Capital region band Crazy Swedes on their debut album
Listening to the Crazy Swedes, a band based in the capital region, is a lesson in gender mixing.
The four-member line-up mixes everything from funk to jazz to progressive rock in an improvisational style.
It started as a passionate project and in some ways it still is, although it grew into something more with the release of the band’s self-titled debut album. An album release show is scheduled for Saturday at the Round Lake Auditorium.
“I think this is the band we all wanted to be in when we were 18, where you could really play to the limits of your abilities,” said guitarist Will Severin.
The musical background of each member of the group is quite diverse. Severin has done everything from Broadway orchestral concerts to touring with progressive metal band Infinite Spectrum, in addition to composing film scores and music for television. Rob Lindquist, who plays the keys to the group, has performed with jazz luminaries and brought together projects like the Rob Lindquist Quartet and New Regime. Bassist Eric Schwanke has performed with bands like Body & Soul, Thick & Dashboard Anthem. Drummer George Snyder has performed with regional bands like Rattail Jimmy and internationals like Cliff Morrison & The Lizzard Son Band and Itis.
Lindquist, Snyder and Severin also perform with Cohoes’ 2019 American Idol finalist Madison VanDenburg.
They started Crazy Swedes about six years ago to experiment and surpass themselves musically.
“You don’t have that opportunity in most musical contexts because you usually play for. . . what is the song. Things are always held back. You may be playing at 25% of your ability. This is the opportunity to lie down. You can basically play more with what you know, ”Severin said.
The Crazy Swedes (whose name is inspired by a line from a horror film) is above all an instrumentalised group. There is no lyrical narrative to distract from the solos and each member seems to be spending their time in the spotlight.
The songwriting process for “Crazy Swedes” reflects the experimental style of the music.
“It was a kind of collaboration [process]. Everyone brings something to the table. Usually people would work on a sprout or two at home and then we would just scramble it in the studio, ”Severin said.
They began recording the album before the pandemic at North Albany Studios, working with Grammy-winning engineer Chris Theis (Santana’s Smooth and Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”).
Throughout the past year, as they couldn’t get together to perform live, they polished the album.
“During the pandemic I ended up recording a lot of extra guitar work at home in my home studio and the keyboardist basically did a few overdubs at home himself. . . It kind of kept us in it, ”Severin said.
Saturday’s album release show will be the first the Crazy Swedes have performed in two years.
“We got together to rehearse and everyone is working for the show. It was also interesting because a lot of the material that we do, we had time in the studio to really think about it more, ”Severin said, adding that it led to a richer sound.
Severin describes the album as a bit off the beaten track but melodically memorable.
There are also a lot of cultural Easter eggs.
“There are a lot of tributes,” says Séverin. “The [song] titles actually… some of them are tributes to movies. Some of these are tributes to musical heroes and the others are tributes to craft beer, but this part is probably very obvious.
Saturday’s show will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $ 10 at the door. For more information, visit roundlakeauditorium.org.
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Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts