A - About Swamp Drag
B - Live
C - 10lb. Snail LP
D - Ouroboros
E - Airships to the Sun
F - Misc.
A - About Swamp Drag
Who is Swamp Drag?
Adam Allman - Percussion
Amaris Zirkle - Bass
C.J. Lane - Guitar and vocals
How did the members meet?
CJ and Adam were introduced in late 2004 by mutual friend Josh "Cumburn" Labuz, guitarist for Adam's previous band Leadfoot. The two went on to play in Fits of the Season for several years. Amaris and CJ had gone to high school together. In late 2013, CJ contacted Amaris (who had just moved on from her previous band) and Adam about starting up a project that would become Swamp Drag.
Where does the name "Swamp Drag" come from?
Many have their own opinions on the origin of the name, some of our favorites include:
-Its a device used to drag bodies from swamps and marshes
-A type of marijuana
-It has something to do with drag queens in the everglades
-Extreme riverboat racing
The most accurate answer stems back to 2004 with the use of a communal water bong owned by a long time acquaintance of the band. The apparatus was never drained or cleaned all while under constant use. Due to the dirty discolored water at the bottom, many dubbed taking a hit on the bong to be a "swamp drag". The glass piece of legendary folklore came to a tragic end in 2008 when it was accidentally shattered by a rogue pool ball.
Fun fact: before deciding on Swamp Drag, the band also entertained the names Wireglass, Coal Seamstress, and Stonecoal.
What past bands has any member of Swamp Drag been affiliated with?
The Peter Cottontail Conspiracy
The Smiths of Lorentz
Fits of the Season
The Amaris Project
Earl Chuggins and the Upcreek Boys
Who does the band's artwork?
The band for the most part. Some inspiration from local artists seeps in, but credit is always given where due.
B - Live
What equipment does Swamp Drag use live?
Guitars: various Gibson Guitars
Effects: Hardwire overdrive, RAT, DOD delay, MXR bluebox, EH Freeze, Fulltone Supa-Trem, Ernie Ball Ambient Delay and Dunlop 105q bass wah
Amplifiers: Marshall JCM 800 or Orange OR80 into a Marshall 1960A 4x12
26x16 Bass Drum
16x16 Floor Tom
18x16 Floor Tom
13x9 Rack Tom
15" Sabian SR2 Heavy hi hats w/ riveted bottom
18" Meinl Classics Power Crash
23" Zildjian A Sweet Ride
22" Sabian XS20 Monarch Ride (if limited space)
20" Zildjian A Medium Ride subbed for louder cut. "
Ca$h Stack 14" Zildjian K Dark hi hat bottom/ 20" Zildjian A Medium ride/ 14" Zildjian K Dark hi hat top/ 10" Zildjian K Dark splash
Basses: Rickenbacker 4003
Effects: Boss compressor, Bookworm Effects Bigwig Bass Driver, and DOD chorus
Amplifiers: Orange OB-1 head into ampeg 8x10
*Occasionally a Arturia Microbrute Synthesizer is used by various members.
Why does CJ use two mics?
The first mic is just a standard vocal mic, usually a Shure SM58. The second is a heavily modified "telemic" with a very limited frequency range and LoFi sound quality. C.J. is a fan of vocal effects, but finds most live vocal processors burdensome or unusable in a variety of setting. The "telemic" allows for consistency and ease of set up in most live situations. The sound is very similar to that of a bullhorn.
I saw four members onstage?
Swamp Drag are fond of inviting fellow musicians onstage with them on occasion.
Why does the band's merch table have signatures all over it?
The band encourages fans to sign their merch table at all shows. Markers are provided.
C - 10lb. Snail LP
What can you tell me about the recording process on the 10lb. Snail LP?
This was a very experimental process for the band. Several tracks were recorded using various microphone placements, effects, and locations. The resulting recordings were then scrutinized by the band to take only the best tracks for each individual song. The band likened the process to that of a competition where several compete but only a few make it.
CJ and Adam wrote "10lb. Snail", "Song of Sirens", and "Breathe" several years prior to Swamp Drag while still in the band Fits of the Season. While never officially released, early versions of these songs can still be found in the deep crevices of the interwebs.
The album actually consists of two recording cycles. The first produced several b-sides that never made it to the final cut. The second cycle was described as a more straightforward approach with the intent on "filling out" the album as a whole. The songs "Valkyrie" and "Into the Sea" are supposedly a result of the second recording session.
Interesting fact: the band claims that the final version of "10lb. Snail" never made it to the final disc. A demo version was mistakenly sent in its place. The raw nature of this version actually works well, considering the song itself is very raw and unrefined.
Several demo versions were uploaded via soundcloud to gain feedback on the recording and mixing processes. These were mainly directed to a single studio engineer and friend of the band; however, fans jumped on the opportunity and downloaded several raw and "unreleased" tracks prior to the albums release.
