Founded in 2007, Swift Technique hails from the musically rich city of Philadelphia. Over the last six years, the eight piece Funk Ensemble has relentlessly toured, performed and recorded throughout the US. The extremely positive chemistry shared by the band is translated when performing live. Swift Technique brings an electric energy and party style atmosphere on stage. Although the group draws from many world influences, their genre is uniquely Philadelphia.
SUPPORTING ACT for The Meters, Wu-Tang Clan, Soulive, Kermit Ruffins, Wale, Questlove of the Roots, Keri Hilson, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Mr. Lif, Orgone, Kung Fu,The Fela! Band and others.
MULTIPLE APPEARANCES at Brooklyn Bowl, Sullivan Hall (NYC), The Middle East (Boston), Double Door (Chicago), World Cafe Live (Philly), 8X10 (Baltimore), The Hamilton (DC), Nectar’s (Burlington, VT), The Spot Underground (Providence, RI) & others
FESTIVALS PERFORMED: PEX Summer Music Festival (MD), The Northeast Kingdom Music Festival (VT), The Muddy River Jam Festival (NJ)
BOOKING: CEG (NYC), NOLA Funk (NYC), Hood Booking (DC), Rock On Concerts (Boston), Rocks Off Concert Cruises (NYC) and WXPN (Philly).
OTHER NOTABLE VENUES:
NEW YORK -
B.B Kings Blues Club
Bowery Poetry Club
The Bitter End
Ars Nova Theatre
Rose Live Music
Goodbye Blue Monday
The Baggot Inn
The Velvet Lounge (Long Island)
Funk N' Waffles (Syracuse)
Uptown Theatre (Utica)
The T-Burg Pourhouse (Ithaca)
Lansing School (Ithaca)
The Red Square (Albany)
World Cafe Live
The Northstar Bar
The Legendary Dobbs
The Tin Angel
The M Room
The Sherman Theatre, Stroudsburg PA
Shadow Lounge, Pittsburgh PA
The Smiling Moose, Pittsburgh PA
Connie's Ric Rac
TIME, Center City Philadelphia
The Note, West Chester PA
Milkboy Coffee, Ardmore PA
Arts Quest Steel Stacks, Bethlehem PA
Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg PA
The Cherry Pit, Temple University
The Field House bar
The Tiberino Museum
Marathon Grill, Center City Philadelphia
Maxis, Temple University
Independence Dragon Boat Regatta
Mixx, Villanova PA
O.N.E. at Rittenhouse
University of Pennsylvania
University of The Arts
Penn State Main Campus (Samstock Music Festival)
Friend Central High School
Cecil B. Moore Recreation Center, North Philadelphia
The Middle East
Church of Boston
The Western Front
The Precinct Bar
All Asia Club
The 8 x 10
The Quarry House Tavern
Towson University @ The Recher Theatre
PEX Summer Music Festival 2009
Rock N Roll Hotel
The Red and the Black
Grog and Tankard
The Black Door
North East Kingdom Music Festival 2010
RHODE ISLAND -
The Spot Underground
The Shadow Lounge
CHICAGO IL -
The Hard Rock Cafe
The Underground Wonder Bar
The Union, University of Ohio
The Mad Frog, Cincinnati
NEW JERSEY -
Cabanas Bar, Cape May
Muddy River Jam Festival 2009, 2010
Terrace F. Club @ Princeton University
Awful Arthur's (Roanoke)
NORTH CAROLINA -
The One Stop
The Blind Tiger
The Pour House Music Hall
SOUTH CAROLINA -
The Elbow Room
Huc A Poos
Los Angeles, CA-
San Francisco, CA-
San Diego, CA-
Opened for The Meters at BB Kings Blues Club in NYC on Halloween 2012
Featured in Philly's JUMP music magazine spring 2012 issue
Voted "Best New Artist" in December 2011 on BestNewBands.com
Opened for Wu-Tang Clan at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, PA on New Years Day 2011
Selected for "Top 10 Live Performances and Top 25 Songs of 2010" in Philadelphia's Swollen Fox Music Blog
Deli Magazine's "Top Voted Philadelphia Hip Hop Artists" 4/19/09:
Jedi Mind Tricks
Gille Da Kid
Reef The Lost Cause
The Last Emperor
Philadelphia's World Cafe Live "Cream of Philly" 2008 Finalists
215 Hip Hop Group Artist of the Week, 1/19/08
Chelsea Lyn Weaver - Vocals
Jake Leschinsky - Bass
Andy Bree - Guitar
Rich Agren - Drums
Greg Rosen - Trumpet
Matt Fischer - Trombone
Brian Blaker - Tenor Sax
Jay Davidson - keys
Swift Technique: Band On The Run! 3.6.12
[+ Show ]
It’s another Friday night in Manayunk and six grown men don themselves in random costumes – everythi...It’s another Friday night in Manayunk and six grown men don themselves in random costumes – everything from lab jackets with axes in the pockets, to a pair of goggles with glow-in-the-dark ice cubes in each eye.
