The Invisible Swordsmen
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The Invisible Swordsmen

Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States

Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Band Rock Alternative

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"Swordsmen born to rock"

The Invisible Swordsmen may have taken their moniker from the 1986 comedy â??Three Amigos,â?? but the Scranton-based group is very serious about bringing real rock music back with the upcoming release of their debut EP.

The band formed in early 2008 when guitarist/keyboardist Chris Zellers stuck up a conversation with fellow guitarist Matt Wazowicz at their mutual workplace, finding they had similar taste in music. Joined by bassist Jere Gromelski, they played their first show in Oct. 2008. When the band wanted to move away from classic rock covers and into original work, they added drummer Neil Prisco and singer Patrick DePew two years later after seeing them play live.

â??One thing led to another and weâ??re like, â??We should start playing together because it would sound cool to be this weird supergroup.â?? In our minds, us just hanging out was like a supergroup. Itâ??s like, â??Weâ??re going to combine forces and thatâ??ll be neat,â??â?? Prisco recalled with a chuckle.

â??When we got together, we literally only did supergroup songsâ?» We did Temple of the Dog and Traveling Wilburys and that kind of stuff. Itâ??s absurd, but itâ??s fun. Itâ??s a lot of fun.â??

â??We use that term â??supergroupâ?? really loosely,â?? Zellers added between laughs. â??Itâ??s very tongue-in-cheek. Weâ??re not serious about that. Itâ??s just that all our personalities gelled and it ended up being something too good to pass up.â??

This led the band in a new direction, which they best describe as melodic hard rock â?? something they believe is sorely missing from the airwaves and concert venues.

â??Weâ??ve got such a wide variety of influences from all of us. I think that really itâ??s such a hodgepodgeâ?» In theory, it shouldnâ??t work, but with the way that all those different influences meld together, itâ??s just a really strong rock sound. Thatâ??s what we were looking for. Thatâ??s part of why we started the band. Weâ??re big fans of just rock music, and you donâ??t, unfortunately, hear as much of it anymore, so weâ??re trying to go that route and make a really good-sounding rock record,â?? Zellers emphasized.

â??Weâ??re not a metal band; weâ??re definitely not that, but the songs have kind of a punch to them.â??

The five right hooks on â??Born Too Lateâ?? are a mix of two older songs and three that formed naturally through jamming sessions, a credit to the quintetâ??s obvious musical chemistry.

â??We revisited (old) tracks and they just took on a new life with Patrickâ??s dynamic vocals. They became something we almost didnâ??t even recognize. The rest of the tracks kind of came up more organically just in rehearsals and stuff like that,â?? Zellers explained.

â??Itâ??s very much a democracy. The strongest voice on this album is actually that of our band. Itâ??s not like one personâ??s song here and there. We didnâ??t do any individual writing credits â?? we credited it all to us because itâ??s all organic.â??

While they didnâ??t plan on a theme for the record, many of the songs are about getting out of a bad situation, moving on, and looking for something better, which is reflected in the colorful album art portraying a busy highway. The title was taken from the lyrics of their single â??Last Train,â?? but it also has a personal meaning for the band.

â??Itâ??s actually kind of applicable to us as a band too because the majority of what weâ??re looking for in rock music â?? we kind of missed it. It ended up kind of working on a couple levels,â?? Zellers noted.

Often playing at The Keys (244 Penn Ave., Scranton), the Swordsmen are â??very excitedâ?? to be releasing â??Born Too Lateâ?? at the bar on Friday, Dec. 7, with Blinded Passenger and Philadelphia musician Paul Keen of Pawnshop Roses. In between bands, stand-up comedian A-Mish will be emceeing, and the work of local artist Yvonne Caudullo will be adorning the walls. The $5 admission includes a copy of the CD or a digital download card.

â??Itâ??s one of the best places in Scranton right now thatâ??s supporting original local music. Jenn, the bar owner, really looks for bands that want to get out there and make their own sound,â?? Zellers said. â??Weâ??ve been playing a bunch of gigs there and itâ??s always nice to be able to play there and throw everything weâ??ve got at the crowd. Everybodyâ??s really receptive. Itâ??s becoming a really cool scene.â??

While they already have at least 10 additional songs ready for a full-length release next year, Prisco is just thrilled to be able to finally share what they have with their fans.

â??Itâ??s a celebration. Itâ??s going to be nice to see everyone whoâ??s been there for us as a band to help celebrate with us, us being able to do something like this. Iâ??ve played in a lot of bands over the years, but this is the first one that is at least going to have an album to be able to hand out to people, so for me, that means a lot,â?? he said.

