The Gospel Swamp
Makeshift mic booths and cheap gear stuffed inside their dusty and dingy garages was the preferred medium through which bandmates Colton Stephens, John Mroch, and Danny McCarty began their musical collaboration. After many years of jamming together, including sparse collaborations due to geographical constraints, each person was eager to commit to forming a band fully invested in developing original material. It wasn’t until late 2017 when the three found themselves all living in Huntington Beach for the first time since 2012. After a hard look in the proverbial mirror, the trio decided that jamming on the weekends could no longer satiate their creative endeavors. In September 2017, The Gospel Swamp was born.
Sustained by their intrigue for raw recordings, the band prides itself on having recorded and produced a seven-track self-titled debut EP from start to finish in the small span of just two weekend-sessions. Drummer Colton Stephens engineered the sessions using a Tascam analog mixer and Fostex reel-to-reel tape deck, and mixed and mastered the project digitally. Rather than the sterile humdrum of recording to a click, the band recorded everything live in the same room without headphones, save for the vocal and occasional lead guitar overdubs.
While finalizing the songs for their debut EP, The Gospel Swamp was eager to take their songs to the road, the true grindstone of rock ‘n’ roll, and brainstormed to whip up a Summer West Coast tour. Dubbing it the “West Coast Deep Dive Tour,” The Gospel Swamp withdrew most-to-all of their savings, bought a sketchy old van, burned 200 CDs of their EP from their laptops, cut out and hot-glued together cardstock CD cases, and hit the road to give the West Coast the new swampy soundscapes pulsing out of Orange County.
The Gospel Swamp has been fueled by a deep-seated belief in putting the music first. The band’s tireless work ethic and DIY-inspired attitude generated their early successes, and continues to drive the group forward. With a self-planned tour and a local residency (at The Wayfarer, Costa Mesa) under their belts, The Gospel Swamp is looking forward to what their sophomore year has in store.