It’s just another evening with the guys of Swift Technique.
Bassist Jake Leschinsky shoots a smirk and says, “So, how would you feel about going across the street to ask the fire company if we can take pictures with their truck?”
A few moments later, the band is climbing on a fire truck and making their “serious faces,” which last but a moment, interrupted by gut-busting laughter.
The guys got their start in 2007 playing house parties while attending Temple University. Leschinsky had seen his fair share of North Philly basement parties and noticed there was a pattern.
“People were dying for loud music, and the bands I was seeing were pretty shitty,” he chuckles. “If these guys could do it, we could do it. And probably fucking kill it.”
And that they did.
The guys all came together after Leschinsky started making beats for a rapper he had met at Temple (now a former Swift Technique vocalist).
“We developed the philosophy of the band,” he explains. “Sort of live hip hop, jazz influenced.”
The album Jazzmatazz by former Gang Starr member Guru was the blueprint for Swift Technique’s sounds.
Leschinsky then got longtime friend and guitarist Andy Bree involved. The rest of the band slowly came together – drummer Rich Agren, trumpet player Greg Rosen, trombonist Matt Fischer and tenor sax player Brian Blaker.
“We are all musicians who have studied jazz music, so the improv sensibilities of jazz are just always present in our stuff,” Leschinsky explains.
After playing a ton of low-ceiling basement parties, Swift Technique landed their first big-time gig at World Café Live.
That show was what sent the process into full swing. They built a website and began recording, while continuing to perform regularly in the region as well as across the United States.
Swift Technique is known for their ability to put on a show, which they attribute to their tight chemistry and their ridiculous amount of energy on stage. They credit legends like James Brown, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin and, of course, The Roots as influences behind their music and performances.
But the guys are adamant that it’s not just musical inspiration that makes their vibrant sound what it is.
“If you live in or around Philly, it affects you,” Leschinsky says. “The music we make is a direct result of Philly. Honestly.”
They also get a lot of ideas from touring, which they do constantly.
“This band was made on the road,” Bree explains. “It’s kind of cool because not a lot of groups that I know just hit it every goddamn weekend.”
With all this traveling, of course, this crazy, talented, comedic crew has stories to tell.
Like the time the guys played a house party in Washington D.C. on the night President Obama won the 2008 election. After their raucous set, they decided to meander down to the White House for some more celebrating.
“We got split up from the horn section,” Leschinsky remembers. ”The next thing you know, I hear ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ on horns.”
The horn section had accidentally started a parade of thousands of people through D.C., resulting in news footage around the world and YouTube videos within seconds. Fischer cracks up as he recalls that night.
“We started to walk home and all of a sudden,” he says, “we closed down an entire boulevard.”
Swift Technique prides themselves on bringing all they’ve got to each concert – even impromptu ones like in Washington D.C. or at 8 a.m. after falling asleep on Virginia Beach during a 5k… long story.
“We want to leave positive, memorable experiences,” Blaker says (to which his all his bandmates mockingly reply, “Awwwwwww.”).
Rosen feels it’s imperative to have new experiences while performing, to ensure the band stays fresh.
“If we aren’t interested, no one else will be,” he offers. “So I just try to keep it fresh in my mind, all the time.”
