Swing Heil Scrapbook

Background

There are a lot of different types of relationships you can have in life. You can have casual connections, like the regulars you chat with at a coffee shop, or you can have the super close, yet irritating, relationships that only brothers and sisters can ever really have. There are best friends, wives, husband, parents and raising children. They’re all special.

But, playing music with someone is different….

When it clicks, and you play really well together, it’s something really special. After years of playing well together, it becomes a sort of intimacy. It’s different than sex, different than love. It defies gender norms. It’s a special connection, and you’re lucky if you ever get to experience it.

I was lucky, and I got to experience this feeling in a particularly strong way with Ben Urban (drums, keyboard) and Royce Cleveland (guitar) in a band called Swing Heil. That’s not to downplay the connections I had with the rest of the band, or with our fans. In the mid-to-late 90s we were young, angst-filled, curious, raucous, strong-willed, and we wanted to engage the world. We wanted to be creative, build something with our own hands, and impact people’s lives. It was more than entertainment to us, but also entertainment. It was an innately social bond we wanted to build amongst ourselves, but also with our fans. The word family isn’t quite right, but it was something innocent, naive in the best way possible, community-like, and special.

I’ve had most of this stuff sitting in my basement in bins for years and years, and I’ve decided to share as much as I can, something akin to a digital high school reunion of sorts. If you have more photos, or even comments you’d like to share, please send me a note at [email protected], or make a comment here in this blog!

Music

These are all YouTube playlists, so you can skip back and forth in order, pretty much like an album.

This first collection was recorded in the basement of Adam Edwards’ house in the summer of 1995 if I recall correctly. I have hilarious memories of Adam and I teaching Chris how to play upbeats in ska while recording that first song! 🤣

We recorded this collection in the basement of my (Scott) house on Riverside in Akron, OH, right as the band was breaking up. It was a similar story to the band Refused 🤣 but we broke up before we could finish our first “real” album. I’m pretty happy with the sound quality for 1999 on a Tascam 8 track if I recall correctly. Someday, I’d like to get Jared together and record vocals for the song D&D Dork (I’ve been saying this to myself for 25 years now) 🤣

 

Band Photos

Let’s start with some band photos. Ahh, how young we look….

Fliers

I remember sitting around brainstorming, and sketching flyers for hours to make what we needed to advertise shows. It was also nice when promoters would make them sometimes!

Merchandise

I have a whole bunch more merch’ I need to take photos of when I get home!

Home Videos

Yes, I’m sorry, I have to call these “Home Videos” because when they’re made with an old camcorder, that’s a home video! From Peabody’s Down Under in the Flats in Cleveland in 1998 #1

From Peabody’s Down Under in the Flats in Cleveland in 1998 #1

 

Meta

Given that Barcelona has had such a profound effect on so many so many writers and artists, including Orwell and Hemingway, it seems only fitting that this is where I’m at as I compose this scrapbook. There’s something cathartic about rummaging about in my own brain for these memories, while I gaze out the window of our second floor apartment on the corner Carrer de Sardenya (photos of this street) and Avinguda Meridiana.

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