GR Swardson is a solo rock band.
Don’t believe it – just watch.
The Albuquerque native plays guitar, bass and drums while building his songs in real time.
“It takes a lot of practice and patience,” he says. “I love what I do and continue to challenge myself by breaking down my own barriers.”
Swardson also released his album, “Why Not Now?” at the beginning of this year.
Because there’s only him on the album, he worked on it for almost two years.
“It took about four or five months to create,” he says. “The other time was spent putting the music away. Everything on this album is all me. I’m quite proud of it.
Swardson’s love for music began at an early age.
But by the time he entered Del Norte High School, he was in a jazz band and playing jazz guitar and bass.
“The first band I really played with was after high school,” he says. “But I’ve been making music since I was about six years old.”
Swardson finds joy in putting together chord progressions on the guitar.
He will then move on to drums and bass and wrap it all up.
“When it clicks, it’s perfect,” he says. “That’s when I feel the moment and the song comes out.”
Working for nearly two years on his album, Swardson was able to amass a number of tracks – 22 to be exact.
But he had to narrow it down to a dozen that made the album.
“I’m used to editing,” he says. “Usually when I play live I do three-hour sets. It breaks down into 19 songs with a little break.
Swardson’s next performance will be from 7-10 p.m. on February 5 at Lava Rock Brewing Company, 2220 Unser Blvd. NO. He also has a show from 6-9 p.m. on February 10 at Canteen Brewhouse, 2381 Aztec Road NE.
During his professional career, Swardson has learned something from every opportunity.
He realized that playing with other band members doesn’t mean everyone has the same passion for playing.
That’s why he performs solo.
“What really helped me grow was the people I played with,” he says. “When I lived in Denver for a few years, I discovered this guy who played at 16th Street Mall. I brought my guitar and he helped me develop my soloing skills. He had this loop pedal that he gave me. That’s where it all started. The whole one man band thing.
Here are a few things you didn’t know about Swardson:
1 “I like coffee!”
2 “I am a night owl.”
3 “I like to try to think on the bright side of things.”
4 “I can’t stand mustard, but I love honey mustard.”
5 “I play a Fernandes Retro Rocket Pro with a ’69 Strat rail pickup.”