Leschinsky adds that the band constantly remembers what they have gone through as a group. One of the biggest hurdles they’ve had to overcome was the departure of their vocalist of three years, making them an instrumental band, which still stands today.
“The band has been together for four years,” Leschinsky says. “We have trekked through some muddy shit.”
The six-piece instrumental family has a lot of good things on the way, including their first full-length album, which is in the works. They have upcoming gigs scheduled in Vermont, New York, Chicago and Maryland.
“One of our main objectives is to represent Philadelphia everywhere we go,” Leschinsky says. “We’ll be back soon.”
Artist of the Week: Swift Technique on BestNewBands.com Dec 2011
[+ Show ]
Swift Technique is a funk band with Philadelphia in their bones. With a foundation in the roots of h...Swift Technique is a funk band with Philadelphia in their bones. With a foundation in the roots of hip-hop, drawing on inspiration from Led Zeppelin, James Brown, and the streets of Philly, this six-piece combines hip-hop, funk, jazz, soul, and rock to create their own fresh and unique sound that has gotten kids swinging from water pipes in basement shows in the shadiest parts of their hometown, and everyone dancing all out at their shows across the Northeast and beyond.
Bassist Jake Leschinsky and guitarist Andy Bree grew up playing music together, influenced by bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers and the aforementioned Zeppelin, started an AC/DC tribute band at the age of 12. They split up to go to different colleges in Pennsylvania, and Leschinksy started looking for an MC to collaborate with. “My original idea was to loop and layer bass lines to create textures for an MC to rhyme over,” he says.
He started connecting with different musicians at Temple University, and during a jam session Sean McCann came by to pick up a hi-hat stand. He heard the music in the basement, and went down to get on the mic. After that spontaneous jam and bonding over Jazzmatazz Vol. 1 by Guru, Leschinsky and McCann started what would eventually grow into Swift Technique. Pulling inspiration from local philly legends ?uestlove and Blackthought, as well as Guru’s combination jazz and hip hop, they began to form their live hip hop band. “I think the improv and melodic phrasing in jazz are a major part of the foundation of Swift Technique.” Leschinsky notes. This is when they pulled Bree back into the fold, and also recruited drummer Rich Agren.
Their first gig together - a open mic at World Cafe Live – set the bar high for the group. Their immediate energy precipitated the band being picked as a “stand out performer” by the venue, and offered another gig. That’s when they got serious, building on their energy and expanding their horn section. They began playing basement parties all over Philly, defining their live show with the wild energy the band exuded. "I just remember these basements being dangerously packed and seeing kids dancing and swinging from the water pipes thinking they were going to bust," Leschinsky recalls. From these experiences the group formed a philosophy of not separating the audience from the band. “Everyone is exchanging this positive energy together and we just happen to have the instruments.”
Since then, they’ve been elevating minds and making audiences get down at over 500 shows, sharing the stage with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, Keri Hilson, Kermit Ruffins, Questlove of the Roots, Wale, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Mr. Lif & The Fela! Band, and they’ve received accolades such as being included in Deli Magazine Philly’s Top 10 Hip-Hop Artists list. Although since then they’ve parted ways with McCann and moved more in the direction of a straight up instrumental funk band, they’ve kept to their philosophy of traveling the world, representing Philly, and elevating spirits through their music, as well as keeping it fresh with their evolving creativity. Their immediate plans are to record their first studio full length, and they have dates lined up through the next few weeks in Boston, Vermont, DC, Annapolis MD, and Philly, including a big New Year’s Eve show in NYC.
My Favorite Concerts & Top 25 Songs of the Year 2010
[+ Show ]
My Favorite Concerts of the Year October 2 – Swift Technique @ Midtown Village Fall Festival and Oc...My Favorite Concerts of the Year
October 2 – Swift Technique @ Midtown Village Fall Festival and October 30 – Swift Technique @ The Bitter End (NYC)
I first saw Swift Technique in my friend’s backyard. They played for almost 2 hours straight (if you don’t count blowing out the PA in between). I was immediately hooked. I have never seen such an explosive and funky set, and I couldn’t believe these guys were only playing a backyard. A couple of weeks later I saw Swift Tech destroy the Midtown Village Fall Festival. It wasn’t long before they were one of my favorite live bands and I’d be telling everyone I know about them.
