CMW 2014 Q&A: Current Swell Talk In-Studio Lockdown


BC-based Roots rockers Current Swell know a thing or two about getting albums done and out the door. Since their inception in 2005, the Current Swell Press Photo 2 smallgroup – Scott Stanton (vocals, guitar), Dave Lang (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Ghosty Boy (bass), and Chris Petersen (drums) – have released five albums, which have steadily helped the boys build its fan base.

Their latest release, Ulysses – which came out at the beginning of Canadian Music Week – however, was approached differently than its predecessors. Instead of spending months upon months trying to get something done, the guys opted for a different approach: complete studio lockdown.

Earlier this week, spoke with Stanton all about this, as well as the steps his band took to sonically bring something new to the table.

RY: With this album, I understand that you really cut down on the time you spent recording it…when compared to previous releases. What led to that decision?

Scott: “We blocked out a time in the studio and we were really prepared going in. We thought, ‘know what, we’re going to do this, and if we don’t get this done, we don’t get this done.’ We just happened to finish it. We ended up getting most of it done in 17 days.”

RY: During that time, were you surprised in terms of how quickly progress was being made?

Scott: “It didn’t feel quick. We were locked in the studio for like 20 days. We didn’t see the light…we didn’t go outside until everything was completely finished.”

RY: How challenging was that? I’m sure at some points it must’ve felt like a steel cage death match.

Scott: “Oh yeah! It’s hard on everything…hard on your mind because you’re listening to the same song all the time. It’s hard on your body because you’re not really getting any exercise, and you’re eating nothing but take out. At the end of it all, I needed some exercise and to really eat. [The process] felt like running a marathon. But, it’s a lot of fun at the same time.”

RY: With this being your fifth album, what were you looking to do that you hadn’t in the past?

Scott: “We just wanted to push ourselves to try something new. We experimented as much as we could. We didn’t want to put up any walls and make the best-sounding album that we can comfortably play live. If [a song] sounded rad, we were keeping it.”

RY: You’ve been around for 10 years now, and not all bands can say that. What would you say is the main key to your survival?

Scott: “Being comfortable and liking the people you work with is really important…as well as finding that balance of being on the road and being at home. You have to make sure that you’re happy first.”

­-Adam Grant

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