Former Vaux Guitarist Adam Tymn Plays Soulful Rock in The Swayback
Around 2004 or so, Colorado’s Vaux was one of the most buzzed about bands in the heavy music community. After issuing two critically acclaimed albums and EPs, the group signed with Atlantic Records, but after some label shakeups and a delayed third album, Vaux split up. They played their final show in 2007.
These days, Vaux guitarist Adam Tymn is a member of Denver’s The Swayback, an act far removed from his former band’s post-hardcore sound. Noisecreep recently chatted with the guitarist about his current projects, but before we got into The Swayback, we asked Tymn what brought on Vaux’s demise: “When we got done with the recording of our last album, (2006’s Beyond Virtue, Beyond Vice), our label at the time, Atlantic Records, was starting to push the band to radio, but the head of our label [Jason Flom] left the company. We lost a lot of steam there because he was someone that really believed in the band at the label. So the numbers came in from the initial radio push and they weren’t good. So the label dropped us after that.
“We eventually won the record back from Atlantic with the help from this powerful industry lawyer named Peter Paterno and then put it out on a label that was owned by Trevor Pryce, an NFL player who used to play for the Denver Broncos. We toured for about a year and half for that record, but it was morally back-breaking for everyone in the band to be starting over again. That’s when we decided to break up,” says Tymn, who would eventually reunite with his Vaux co-guitarist, Chris Sorensen, and drummer, Joe McChan, in 2010 when they all worked with former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur‘s Out of Our Minds album and tour.
“I was busy working with Melissa, but then she got pregnant and had to get off the road. That’s around the time the guys in The Swayback asked me to join. I was already a huge fan of the band and this coming April it will be four years since I joined. The band has been around for about a decade now. Ryder [Robison, bass] from Vaux and Eric [Halborg, vocals/bass] from The Swayback had been friends in college and that’s how I first learned about the band.”
Watch The Swayback’s “Die Finks” Video
The Swayback are local heroes in Colorado, even being named Denver’s best rock band three years in a row by the readers of the Denver Westword arts newspaper. Tymn tells Noisecreep that while it might not get anywhere near as much press exposure as Brooklyn or Los Angeles, the Denver music scene is vibrant and much more musician friendly than other major cities: “It’s definitely cheaper than those other places, but what I love about it as that the bands all work together. We all help each other out. It’s affordable here too. I bought my own house when I was 21. I know that isn’t too common for a musician to do [laughs]. But yeah, I think Denver is great for musicians.”
Double Four Time, The Swayback’s latest album, finds the quartet effortlessly throwing in elements of classic rock, soul and ’70s punk, into their songwriting. It’s the kind of sound that isn’t that easy to throw a genre tag on top of and Tymn is perfectly fine with that: “I usually just tell people we’re a rock ‘n’ roll band. My parents listened to great music and I grew up on those old records they had at home. I’m talking about stuff like Frankie Valli, Motown and old soul records. So yeah, The Swayback is a rock ‘n’ roll band, but only in the sense that we are going back to its early days and the way that it used to sound.”