At the end of October, Swift Tech played a set that didn’t kick off until 1:30 in the morning at NYC’s The Bitter End. In addition to their normal cast of some of the most talented musicians in Philly, they brought in a friend from NYC to play some keys for the show. They then proceeded to tear the roof off of the bar (no, not literally). The hour and a half-long set was not just one of the best I’d seen all year, it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll get yourself to a Swift Tech show a.s.a.p… and then every subsequent show in your area.
25 Songs of the Year 2010
Swift Technique – “Who Ya With?” (download) and “Jermaine’s the Name” (stream at Myspace)
These two songs should give you a pretty good idea of why I rave about Swift Technique being one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen.
Swift Technique - Philly Weekly - 12.24.09
[+ Show ]
Led by the showstopping bass grooves of Jake Leschinsky and the highly-improvisational lyrical fires...Led by the showstopping bass grooves of Jake Leschinsky and the highly-improvisational lyrical firestorm of Sean McCann, Philly’s own Swift Technique is set on one goal: bringin’ the funk. And damn, they bring it hard. The seven-piece band, which includes a three-man horn section, showcases their first-class musicianship, chemistry and never-ending supply of energy at every opportunity. The guys are currently finishing up work on several new tracks, which they hope to make available for release in early 2010. Until then, they’ll continue performing up and down the east coast, rolling with more rhyme and reason than anyone else in town.
- Kevin Brosky
Spotlight: Swift Technique - 12.28.09
[+ Show ]
Well its not everyday you run into a band that you can automatically feel is destined for greatness....Well its not everyday you run into a band that you can automatically feel is destined for greatness. Swift Technique does Philly proud with their eclectic vibes and funky tunes that just draws the crowd in. Their song "Lonewolf" is one of the funkiest tunes I have heard in a long time. Next time I see them live I am brining a can of fabreeze.
You have to see these guys perform live, they definetly know how to put on a show, especially from Sean doing handstands, and Jake and the crew dropping their instruments to all play the drums with Rich, it was just CRAzzzy!
Get your autographs and photo ops now, because in about 3 years, with the direction that these guys are going the only time you'll see them this close and personal is on TV.
- Christien Denzel
Swift Technique - Cabana's, NJ - 12.28.09
[+ Show ]
It took 30 seconds for me to realize I was the only one dancing. Well, that’s not really the truth. ...It took 30 seconds for me to realize I was the only one dancing. Well, that’s not really the truth. It took me 30 seconds to realize that it was embarrassing to be the only one dancing. I blame the band for my dancing, and the booze for my ignorance.
Swift Technique could be best described as Citizen Cope meets Rage Against the Machine. They are a band that blend jazz/funk-laden instrumentals with hip hop vocals, and as I returned from the bathroom and crossed Cabanas’ dance floor my body broke into uncontrollable, rhythmic spasms. I like to think I looked cool and coordinated, but after a couple of bartender Donny Piacentine’s wonderfully-strong vodka tonics, I’m sure the reality was that I looked a graceless, bumbling mess.
I was talking to drummer Rich Agren after Swift Technique’s second set when a man wearing a Miami Dolphins hat adorned with various buttons and a shirt fashioned from the print of a swirling American flag and the script of the Constitution came up to us. “That was great, really,” he started. “I’m over 50 years old and I loved it, but you need to throw the crowd a bone every once in a while. Your original stuff is great, but you have to throw the crowd a Kid Rock or a Faith No More.” I walked away trying to imagine a funk version of “Epic” or “Bawitdaba.”
Still, he had a good point. I had noticed two girls dancing after my opening performance, one of whom our group agreed could pass for no more than 16, but I later heard exclaim, “It’s my 21st birthday!” The point is that there was at least a 30-year age gap between the two. Everyone at Cabanas was loving this band.
Their talent was undoubted. During one of Jake Leschinkshy’s numerous bass solos, my friend Tanya Zotova remarked, “I didn’t know you could play the bass like a guitar.” Beyond the quality of the music, the band emanated an infectious energy. Trumpeter Matt Fischer danced across the stage and floor between playing and shouting the horn section’s response of catchy, antiphony vocal arrangements.
