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The Swedish Models

Sound description

Rowdy garage-rock, with dual vocalists and dual drummers.

RIYL

Cape May, the Muslims, the Vultures, the Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower

Inception

San Diego , 2007

Influences

Fifty on Their Heels, the Muslims, the Vultures, Silverbird, the Saw Doctors, Vinyl Radio, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, the Kinks, Queen

Discography

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The Swedish Models were founded in 2007 by former members of Cape May and Vinyl Radio. Their sound is punky garage rock, with an emphasis on heavy guitars which has helped them earn a buzz as one of San Diego’s current candidates for “most likely to make it to the bigtime.”

The early band included two lead vocalists: Andrew Bernhardt and Ryan Waller, both formerly with Vinyl Radio (Waller was also in the Jury, Bernhardt with Cape May). The group was filled out by Dusty Paul (Vinyl Radio) and Andrew McNally (Rookie Card). Bassist Mark Wiskowski (Cape May, Roses on Her Grave) was replaced in 2008 by Keith Hilton, who was also in Vinyl Radio.

Bernhardt came up with the band’s name during a break at one of their first rehearsals. “I went to the toilet to talk to an old man about a mule and came back to our rehearsal room, opened the door, and said, ‘Where are all the Swedish models?’ It would have been sweet to open the door to a room full of hot models, but instead it was just our sweaty and half-drunken band. So we continued on as the Swedish Models from that day going forward, and if you have just enough to drink, we really do look like Swedish Models.”

The group made their debut in late May 2007 at the Beauty Bar. “Our first show at the Beauty Bar was memorable,” says drummer Dusty Paul, “because we brought our bikes (my Schwinn Stingray and Andrew B’s banana-seated My Little Pony cruiser) and party favors consisting of noisemakers and horny-goat weed. A lot of folks went home with strangers and wrote us thank-you letters the next day.”

The band’s songs cover just about every nook of the rock and roll pantheon. Bouncing keys, crunchy chords, soaring guitar solos, smart harmonies, and that rare attack of two drummers sharing one kit. If a comparison were to be drawn, it would be to the late ‘60s/early-‘70s incarnation of the Kinks.

“Our songwriting process usually starts with hooks that stick in our heads that need to be laid down as songs,” says Bernhardt. “It’s the reason why we take part in this wonderful wasteland called music — vocal hooks or instrumental hooks or just a groove. There’s so much material that we grab from each other. We try to go for the hooky stuff that we’ll love playing over and over. There’s a stony, catchy pop vibe in a lot of the material. We’re all multi-instrumentalists to some extent, so when we write, someone naturally goes for what they feel like playing, and it works out by natural selection.”

Between 2007 and 2009, the band never officially released any music. They were inactive from 2009 until around 2018, when they began turning up at occasional shows. The core trio of Andrew McNally, Dustin Paul, and Andrew Bernhardt recorded new songs at Earthling Studios, where owner Mike Kamoo also happened to dig up the band’s old recordings during an excavation. The “lost tracks” as McNally refers to them. “It’s cool to hear with fresh ears,” he told the Reader, “but right now our focus is on finishing this LP…Then we’ll dive into that. We’re looking at pulling a few of those songs to play live.”

Their 13-song 2019 album was recorded one song at a time over that year at Earthling Records with guest players including Brian Reilly, Matt Costa, Mike Kamoo, and the band's new bassist Chad Pittman.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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