Like a master distiller always on the hunt for that honey barrel of bourbon in his rick house, Louisville musician Jaxon Lee Swain is constantly chasing his vision of the perfect rock ‘n’ roll sound. After performing in bands for more than 15 years, including the renown but now defunct The Ladybirds, Swain is venturing out on his own.
On Friday, June 24, Swain releases his debut single, “Romantic Mother******,” on iTunes and other digital music sites. The download features both the original track as well as the version edited for radio. The night before, on Thursday, June 23, he’ll celebrate the release of the single with a show at Kaiju, 1004 E. Oak St., along with bands Dead Halos and Sick Velvet.
Swain tells Insider he would describe his sound as “garage rock,” but someone recently referenced it as “surf punk,” a label he’s fine with as well — for those who insist on categorizing creativity. He’s excited to be going out on a limb solo for the first time, and says he mostly wanted a chance to do his own thing.
Swain’s backing band features some veterans of the Louisville music scene, including Benny Clark (Elliott, Broken Spurs, Graffiti), Mary Feiock (Juanita), Brett Holsclaw (The Glasspack, Spot, The Ladybirds) and Kirk Kiefer (Yardsale, Bad Blood).
“The band is super hot right now, and we have so much fun playing together,” says Swain, who also helps run the sonaBLAST! Records label and serves as program director at ARTxFM 97.1 — where he hosts two shows as well.
Before Swain takes the stage tomorrow at Kaiju, he answered seven very important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
To go all the way around the world in a boat! Take a couple of years off from life, a bunch of money you don’t have, a couple of people you think you probably might not murder in cold blood in the middle of the night when you haven’t seen land for a few days … and, you know, figure it out, stopping for a night or five here and there. Easy, right?
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
Nick Cave … OK and Agent Scully, too.
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
The organizers of the German-American Club and the people who keep it going. If they haven’t already gotten some kind of official cultural recognition, they deserve it!
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
I’m pretty much up for anything on pizza. My usual go-to is pepperoni, mushrooms and green peppers, but beware, sometimes I get a wild hair and go Hawaiian.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
Oh god, I don’t know. I’m gonna say 19. I was out of high school, traveled a lot and heard a ton of new music. My eyes kind of were opened to the world and it was so exciting, it might be worth reliving.
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
Man, people tell me crazy stuff all the time. I used to get “young Jimmy Page” a lot. The picture of them on the back of Zeppelin 1. It’s just my hair, I don’t really see it. I’ve had strangers whip that record out of nowhere and shove it in my face. I’m really not much of a Zeppelin guy.
I used to run into a dude in town all the time, and for years we would see each other in passing and he’d always scream “Jimmy Page man, Jimmy Page!!!!” and break into a really impassioned air-guitar solo, no matter what he was doing — walking, riding a bike, in the back of a truck. One time he was totally on crutches with a full leg cast and he still broke it down and soloed like it would be his last. Usually I would solo back at him. This happened often for a couple of years. We were cool. We never talked otherwise or exchanged names. Dude, if you’re reading this, (air-guitar solo).
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
David Bowie. I guess that won’t be happening anytime soon. I always had it in my head that I would meet him someday, somehow. I know we would have had plenty to talk about, even if it was just about elevator music for two minutes.