Kacey Hofstetter obviously felt the energy because as I went to order a round of seven Soco and Lime shots her friend, Holly Knapp, said, “Just make it six. Kacey is already pole dancing.” I turned and saw Kacey swinging around the square column in front of the stage.
Swift Technique (hailing from “Illadelphia”) are a great up-and-coming band. They had plans to make it back out this summer, and hopefully Will Knapp, Marketing and Promotions Director at Cabanas, managed to convince them to make it back for the Singer Songwriter Festival. Everyone should try and see them.
When I went to sign off on my tab, Laura Zeitler leaned over my shoulder and said, “Wow, that’s a pretty hefty bar tab.”
“It comes with the territory,” I thought. Though, in truth, it was a relatively easy night on my wallet.
- Dan Mathers
Bronx priest Rev. Andrew O'Connor gives fashion design an organic twist (w/ Swift Technique)
[+ Show ]
Goods for Conscience Charity Fashion Show w/ Swift Technique @ the Greg Lord Studio 12.03.09 ...Goods for Conscience
Charity Fashion Show
w/ Swift Technique
@ the Greg Lord Studio
"At a show at the Greg Lord Studio on W. 26 St., the other night where Swift Technique played, fashionistas sporting $300 shades raved about a cowlneck blouse that reverses to a bateau; khaki trousers draped like gabardine with a peekaboo of tattersal; a man's deep blue shirt with indigo and the very cool "Bronx Blazer," with lapels that snap over the throat."
Swift Technque, "Original Sound and Dizzying Presence" - 11.10.09
[+ Show ]
"Swift Technique, a six-piece band equipped with their own power horn section, broke through the clu..."Swift Technique, a six-piece band equipped with their own power horn section, broke through the clutter of the Philly music scene two years ago, mixing funk, soul and a touch of hip hop. Noted for their original sound and dizzying presence, they have been breaking into a spectrum of diverse music lovers."
- A. Marie, Deli Magazine Philadelphia Nov. 10th 2009
Swift Technique surprises and energizes - 5.18.09
[+ Show ]
The Wonderland Ballroom" is one of my favorite bars in Northwest DC. I spent much of 2007 and 2008 ...The Wonderland Ballroom" is one of my favorite bars in Northwest DC. I spent much of 2007 and 2008 living in a basement apartment up on 14th St. NW -- about a mile and a half away from the neighborhood bar, which is located on the corner of Kenyon and 11th St. NW. "Wonderland" used to be the first place I'd stop at on my way out for the evening or the last spot I'd stop at on my home. There are many reasons to like the bar: it's got a laid back attitude -- one which is set by the friendly bartenders, bouncers, and other employees of the establishment. It sits alone -- a real neighborhood bar, in the truest sense of the word.
There is a patio that sprawls out from the side door; a perfect spot for a happy hour date or meeting with friends on a warm Spring evening. The sun sets just over a soccer field, across the street. On most evening nights -- Spring through Fall -- men play pick-up games on on the large field. During the weekend, the games start earlier and they all play longer. The patio is a favorite spot for many 20 and 30 somethings, who generally comprise the bar's population. More than half are from the Columbia Heights neighborhood which surrounds the bar.
On the weekends, the bar is generally filled to capacity, or somewhere near it. A friend and I have always noticed how there seem to be a few regulars, but other than that, there's a different crowd just about every weekend night. The two-floor establishment features a jukebox and booths, with couches on either side -- seemingly removed from back seats from different vans and caravans. The bar is generally crowded, but there's more of a chance of getting into a conversation downstairs than upstairs. The second floor is packed on Friday and Saturday nights -- the closer one gets to the DJ, the hotter the temperature rises. Upstairs in the back, there is another bar, probably a bit less frantic than on the first floor, but crowded, just the same. DJ's spin different types of dance music -- from Hip-Hop and Crunk, to House and Disco, depending on who's in charge of the steel wheels on any given night.