â??As a band, itâ??s a lot of work. Itâ? - The Weekender


"Sword Play The Invisible Swordsmen release Born Too Late EP"

Scranton rock act The Invisible Swordsmen play the kind of music they love, and miss. It is through this love of rock that the 5-piece outfit comes together to turn up the volume and create a booming sound all their own. The band has accomplished that and much more with the release of their debut EP, Born Too Late. The Invisible Swordsmen will celebrate with a special CD release show next Friday, Dec. 7 at The Keys, 244 Penn Ave., Scranton, with guests Blinded Passenger, Paul Keen of the band Pawnshop Roses and stand-up comedy from emcee A-Mish.
The Invisible Swordsmen are Poughkeepsie natives Patrick DePew on lead vocals and Neil Prisco on drums, along with Scranton residents Matt Wazowicz on guitar, Jere Gromelski on bass and Chris Zellers on guitar and keyboard. The band stopped by the electric city and diamond city offices to talk about their live shows, the new record and their plans for the future.

How has the band evolved over the years?
Zellers: We started off close to five years ago playing strictly old rock covers because that’s what we grew up on. We noticed a lot of the bands were playing pop stuff so we wanted to throw in something different. It really clicked and we were able to start developing material of our own. We had a lineup change about two years ago, and Neil joined us as our drummer and Patrick came on to sing. It has turned into something we are really excited about.
Prisco: Chris and I worked together and Patrick and I are from New York. When we both moved to the area, we started doing our own thing and ended up seeing each other’s shows. We said, “why don’t we all get together?”
Gromelski: When these two guys came on, it changed everything. We heard Patrick and we said, “this is the direction we want to go.” Once we heard those pipes, it sealed the deal. It was all or nothing at that juncture.
DePew: I appreciate joining a band where I can be in an ensemble. I love to write and never fancied myself as a lead singer. There are five lead singers in this band with not one similar voice. There is a lot we can manage and what we don’t, we make up for in enthusiasm.

How have the live shows helped you grow as a band?
Zellers: We developed ourselves as songwriters by playing over and over and getting better; seeing what works and what doesn’t. That live dynamic helped us balance the album. We’ve always been first and foremost a live band.

Talk about writing and recording the new EP.
Prisco: We didn’t realize we had all of these songs. Everyone in the group has different musical interests and we each brought different songs with us. We really learned how to play together. When we started writing together, it went smoothly, naturally, organically.
Gromelski: We are able to take the basis of a song, regardless of who comes in with it, strip it down and bring it back together with a little bit of flavor of each person adding to it without destroying the original intent of the song. It has made them all better.
DePew: One of the things we were a little concerned about is four different song writers on the EP. Through playing together and jamming them out and spending the time trying to record them, we did what we could, when we could. Everything evolved really quickly. Little by little, the songs worked together.
Wazowicz: For the longest time we were worried about even trying to find a sound. We have five guys with completely different influences; from Albert Collins to Wilco and all over the place. If we make this album, should this song be on there? Does it sound like The Swordsmen? We focused on making good songs we want to listen to and play and other people would want to listen to and appreciate. We want to make the best songs we can make together.

Favorite moments from the EP?
DePew: Every all-nighter we spent in the studio.

Where does the band go from here?
Zellers: It’s exciting because we still have a ton of stuff to do. This is our first go around at it. We basically did it ourselves and now that we have the process down, I think we’re putting out something that’s pretty great. We’re going to go right back at it. We have a batch of 10 to 15 more songs that are ready and who knows what that might turn into.
Gromelski: I think we are going to shoot for another EP by April. We seem to work better with a deadline. It helps us to focus.
Wazowicz: We never want to rush anything either. We’ve been together for five years, but it’s probably best we did take our time with this. We have that idea and deadline, but it will be the same approach; take our time and try to make the best songs we can
Gromelski: One thing we wanted to shoot for was the sound of a band. We wanted to be that band playing in front of you. We wanted to produce something we could also reproduce live. You get those urges during the recording process where we can “add this” and “layer this”, but we tried to keep it so that we can reproduce it live. We like our live sound and we want that to co - The Electric City


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

The Invisible Swordsmen are a versatile 5 piece rock group hailing from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Combining loud guitar aggression with dynamic vocals and swinging rhythms, they showcase rock in it's purest, rawest form. The lineup consists of Poughkeepsie natives Patrick DePew on lead vocals and Neil Prisco on drums, along with Scranton residents Matt Wazowicz on guitar, Jere Gromelski on bass and Chris Zellers on guitar and keyboard. The band has been performing through several incarnations since October of 2008, and in December 2012 will release their first original EP - Born Too Late.

Band Members