MAYHEN MUSIC MAGAZINE has partnered with C.O.A.R. RADIO SHOW (Creative Original Artists Rock) to help support independent music from around the world.
The C.O.A.R. Radio Show with your host Timothy J is proud to share his choice for the C.O.A.R. Radio’s “Artist Spotlight” introducing SWAMPHAMMER
Swamphammer is a California based band that was founded in 2011 by guitarist Stephen Lynch and bassist Laura Scott. Swamphammer’s sound is a mix of hard rock, some classic Southern rock, gritty blues, slide guitar, and a deep rhythmic tone known as “swamp rock”. This style of music has become very popular in the last few years with artists like Blues Saraceno, Nick Nolan, and Trash the Brand.
As the band went through a few lineup changes, in the summer of 2012, Swamphammer’s line up was complete with drummer Cody Antill followed by singer Eric ‘Zed’ Nightpipe. In December of that same year, Swamphammer entered Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco to record their first four songs. Shortly after the recordings were completed, the band was hit with tragedy with the untimely death of singer Zed.
As the band regrouped after Zed’s passing, they transitioned through band members until they found vocalist Damien ‘El Dante’ Castaneda in the summer of 2013. Swamphammer once again went into the studio to record with ‘El Dante’ and then second guitarist Zachary Crockett.
In 2014 Crockett departed the band leading Lynch and the rest of the band to do an extensive and lengthy search that led to guitarist Marc Marchetti joining Swamphammer in the spring of this year.
With the current line up Swamphammer’s been showcasing their music at several venues and recently competed in a battle of the bands at the world famous ‘Whisky a Go Go’ in Los Angeles. The band won and received a spot on Riki Rachman’s “Cathouse Live” concert festival in Irvine Meadows which took place in August. This put them on the same bill with Extreme, Ace Frehley, Sebastian Bach, Tom Keifer, and many other acts.
This fall Swamphammer will hit the studio with new material scheduled for an early 2016 release.
With Swamphammer receiving the C.O.A.R. Radio Show “ARTIST SPOTLIGHT”, Mayhem Music Magazine talked with guitarist Stephen Lynch to ask a few questions. This is what Stephen had to say.
Mayhem Music Magazine: You really have a great way of mixing slide guitar blues with a heavy rock edge. What’s your story?
Stephen Lynch: Basically I’m a lifer. I’ve been playing guitar and in and out of bands since I was twenty. About twelve years ago I got a little more serious. I’m older, I’ve always survived doing it and pretty much played all over the country. Swamphammer is based on my Southern guitar, slide guitar, Southern blues. I’m from South Florida and it’s my personal style.
Mayhem Music Magazine: Tell me about the first time Swamphammer went into the studio to record.
Stephen Lynch: The four songs were done with our previous singer who we lost, he lost his life. When we first put the band together and got to the point we had a really good band we went into Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco and recorded “Nothing”, “Invisible”, “Bulger” and “Jugs o’ Lightnin”. Shortly after that ‘Zed’ committed suicide and then there was a big period of trying to get through a bunch of stuff.
Mayhem Music Magazine: That’s a lot for any band to get through. There has to be a healing process. That takes time.
Stephen Lynch: I like for people to know where were are, and why we are where we’re at right now. To mention ‘Zed’, his name was Eric. We lost him right after those first recordings in 2013. Then we were trying to find the right second guitarist which was kind of a struggle for a couple years.
Mayhem Music Magazine: Those tracks with ‘Zed’ are available to the public correct?
Stephen Lynch: Correct. The four tracks that were initially recorded did get released on iTunes and Reverb(Nation).
Mayhem Music Magazine: I know that you’ve had Cody Antill as your drummer for quite some time and you found a permanent singer and second guitarist. Tell me about the current line up.
