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||New York, NY
Matt Rauch (Vocals, Guitar)Max Rauch (Drums, Percussion)Ryan Baredes (Guitar)Corey Zaloom (Piano, Keyboards)Justin Niemic (Bass)
About the ArtistImagine being a band and waking up to the realization that your vocalist is unable to speak and can only talk above a whisper. It’s a grave situation that can plague any touring band, but actually became a reality in April of 2007 for the New Jersey rock band Tourmaline and their lead singer Matt Rauch. Consigned to rest his voice, Rauch and crew toured sparingly, but remained antic at home, putting together lyrics and songs and the structure to an upcoming album. In January of 2008, Rauch successfully completed surgery to remove a cyst on his let vocal chord, and almost unbelievably the band entered Rauch’s White Heat Recording Studio and began to put together what would become their sophomore album The Swindle.
Working with producer/engineer Joe McGrath, the band set out to create an album that carried the spirit of rock music from the 60s and 70s. The Jersey quintet teamed up with the Web site WhereDidRockNRollGo.com out of frustration with the current rock landscape. In the words of Rauch, “Everything’s cute and safe. Record labels are afraid to do something different. Publishers don’t want to take chances on something new. We’re not intending to save rock and roll. We’re just out to honor the spirit of rock music. Our biggest inspirations are bands like My Morning Jacket, Wilco and The Hold Steady. Those bands seem to get it.”
Though his pointed comments toward record labels appears like career suicide, the band seems unmoved. Proudly declaring themselves anti-record label, the band, who self released their album on their own Brontosaurus Records imprint in mid-August, is focused on proving that one doesn’t need to be a megastar artist with an existing fan base to hit the road and enjoy success. In an effort to prove this, Tourmaline is releasing The Swindle digitally, for free, and offering a pay-what-you-want for a bonus digital and vinyl version of the album. In the words of Rauch, “The CD is outdated. Those who want something they can hold will appreciate the life that vinyl has. Our goal is to reach as many people as possible. Anyone can download and burn it. That’s the goal.”
Strains of late 60s rock is literally all over The Swindle and that is not done unintentionally. Shortly before Rauch lost his voice, the band was in the studio with producer Norman Mershon, who had worked with John Lennon in the 70s. During that time, Mershon became fatally ill and the band scrapped what they had been working on. A few months later Mershon passed away and the band was forced to reformulate their future plans. Over the course of the next few months, Rauch struggled with the motivation to go on. Mershon had been his mentor and friend since he was 17 and had shaped much of his career and the current album. After months spent talking with keyboardist Corey Zaloom, drummer and brother Max Rauch, guitarist Ryan Baredes and bassist Justin Orly, the quintet found the energy and passion to make music again. Drawing on the contributions of legendary punk guitarist Richard Lloyd of Television and former Further Sees Forever vocalist Jason Gleason, the album is a triumph of the human spirit and the summation of a band that put their blood, sweat and tears into making a truly great American rock record.
The band was fortunate enough to land a skilled producer in McGrath, who has worked with Ryan Adams, Neil Diamond and others. McGrath even left working on a Morrissey album to join Tourmaline in the studio. If this all sounds too improbable to be true, that’s because it is. Stories like this hardly ever take place in the real world and seem much more suited for the silver screen. But it is in fact the true story of what went into making The Swindle.
Summing up the album and its place in contemporary music, vocalist Rauch says it frankly, “The industry today is about artists and it truly is better than ever for them to get their music out to people. Artists need to stand up for what they deserve. We went into this project all by ourselves. We’re developing our band on our own merit, not because of guys in suits. We’d rather have 100 percent of a little than 0 percent of more.”
Outlets... actually unplugged works for us as well.
by The only real swindle Tourmaline could pull over any avid music fan is having them miss out on a record that just might be 2008's most creative, most varied and most cohesive piece of art." -Chris...
by Taking everything into account -- how the record was conceived, what the band went through to record it (especially Racuh's throat) and their transformation -- it gives The Swindle all the more...