Jaxon Lee Swain has been in bands for most of his life, most notably The Ladybirds, which graced Louisville stages for a decade. Swain's new band goes by his name, and while it's filled with familiar faces from the Louisville music scene it's definitely a solo project.
"I've always done bands. I've been the lead singer before but it was always in a band setting," Swain said. "And I have a band now, so it's the same, but going under your own name is kind of strange."
Swain's band features Benny Clark, Brett Holsclaw, Kirk Kiefer and Mary Feiock. He wanted it to happen sooner but has been busy playing bass with rock 'n' roll legend Wanda Jackson, along with Holsclaw and Kiefer.
"After practice the other day, Brett and I just looked at each other and I was like, 'Is it just me or are these songs amazing?'" Feiock said.
Swain said his new material is a clear departure from what he's known for in Louisville. When the Syracuse, Indiana, native started The Ladybirds in 2005, he was on a specific mission to merge early rock, girl group pop and proto-punk.
"We had fun with it, but the whole thing was written almost as a genre experiment, and it kind of put me in a box after a while," Swain said. "The new stuff is definitely more punk rock. I didn't want to do hardly any kind of roots or rockabilly. I just wanted to completely get away from that. I just wanted to try something different and started writing in a different way.
"I had a lot of crazy ideas about arranging stuff that were probably never going to work, so I just decided to have a regular rock band. I definitely do some screaming. It's rowdy, I'll say that."
To call it "regular" is a bit modest. Clark is one of Louisville's most accomplished guitarists, and Holsclaw is on the short-list of best drummers. Kiefer can play anything. Feiock didn't seriously take up guitar until a couple of years ago and has repeatedly told Swain that he shouldn't expect her to know what she's doing; but Swain calls her a "rock and roll energy bomb."
Reporter Jeffrey Lee Puckett - Louisville Courier Journal