You (Landon) have been involved with a number of different bands and genres, how did The Swinging Doors band come to life?
I grew up listening to classic country music, several members of my family are country musicians. I’ve played many styles of music over the years, but I really reconnected with my country roots in my mid-twenties. I dusted off some old Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash records and realized how much I loved this style of music, it was in my blood. Whenever I picked up a guitar it was always country music that came out.
I actually didn’t set out to put a country band together, it sort of presented itself to me. I met Damien at an open jam session one night and we really hit it off musically. When we got together for a subsequent jam, he invited Pat (bass) and Martin (drums) who he had played with in a previous project. So from the very first session all the elements of the band were there, they just needed to be honed and developed.
You play traditional and classic country music, how do you select songs for your set list? How many songs do you typically play in a night?A full show for us consists of about 3 hour of music, given that classic country songs are quite short this works out to be between 40-50 songs. This seems like a lot for modern day, but this is pretty standard in a traditional setting. We play really classic well known songs, but the most important thing is that we all enjoy the material. That enjoyment is what comes through in our live show.
For The Swinging Doors, what is the most satisfying feeling you get during and after playing to a crowd?
I think what we do is a lost art form. We like to get dressed up and really provide a show for people. The majority of classic country music fans are from an older generation. I think its nostalgic for them to hear these songs again. I think they really appreciate young people giving this music the respect it deserves. If they are dancing, we are doing it right (haha). That means a lot to us.
What has been your most memorable show played to date? I have to ask since I saw your wall starting to fill up from show posters.
We have had a good run in just over one year as a band. We have played quite a variety of shows including bar gigs with a more rowdy, younger type crowd, to playing at some of the larger jamboree’s (outdoor festivals) for a few hundred classic country music fans. It’s all been quite memorable, and our calendar is already filling up for 2017 and It’s shaping up to be another great year for us.
You guys have also experimented with your sound by incorporating a pedal steel player into your set, have you guys thought about adding any other elements?
The Swinging Doors have always consisted of the 4 core members, but we often highlight different people or instrumentation to add variety to our live show. I met Andy Schick, who is one of the best pedal steel players in the area, at one of the Jamborees this past summer. I invited him to one of our practices and we hit it off really well. Andy is a freelancer, but has been playing with us frequently ever since. It’s a real pleasure to work with a guy of his calibre. His musicianship really takes the band to a new level.
Have you guys thought about writing any original material?
For now we are strictly a cover band. From the start we have just wanted to get our chops up and establish ourselves as a solid, working, classic country music band. I think we have achieved that pretty well this year. Originals are definitely not out of the question, we just haven’t started to explore that territory as a band quite yet.
For everything online about The Swinging Doors what links can people check out?
The best place to find us is our website: www.theswingingdoorskingston.com . There you will find live show dates, biography, pictures/video, a sample set list, booking information and links to all our social media pages. Give us a like or a follow to keep up to date. Thanks Matt!