Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Mayans Get into the Spirit of Bowie with a New EP

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Mayans Get into the Spirit of Bowie with a New EP

Article excerpt

Local indie/alternative rock band New Mayans has been around for several years, but its concert this weekend at Off Broadway is only its second in St. Louis.

The first was an ugly sweater Christmas party in December at the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill.

Despite the band's rare performances, frontman Swiggy (aka Joe Swigunski) says he loves playing live. But he thinks there's a way bands should go about it.

"A lot of local bands will play out and will oversaturate themselves just playing whenever, but they might play to five people," he says. "They're not being really selective about where they play, and they fizzle out.

"If you play out too much, no one really cares."

The band, which has played in Chicago and Boca Raton, Fla., is releasing its four-song EP "Crimes," featuring the singles "Universe" and "Jezebel," with a concert Friday at Off Broadway.

It's the first release from New Mayans, which has been around since 2010.

What took the band so long?

"We've been trying to figure out what sound we're trying to capture and how we're trying to achieve it," Swiggy says. "It's not an easy sound to capture. I'm always writing new stuff and always trying to get better be a better band and push the envelope. There's so much music out there, and you need to be the best at what you are doing. The better musician I can be and the better people I can work with causes me to rise to the occasion."

When asked to describe the band's sound, his stock reply is: "If David Bowie and Radiohead had written the soundtrack to 'Blade Runner.' Those are three heavy influences for me.

"I've always been a fan of synthesizers and really like the idea of Ziggy Stardust meets Mad Max. That's my persona."

The sound is different from when Swiggy fronted the band Makeshift Gentlemen from 2006 to 2009.

"The songwriting is more mature," he says. "The music is more mature about its themes. It's more about life and death. It's darker without behind theatrical. Overall, it's more of a grimier feel a little bit grittier. …

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