Quite possibly Cobb county’s longest running local music hole, Swayze’s venue, is celebrating 10 years of debauchery this month with an anniversary series of concerts stretched out over the next few weeks.
Treephort, the long-standing nerdcore/punk rock band of Swayze’s founder Lee Satterfield, has a special treat to kick off the second night of festivities this evening. For the first time since “before time, the long, long ago,” as the band describes it on their Facebook page, Treephort will hit the stage accompanied by a horns section.
The group of pasty musicians has put out a heap of releases since their first demo in 1998, despite disbanding in 2003 not long after they got booted from the Vans Warped Tour for their over-the-top stage antics.
When the gang reformed in 2009, one thing was noticeably absent — the horns. Since then the band has incorporated a number of their old tunes into their live shows alongside their newer releases like “Pencil Thin Douchbag Beard,” “Punk Rocks Not Dead (It’s Just For Hicks Now),” and “Dolphin Wizard Lazer Vomit.”
If you’ve never seen the band live it’s definitely an experience, and what better time than amid all the birthday festivities?
We caught up with Satterfield earlier today to talk about the non-ska ska-ness of Treephort’s sound, what the 10 year mark means for Swayze’s, and why “redneck-hippie hybrids from the suburbs” liked wearing hemp necklaces.
Clay Duda: You guys haven’t played with a horn section in an über long time. What made y’all want to bring it back, and why now?
I’ve always liked playing with horns. I’ve always enjoyed them a lot. Part of the reason I had horns to begin with is because I can’t play guitar well. I play power chords and I can’t solo, so the horns play over the power chords.
Really we were never a ska band, and some people say we were ska, but we had nothing to do with ska. People that like ska hate us because we’re not ska, and people that hate ska hate us because they think we’re ska.
The only reason we didn’t have horns [in recent times] is because people grow up and people that are good at horns usually have real jobs and real professions. People that suck at horns [are the ones that want to play in a band], and you don’t want to have sucky horn players. I can’t stand that.
The horns aren’t permanent though, right? This is just for one show?
This is a one-show deal, but I want to try to work with horns more often. Even if they’re not part of the live show every show, I think they’re going to make their way onto future albums and projects I’m working on.
There are a good bit of old Treephort tunes that are really horn-driven. What songs will be on the set list tonight that you normally can’t play with the band's core line up?
We’re playing some of the newer songs and we just added horns to them, and we’re playing a lot of the old songs.
The classic songs we’re playing tonight are “Hemp Necklace,” which is like the first song I wrote as a kid, and people liked that a long time ago. It doesn’t make too much sense anymore, but it sort of defined the late '90s-early 2000s mentality. You know, the redneck-hippie hybrids from the suburbs.
The song we’re always asked to play, “Why Do Fat Kids Like Metallica,” we’re going to play that tonight. I hate playing that song. It’s a hard song to play. It was written before I new anything about music.
The thing about Treephort is I kind of figured it out as I went along. I got the best music and business education by just throwing myself out there and doing it. It’s truly a real punk rock and a real DIY experience.
Oh, and we’re definitely playing a cover of the Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait.”
On to Swayze’s, a lot of Atlanta music venues have come and gone over the years. What does this ten-year mark mean to Swayze’s and to you?
Well, all I can say is that I’m really grateful and I’m really blessed. That’s the biggest thing. I wake up everyday and all I can say is 'thank you’ because I have an awesome life and, really and truly, I’m living out my dreams.
It might be lame to somebody, but man I get to do whatever I want. I get to make money off of putting on shows. If I like something, I can book it. It doesn’t matter if it makes me money, I can book whatever I like.
You’ve got a pretty long list of bands playing gigs to celebrate the anniversary over the next few weeks. Are there any in particular you’re stoked about?
Two weeks from now is the Cartel show.
That’s going to be cool because that’s just a big band. They’ve gotten really big and they played their first show at Swayze’s. It’s just cool that a band that plays bigger places all over the country — and the world — is coming back to Swayze’s to play a special show.
How about the future? Does Swayze’s have any big plans? Maybe get married, settle down, and have a few baby venues?
We had a venue in Tuscaloosa, but we shut it down because I got married, really. I got married and school was over and I just wanted to do other things. That was really just a way to make some money while I went to school there.
I eventually want to open a bar because the biggest problem with my business is once the kids turn 21, for the most part, I lose their business.
I don’t necessarily want to have a bunch of baby venues. That’s a cool idea, but it’s just too many lawsuits waiting to happen.
You know Patrick Swayze passed away a few years back. Did that have any impact on the venues legacy or anything?
It’s not really named after Patrick Swayze, I just thought Swayze’s was a good name.
What?! I thought it was named after Patrick Swayze?
I mean I like Patrick Swayze a lot. I guess it could be in honor of him, but I’m not going to say we named it after Patrick Swayze because then his family would sue me. It could totally be, but that’s not true.
The biggest thing when I first started was I wanted people to be able to find us. The reason I came up with Swayze’s is because it’s such a marketable name as far as, like, a Google search.
You don’t know how many freaking venues I’ve played in my life called “The Warehouse” or “The Venue.” I hate playing places like that.
Swayze’s 10th Anniversary Fest Night 2: The Emotron, S.S. Vendetta, Treephort (with horns), Koskee, Labyrinthe, Burke, Eastern Division, and the Conflicts. Saturday, Sept. 15. $10. 5:30 p.m. Swayze's Venue, 2543 Bells Ferry Rd., Suite 650. 770-590-0111. www.swayzesvenue.com
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