Jimmy Swift Band members live for music

Fusing rock music with electronic music, Halifax’s Jimmy Swift Band is an unstoppable machine. Ever since their 2002 debut record, the group lives and breathes by being on the road and playing live. Four full-length records later, the band shows no signs of slowing down.

Metro Moncton fans will have the chance to catch The Jimmy Swift Band live when they perform on the Lotto Max Molson Canadian Stage on Westmorland Street tonight. In the event of rain, the 19 show will move into the Oxygen complex.

Though the Jimmy Swift Band will continue to occupy a large portion of their plates for some time, each of the band’s members have busied themselves with projects outside of the group in recent times.

“Our keyboardist Aaron Collier has been playing some solo shows with his electronic show as well as his solo piano performance,” JSB guitarist-vocalist Craig Mercer starts. “He just released a new album called ‘Neo’ that is amazing.

“Our bassist Mike Macdougall has started a new project called Goatzilla, and I have started a new project called the Will Be Gones, which is inspired by both alcohol and Johnny Cash.”

In addition to those projects, Mercer says that he and Collier have been busy with a joint side project called Scientists of Sound. That group will have a record out later this year.

Mercer admits that there is quite a hub of activity outside of the JSB however fans need not worry about The Jimmy Swift Band calling it a day anytime soon.

“I think that you need to step away from something every once in awhile to make you appreciate it and to help you feel inspired again,” he says. “We are fortunate that the JSB has a special place in Canadian music, including loyal fans that always keep us eagerly coming back to the band.”

In the works right now is a new Jimmy Swift Band record, a double-disc set that will feature one disc of new material while the second disc will contain remixes of the songs featured on the band’s Weight Of The World record.

“The remixes have been played with so much that they are not even remotely like the original songs. They kind of represent our movement into more of the electronic sounds that we have been pursuing as of late.

I think people are going to love them once they hear them.”

Fans eager to hear the group’s new music will have a chance early next month when they make their new recordings available for streaming from their website. Following that, Mercer says the group is going to head right back into the studio to prepare yet another new record.

“Life IS music for us,” Mercer says. “We want to do what we love and that is playing in front of people who appreciate what we do. Fortunately, we have been able to get by and move forward over the past few years by playing music and for that I feel blessed.”

Article published in September 24, 2010 edition of the Times & Transcript