- SWA (band)
SWA (pronounced swǒ) the band originally started as a concept defined by
Chuck Dukowski, former bassist of Black Flag while he was still a member of that band. The name was created by assigning an alphabetical value to numbers on a gaming die, then rolling the die three times. Dukowski would later claim that the name was offered up by Joe Carducciand was accepted by the rest of the band, despite Chuck's own discomfort with it [ [http://www.furious.com/Perfect/chuckdukowski.html Perfect Sound Forever: Chuck Dukowski interview ] ] . SWA has had the dubious distinction of being considered the "worst" band to ever record for SST Recordsby many label aficionados [ [http://www.furious.com/Perfect/sst3.html The SST Records story ] ] and, in one infamous fanzine article, Steve Albiniclaimed that among the worst things a person could do was "listen to SWA" and "be SWA" [ [http://agonyshorthand.blogspot.com/2004/03/are-you-swa-or-not-swa.html Agony Shorthand ] ] . However, others have come to the band's defense [ [http://mrowster.wordpress.com/2007/05/20/33/#more-33 SWA: Let’s Ball! « Pig State Recon ] ] .
SWA, the band, came into existence in 1985, a few years after Chuck left Black Flag and disbanded Würm, his band prior to Black Flag. The band was created a year after the formation of SST Records "supergroup"
October Factionas an opening act for the 1984 Black Flag US summer tour consisting of parts of the east coast, mid west, and Canada. Following that tour, Chuck and Octoberfaction drummer [http://www.myspace.com/gregcameron Greg Cameron] began trying out guitar players to form SWA. Early jams included Ted Falconi of Flipper, but Falconi was unable to commit to SWA. Ray Cooper of the Descendents (who were on hiatus at the time), who was Greg Cameron's best friend from high school, and guitarist Richard Ford, formerly of the Frantic Technoids, eventually joined up on guitar. Merrill Ward (ex-Overkill), who was close to the SST family, joined up at Chuck's request at lead singer. Cooper dropped out in favor of a re-activated Descendents after the recording of the band's first LP, "Your Future (If You Have One)", which was produced by Dukowski's ex-Black Flag bandmate Greg Ginn. The band recorded their next album, "Sex Dr." (the title was based on Greg Cameron's nickname "The Nazi Sex Doctor") as 4-piece. In 1987, Rich Ford, left the band due to the demands of his job as SST's production manager and Sylvia Juncosa (ex-To Damascus) joined as guitarist, playing on "XCIII". Juncosa went solo afterwards and the band reappeared with guitarist Phil Van Duyne for 1989's "Winter". The line-up changed yet again as Merrill Ward departed for an acting career. 1991's "Volume" featured Chuck taking over the vocals and most of the songwriting (Phil Van Duyne sings one track and Merrill Ward returns for one other). The band called it quits shortly afterwards.
Chuck and Phil Van Duyne reunited briefly in Fishcamp in the late '90s [ [http://www.vanduyne.com/fishcamp/bg.htm Fishcamp Background ] ] .
Addendum: A version of SWA performed as early as Friday, 22 May 1981 in a show at Veteran's Auditorium, 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City, California, with Vox Pop, and headliner
Throbbing Gristle(from the UK) flyer for the show was done by Raymond Pettibon.
**Your Future (If You Have One) LP (
SST Records, 1985)
**Sex Dr. LP (
SST Records, 1986)
**XCIII LP (
SST Records, 1987)
**Winter LP/CD (
SST Records, 1989)
**Volume LP/CD (
SST Records, 1991)
**"Arroyo" b/w "Optimist" 12" (
SST Records, 1987)
**Evolution 85-87 CD (
SST Records, 1988) - features tracks from the first 3 LPs.
*amg | id = 11:1s320rnac48v | label = SWA
* [http://www.trouserpress.com/entry.php?a=swa SWA at Trouser Press]
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