Saturday Oct 21st, 2017
New Swears formed in 2012 when all four members shared a room and a pair of bunk beds in the infamous DIY venue the Fun Boy Club House (RIP). This scuzzy punk paradise of Scru Bar, Sammy J Scorpion, Beej Eh, and Nick Nofun included two bars, a mini-ramp, rats scurrying through broken beer bottles, and some of the wildest live shows Canada’s capital has ever seen.
“It was such a brutal situation, living in squalor, but it was also super fun,” laughs Scru Bar. “I have days where I wish I could go back to it.”
While New Swears’ destructive self-released videos landed them on the radar of local law enforcement, the band also earned a rep for their riotous performances, releasing two DIY LPs, and raging across Canada, the US, and Europe. These shows featuring explosions of silly string, confetti, and human pyramids saw them share a stage with likeminded rock ‘n’ rollers Diarrhea Planet, Black Lips, and PUP.
Late 2016 saw New Swears sign to Toronto’s Dine Alone Records with the release of their “Brand New Spot”/“Sugar Heavy Metal” 7”. Now, they’re racing out of the gate with their latest LP, and the Magic of Horses. With a title inspired by the classic adventure stories of the Hardy Boys, these songs combine the swagger of Thin Lizzy, the refined, hook-heavy songwriting style of Nick Lowe, and hazy country-fried laments in the vein of Kurt Vile, all delivered with the manic energy of the punk bands with whom they often share the stage.
The and the Magic of Horses recording sessions were overseen by Ottawa punk scene luminary Paul “Yogi” Granger, owner of pinball/pierogi bar House of TARG and producer of beloved albums by The White Wires, Steve Adamyk Band, and First Base. His guidance helped New Swears hone in their sharpest songs to date, matching a set of lyrics moving past the 24/7 party into existential musings on friendship, death, the afterlife, and what they hope to leave behind.
“Sustainability is the goal,” says Scru Bar. “We’ve been having so much fun doing what we’re doing over the past few years. Now that we’ve been given an opportunity to get a little more serious, it’s cool to see the impact of traveling to different cities and finding out that people were coming out to see us. We just want to keep going and going.”
“When we started this band, all we needed was a laugh,” concludes Sammy J Scorpion, quoting from the scripture of another motley crew. “Years gone by, I’d say we’ve kicked some ass.”