Casino

Multi Juno Award-winner rejoins Red Rider bandmates for grand opening concert

Rockin’ steady with Phonosonics

Victoria roots reggae band looks to attract wider audience with appearance on Rise Up TV show

Sooke man pursues music for a lifetime

Al Pease has been playing music for over 65 years

Shania Twain visits Canadian Armed Forces base in B.C.

Canadian country icon thanks members of CFB Esquimalt for their service

Royal baby: It’s a boy for Kate and William

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to her third child, a boy weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces.

Ballet Victoria soirée fundraiser a prelude to final show of season

Company winds up its 15th season in the city with Peter Pan next month

Dinosaurs taking centre stage at National Geographic event

NatGeo Live series finale May 2 at the Royal features renowned paleontologist

Celebrate Earth Day with guided walks through Beacon Hill Park

Local naturalists explore Garry oak ecosystem on Camas Day

Shania Twain set to visit CFB Esquimalt

Country music star is meeting members of the Canadian Armed Forces

Blue Bridge Theatre kicks off it 10th season with fun Russian farce

Unique spin on Chekov classic promises surprises

Cochrane alters lyrics to honour Humboldt Broncos

Rock singer, performing at the Elements Casino grand reopening May 5, changes up ‘Big League’

Who’s afraid of Friday the 13th?

Is friggatriskaidekaphobia harmless fun, or should we be proceeding with caution today?

Most Read