Baron Von Swagger
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Baron Von Swagger


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"Revisiting an Era - Baron Von Swagger pays homage to history and brings grit back to local rock scene"

While much has been said about our city's indie and pop-rock acts throughout the past couple of years, not much attention has been given to straight-forward rock bands who are dedicated solely to rocking out and bringing a swagger back to the local scene. As of late, however, we've seen a minor renaissance of bands of that nature in our region.

Perhaps the latest to emerge from Tulsa is, appropriately enough, Baron Von Swagger. Much like Stillwater act Taddy Porter and regional acts such as Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights and Odis, Baron Von Swagger dives into a tradition of Southern rock while infusing it with a modern sensibility. This band molds things a bit differently, however.

Instead of reaching into soul for inspiration as Tyler does or heavily tapping a blues rock vein like Taddy Porter, Baron Von Swagger's brand of southern rock kicks you in the gut and below the belt by mining a hard rock vein, drawing as much inspiration from bands like Clutch, Zeppelin and early Soundgarden as contemporary Southern rock maestros like Drive By Truckers and Jason Isbell.

The band's new disc, Our Home Will Be our Own, (which drops Saturday night at Flytrap Music Hall) is a raucous and at times angry romp across Oklahoma, interweaving contemporary issues and dust bowl imagery with impressive results. It's hard not to feel a visceral impact when front man Bradley Thomas Jones delivers his stories with a touch of gothic venom alongside the band's full-throttle intensity.

While the band's founding dates back less than two years, its personal history reaches back much further. The group's core is composed of friends that have known each other since the 8th grade. The mechanics of the band coming together aren't the story heard as much as the musical chemistry. The members originally set out to simply play the type of music they enjoyed, then discovered they might actually be onto something.

That camaraderie is essential to the band's chemistry and current success, but as the group developed, it also gained a sharper vision and sense of purpose. While a good-time vibe remained key, the group also became acutely aware of and connected to its roots and history. References to the land rush, the Dust Bowl and Oklahoma's history abound can be heard throughout the album, but they are interwoven with current scenarios as well.

According to Jones, the opening cut on the album "Dust Bowl Sons" emerged out of his research on Dust Bowl history and the people who stuck it out to found Oklahoma. That imagery appears to run throughout the record. Once the songs started to develop, however, they all began to tie together around the concept of the challenges faced when anyone is breaking new ground.

"There are some literal references to the hardships they (our founding fathers) endured," guitarist Jay Hunt explained, "but I also think there are a lot of metaphors referring to the shit we put up with to make this record -- from both family and friends - while still trying to maintain some sort of normalcy."

Those themes continued with songs like "Deep Pockets" and "Recidivus," which Jones said is the most direct song he's ever written. "I even made up a word: 'killanthropist,' for that song -- it's the person who loves to tell you all they've done for you, then wants to know what you're going to do in return. It's the idea of I'll give you something, but there will be an emotional cost involved."

While the creation of any CD can be trying, the recording sessions for this disc were particularly trying for the band and that comes through in the lyrics. The process became a true labor of love for the band and particularly for guitarist Jay Hunt.

After an unspecified incident and falling out with the engineer that the group began recording with, Hunt took over engineering and producer duties part way into the sessions.

Eventually, he became an official employee of Flying Pig Records, the fledgling label that is making its own debut with Swagger as its flagship artist. Part of the emotional cost for him included putting in 18-20 hour days for nearly six months while continuing to work a day job and with the band. It's just that kind of dedication and never-say-die spirit that drives the band.
Thematically, the group's debut disc taps into exactly that sense of purpose throughout the course of its song cycle. "Historically, this was an outlaw town for a while," Jones explained, "and there's some real history here." According to Hunt, it's just that outlaw mentality that the band is trying to channel in its music and back into the local music scene.

"Some bands are more concerned with image than anything else," Hunt said, "but we want to keep it as rowdy and nasty as the town we came from. My Pops has plenty of stories of guys raising hell and the vibrant scene we used to have in Tulsa. Maybe you can't recreate that and that's why it's considered the heyday, but we'd like to recapture a little of that."

Jones agreed, adding, "All of us are Oklahoma boys and we love the history of the town we came from. We lost something along the way, though, and we'd like to get it back."

So far, the band is doing its part to help reestablish Tulsa as a breeding ground for gut-bucket, rowdy rock and roll. You can judge for yourself as the band holds its CD release party at Flytrap Music Hall this Friday night, Nov. 13. Dallas-based Southern rockers Odis opens the show and the first 250 to arrive will receive a free copy of Our Home will Be Our Own. Tickets are available for $12 in advance at Starship and HYPERLINK ""; or for $14 at the door. - BY G.K. HIZER (Urban Tulsa Weekly)

"Wreckless Abandonment - Old favorite reunites for a good ol' time concert as the local calendar fires up"

On the bright side, a few quick calls filled the bill in short order, with Baron Von Swagger stepping up to represent Tulsa's next wave of brash rock & roll bands and First Lady Assassins keeping the event something of a family affair. - BY G.K. HIZER (Urban Tulsa Weekly)


Fly Pig Records out of Tulsa, OK released Baron Von Swaggers’ self-produced record, “Our Home Will Be Our Own” on Friday November 13th, 2009.

Go to our website for three free songs, the others are available for purchase there as well.



Baron Von Swagger consists of: Bradley Jones (Vocals/Guitar), Nick Arnhols (Guitar), Paul Appelman (Drums/Vocals), Jay Hunt (Guitar/Vocals), and Geoff Jenson (Bass).

Formed on New Years Eve in 2007, these long time friends and musical collaborators are about showing the world what can be done when you combine talent, focus, and ferocity.

Baron Von Swagger has so many influences from all eras and areas of music like that of: The Foo Fighters, Coheed and Cambria, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Hendrix, Clutch, Project 86, Refused, and Drive By Truckers to name a few. All of which play a large part of their existence by inspiring them with songwriting that is both crushing and nuanced and also gives them a drive to succeed in all they do.

The Hard Rock / Southern Rock sound these boys bring to a concert as well as their stage presence, leaves people awestricken and wanting more. The high energy coming from this band will definitely leave an impact and will leave you listening to songs on repeat in your car.

Powerful and energetic, Baron Von Swagger is a full steam ahead rock band with a southern flavor and a non stop live show. Entertaining and professional this band is a full package from start to finish. Every show is worth the best they can give and NO ONE is to be disappointed.

Baron Von Swagger has had the privilage to play with such musical acts like: Cowboy Mouth, Odis, Rescue Signals, First Lady Assassins, Radio Radio, and New Science.