Indie rockers Louden Swain hit Phoenix this weekend for Supernatural Con
The title of indie rockers Louden Swain’s new album, Feelings and moreis more than a name, it is a testimony.
“I think in many ways, musically, this album is a breath of fresh air, a relief,” says Billy Moran, one of the band’s guitarists.
Formed in Los Angeles 25 years ago, Louden Swain is made up of Moran, vocalist and guitarist Rob Benedict, bassist Michael Borja and Phoenix-born drummer Stephen Norton.
Feelings and more is set to be released this Friday, November 11, which coincides with the kick-off of a weekend of local shows.
Benedict is more than a musician – he’s also an actor with a long list of credits, including 20 episodes of Supernatural play Chuck Shurley, aka God. So Louden Swain is going to be this weekend’s house band. Supernatural convention in Glendale, an event that includes a concert on Saturday, November 12, open to the public.
Benedict says this upcoming album is very special to him because he’s writing from a personal place, and Feelings and more is more emotionally specific than the others.
“We have all been through turmoil over the past few years,” he says. “Certainly it was accelerated by the COVID lockdown that we all went through.”
He says coming out of that, along with some personal issues, made him brutally honest in his writing.
“Sometimes I try to be as honest as possible with the lyrics,” says Benedict. The result is an album with a particularly personal vibe.
Other members of Louden Swain experienced their own challenges while creating the album: Borja lost his father and drummer Norton was battling colon cancer. Benedict himself went through a divorce.
“We were so excited to get back together,” after making their previous album, Foolish, remotely, Norton said. He says that once they were reunited in person to Feelings and moretheir bond has been renewed.
“We can’t wait to get out there and play it for people live,” says Norton. “It’s one of those records that has a ton of energy. Being able to come together to make it meant so much to all of us.
The guys don’t split hairs when it comes to what they prefer: playing live or in the studio. They say both are rewarding.
“Those are two different things,” says Benedict. “Being in the studio creating with the guys is something really special. I can’t wait. But playing live is just as rewarding. We identify with people and play music to be heard. These songs grow and change the characters a bit when you start playing in front of people, so it’s fun to do that too.
Keeping a band together for over 25 years can be tough. There are horror stories of long-running feuds between band members that led to rifts and animosity. But Louden Swain seems to have bypassed all of that, and Moran says he knows why.
“We don’t take hard drugs,” he laughs. “I think if we had these issues it would be a lot harder to keep this group together. We all love each other; we all respect each other. We really respect the music and this band. And letting anything get in his way would be a disservice to everyone.
“We’ve had our share of problems.” Benedict adds, but “we have all been there for each other. We are like brothers. One of the big things I love about this band is that if something happens to one of us, the other three will drop everything to be there for that person. We were all the person who needed the other three to be there for them.
It is therefore in force that Louden Swain heads to Phoenix for the Supernatural event, which takes over the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel & Spa.
“We have up to about 2,000 people gathering,” says Benedict. “The cast of the show, myself included, will have signs, sign autographs, have photos and everything. But what makes it different from other fan events is that we have the band.
On Thursday, November 10, some of the convention guests will be heading into town for a sold-out bus tour with this band that will highlight various music-themed landmarks around Phoenix. But the highlight for Louden Swain is the November 12 show.
Called Saturday night specialit will be hosted by Benedict, will include appearances by Supernatural cast members and present a concert of the group.
“It’s a really cool thing,” says Benedict. It’s a special thing because the fandom surrounding Supernatural is a very loyal fanbase that has really helped keep this show on the air for 15 seasons.
In addition to entertaining convention attendees, the band has also partnered with the non-profit organization Random Acts. Donations such as musical items, clothing and food will be accepted and donated to Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Foundation for teenage centers in the area.
After 25 years, the Brotherhood of Louden Swain still remains intact. Even after personal struggles and a global pandemic, the group is stronger than ever. feelings and things testifies to this rare alchemy.
“We’re super excited about this record,” says Benedict. “We couldn’t be more grateful for everything and every opportunity we’ve had, it’s been awesome.”
Saturday night special. 9 p.m., Saturday, November 12, at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel & Spa, 9495 West Coyotes Boulevard, Glendale. The cost is $80 at the door. The Supernatural the convention will take place from November 11 to 13 at the hotel. A variety of ticket packages are available at the door. For more information, visit the Creation Entertainment website.