When you see their name, it jumps off the page — Suicide Swans.
They’re an emerging rock/ alt. country band making noise in Toowoomba and Brisbane.
The group’s name came about as a combination of frontman Kyle Jenkins two favourite bands and a rather unique urban myth. "I was undertaking an art residency in Copenhagen and I heard from locals that there were swans that would swim out in the central lake, plunge underwater and commit suicide, which was an extremely strange and rare thing."
“We use a lot of pedals and have some crazy feedback and delays, lots of texture.”
After experimenting with a rotating number of musicians, the band recently locked in a stable five-piece to focus on simple, classic songwriting in the tradition of Neil Young, The Band, Buffalo Springfield, Little Feat and Gram Parsons as well as expansive, well crafted sounds in the same vein as The Drones and My Morning Jacket. "We started messing around and playing music together and found a good core of multi-instrumentalists,” Kyle says.
"I have always been inspired by the likes of Willie Nelson, Wailing Jennings, John Faye, as for contemporary stuff; Mightiest Of Guns are great, The Graveyard Train are brilliant and Gin Club in Brisbane are also a band that I really appreciate."
Suicide Swans believe in experimentation and improvisation. They’re an old-worldly band of brothers exuding a bohemian charm with Kyle Jenkins, Ben Lancaster, Morgan Hann, Kristian McIvor and Glen O’Shea all equal parts of a greater sound, weaving between rock and alt. country, with remnants of the ‘60s honky-tonk rhythms and dashes of pop that they term “cosmic country”.
They make patriotic, honest, down-to-earth music that anyone can react to. "We are pretty raucous, we normally enjoy playing our newer stuff that hasn't been released yet when we are live. We use a lot of pedals and have some crazy feedback and delays, lots of texture,” Kyle says.
"It's a real fine knife-edge when you see us, it'll either be plugged in and perfect or a car crash based on our mood that night."
They recently completed their first full-length album, ‘Ghosts We Forget’, which is available from the 19th September. It was produced by the band yet mastered by Greg Calbi of Sterling Sound in New York.
Through crowdfunding and the assistance and generosity of friends and fans, they were able to produce a double coloured vinyl LP. "Glen and myself live in Toowoomba, so we roughly put the framework of the album together. We were influenced by bands like The Big Pink who had a very independent set-up providing their own studio and instruments."
Suicide Swans are currently organising shows and are already writing songs for their next album. According to the group, we can expect to see a fresh mix of new and different genres with some tracks rumoured to span over 15 minutes. “All of us come from different backgrounds, playing in a mixture of different genre of bands over time from indie, punk, noise, psychedelic, hard rock, folk and country. All of these elements and experiences inform us collectively in various machinations and formations."
Suicide Swans Tour Dates
Fri 19th Sep - The Spotted Cow (Toowoomba) Sat 20th Sep - Jet Black Cat Music (Brisbane, acoustic instore) Sat 20th Sep - The Bearded Lady (Brisbane) Sun 21st Sep - The Pineapple Hotel (Brisbane, acoustic show) Fri 3rd Oct - The Old Bar (Melbourne) Sat 4th Oct - The Catfish (Melbourne)