Current Swell makes you want to quit your job and go on an “Endless Summer"-like trek surfing and playing music.
However, since you presumably lack their talent and surfing ability, you're probably better off just living vicariously through the Victoria, B.C., band's music, a catchy roots-rock that would not offend the ears of Jack Johnson fans.
The group — Scott Stanton (vocals, guitar), David Lang (vocals, guitar), Ghosty Boy (bass) and Chris Petersen (drums) — fell together organically enough after Stanton moved to Canada's West Coast from interior Alberta.
“One day I went to visit a friend out on the coast, and (I) called my dad and I was like, 'Dad, I think I'm going to stay here, because I really like it,' and he's like, 'All right.'" Stanton said. “Life just suited me more."
Though he'd miss his friends back home, he says, he was different from them, more into folk while his friends were into rap and metal. At the coast, he met more musically like-minded Canadians: People with whom to write music. People with whom to jam.
“From there, we're just sharing songs, very casually," he said. “And then ... (someone was) like, 'You guys want to play a show?'
“We're like, 'What? Sure, like an open mic?' They're like, 'No, no, no.' And then we just started getting press really quickly," Stanton said.
By that point, they knew they'd need a name.
“We had to come up with a name, and we'd never had one," he said, though the origin story becomes fuzzy at that point.
“'Let's call ourselves Current Swell from now on.' We were like, 'All right. Sweet.' It just happened from there," Stanton continued.
Current Swell landed a weekly live gig for free beer and food and a few hundred dollars.
“We were ... broke little dudes just hanging out and trying to get money any way we could, just because we weren't killing it or anything like that," he said. They used the money to make a record, 2005's “Trust Us Now."
After that, the four moved to Australia — with some side trips to Indonesia — to surf and play guitar for about six months. “Music was not our main focus. Having fun was our main focus," Stanton said.
Nevertheless, in their absence, Current Swell's fan base grew stronger, thanks to the Internet and iTunes. They've opened for The Beach Boys and The Tragically Hip, and headlined a Canada Day show before a crowd of 45,000. That's a lot more people than will fit inside The Horned Hand, where Current Swell will play Thursday (see “If you go," Page 3).
What are they like live?
“It's a show. We like to go through a roller coaster," Stanton said. “We like to come out blazing gunfire. And then somewhere in the set, we'll ... do two or three mellow songs without drums, and then bring it back up for the last (part). Our live show is very different from our album, because it's just full on. We like to give her 110 percent ... we love to rock out and have as much fun as we can on stage."
The band's new album is its fourth, “Long Time Ago," which came out on Nettwerk Records in October. Though they now have an agent and manager and label support, Current Swell are still about having fun.
“I don't think it's a matter of (being) 'important.' It just is," he said of the quartet's emphasis on good times. “We love performing and we love writing music. If anything we're now in a situation where good opportunities are coming our way, and we don't really have to work for them, because we have other people working for them. So it's just, like, a really big win-win."