SwitchGear
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SwitchGear

Ashburn, Virginia, United States | SELF

Ashburn, Virginia, United States | SELF
Band Country Rock

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"SwitchGear Bringing a Little Country to the City for Lift-Off"

A couple of years ago, Jason Sauve was living in Calgary, contemplating a return to his hometown of Cornwall. Jamie Jarvo was in Cornwall and came across some of Jason’s songs online. The two connected and a spark of collaboration began to grow.

“I had heard Jamie’s voice before, and knew it could be the right type of vocal to complement the style of songs I was writing,” recalls Jason. “I wanted to return to my roots and working with Jamie gave me even more incentive to head back home.”

“I’ve known Jason since we were kids growing up blocks away in the same west end of Cornwall,” says Jamie. “I heard some demos and knew that we could do something special together.”

It would still be another year before the move across country would happen, but Jason continued to work on the music. When he did return, he and his family found temporary living arrangements at his mother’s house.

“I turned her living room into a studio and was mixing demos and songs that would later appear on the new album,” says Jason. “We would be up some nights till 2 am at a local school recording vocals, which ended up on the CD. From there we set about finding the right guys with the right drive and vision to compliment the project. “

The line-up of SwitchGear is a strong one, with five experienced musicians:
•Jason Sauve - Guitars, six string banjo, mandolin, backing vocals
•Jamie Jarvo - Vocals
•David Allen - Bass Guitar
•Kirk Wallace - Drums, percussion
•Scott Reasbeck - Electric/Lead Guitar


Lead guitarist Scott Reasbeck was from a local band called Whiskey Sour and had wanted to join a band playing original material. David Allen has played in previous bands such as The Mudkats and Tycoons. He was on a hiatus from music but when he heard SwitchGear was seeking a bassist he felt that it was the challenge that he was looking for. Kirk Wallace grew up in nearby Lancaster and lived in St. Louis for a time where he played with FlashKat. He moved back to Cornwall where he eventually hooked up with SwitchGear. All members currently live in Cornwall and are from the area except for Scott who was original was from Wasaga Beach area, but now calls Cornwall home.

Jason calls SwitchGear’s sound “new Country with an edge”. One can clearly hear Southern rock but at its core the band is very much at home in the outlaw country vein.

Their debut album is called 'Country in the City' and features nine original songs.

“The album features our strongest songs - no fillers,” says Jason. “We didn't want to water the CD down at all and only the strongest made the cut.”

The songs were written in some different combinations, with Sauve composing the majority of the songs, sometimes with co-writers. The second track ‘With Her Boots On’ saw the entire band collaborate on the lyrics.

The lead song ‘Country In the City’ is a rocking tune has become the band’s defacto anthem. The lyrics are all about letting loose and having a good time:

It's Country in the City if you know just what I mean, the parking lot rockstars and the girls in cut off jeans.

“There's enough bosses in the world telling people what to do, so I love that for 2 hours tonight, our audience is gonna forget all that and have a great time,” says Sauve.

The album offers a great mix of up-tempo songs and slower more introspective tunes – all with melodic hooks and lyrics that tell a story.

“The song ‘Fighter’ was written about a time in my life when I was facing a lot of negativity, and the song is me saying I'm made of a lot more than you bargained for, and I'm not gonna take this lying down,” says Sauve. “It's about standing up for what you feel is right, even if you have to stand alone.”

The album was produced at Jason’s home studio in Cornwall. It is a hybrid of analogue sounds and digital processing. Sometimes real amps and drums were used, sometimes digital sounds take over.

The album will be available on iTunes by the end of the month. Fans can download the CD via the online store at Reverbnation and Bandcamp, and CDs can be purchased directly from the band at its shows.

Switchgear open for the legendary Burton Cummings and Suzie McNeil Friday July 13th at the Kinsmen Cornwall Lift-Off Festival. They are busy all summer long with appearances at Cornwall Ribfest, Cardinal Community Festival, and Cornwall Arts in the Park. The fall is also quite busy with shows booked at the Rideau Carleton Raceway and other gigs in Ottawa, Brockville, Kingston and into Quebec.

“So far the experience has been more than we could have asked for," says Sauve. “It means so much to us to have the community behind us. We’re having a blast.”

You can learn more about Switchgear on its website www.switchgearband.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Switchgearband or follow them on Twitter @switchgearband
- Bob Peters, CHoose Cornwall


"Band gets a lift sharing stage with music legend"

CORNWALL — Local band Switchgear got to do something Friday not many other local musicians can say they’ve done — share the stage with a modern music legend. Burton Cummings.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the amusement park beside the stage area in Lamoureux Park, bassist Dave Allen and guitarist Jason Sauve (who also plays a mean banjo) were standing behind a fence, peering in to the stage area.

”We’re just having a look,” Allen said on Thursday, the day before their big gig.

”Checking out our friendly competition,” Sauve added with a chuckle.

Allen said the band hopes that adding a premiere event such as Lift-Off to its resume will bolster sales for its new CD.

“We released it a couple weeks ago and we’ve sold a little over 100 copies,” he said.

”“Pretty good, for an indy band. We just got another 100 in and we’re hoping it’s good exposure. We’ll set up our merch table and hopefully people can come see us after.”

As local boys, playing Lift-Off is a “huge honour,” Sauve said.

“It takes a lot of hard work to get to this point,” he added.

“This validates all we’ve been doing. It could be a great stepping stone to bigger things. It’s a great feeling to be from here and reaching this point is awesome.”

