Tell us about your band including your history, where you are from and how you started?
All of us currently reside in London, Ontario. All our members come from different musical backgrounds as we all have several projects on the go. Over the course of 2019, we had undergone some member changes and had mutual splits where members wanted to pursue other interests. Definitely not the same band since we were first formed, but that’s a good thing. New members bring fresh ideas to the group and our musical tastes and musicianship can expand. We still continue to thank our past members who were the foundation of the group. The origin of the band began when a former member posted an ad on Kijiji in 2018 looking for people who were interested in playing some Parov Stelar covers.
After about a month of messages, seven people stepped forward to join the unnamed project at the time. We didn’t really plan on doing shows or anything like that, but eventually enough people requested us to play an open mic after hearing our music style. Since then we have played many packed shows around town, won first prize in London’s Road to New Years Eve contest in 2019, and opened for large acts such as Canadian legend David Wilcox at the London Music Hall.
How did you come up with your band name?
It actually took us over a year to come up with a name. We wanted the name to reflect the old time era of swing music. The meaning of Tell It To Sweeney is slang for ‘tell it to someone who cares or who believes you’. It also started a rather popular hashtag on social media which we adopted as well. Can you see it in our name?
Do you have any recorded music available for fans?
You can currently find us on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook where we have a wide variety of our live music performances up for viewing. We currently have an EP in the works – two originals have been recorded and we have a pending release coming in August where we will debut our first single and music video for our song ‘The Countess’. Covid-19 has delayed this release but we do plan to move forward soon with this release on Spotify and all social media platforms.
How would you describe your music?
Probably best described as a hip shaking, jump out of your seat and hit the dance floor style of dance music mixed in with elements of swing music. Popularly known over in Europe as nu-swing or electro-swing.
What makes your band/music stand out from the others?
It would have to be our choice of music style. You rarely see music that takes elements of electro-swing, funk, jazz, and R&B combined. It truly creates a fresh new sound and a stunned audience when hearing it for the first time. We often get complimented on how different our style really is and how enjoyable the experience it was for them.
What do you like to do outside of music that contributes to the music? Example, painting inspires many singers?
Each of our seven band members have our own things we do to inspire us individually. Some of the members have other projects and music that they love. Thom, our drummer has recently started to dive into video editing to help the band make videos. Marc our bassist and Kyle our guitarist are also involved in several music projects outside of this one. Our sax players Brian and Matt love writing out lead sheets and arrangement ideas. Ryan, our keyboardist is a full time musician, composer, and audio engineer. Our amazingly talented singer Anne also has an audio engineering background and in her spare time writes romance stories and poetry which helps with her lyric writing and creative process.
Name your two biggest musical influences and why?
As a band and our sound I would say musically we are heavily influenced by electro-swing artists such as Parov Stellar and Caravan Palace as well as many old time classic artists like Benny Goodman and Ella Fitzgerald.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
Everyone gets equal input in the songwriting process. It usually starts with an idea that other people build around. Brian on sax, Ryan on keys, and Kyle on guitar often take the lead sharing a new melody or creative arrangement idea, but everyone contributes in their own unique way. The end goal is always to focus on something upbeat, catchy, or create something memorable.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band/artist? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
Recently with the challenge of Covid-19 and events happening around the world, our band, like many others have had to adjust our marketing strategies. In the past few months, we have had to focus on our online audience recently where we have been putting out quarantine videos monthly to help spread a little cheer. We have received great reception to these videos and we plan to put out more in the future. Unfortunately, we have lost a lot of gigging opportunities since March and since we are a large band of seven members, it wasn’t ideal to pack together in a small room, so we have worked collectively in our own home studios to put out material for people to enjoy.
What current projects are you working on at the moment?
We have found love and enjoyment for creating these play-through videos right now and will have more coming out soon. We also are working with a fantastic video graphic editor on a new fresh music video that we are so excited for. The release is planned for August.
Tell It To Sweeney are:
Anne Moniz (Vocals)
Kyle Gagné (Guitar)
Marc Shickluna (Bass)
Ryan McNevin (Keyboards)
Thom Edwards (Drums)
Brian Baillargeon (Sax)
Matthew Greeson (Sax)