Fresh out of the NSW Northern Rivers, funky roots/rock exponents, The Swamp Stompers are well chuffed to announce the release of their new EP, ‘Stepping Stones’, along with the follow-up tour which leaves this February. Honing their skills up and down the East Coast, The Swamp Stompers will be bringing the good vibes and swampy stompin’ goodness to Solbar on Friday February 13 (front bar). We sent through a few questions to Corey from the group, before they head to the Coast. Hi Corey. Nice work on the new ‘Stepping Stones’ EP. The songs have a mix of sludgy blues/roots, mixed with some 60s psychedelic rock in there too. The track, ‘Better Days’ had me in full stomp mode, and then you flipped the mood! Most blues/roots heads in one direction, but your style is a lot more progressive. Is this intentional, or are you influenced by so many different styles that it’s just a natural way of writing for you? Thanks mate, we’re really happy with it! The EP is definitely diverse, which was a conscious move; we recorded eight tracks and narrowed it down to the six songs which best showcase the band’s ability. I think we naturally write songs that take people on a journey. I’m personally a fan of 70’s rock acts such as Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, so I guess that shines through in the songs we write. With The Swamp Stompers being from the Byron Bay/Lismore area, have you noticed similarities between, particularly the Byron scene, and how the SE Qld/Coast music scene is? Yeah definitely. I think the Byron scene provides a central hub for musicians travelling up and down the East Coast, with a lot of different types of bands and musicians calling through. I would definitely say that there is an eclectic scene in Byron, and I guess the melting pot of different genres has influenced our style. The Byron Bay Bluesfest is a huge event on the calendar and we’ve been lucky enough to play at the festival on the busking stage and meet heaps of cool people and fellow artists through that experience. I think we’re very lucky that the music scene on the east coast is so vibrant. You’ve played a few of the country’s Blues Festivals. What is your take on the state of blues/roots in Australia? (Personally, I think it goes from strength to strength). Where would you like to see it go to from here? I think the Blues & Roots scene in Australia is excellent. There are so many good quality blues & roots acts in Australia, and from our experience within that scene we have found that it’s like being a part of one big family – everyone is very supportive! We played at Blues at Bridgetown Festival in Western Australia last November and it was an amazing weekend playing to hugely appreciative crowds. Watching quality acts every night and hanging out with other artists, especially the other young up-and-coming bands such as Eddie Boyd & the Phatapillars, is one of the perks of the job. Your tour, in support of the EP, is a pretty intense one. The Swamp Stompers do get to play up in SE QLD a bit, but are there any venues/areas on this tour you haven’t been to yet? We’ve been to Brisbane quite a few times now, but we have never played in Maroochydore – we’re pretty damn keen to venture up that way on this tour to play at the Solbar on Friday! The Royal Mail in Goodna was our first introduction to the Brisbane Blues and Roots scene and it is one of the best venues we’ve played, so we’re looking forward to playing there again on Saturday (during the day), with a show at the Milk Factory in Brisbane that night! The Milk Factory is another venue which we will be playing for the first time on this tour – we’ve heard really good things about it! Thanks Corey! Have an awesome tour, and rip it up in the front bar at Solbar on February 13. You can purchase/download the new EP, ‘Stepping Stones’ here.