Posted On 20 Jun 2018
Kurt Stifle and the Swing Shift bring a collection of unruly swamp monsters to life in the music video for their rootsy blues-infused rock single “Swampee.” Check it out here- https://soundcloud.com/user-319700535/swampee-single
Directed by Angelus Tamerlane Baily, “Swampee” takes you on a psychedelic trip with germy little swamp creatures as they rock n’ roll their way through the polluted rivers and slimy pipes of Los Angeles. The band of misfits jam to the energetic blues-infused rock track as they float through muddy, trash infested waters. The colorful, off-kilter visual lends itself to the story of Swampee, a devil that wanders the criminal underbelly of the Los Angeles river in search of souls to corrupt. Wrapped up in killer set design, kaleidoscopic graphics, and some seriously hard rockin’ hand puppets, “Swampee” is an unexpected and entirely enjoyable visual ride.
Learn more about Kurt Stifle and The Swing Shift in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So how has 2018 been treating you all? What is one musical goal that you have had for this year and how close are you to reaching it?
Good so far. We’ve been in and out of the studio working on new tracks, but another album is a way off.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Has anything surprised you about it all so far?
Not the exact moment since it all came together in parts, organically. What surprises me is the how good Steve, Bob and Matt truly are.
How difficult was it to come up with your band name? What other names were you considering?
It was totally difficult. I couldn’t come up with anything, so I just decided to go with “Kurt Stifle and the Swing Shift” Stifle, because people would like me to shut up, and the Swing Shift because Bob and Steve like to work in the 4pm – Midnight time slot… Plus they can really swing!
How do you think your hometowns have influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? If you don’t think that it has, why is that?
Possibly because we came up in the South Bay and LA we have a DIY attitude.
Let’s talk about your newest single called “Swampee.” What was it like putting this track together?
The track came together pretty uneventfully. The video was created by Angelus Baily and William Crespo. The ran with it all and I had very little input.
How creatively involved were you all with the making of the music video for the song?
Just some minor feedback and scene suggestions, that’s about it.
How would you say that “Swampee” compares to the rest of your “The Pilgrim’s Guide to the River of Salvation” album? What was it like making this collection overall? Did anything surprise you about the process? Were there any unexpected challenges to it?
“Swampee” was to be a blues-rocker. I wanted to write the rest of the tracks with a certain sentiment in mind, as if it was a song from a scene in a movie or play. What surprised me was how I could pick up on different rock genres and come up with something. Lots of fun.
While it’s difficult, can you pick out a few of your favorite songs on the album and talk about the inspiration behind them and how they got to be on this collection?
I like “Drugs and Alcohol” a lot, especially because of the vocals arrangement with Don Bolles. It’s a comical song about a serious issue. Great basic RnR riff with a cool drum beat. And a sing along anthemic chorus. I could imagine the Broadway musical.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
I prefer the studio, where I can experiment and mess around. We’ve just started doing live shows so there are some kinks on my end to work out. In the past I loved live shows because you’d never know what was going to happen or who’d be in the audience.
Do you have any upcoming tour dates this summer that you would like to tell our readers about?
None right now, everybody else is busy with other projects, so I’m focused on writing and recording. But I look forward to a time when we could do more live shows.
How do you think being a musician and in this band gives you all the most joy in life today?
It’s a fun and creative outlet without any external pressures… I’m on my own timeline. I have a career outside of music which pays the bills, but that doesn’t mean I’m not serious about this project. Producing music is very fulfilling, and challenging. I’m a practical perfectionist. You can hear that in the album.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
The music has nothing to do with politics. There’s enough of that already and I don’t want to address this in my music. I do make some contemporary social commentary, but you’ll have to figure those out.
How important do you think social media has been to this band? Do all you help to maintain all your sites or is one of you more into it all? Or do you rely on your PR/management team to handle it?
Social media is not important to this band, nor will it be in the future. I’m trying a different approach.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this group?
I really like the group as is we’re now. I can’t think of anyone else I’d prefer. Steve Reed, Matt Lake, Bob Lee, and Paul Roessler as producer. We can’t get any better than this.
If you guys were all going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you want to take with you and why?
I’d take a device with an internet connection, so I could listen to whatever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to. I wouldn’t take an instrument, because I could make ones out of whatever I found on the island.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I just hope the listener will enjoy the music on their own terms. Whatever they take away from it is open to their own interpretation.