What effects are used on "Elevation"?
In the studio, the guitar was split in stereo with two different tremolos set at different speeds. The bass was run through a step filter, then a ring modulator.
When played live, the guitar is put through a dual tremolo effect made by Hardwire.
What is a 10lb. Snail?
A heavy snail.
What is the effect on the beginning of "Breathe"?
Guitar volume swells heavily saturated in reverb and a touch of chorus. A similar effect is used throughout "Into the Sea".
What is that a skull of?
Who is the girl in the insert?
C.J.'s wife Stephanie
Where can I hear the b-sides?
All of the b-sides, except for one ("Stonecoal"), have been deleted from the soundcloud account. The only way to hear them at this time is to be lucky enough to attend a show where a b-side is rarely played, or track down someone who had originally downloaded them from soundcloud.
D - Ouroboros
What can you tell me about the Ouroboros Recording Process?
Ouroboros was very straight forward compared to the experimental/sporadic process used on 10lb. Snail LP. It was recorded in a more controlled environment at Elderly Man Studios. Most of the songs were already written with a clear goal in mind before the recording process even started. This allowed the band to focus on more aspects of the album making it much more meaningful in general. C.J. has stated in a March 2015 interview "10lb. Snail was a more of a collection of ideas, Ouroboros is more of an idea made into a collection. More time was spent in the writing process then the recording process, unlike before."
No b-sides have been acknowledged from the recording sessions. However the band stated that elements of the song Scapegoat have drawn from the unreleased Fits of the Season song "Storyteller" and a previous recording of a song known as "Fatale Angel" (possible demo?)
The instrumental "Martian Blood" incorporated several experimental drum sounds including covering the heads with glass and sand, filling drums with aluminum cans, and using samples of shotgun blasts.
The synth outro on Scapegoat was added as an afterthought. The band thought it originally sounded too plain and opted for the wildly sci-fi ending.
The opening bassline on "Last Point to Nowhere ...And Beyond" is actually a sample of a 1956 "Intro to Bass Guitar, Groove Editon" vinyl. CJ had discovered the
record at a local shop and found the dreary piece meshed well with the dark nature of the song.
The album was inspired by celestial bodies of the Solar System, starting with the Sun ("Ouroboros") and ending with Neptune (Last Point to Nowhere ...And Beyond).
The whole album sounds very dark and droning?
What is the jingling sound on the song "Drift"?
CJ's dog Ozzy started walking around the room while they were recording the vocal track. Instead of redoing the track, the band liked the unique addition.
What are all the random sounds in "Wireglass Echo"?
Whatever the band could think of.
Who is the dancer on the album?
Sasha Bennett, a long time friend of C.J.'s and early supporter of Swamp Drag
"Elusive" sounds different live?
Yes! The studio version was recorded in a drop C tuning. Live it is performed in a D standard tuning. This allows for continuity and easy transitions in a live setting.
Who is the Aluminum Spaceman?
The one that you fear.
E - Airships to the Sun
What can you tell me about the Airships to the Sun Recording Process?
Airships to the Sun began as a 3-4 song concept EP. As the writing process commenced, Adam convinced the rest of the band to continue on from a concept EP to a full fledged 1970's style 8 track LP. Recording began in December of 2016 and finished up in March of 2017. Unlike 10lb. Snail LP and Ouroboros, which are very layered, Airships to the Sun is very direct and mechanical. In a pre-release interview about the new album in April of 2017, CJ stated the album is very "apocalyptic" and "mechanical". It was intentionally recorded to be the sonic equivalent of a large complex machine. C.J. states years of working around large locomotives and heavy diesel equipment inspired the soundscape. By and large, the album is the same bass, guitar, and drum tones on every track.
The main bass tone was a single track split in two. The original track kept an all clean character and sufficient low-end while the doubled track was distorted with lows cut below 250hz. Both tracks were then mixed for a full and powerful bass tone. Chorus was added to the bassline for "H.E.R."
The main guitar on the album was an '82 Custom Les Paul run through a Marshall TSL 60 into a 4x12 cab. Exceptions are "This Bleeding Machine" which features a JCM 800 ran into a Peavey 5150 4x12, "Penny Girl" with an intro played on a Teisco Del Rey into a Gretsch Twin Reverb, and "Triple by 23" which was a DI guitar ran through an MXR Blue Box.
Drums were recorded on a Pearl set made of Birch, with the only exception being the ending of "Further From the Fray," which features a split signal from the bass drum and snare that was later distorted and remixed.
What does Airships to the Sun mean?
Exactly what it says
I heard there was a naked girl on the Airships to the Sun release show flyer?
F - Misc.
How can I contact the band?
The two best ways are email from this site or through Facebook messenger as it is checked regularly.
How do I buy Merch?
Where can I find CD's
Do you have anything for sale?
Click the STORE tab up top. Send more money!