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.
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 come through on the recording.
Prisco: We missed rock music. We wanted to hear more of it. That’s even where the album title Born Too Late came from. We missed all these great bands that are much older.
Wazowicz: We want to play good music and we want to play songs we like.
— tom graham
The Invisible Swordsmen release party for their debut EP, Born Too Late, takes place Friday, Dec. 7 at The Keys, 244 Penn Ave., Scranton, featuring Blinded Passenger, Paul Keen of the band Pawnshop Roses, stand-up comedy from emcee A-Mish and the artwork of Yvonne Caudullo. Admission is $5 and includes your own copy of the CD or a digital download card. The EP will also be available at all locations of Joe Nardone’s Gallery of Sound, iTunes and www.invisibleswordsmen.com.