Stephen Lynch: Cody (Antill), our drummer is very well versed in all styles but his passion lies mainly in bands like Pantera, the real heavy stuff. He keeps the bluesy groove going and then he fires into some thunder double bass. He’s the hammer behind Swamphammer. Then you have Damien (‘El Dante’ Castaneda) who has that grunge kind of style. Laura, who is my significant other, she plays bass in the band and she is into King Crimson and Tool. We found Marc Marchetti (second guitarist). He’s just a brilliant player, extremely talented, comes from a prog background. He’s got that shredding, really technical style but he knows when to do it and when not to. He’s also well versed in that bluesy kind of stuff like I play. You have all these different styles and influences and it’s really creating something cool.
Mayhem Music Magazine: Swamphammer has released their official debut five track cd that is now available. It took a little while before you decided to release it. This also had the second guitarist before Marc joined the band.
Stephen Lynch: The reason we waited so long to release this EP was because there was a lot of debate over what songs were going to go on our first EP. Initially we were going to release some of our previous stuff with our first singer and mix it with our most recent stuff. We were just trying to decide what we wanted to do. So we ended up releasing the most recent five songs. The actual songs on the printed cd/ep are “Voodoo Doll”, “Weedshack”, “Tumbleweed”, “Warpath”, and “Constrictor”. The EP that’s out right now was our last real stint in the studio. There’s some good stuff on it.
We actually have two songs in the can and we’re working on two more. In a couple weeks we’re going back in the studio. We are working on releasing new material. We are real excited on the stuff that’s coming out.
Mayhem Music Magazine: How do you feel about the music industry and how much the internet plays into bands being heard today?
Stephen Lynch: That’s a great question. It’s obviously so different than it was in the 70’s and 80’s even. The whole internet thing is a love/hate relationship. It’s very beneficial in a lot of ways getting your stuff out there. Basically the music business has always been a very brutal cutthroat business. I think anyone in it for any other reason other than enjoying themselves, having fun, and doing what they love to do is in it for the wrong reasons. Not to say you can’t have financial success but the odds are so stacked against you. Some of my frustrations are just the laziness as far as the live shows, venues closing and a lot of that is due to the negative aspect of the internet. People are too lazy to go out to shows and rather stay home and watch stuff on YouTube and stream stuff all day. That’s the pros and cons of the music industry and how the internet has changed it.
Mayhem Music Magazine: Very true. The band’s been drawing attention. Do you have plans to take the band outside of this market?
Stephen Lynch: I’m really thrilled on what we’ve achieved just on a local level this past year. It’s inspired us to push even harder. I’ve been having meetings with potential management and booking. We’re getting ready to take this thing to the next level. I’m very optimistic about the future. We’re getting tremendous responses everywhere we play. It’s very motivational to keep plugging away.
Mayhem Music Magazine: As you know, we have recently partnered with the “C.O.A.R Radio Show” to help promote independent artist like Swamphammer. Your band has been affiliated with the radio show and it’s host Timothy J for some time.
Stephen Lynch: Timothy J is a great friend of mine, I’ve known him for a couple of years. I call him “The General”. He is the soldier of original artists promotion. He is doing his show, he supports everyone’s show. He’s such a great guy and what he’s doing for the local independent artist I just can’t commend him enough.
Here is the official video for “Voodoo Doll” by Swamphammer
The band has recently posted some show dates:
Sept. 17th The Swingin’ Door San Mateo, Ca
Sept. 24th Rockbar Theater** San Jose, Ca
Oct. 9th XOXO Club Oakland, Ca
Oct. 30th Longboard’s Margerita Bar Pacifica, Ca
**The Rockbar Theater show will be as direct support for George Lynch’s Lynch Mob
If you’re in the neighborhood, take the time to go see Swamphammer at one the above listed shows or check for additional dates on one of their social links listed below.
We hope you enjoyed the C.O.A.R. Radio Show “Artist Spotlight” on Swamphammer. Be sure to check back for more reviews.
(Photo Credit: Mathias Fau)
Swamphammer Social Links:
Band website: http://www.swamphammer.com/