Asked to contrast the experience of listening to an album by Calgary's Astral Swans versus seeing the band live, frontman/mastermind Matt Swann explains: "The recordings have more instrumentation. Live, I usually play solo, or ideally with a drummer." And there's nothing like the real thing, apparently: "Physically I'm quite striking," jokes Swann. "I've had a bunch of nanotech mods and cybernetic implants and shit done to my physiology lately."
Swann's previous musical endeavour was lo-fi outfit Extra Happy Ghost!!!, which, like Astral Swans, featured him as singer/songwriter with rotating live support. Prior to that, he was a member of Calgary indie band Hot Little Rocket, of which he says he was "always the hippie in the punk rock van. Those dudes taught me a lot, they were totally my fam, but I was always doing voodoo and other hippie shit on the side. Needless to say, my elixirs worked and 600 years have passed—those dudes are long dead and I'm still at it."
As for Halifax, "I love it," Swann says. "It consistently produces amazing bands." He counts Cousins, "those Grundy boys" (Heaven for Real, Quaker Parents), Jon McKiel, Construction & Destruction, Dog Day and Old and Weird as faves. "And I love that Monomyth record, Saturnalia Regalia. Shit, dude—amazing load of talent. So catchy! Such good songs." But local bands might want to keep an eye out as Swann says: "I'm always stealing riffs and melodies from Halifax groups."
Astral Swans w/Austra, Petra Glynt,
Vogue Dots (album release)
Tuesday, October 21, 10pm