During my many nights frequenting this bar, there's NEVER been a live band that has even come close to grabbing my attention for more than a moment or two. During the week, they have various acts perform, usually on the second floor. The short ceiling and limited room don't make it a great place for a band to perform -- the acoustics are far from ideal. On the night of Thursday April 23rd, this stereotype of mediocre musical talent changed. There was a band playing upstairs who I'd never seen or heard before. They had three brass players: Matt "Fish" Fischer on Trombone, Alex Roysdon on Alto Saxophone, and Greg Rosen on Trumpet. Behind the brass section, three others kept the the rhythm and percussion driving throughout their two-set performance: Andy Bree on Electric Guitar (playing both rhythm and lead); Jake Leschinsky on Electric Bass (whose Flea-like solos without a pick made my fingers hurt just watching); and Rich Agren, who used every inch of his Jazz Drums -- amazing the audience with the sounds he was able to get off such a minimal drum kit . Right away, I noticed that the crowd was engaged with not only the energized showmanship, but also the great songs and various solos that the band pulled out time and again.
Barring the 9:30 Club, which really only attracts big-time, national acts these days, "Swift Technique" (an appropriate name for this group) was one of the tightest, most original acts I'd seen in The District in a long time. With one microphone -- front and center -- the brass players seemed to trade off, each dancing when not soloing or accompanying the others. "The Temptations" would have been proud!
They managed to work the Thursday night crowd into a bit of a frenzy by the time they took a quick intermission. Outside on the patio, I approached Jake and Matt ("Fish") to pass on my approval and appreciation for their act. I found them to be friendly, passionate musicians. They informed me that they had driven down from Philadelphia for the gig and planned on loading up their van and driving back up that very same night. I exchanged some general information with the guys. I didn't sense one bit of pretension from any of them while we spoke. How refreshing!
Their second set didn't disappoint. Sean McCann (MC/Vocals) led the way through a few numbers, but also stepped aside on others, content to just sit -- or dance -- and watch his friends play to the cheering crowd. I figured that there had to be somewhat of a weak link in the band -- they were all talented. I have to say, though, that as they passed solo's around, jamming in what can only be described as a free-form, jazzy, hip-hop sound -- "Swift Technique" is not an easy band to pigeon-hole. Many different musical influences were present, but they didn't sound like any one group I've ever heard. Instead, it was more like a self-contained musical free-for-all. Everyone got their chance, but they all played for the greater good: the band itself. The only comparison I can think of -- though not sonically -- but more in the way they shared talent and the spotlight, would have to be "The Hawks," Ronnie Hawkins backing band in the days of Rockabilly. "The Hawks" went on to back Bob Dylan and eventually change their name to none other than "The Band."
There was no sense of ego. The impression that came across was that of seven individuals working towards one common goal: to let the music do the talking and the reviewers do the labeling. Around and around they went, each member soloing, showing off their chops, but nothing over-the-top. No competitiveness -- they brought each other up to another level.
After the show, Jake let me in on some names of a few songs which have become staples in their sets, like 'Takin' it Back', 'Swift Technique', 'Rollin on the 'El', 'Chief' and 'Jermaine's the Name'." He went on to inform me that "Jermaine" is played in their promo video on their MySpace Page (www.myspace.com/swifttechnique).
Fortunately, I was able to keep in touch with "Swift Technique" through a series of emails, in the weeks that followed. Bassist, Jake Leschinsky, helped me get a better feel for how the band came together when responding to one of my messages: "Basically, Sean (McCann) and I met at a basement party in North Philly near Temple University," he stated. "I was playing in the house band, and Sean came to hop on the mic. He had a band and was looking for a bass player at the the time, and I was looking to hook up with a vocalist. Right around this time, we started writing music together in the North Philly area," he continued. "I'd played with and known (Guitarist) Andy Bree for 15+ years, and we had started playing with (Drummer) Rich Agren when we got to college. Eventually, Sean and I brought some of the music we wrote to Rich and Andy and we put the foundation in place. Rich then recruited Alex Roysdon and Matt "Fish" Fischer to play, and they began working on the horn parts to all the music. This was about 2 years ago -- then we added our trumpet player, Greg, about a year later. It's tough to find quality horn players in a school or professional environment that really want to be a part of a band these days. We're lucky because these guys are devoted to the group. We all contribute equally to the overall sound. I think that's a special thing for a seven piece group."
