30 Sep 2022
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Swamp Thing - Swamp Thing Newsletter Interview

05 Aug 2013 // An interview by Shade

They're the two left in the juke joint when the hurricane's about to make landfall, when the revelers have gone home, sweat-soaked and exhausted. The bulbs are blown out, the floor's full of glass, but two men are honor bound to keep playing, pouring their sweat into the parched earth like libation. In the best traditions of two man blues and roots, Swamp Thing is a duo that you know are playing to stay alive. Grant answered the following questions for muzic.net.nz:

What is your most embarrassing on tour/gig moment?

The most embarrassing gig for me was about two years ago when Swamp Thing were opening for Tim Finn on his last Aussie Tour, I was staying at my sister's flat and I accidently grabbed her jeans instead of mine out of the washing before the gig, it wasn’t until backstage that I realised my mistake (my heart just sunk) and I had to go on in these ridiculously tight jeans, I got hell from Tim’s Band before we even hit the stage, it wasn’t cool... and it was packed.

What has been your most memorable show to date?

The most memorable gig for me so far was recently at Womadelaide 2013, despite hard conditions on and off the stage Mike and I played really well, one issue was the heat... man it was so hot! I’ve played at few barbeques in my time but that was the first time I’ve ever played ON a bbq!

How would you describe Swamp Thing’s music in one sentence?

High energy soul infused percussive rock with blues tinged funk overtones

What can you never leave home without?

I have to have plenty to read, so much downtime on tour it’s how I keep myself entertained, until recently, being old-school I’d take a few paperbacks with me, but I now download e-books to my phone, it’s like having a whole library in your pocket... sweet.

What inspired you to start Swamp Thing?

Speaking for myself I was just excited to have a chance to play with Mike... and 2 years on, I’m still excited, the dude is a serious musician and brings it every time.

What sets you apart from other bands?

While there are quite a few duos out there, our use of instruments and tunings make us a little different - Mike plays keyboards, key bass, marimbas, and drums, and sings- often simultaneously! I use a weird D tuning that Mike showed me which is quite trippy- I like to think it gives our songs a “Swampy” vibe.

What is your favourite place to relax?

Home dude- my kids are 5th generation on the land so it really is home, love watching my kids play doing the same stuff my brother and I used to do, I like cooking on my bbq which I built myself, having a couple of beers in the bar which my wife and I built, and chilling in the house I built, aint nothing better for me in the whole world than that.

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

I write from a personal perspective so all my songs are based loosely on life experiences, so you could say the inspiration is a need to share some of my life’s anecdotes through song.

What can we expect to see from Swamp Thing over the next year?

Touring and more touring, the last 2 years we’ve been to Aussie working those festivals, it’s been cool, and now we are shifting more focus back to Aotearoa, just trying to reach the masses is the agenda, and putting on good shows at good venues.

 

About Swamp Thing

They're the two left in the juke joint when the hurricane's about to make landfall, when the revelers have gone home, sweat-soaked and exhausted. The bulbs are blown out, the floor's full of glass, but two men are honor bound to keep playing, pouring their sweat into the parched earth like libation. In the best traditions of two man blues and roots, Swamp Thing is a duo that you know are playing to stay alive.

A former member of The John Butler Trio, Michael Barker (drums/ percussion/ KeyBass/Vocals) formed the two man blues/roots duo Swamp Thing with Grant Haua vocals/guitar in 2010.

These two unique musicians share a wealth of experience to craft blues- flavoured music with a deep groove and soulful spook. Their first studio album Balladeer was recorded at Roundhead studios in may 2011 and their second album Primordium recorded at Barker's studio Twisty Pole in 2012 was released in January 2013.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Swamp Thing

Releases

Let's Get Live
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Primordium
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Balladeer
Year: 2011
Type: Album

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