GR Swardson is a one-man looping rock band.
Don’t believe it – just watch.
The Albuquerque native plays guitar, bass and drums as he builds his songs in real time.
“It takes a lot of practice and patience,” he says. “I love what I do and keep challenging myself by breaking my own barriers.”
Swardson also released his album, “Why Not Now?” at the beginning of this year.
Because it is only him on the album, he worked on it for nearly two years.
“It was about four or five months worth of creating,” he says. “The other time was spent tidying the music up. Everything on that album is all me. I’m pretty proud of that.”
Swardson’s love for music began at an early age.
But by the time he got into Del Norte High School, he was in jazz band and played jazz guitar and bass.
“The first band that I actually gigged with was after high school,” he says. “But I’ve been playing music since I was about six years old.”
Swardson find joy in putting chord progressions together on the guitar.
He’ll then move over to drum and bass and loop it all in.
“When it clicks, it’s just right,” he says. “That’s when I’m feeling the moment and the song just 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 whittle it down to a dozen that made the album.
“I’m used to editing,” he says. “Typically when I perform live, I do three-hour sets. It breaks down to 19 songs with a little break.”
Swardson’s next performance will be from 7-10 p.m. Feb. 5, at Lava Rock Brewing Company, 2220 Unser Blvd. NW. He also has a show from 6-9 p.m. Feb. 10 at Canteen Brewhouse, 2381 Aztec Road NE.
Over the course of his professional career, Swardson has learned something from every opportunity.
He realized playing with other members of a band, doesn’t mean that everyone has the same passion for playing.
Which is why he performs solo.
“What’s really helped me grow is the people that I do play with,” he says. “When I lived in Denver for a few years, I discovered this guy playing on the 16th Street Mall. I brought my guitar and he helped me open up my soloing abilities. He had this extra loop pedal that he gave to 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 love coffee!”
2 “I’m a night owl.”
3 “I like to try to think on the brighter sides 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.”