Swaybone
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Swaybone

Oakland, California, United States | INDIE

Oakland, California, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Jan
19
Swaybone @ Milk Bar

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA

Aug
31
Swaybone @ Stork Club

Oakland, California, USA

Oakland, California, USA

Nov
20
Swaybone @ The Humanist Hall 390 27th Street

Oakland, California, USA

Oakland, California, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos

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It's not Christian rock. It's not Satantic death metal at the other end of the spectrum. It's something a little different that's a bit of a child on its own.

It's guru rock ... sort of, for lack of a better term. Inspired by the American-born religious teacher/writer Adi Da Samraj, Swaybone has put the goal before them of making good music, spreading Adi Da Samraj's teachings & creating a better world following an ideology based on ego-transcendence, prior unity & a global cooperative forum, all aptly summarized by the title of World-Teacher Adi Da Samraj's book "Not-Two Is Peace", which is also one of the songs on the album.

I've circulated with Adi Da's community for some years now & have often asked, sadly to no avail, if any of the musicians in it's world-wide community were doing something more on the rock or metal fringe & not just the classical, folksy, Indian & world-rhythms, which seem to dominate the musical forays drawing from the community's Hindu roots. Actually, I once felt like I was being laughed at for suggesting that narcissistic rock music could meld with an ego transcending religion.

Finding Swaybone, spearheaded with great zeal by devotee Theo Cedar Jones, I finally have my answer that it is possible & that somebody is brave enough to chart these new waters! I'm glad someone has seen the potential of melding popular music with the teachings of Adi Da Samraj, which can reach out to people in a way that the other styles of music are missing out on. For those a bit unsure of heavy religious music in general & expecting something akin to the druggy forays of Yes or the Grateful Dead ... not quite. There is a hint of some 60's prog rock with Swaybone but the instrumental indulgence is kept to a minimum allowing the vocals to take focus.

Swaybone is firmly in the contemporary indie rock market, with a few wild electric guitar solos thrown in, particularly shining over a couple stand-out acoustic tracks, which keeps things upbeat & energetic, while not becoming maudlin, like so many worship songs.

In terms of lyrics maybe, on some level, Swaybone is more like Neil Young or Bob Dylan who, having also written their fare share of religious songs, keep the lyrics in the forefront & the musical flights of fancy to a minimum, instead relying on interesting arrangements & rhythms. Death metal bands could take a page from the Swaybone book as their throat warbling screaming isn't helping spread their message of armageddon. You can sing along with Swaybone & it's makes a difference. Singing a chorus that includes the line "Not two is peace" is an enjoyable linguistic experience for the tongue, while the mind figures out the meaning of the quasi-mysterious phrase. I was recently discussing hard rock song lyrics with a fellow musician & Swaybone is definetly on the road to proving that one doesn't need to always sing about partying, sex & drugs or other banal subjects to rock out.

While Swaybone tries to brave new frontiers, the foreign subject matter is also a brickwall built by their own hand. Working in a record store I find a lot people turn away from Christian rock because they aren't Christians, without giving the the music a chance. Swaybone may find itself faced with the same shallow prejudice. They know this already & I'm sure they find the challenge of toppling the wall the drive that keeps them going.

- Roman Midnight Music


Discography

Careless with matches EP CD 1995
Burning Life CD 2000
Sacred Anatomy CD 2005
Bones you can trust CD 2007
Life on Earth CD 2011

Photos

Bio

Swaybone began as a pop and psychedelic guitar band in the late Eighties. In the early Nineties, the the band was influenced by the glorious flowering of grunge, post-punk and nu-metal.

Heavy riffs grafted to big melodic vocals became the chassis of the Swaybone vehicle. Then the question was, how to do something original with this musical formula? How to break out of the lyrical limitations of Nineties commercial hard rock: anger, depression and self-referentiality?

A creative break-through occurred for singer Theo Cedar Jones when he met his Guru, Heart Master Adi Da, in 2001.

Adi Da's wisdom and inspiration brought a variety of new lyrical life to Swaybone's music, including themes of light, liberation, devotion and prior unity.

In 2005, Theo offered Swaybone's third album, Sacred Anatomy, at the feet of Adi Da Samraj, during His historic stay at Mountain of Attention Sanctuary in Northern California. Theo experienced a unique blessing from his Master during the following couple of years in the form of a transformation of his singing voice. The strain of grunge gave way to a relaxed way of singing from "above the head". This new style can be heard on "Human cosmic blues" from their fourth album, Bones you can trust, in 2007.

Theo went on a hiaitus from the band in 2007 to serve Adi Da's mission, but continued to write and record new songs that expanded the new lyrical and singing approach. One of these songs was influenced by a book Adi Da completed shortly before his death in 2008, called "Not-Two Is Peace", a manifesto for saving the world through global cooperation, tolerance and prior unity.

In 2009, Swaybone reformed and created a new demo of songs from their upcoming fifth album, "Life on Earth". In 2012, Theo is joined by Pete Boone on drums, and Rawn Wadley on bass and vocals. The band is planning to tour the West Coast, finish their new album and expand their audience to bring light and prior unity to as many people as possible.