Laundry, recording and banana bread 

Current Swell and the Cave Singers bring indie excellence to the Garibaldi Lift Company

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - electric current Victoria indie band Current Swell is performing alongside Seattle rockers the Cave Singers at the Garibaldi Lift Company on Friday, Dec. 4.
  • Photo submitted
  • electric current Victoria indie band Current Swell is performing alongside Seattle rockers the Cave Singers at the Garibaldi Lift Company on Friday, Dec. 4.

Catching indie band Current Swell's vocalist-guitarist Dave Lang in the laundry room means he is back from tour.

"We just got home from our eastern leg of a national tour in Ontario and Quebec," he explains."Off the road is nice, it means banana bread and laundry."

Out east, the Victoria-based band is well received, he says.

"We have pockets in Western Canada where we can do pretty big shows, with over 1,000 people. That's really nice. We're not doing that out east, but we're selling out The Horseshoe in Toronto, and little venues in Montreal and Quebec City. You can't ask for much more than that."

Formed in 2005, Current Swell has released six studio albums — its most recent country-rock/trad-rock album Ulysses late last year — and won Vancouver's Peak Performance competition in 2011, bringing home a $100,500 first prize.

Asked if he feels Current Swell is on the ascendency, Lang agrees that Ulysses has had an impact.

"It had a little bit of radio behind it, which helps in places like Toronto. It's always hard to get a big city behind a band," he says.

"You go to places like Berlin or London, they are so saturated that you need to cut through it somehow.

"This tour has given us warm welcomes in a lot of places, and it's like 'Phew! Good.' You never can be sure if you haven't been back a year to a place. But it turns out support is building and that is encouraging."

This is their first trip to Whistler since the spring, when they came out for GO Fest. The resort is in the western half of their national tour, due to kick off again next week.

The band performs alongside Seattle's the Cave Singers at the Garibaldi Lift Company on Friday, Dec. 4. They are also bringing two Nanaimo-based horn players, who Lang describes as "great guys."

"You'd think we'd take time off, but today our sound guy, me and Scott (Stanton, the band's guitarist) got together to work on lighting things," says Lang.

"We're also writing, getting ready to do another recording. Getting anything and everything sorted."

He doesn't want to let go of the momentum, he explains.

The next album is definitely on the band's collective mind — other members are Ghosty Boy on bass and Chris Petersen on drums. Lang says they have written a "chunk" of songs, some finished and polished and others they still need to work on. He and Stanton lay down the songs, taking them to the rest of the band to arrange and shape them.

"We plan to record an album as soon as possible but haven't set a date yet. We're just starting to look at producers. Scott and I are just cooling our songs. Looking at what we've written and what we want to put together," Lang says.

"It's one of those really exciting times where anything is possible and nothing is firm yet. There is this real question mark over the whole thing, but I know we have a lot of really good songs. I'm not sure how commercial it will be or not, but in the next couple of months we will decide."

The creation process is a case of free-flowing writing and recording, something that comes with experience and confidence.

"We're trying that style more than just sitting down with acoustics. The old way we used to do things was get the guitars out and talk it out, write some things and take it to the band," he says.

"We thought it was time to flesh it out more in the studio."

It's a trusted relationship."We're really comfortable with working together, we can say that we don't like an idea and why," he says.

Lang has a lot of good things to say about their tour buddies the Cave Singers.

"We were looking around for support and there are kind of dream names where you're thinking you'd like a band that is as big as us from the States," he says."And then we can go there and open up for them."

The Cave Singers were one of the dream names and when they were called, they immediately came onboard. Whistler will be their first gig together.

"They're totally great. All my friends who heard they are opening the tour are, like, 'what?' They're a big deal and have recorded a lot of great songs," Lang says.



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