Pin It
Favorite

Going With the Flow 

After more than a decade together, the Sword stays flexible, moving from metal to hard rock

click to enlarge The Sword headline March 28 at The Pin!
  • The Sword headline March 28 at The Pin!

Not much fazes the members of Austin, Texas-based heavy metal quartet the Sword, not even hypothetically leaving behind an essential like a phone or wallet when heading out on tour.

"You can always have things mailed to you," bassist Bryan Richie nonchalantly says as he begins to pack for the next leg of the Sword's tour behind its fifth album, High Country.

That roll-with-the-punches flexibility is key to the Sword's longevity, and is the reason why Richie, guitarist Kyle Shutt and drummer Santiago Vela III weren't too shaken when singer/guitarist John Cronise brought demos for High Country to the table.

The album, released last August, trades the heavy metal sound fans have come to associate with the Sword for hard rock.

"We were all ready to take the band in a different direction," Richie says. "Not even a different direction, but try something different, try to stretch a little bit, see where you could go."

For the quartet, that meant moving vocals and synthesizers into the spotlight, while also bringing vibrancy to still-heavy guitar riffs.

To do this, they changed the guitar tuning from the band's usual C to a brighter E-flat. That has affected the way the group has played older songs live, but true to form, the Sword wasn't too concerned; they simply reworked those songs to match the tuning of High Country.

The quartet also effortlessly shifted to allow Richie to take on more of a composing role on new songs like "Mist and Shadow" and "Silver Petals."

The band's flexibility also extends beyond the studio, as they often don't work in the same room prior to recording, instead choosing to embrace technology and share ideas via Dropbox from Austin (Richie, Shutt and Vela) and Asheville, North Carolina (Cronise).

"We get together less, but when we do, we're arguably way more productive," Richie says. "Instead of just getting together for the sake of getting together, now it's 'This is the time to get together, so it better be worth it.'"

After more than a decade together, Richie says it's this trust, knowing that everything is going to come together like it always does, that made forging ahead in a new direction an easy choice.

"We'd all be like, 'Let's do some different shit. Let's shake some things up. Let's do a record and not be afraid of what anyone else is going to think about it. Let's just do the record that comes naturally to us,'" Richie says. ♦

The Sword with Royal Thunder • Mon, March 28, at 9 pm • $20 • All-ages • The Pin! • 412 W. Sprague • thepinevents.com • 368-4077

Tags: ,

  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Classic Gass
  • Classic Gass

    Armed with a new album, the Kyle Gass Band brings its blend of rock and humor to Spokane
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Wanna Rock?
  • Wanna Rock?

    A slew of '80s glam favorites come to Wreck The Halls of Spokane Arena
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • <b>Lit Up</b>
  • Lit Up

    The urge to photograph and record entire shows is more prevalent than ever, but is that a hindrance to the concertgoing experience?
    • Nov 23, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Totally Tubular Tuesday: Holiday Films

Totally Tubular Tuesday: Holiday Films @ Garland Theater

Tue., Dec. 6, Tue., Dec. 13 and Tue., Dec. 20

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Azaria Podplesky

  • Consider This
  • Consider This

    A life coaching site for cannabis users, a Seattle marijuana tour, and a weed-related documentary series
    • Jul 14, 2016
  • Rule Refresher
  • Rule Refresher

    Making sense of Washington's new medical marijuana law
    • Jul 7, 2016
  • Munchie Mania
  • Munchie Mania

    Fast-food options can satisfy any craving for munchies
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Wanna Rock?

    A slew of '80s glam favorites come to Wreck The Halls of Spokane Arena
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Big Themes

    Disney's Moana is the empowering and fascinating tale we need right now
    • Nov 23, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Film


Review


Readers also liked…

  • A Relentless Beat
  • A Relentless Beat

    Dave Wakeling's celebratory ska still stings
    • May 13, 2015
  • Tickle the Keys
  • Tickle the Keys

    The Ridler Piano Bar keeps the good times rolling in downtown Spokane with dueling musicians
    • Jun 17, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation