Swarm at Canal Public House
By Allyson Crawford
Photo: Swarm will perform on June 14 at Canal Public House
“We jump around and have a good time, but we’re definitely serious about the music we’re playing,” Scott Bodine of Swarm told Dayton City Paper. “It’s a good live show and we sound just like the record.”
The quote could come from any musician from any genre from any place in the world. But Bodine isn’t just any musician. He’s a Dayton native, currently displaced in Columbus. Scott moved to Columbus for work, but his heart clearly belongs to the Gem City and its strong music scene. A veteran of a slew of Dayton metal, thrash and punk bands including acts like The Method and Murder Your Darlings, Bodine is now playing guitar for Swarm. The band will bring its unique mix of punk and thrash to Canal Public House on Saturday, June 14. Friends and fellow rockers Neon Warship and Bearer of Bad News are also on the bill that night.
“The specialness of our [June gig] is we’re playing with Neon Warship and Bearer of Bad News,” Bodine said, reminiscing on his musical friendships. “I’ve known Kevin [Schindel] and Matt [Tackett] from Neon Warship since we were kids. I gave them guitar lessons when I worked at Dayton Band! Any time we can play with them, it’s extra special. And I’m sometimes a ‘fourth’ member of Bearer of Bad News! It’s really cool because we’re all so bonded.”
Swarm just released Criminal Clockwork via BandCamp online. Eventually, this album will be pressed to a proper CD. Criminal Clockwork is the band’s third album, but the first to be recorded, mixed and mastered by Travis Lautenschlager at Club Sandwich in Columbus.
Criminal Clockwork features four tracks and a retail price of just four bucks. Like the band’s previous albums, Criminal Clockwork boasts some pretty political cover art, featuring wolves and sheep. Swarm singer Jason Sidwell does all the artwork for the band’s releases. He also writes lyrics to go with Bodine’s music.
Like most things with Swarm, bringing Travis Lautenschlager into the mix was the result of a close friendship.
“We did the first two albums at another studio in Hilliard,” Bodine explained. “Out of the blue, our drummer, Joe Rosenblum, mentions he’s friends with Travis. Travis even helped us find a new bass player. We’ve had four since we started. It’s like Spinal Tap with the bass players! Up here in Columbus, it’s incestuous and people play in a million bands.”
True to punk roots, Criminal Clockwork is raw. Really raw. Bodine said that’s because the band didn’t spend tons of time on the album. In fact, Swarm is pushing forward and already working on new music and booking more shows. Bodine hopes to get more shows in Dayton soon.
“We recorded Criminal Clockwork the 19th of January, in the dead of the miserable winter,” Bodine said. “We did it all live and mixed that same day.” Bodine’s pride at the band’s one-day recording session is evident. Now, he’s really looking ahead to the band’s Canal Public House gig. That’s because the last time Swarm played a show in Dayton it was during an ice storm. This time around, Bodine knows the crowd is going to be great, especially since the Dayton music scene is seemingly exploding these days.
“The Dayton scene is off the hook right now,” Bodine said. “The Oregon District is cooler than it used to be. Everybody at every genre goes to every show – it doesn’t matter. It’s been a good run since early ’90s. Dayton’s gotten pretty exciting since then. There was a population mass from my era, we gathered from the suburbs to go downtown for shows. Plus, we had the Oregon, too. We had underground places, like warehouses.”
Like most bands, the guys in Swarm practice about once a week, fitting music into their daily lives of work, family and other commitments. Still, Bodine is able to make it down to Dayton several times a month. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Dayton’s the best town ever,” he said. “I guess before we were around, it was a real big deal with the airplanes and inventors. We need to get that mojo back. And the funk that came from the west side just freaks me out.”
Bodine can be considered a Dayton inventor, too, creating so many bands since his teen years. Now firmly focusing his creative energy on Swarm, you can expect to see the band play more heavy shows in and around Ohio. Still, as a seasoned music vet, Bodine isn’t above giving kudos to fellow Dayton bands.
“Heavier stuff does seem to go over better in Dayton,” Bodine said. “Total hats off to Neon Warship for paving the way.”
Swarm will perform Saturday, June 14 at Canal Public House, 308 E. First St. Also on the bill are Neon Warship and Bearer of Bad News. Admission is $5 for 18 and up. Doors at 9 p.m. For more information, please visit swarm.bandcamp.com.
Allyson B. Crawford lives in Springboro with her husband and writes about ’80s hair metal on her daily blog bringbackglam.com. She can be reached at AllysonCrawford@DaytonCityPaper.com.