SONIC JOURNEY - Victoria band Current Swell brings their eclectic collection of songs to Red Deer on Oct. 6 at Bo's Bar & Grill.

Current Swell heads to City on fall tour

Band attracting new fans via latest project

Victoria’s Current Swell are taking a break from writing and rehearsing songs from their upcoming 2014 release and are hitting the road.

Red Deer is on the list of stops, with the guys performing Oct. 6 at Bo’s Bar & Grill.

Special guests Jon and Roy will be joining Current Swell for the tour.

Current Swell (Scott Stanton, Dave Lang, Ghosty and Chris Petersen) have built a name for themselves through years of performing.

The band is currently on the road with the newest addition to their discography Long Time Ago, capturing new and old fans with their live performances. They have toured Canada many times as well as Brazil and the U.S. and have shared the stage with acts like Xavier Rudd, Bedouin Soundclash, K-OS, K’Naan, Ron Sexsmith and even the Beach Boys.

They also recently released the CD in Europe followed by a 32-day tour including stops in the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

This past spring the CD dropped in Australia followed by theatre shows with SOJA and two performances at the infamous Byron Bay Bluesfest that featured Iggy Pop, Paul Simon, Wilco, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Plant, Santana, John Butler Trio, The Cat Empire and many more.

The band originally wanted to call its fourth record People Not Places, as if to signify its new lyrical direction.

“We used to write about traveling, because that’s all we did for a while,” says singer/guitarist Scott Stanton. “But on this record, we wrote mostly about people in our lives.”

Friends, acquaintances — even strangers — have been an integral aspect of Current Swell’s personal and professional development.

Decidedly grass-roots, the band has developed a strong online following over the years, dating back to the independent release and promotion of its previous recordings, So I Say (2005), Trust Us Now (2007), and Protect Your Own (2009).

Steady momentum at the grass-roots level (the group’s video for its campfire-friendly single Young and Able became a word-of-mouth YouTube success in 2010) has now translated to the stage, where Current Swell shines.

Their ability to capture a crowd was honed the old-fashioned way — through constant practice. Current Swell has always tweaked things as needed, careful not to move in a direction that feels inauthentic.

“The online community has always backed us,” said singer/guitarist Dave Lang, addressing the group’s considerable presence through iTunes and YouTube. “That is a big reason for our success.”

The band, which also features drummer Chris Petersen and bassist Ghosty Boy, started its career with the most modest of expectations, playing shows in settings that ranged from backyards to beaches.

“When we first got together, we just started writing music for fun,” Stanton says. “Then we got an opportunity to perform, and then we got an opportunity to tour. It wasn’t something we ever chased too passionately at first. A lot of things just fell into place for us.”

The quartet struck upon a rhythm soon after, the size of its concerts increasing in tandem with its progressing talent. Momentum kept Current Swell moving forward in the years that followed, culminating last summer with a Canada Day concert before 45,000 people at the B.C. Legislature, one of the largest concerts of its kind ever in Victoria.

That level of accomplishment (when coupled with sets in support of everyone from the Tragically Hip and Xavier Rudd to K‘Naan, K-OS, The Beach Boys and more) suggests a band long-removed from its learning-on-the-fly early days. That didn’t happen by accident.

“We’re all much more educated and knowledgeable about our career nowadays,” Stanton says. “We feel like we know how to do this for a living.”

Despite years of careful planning and intuitive, thoughtful decisions, some things remain beyond Current Swell’s control. Case in point: Brazil.

Through a mixture of circumstance and happenstance, the members of Current Swell are now the beneficiaries of a large and loyal following in Brazil, the largest country in South America.

The group has just returned from a tour of the country, a trek which saw Current Swell headline two large festivals in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, among the largest cities in the world.

“We’d get an e-mail here and there, ‘Please come to Brazil, I’m a huge fan,’ which was hilarious to read,” Stanton says of the group’s throng of Brazilian fans. “But then we’d go on YouTube and there was a bunch of people covering our songs. Someone even covered one of our music videos, lip-syncing all our lyrics.”

-Weber

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