Experimental Band Brings the Funk - 4.28.09
[+ Show ]
The Roots should watch out. Swift Technique is exactly the type of harvest you’d expect to reap from...The Roots should watch out. Swift Technique is exactly the type of harvest you’d expect to reap from a purely organic, Philadelphia funk band. But truth be told, the band’s only half in bloom.
The seven-piece funk group, Swift Technique, has performed on Temple’s campus numerous times, including shows at The Cherry Pit, Maxi’s and a recent performance at the Bell Tower during Spring Fling (Kevin Cook/TTN).
“Our music is kind of like a pleasant slap in the face,” said lead vocalist Sean McCann. “It’s surprising but still beautifully poetic.”
Ranked by Deli Magazine as one of the top 10 bands in Philly after playing at a block party near South Street for local entertainment and fashion elite, Swift Technique seems to be on the up-and-up.
So far, the band has played nearly 90 gigs, and the invitations keep coming in.
The seven-member band has been operating as a unit for about two years. Members of the vocal, drum, guitar and horn sections make up one tight group that produces its music together.
Hence, the group has the ability to improvise on stage, as audience members at the Cherry Pit witnessed at the band’s April 10 show. Swift Technique’s instrumentals are strong on some tracks, often evoking strong emotion from audience members.
When it comes to the Philly experience, members of Swift Technique are alchemists – turning rough, blue-collar history into inspirational art.
McCann has worked in carpentry his whole life and now works as a mechanic, fixing pool covers for notable moneymakers like Jon Bon Jovi.
But hold onto any accusations of nepotism. Swift Technique has been recording all its music independently. The band combines compelling lyrics with strings, thick bass and funky, jazzy horns. “Recording has been a struggle,” said junior BTMM major Jake Leschinsky, bass player for the band. “We’ve done most of our work with small, independent recording studios or out of our friends’ homes, but since there is seven of us, it’s hard to find a place that can fit all of us.”
Swift Technique doesn’t have a full album compiled yet, but that doesn’t seem to be slowing down the group’s momentum. Students might be familiar with the band since its members more recently took home the first place title at the sold-out Temple and TUVonline.com collaborative event, Battle of the Best. The group also played on stage during last Wednesday’s Spring Fling festival.
Quentin Williams can be reached at email@example.com.
Philly.com - Swift Technique - 11.29.08
[+ Show ]
Few bands embody the soul and showmanship needed to be a true funk band. The Swift Technique is one ...Few bands embody the soul and showmanship needed to be a true funk band. The Swift Technique is one of those few. They play straight up funk, and are damn good at it. I caught up with them at the Tin Angel and watched as they delivered one of the best performances I've seen in a while. The power behind their music is intensified by their stage presence, and gives them an edge over many other bands fronted by MCs.
The Swift Technique is Jake Leschinsky, bass, Andy Bree, guitar, Rich Agren, drums, Alex Roysdon, alto sax, Greg Rosen, Trumpet, and Matt Fischer on trombone. The band is fronted by lyricist and MC Sean McCann, however he was not present at the Tin Angel show. They played an instrumental set and demonstrated just how good of musicians they really are. These guys are relatively new on the Philly scene, but have grown their music and stage show into something they can really be proud of.
The band came together when founding members Leschinsky and McCann met at a basement party at Temple University. Both were looking to start a band, and realized that they could give each other what they were looking for. They envisioned a sort of James Brown format, and sought out the proper musicians to make this possible. Leschinsky turned to his friend and U. Arts student Andy Bree to play guitar.
Bree recruited musicians from U. Arts to join the band. They found a drummer, but the hard part was finding a horn section devoted to being a part of a band. "It didn't seem like many kids were into putting a band together and sticking with the same group of people," said Leschinsky. "We were lucky that the horns that ended up joining had that mentality, they really viewed themselves as a part of the group and not just a horn section."
While many bands struggle to find a balance between rock and rap, this band is straying farther from the hip hop genre, and progressing into a more refined soul and funk band. "Our genre is organic, purely Philadelphia," said McCann. "It's a collection of all the guys in the band…It's as real as it could be."