Allen said Cummings is a Canadian music legend, one of the greatest voices in Canadian music and “certainly one of the best songwriters.”

“It comes back to being grateful and a honour to be on the same stage,” he said.

“We want to get on a few tours and hopefully get the same kind of perspective on the road as they’ve had for all these years.”

Suzie McNeil is another example of big time talent that the band has watched.

“She’s had great hits,” he said.

“We’re going to step back a bit and watch. Take it all in.”

So how was Switchgear going to make its mark and open Friday’s show with a bang?

“We’re going to start the momentum with our energy, hopefully the Shiners (another local group) can do the same thing,” Allen said.

“We have a high energy set, good summertime, driving and having fun tunes.”

Sauve was impressed with the festival itself and the organizers.

“They’ve done a fantastic job here,” he added. “We were hanging out backstage and it was just amazing. The production gets better every year, the bands get better every year. It’s a premiere event and they’re going to make it even better next year.”
- By Tony Muma, Cornwall Standard Freeholder


"Band gears up for success"

CORNWALL — It’s been a year-and-a-half since a foursome of Cornwall musicians had their first official gig as a country rock band.

It was at Shoeless Joe’s on New Years Eve 2010, where Switchgear played an acoustic set of popular covers.

They’ve come a long way since then.

This summer, the now five-piece group will be promoting their first full-length recording when they perform at Lift-Off and Ribfest. They also hit the roof of Grumpy’s in Long Sault for the village’s Canada Day festivities last weekend.

“It’s been really, really busy,” said guitarist Jason Sauve. “We’re really excited. Tying all of this with the CD is even better.”

He said they plan to maintain the upward trend by shooting some videos, and heading out of town for some gigs.

“We have this momentum now,” said Sauve. “There is a buzz that’s really picking up.”

He said the positive attention didn’t just happen; the band has worked hard in the last year to create a brand and hone their sound, even while going through some lineup changes.

Besides lead singer Jamie Jarvo, Switchgear now includes Scott Reasbeck on guitar, Kirk Wallace on drums, and bassist David Allen.

All of the members have provided input on the songs chosen for their debut album, though Sauve is the chief composer.

He said some of the tunes were penned while he was working in Calgary, but he also worked on some new material when he came back to his hometown and collaborated with other local musicians.

“We looked at all the different tunes and picked what we found would be fitting for a first album,” he explained.

One of the new songs — recorded by Switchgear in Sauve’s personal studio — recently won a country radio contest in B.C.

“Everyone’s had their input in terms of song choices and direction,” said Sauve. “It was really cool because (the song that won the contest) was the one everyone definitely had input on. That one is kind of written by Switchgear.”

The tune, called With Her Boots On, is the second on a nine-track album called Country in the City.

Sauve said he enjoyed the experience of producing the recording himself, both to maintain creative control and expand his skill set.

“I’ve been piece-working my own studio for a while. I’ve produced some other bands before, so I thought I would take the reigns myself.”

He said they relied on digital sounds at times, taking close to eight months to complete the project.

“I think the product is pretty good.”

So far, it’s just available online at ReverbNation and on Switchgear’s website, but Sauve said they’ll have CDs in time for Lift-Off.

But he’s already planning ahead, and working on new songs to top their first recording.

“To keep the momentum going, we’re not going to rest on our laurels too long for a follow-up CD,” he said.

In the meantime, Sauve said they are working on their social media presence and making contacts beyond the city.

“We do see ourselves as advertisers for our own music...We’re really hands on with all of it.”
- By Cheryl Brink, Cornwall Standard Freeholder


"SwitchGear rocks Canada day!!"

SwitchGear at Canada day celebration - Cornwall free news


"SwitchGear performs at Rock for Charity"

Jc Kerosene interview with Jason Setnyk - Underground Blogspot


Discography

Country in the City

Photos

Bio

Hailing from Ontario, Canada, SwitchGear broke into the country/rock scene in 2010. Their passion fueled chemistry has driven them to collectively write a ton of songs teeming with ultra-catchy gems. Their music fuses original bright melodies with arena ready riffs, generating killer southern rock anthems in their purest form.

SwitchGears independently released debut CD entitled Country in the City is available through digital distribution on the major online retailers such as iTunes, Emusic, CD Baby, Bandcamp and Reverbnation. The live show is filled with energy and passion. This band makes no excuses for the heart and soul they pour into their music! SwitchGear is a proud member of the Canadian Country Music Association.

Some of SwitchGear's notable showcases include opening for the legendary Burton Cummings and Suzie McNeil at the Kinsmen Lift-Off Festival, Cornwall Ribfest, Vankleek Hill Fair, Cardinal Community Festival, Moose Creek Canada Day and Cornwall Arts in the Park. SwitchGear also helps charities out including Cornwall Rock the Vote, Knights of Columbus Beef on a Bun and Cornwall Sounds of Buskerville.

SwitchGear was declared the winner of Country103 Radio (Kamloops B.C.) "Emerging Artists Showdown" for Week of June 23/12 with their single "With Her Boots On" receiving airplay on the Smith Chevrolet Canadian Top 10 Countdown. SwitchGear has also been featured on the CJSS 1019.FM Breakfast Show and MYFM "Sessions" radio show.

Check out our website for an updated tour schedule.

http://www.switchgearband.com
http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/switchgear/id443186722
http://www.facebook.com/Switchgearband
http://www.twitter.com/switchgearband
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheSwitchGearband
http://www.reverbnation.com/switchgear
mailto:info@switchgearband.com