When word was spread that a new project was being formed, expectations were understandably high. The transition from De Los Muertos to Switchblade Syndicate “was very gradual, but abrupt at the same time,” Grim says.
The shift brought along a new band name, new band members and a broader sound.
Donny Dirtball was recruited on drums and, after the initial bassist quit, “Switchblade” John Campbell rounded out the current lineup. Both Grim and Nielsen decided to expand Switchblade Syndicate beyond the pigeonholed trappings of the traditional Rockabilly genre. With the lineup finalized and the goal solidified, the band members got to work creating their own sound.
Switchblade Syndicate often talk about the band using simple, overarching descriptors. Nielsen and Campbell say they play straight-up Rock & Roll. Grim claims it is “Sleaze.” Dirtball describes it as “dirty, sped-up Country.”
They’re all correct, but none quite hit the nail on the head. They are undoubtedly a Rock & Roll band, but one with flourishes of Country, Punk, Rockabilly, Honky Tonk, Surf, Psychobilly, Sleaze and seemingly every other major genre you can think of. Perhaps this is why the bandmates use simple descriptors — it simply takes too much time to describe their complete sound.
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