This transition is particularly evident when no vocals are present, but that doesn't mean McCann isn't on board with the rest of the group. "I try to incorporate the whole band when we play…It's not just me as a front man," said McCann." I try to involve every aspect of our band…You know, put the horns at the fore front, where as other MCs out shadow the other parts of the band." Leschinsky agrees. "The thing that really separates our singer is that he has a good singing voice as well," he said. "Collectively as a group I think we are naturally moving toward a soul/funk band rather than just hip hop."
One of my favorite songs is the self titled "The Swift Technique." The recorded version features McCann on vocals, but it was played as an instrumental that evening. It opens with some very soft melodic bass chords before the rest of the band joins, and the horn section lays down the head. During the breakdowns, the horn section crouches simultaneously, and brings the volume down to the floor with them. They slowly stand back up, swinging their horns from side to side until they explode back into the same melody the song began with. They continue to do this throughout their set. This really makes their show more of a performance, as opposed to six musicians playing their instruments.
With no vocals, the soloing possibilities are endless. In the final tune, each member was called upon to lay down some defining licks. They each took turns playing their hearts out, much to the audiences delight. Even though the last song went on for what seemed like 20 minutes, I felt like their set was too short, and I wanted more.
Currently the band is putting together a tour of the Northeast up to New England with some possible dates down south as well. They've got an EP, and are working on putting together a full length LP. Even though the band wants to break out of the Philly scene, Leschinsky believes the talent and musicianship found in this area is comparable to any other city in the country. However, with all the great music here in Philadelphia, he feels that the support for these budding bands is not always there. "You can't deny good music," said Leschinsky. "There's just so much good music being made right now, and it's not necessarily being recognized, so tell your friends, spread the word."
Oct. Swift Technique @ World Cafe Live Upstairs - Oct/2008
[+ Show ]
Oct. Swift Technique @ World Cafe Live Upstairs "My biggest holy sh*t live moment of the year when ...Oct. Swift Technique @ World Cafe Live Upstairs
"My biggest holy sh*t live moment of the year when I just happened to be at World Cafe Live where Swift Technique was playing a showcase set. Absolutely amazing, They blew me away with what’s best described as a horn infused blend of funk and hip hop. One of the tightest bands I have ever seen. Their set at the November Bag Of Songs night was equally as impressive and left quite a few more believers in it’s wake. Watch for these guys to explode in 2009 as the word spreads."
Sets are usually about 45min to an hour and fifteen minutes or so. Swift Tech can play at least 3 sets of that length with a few selected covers and mostly original material if necessary.
Swift Technique's current original repertoire:
Swift Technique (Self Titled)
When Your Hot
Takin’ It Back
Rollin On The El’
On a Mission
Who Ya’ With?
Trophy Roll Call
Route 1 to Route 1
Punch The Hulk
Let Me Get That Bike
Maintaining A Balance
Livin' in the Kitchen
Chicken in a Bag
|Dec 6, 2013 Friday||9:00 PM||Hebe Music||Mount Holly, NJ, US|
|Dec 10, 2013 Tuesday||8:00 PM||Church of Boston||Boston, MA, US|
|Dec 13, 2013 Friday||9:00 PM||Electric Haze||Worcester, MA, US|
|Dec 14, 2013 Saturday||10:00 PM||The Spot Underground||Providence, RI, US|
|Dec 19, 2013 Thursday||9:30 PM||The Wonderland Ballroom||NW Washington DC, DC, US|
|Dec 21, 2013 Saturday||9:00 PM||Cabana's on the Beach||Cape May, NJ, US|
|Dec 27, 2013 Friday||8:00 PM||The Theater of the Living Arts (TLA)||Philadelphia, PA, US|
|Dec 31, 2013 Tuesday||9:00 PM||New Years Eve @ Philly's City Tap House||Philadelphia, PA, US|
|Jan 18, 2014 Saturday||9:00 PM||Dogtooth||Wildwood, NJ, US|
|Jan 19, 2014 Sunday||7:00 PM||The Fillmore||Silver Spring, MD, US|
|Jan 25, 2014 Saturday||9:00 PM||Dubs On 5th||Easton, PA, US|
|Jan 31, 2014 Friday||9:00 PM||Red Square||Burlington, VT, US|