Swarm Tour : Sydonia and Jericco

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Swarm Tour : Sydonia and Jericco


At first glance, Melbourne alternative rock heavyweights Sydonia and Jericco may seem like something of an odd match.

At first glance, Melbourne alternative rock heavyweights Sydonia and Jericco may seem like something of an odd match. Maybe not on a single bill, but certainly to go out on the road together for a reasonably extensive run of dates. Sydonia are a comparatively brutal, however dynamic, assault of the senses, and definitely stray in and out of metal territory at times. Jericco, on the other hand, are one of the bands who kind of define the term ‘progressive alternative’, and favour a slightly more ambient, Middle Eastern-tinged approach. However, they are certainly capable of rocking the fuck out when the mood takes them as well.

In this day and age of a ridiculously splintered music scene, with sub genres heaped upon sub genres, and the increasingly narrow minded attitudes that fans seem to have towards genres that they don’t consider ‘their own’, it’s actually great to see two seemingly disparate sounding acts getting together to provide some serious variety for the punters. It stands opposed to the usual bracketing of two very similar-sounding bands playing together. It gives fans of both bands the taste of something slightly different.

And it’s not as if Sydonia and Jericco are completely opposite ends of the musical spectrum either. It’s not exactly Justin Bieber going on the road with Dimmu Borgir. They’re different enough to provide that afore mentioned variety, while still avoiding a total and awkward clash of styles at the same time. "We wanted to take Melbourne around the country!" So says Jericco lead vocalist Brent McCormick, who sat down with Beat and his Sydonia counterpart Dana Roskvist recently at a café on Brunswick Street.

"I don’t know," Dana muses, on the perceived difference in the sound and style of the two bands, "it’s not really that different."

"You reckon?" Brent interrupts, incredulously, "I reckon you guys are heavier."

"Yeah," Dana agrees, but with heavy reservation, "we’re probably a bit softer too!" he quips to general laughter.

"With me," Brent opines, "if I go to see four acts or three acts that all sound very similar, I get bored shitless."

"I feel like going to have a sleep in the corner!" Dana concurs, "I think it’s good to mix it up. And I don’t think it’s that different. It’s drums, bass and guitars, and the guitars are, you know, heavy. There’s a wah-wah somewhere. And some solos."

The whirlwind tour kicks off in the bands’ home town next week, and then takes in most of the capital cities. It also includes two other, excellent up and coming Aussie progressive alternative bands in Branch Arterial and Sleep Makes Waves, as well as others, making up a mighty and diverse bill of incredible Aussie talent. Witnessing this tour will leave no doubt in one’s mind as to the incredible quality and depth that we have in our alternative scene.

"Melbourne on the nineteenth," Dana begins, describing the tour’s schedule, "then Adelaide, the Sydney and Brisbane on the fourth and fifth of March. And that’s it, bang bang bang! Wham bam thank you mam!"

"Hit ’em where it hurts!" Brent quips.


"It’d be good to do some regional shows too," Dana adds.

"The other bands," Brent says, "who’s playing where? I get confused. Sleep Makes Waves are one." "Sleep Makes Waves," Dana interjects, "they’re doing Sydney and Melbourne. They’re great, they’re post- rock, samples running through, big guitars. Just real ambient, kind of ‘lose yourself in it’ type of stuff."

"And Branch Arterial are opening for us in Melbourne," Brent recalls, "They’re big, proggy. They’ve just done their first EP. It’s gonna be good.


"Are you nervous?" he asks of Dana.

"Nah," Dana replies, without even a hint of hesitation. "I’ll be nervous on the night. My body shuts down before shows."

Beyond the Swarm tour, both bands have much new material in the works, and major plans for the rest of 2011 as well as the longer term future. "We just want to finish off what we’ve just been doing," Brent states with conviction, "I’m working on four brand new tracks at the moment, in pre-production. My girlfriend’s been pulling her hair out with the amount that I’ve been listening to it…what we’re gonna do is singles [as opposed to a full album]."

"There’s like 400 songs on my hard drive," Dana contributes, "a lot of them could never be Sydonia songs, a lot of them are electronic and weird.


"At the moment we’re just playing the waiting game and seeing what happens… But we’re writing all the time. There’s five demos that I’m doing guitar tracks on at the moment. They’re heavy, and soft, and there’s an almost post-rocky one we’re doing at the moment. We’ve got enough material for a double album!"

"At the moment," Brent continues on the Jericco track, "we’ve got an energy about these couple of songs we’re doing. One of the tracks we’re doing at the moment, no shit, I saw us playing this song at Glastonbury in front of 20,000 people. So yeah, there’s a good feeling."

"We’d like to be doing this for a living," Dana adds, "that’s our main goal. We don’t want to be the biggest band in the world or anything like that. We just want to be doing it as ‘this is our day job.’"

And so do the two men from two of the most exciting bands in Melbourne have any parting words for readers? "Hmmm," Dana muses, "I don’t know: we’ll be back. Like big Arnie!"

SWARM 2011 features SYDONIA and JERICCO and hits The East Brunswick Club this Saturday February 19. SYDONIA have just completed a tour with USA metal Legends KORN and the SWARM TOUR will be their first run of shows to come after completing their national Ocean Of Storms single tour in January, a track recorded and mixed by the highly reputed Colin Richardson. JERICCO have had a huge 2010, culminating with a spot at Pyramid Rock Festival. 2011 will see them continue to go from strength to strength. Their New EP Nice To See You is out now, with single B Song out for this tour. Tickets from The East box office, 9388 9794 and eastbrunswickclub.com.