John Bono / Swiss Auto Club
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John Bono / Swiss Auto Club


Band Alternative Comedy


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The best kept secret in music


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Esplosione - 2002 (Full Length)
If Armies Fought Like The Winter Sun EP - 2004
Interlude Magazine Compilation - 2005

These songs and more available for listening at these two sites:



Formed in the relatively obscure and modest Watchung Mountains of suburban New Jersey rather than the legendary and majestic Alps of Switzerland, as their name may imply, Swiss Auto Club have reached a musical summit with the release of If Armies Fought Like the Winter Sun that surprises no one—least of all John Bonaventura, his friend since childhood, Jack Hoopingarner, mutual acquaintance (and recent Berklee College of Music grad) John Natelli, and lab chemist Luke Snell (who learned the bass just to join the promising and, obviously, bass-less group).

Even in their formative days, playing under a different moniker (and with a frontman who has long since departed), their sounds and their performances hinted at the band and music to be. Only then it was spiked with a boyish sense of exploration that found them trying Britpop, power pop and introspective indie rock balladry on for size. But after singer Jason Snell left, principal song-writer Bonaventura took on the vocal duties while allocating a share of the lead guitar responsibilities to Hoopingarner. Eager to find themselves and make an immediate impression, the revamped band changed their name and recorded an eight-song CD called Esplosione after a mere few months of togetherness.

It was during the process of promoting the release and writing new material that the joy of exploration evolved into the thrill of discovery—the thrill of finding their sound. That sound would soon become their next project. Fan reaction to the new material at various NYC venues, as well as on a mini-tour to Georgia and back, excited the band enough to embark on recording the material right away.

The manifestation of that excitement, If Armies Fought Like the Winter Sun, is a soul-stirring labor of love. These six songs were recorded and re-recorded between the summer of 2003 and the spring of 2004 with Bonaventura and Hoopingarner at the helm. The triumphant sound of Winter Sun, released on indie upstart Bailey Park Records, is accentuated for those in the know by the memory of technological tragedies, collegiate commitments and waylaid plans. The final product though is a blistering, soaring testament to the boys who wouldn’t quit and the music that wouldn’t let them quit.

Despite the vast and stretching array of influences that have refined the individual members- everything from early Metallica to Catherine Wheel to Radiohead to Jeff Buckley to Placebo to Zepplin to the Smiths- Swiss Auto has carefully guided their own development by learning from that of others and not merely replicating what has already been. By no means will they deny their roots and the love of where those roots stem from, but they will be quick to champion their progressive promptings to push the throttle of their creative intuiton when it comes to original and involcving arrangements. No, they will not baffle you with calc-equated renderings of time signatures and changes, but they will wow you with their earnestness of the emotive that comes from thoughtful and careful consideration to the changing soundscapes of their music.

The past year has seen the band stabilize upon the completion of the university life for several of the members- an achilles heel of the band for nearly three years of their existence- accelerating full-force into the NYC club life, gaining reputable standing with a lot of the hot spots that have been a mainstay in the NYC inde rock scene. Yes, that is a buzz you hear...

The second half of 2005 has the Swiss Auto lads gearing up to head back into the studio for the rendering of a new full-length, and a jaunt on the road to see the sights of the south and east coast come fall.