What does S.E.Z.W.A.H. mean? It will be revealed here soon!
Why SEZWAH sounds like they do:
As Jimmy Page says, "I am nothing if not the sum of my influences."
Song Remains the Same (Led Zeppelin cover)
SEZWAH came of musical age in the 1980s in the American Midwest and was surrounded by 80s American Country Music, which has since been declared as the most wide-ranging, inclusive, multi-styled and multi-genre accepted radio format in popular music history. Outlaw Country of Willie and Waylon from the 70s merged with newer artists growing up with 60s and 70s rock (that directly influenced Outlaw 70s country of course). Actual artists from the 1960s and even before were STILL being played on country radio in the 80s; thus SEZWAH members learned first hand the lineage of Johnny Cash in the 50s; Haggard, Jones, and the Stones in the 60s; to the Eagles being covered and inspired by Willie and Waylon. AND all of these artists were played on 80s country along site Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly, the funky Judds, and Patty Loveless.
It Always Will Be (Willie Nelson cover)
Thus, when Jimi Hendrix said his favorite song ever was "Just Dropped in to See What Condition my Condition is in" by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, they could understand and hear and LISTEN to all those connections in every song every day on 1980s radio until it permanently changed overnight in 1990. Also, Elvis told Kenny Rogers directly his favorite song was Kenny's "Sweet Music Man", of which the Mystery Drummer has said is "the greatest song ever written" and was written by Kenny , about Waylon Jennings... probably IS the greatest song ever!
Morning Desire II (Kenny Rogers cover)
This change led to today's so-called country music, which is watered down 90s and 2000s bad pop, focusing bizarrely on going to beaches and name-checking ACTUAL great country artists like Johnny Cash, Alabama, or George Jones in songs that have nothing to do with those artists' songs, attitudes, or personas. However, SEZWAH grew up when all those artists were played on the radio, and SEZWAH REMEMBERS. we listened, we learned...we're here.
Buy song "What I'd Say" (Earl Thomas Conley cover)
Coming in Part 2. The influence of 80s pop music on SEZWAH in the 2000s, from Michael Jackson doing heavy R&B which often morphed into more true rock than any of the 80s hair metal bands, which SEZWAH despised then and now, to 60 and 70s classic monster band artists going solo, SEZWAH is directly influenced by these artists such as Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Robert Plant. The decade in pop showed a wide range as well, as country artists scored huge genre crossing hits. For example, "Lady" charted high on country, pop, and even the R&B charts alongside Aerosmith fitting seamlessly with Run DMC.
Nine Lives (Aerosmith cover)
The common denominator: it all grooved, had rhythm, harmony, and melody. Even into the 90s the classic rock bands of the 60s and 70s that broke up at the end of the 70s all returned in some form or another AND continues to this day, teaching SEZWAH (see the documentary video, the making of Rock and Roll for Her, a documentary for what the letters stand for), which means, literally, good music, how to rock and roll live.
So we can explain, if you still don't get it, try to feel it through the songs
I Can't Explain (WHO cover by SEZWAH)
HOW SEZWAH sounds like it does, which is a full band as a two piece. Tom Petty recently said in 'Men's Weekly' "I love Jack, but that two instrument band thing, never really worked." Absolutely, when you hear any of the popular two piece so-called rock bands, they definitely sound, and even intentionally play to sound like two people making music. SEZWAH, which was doing the two piece band thing first, always gets this response from people who hear the band's music on CD or recordings but don't see us playing: "That's great! So who is in the band besides you and the mystery drummer?" They are always shocked when the answer is that SEZWAH is a two piece band. We sound like a full band; there's even a foundation to the sound, normally provided by the base Mystery Drummer doing his thing or Jammin' Jami, who always remembers in the moment of playing one of his primary influences on GUITAR: perhaps the greatest bass player ever, The Who's John 'Thunderfingers' Entwistle, most accurately described as lead bass guitarist by Pete Townshend, who just might know what he's talking about on that topic! We listened, We learned, We're here!
Classic two instrument attack by SEZWAH creating a full band sound.
Buy song "I Don't Wanna Fight" (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover by SEZWAH)
Obviously SEZWAH does sometimes use backing tracks or even occasionally overdubs. The Mystery Drummer said long ago "SEZWAH places no limits on our music, on music."
Who is the Mystery Drummer?
The true identity of SEZWAH's Mystery Drummer cannot be revealed now for a variety of very true, and very real reasons. Perhaps a quote from a famously fighting, yet all-time great, band "Eagles" and their bass player and singer Timothy B. Schmit will help explain what, even to SEZWAH and Jammin' Jami, seems unexplainable. Schmit said on 'The History of the Eagles' documentary "It's been my experience all rock bands are close to breaking up at all times." Still, Jammin' Jami finds it hard to believe this situation, so one song that comes to mind that fits and showcases the Mystery Drummer doing what he does so well, drumming incredibly melodically and lyrically, and holding that rhythm down in a funk swing groove, is WHY the Mystery Drummer's identity is a secret.
Buy song "Summertime Blues" (WHO cover by SEZWAH)
Here's an answer with a question: WHY is the lynchpin song, Across the River, of the whole Sonic Novel, Rock and Roll for Her by SEZWAH, a demo by Jammin' Jami?
Buy song "Across the River" (Bruce Hornsby cover by SEZWAH)
It IS a very good demo, with a great vocal he couldn't improve on, but the Mystery Drummer refused to play on it, WHY? Same as why Jammin' Jami put it out and put this all out with the Mystery Drummer's identity covered...they both decided, like all the great bands SEZWAH grew up on full of feuding blood brothers...to Draw the Line.
Buy song "Draw the Line" (Aerosmith cover by SEZWAH)
SEZWAH started playing this way in mid to late 90s as we had a common musical vision that we found not shared by others around our age or even by any age in our area, AND we recalled stories of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards rehearsing in the 80s with just Jagger on Drums and Richards singing and playing guitar BEFORE the Mystery Drummer's ultimate hero Charlie Watts would even be there.
Buy song "Undercover of the Night" (Rolling Stones cover by SEZWAH)
SEZWAH coupled that with another all time influence on them in every way, especially RHYTHMIC with Magic Johnson and his style with the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s. Rock and roll has been described (and in particular the Rolling Stones music) as "controlled chaos."
Ain't Rock & Roll (Ron Wood cover)
Interestingly, the fast break in basketball and the Lakers style led by and personified by Magic and his team, James Worthy, Byron Scott, A.C. Green, Bob McAdoo, Ramis and all the rest jump started by Kareem has also been called "controlled chaos" though Pat Riley had endless theories, sets and plays for the fast break. thus, SEZWAH studied this closely. Magic Johnson has said of he and fellow Showtime guard Michael Cooper (said by both Michael Jordan and Larry Bird to be their toughest defender) that, "Me and Coop, we do so much out there, it's not like two players, it's like five or six guys in two." SEZWAH saw we could do that and transfer it to our music, it worked. We listened, We learned, We're here!
Buy song "It's Your Turn" (WHO cover by SEZWAH)
Buy song "The Song Remains the Same" (Led Zeppelin cover by SEZWAH)
Obviously SEZWAH does on some tracks use backing tracks or even rarely overdubs, all by SEZWAH of course. Long ago the Mystery Drummer said "SEZWAH places no limits on our music, on music." Here is an example of SEZWAH using and playing to tracks.
Buy song "Magic Johnson" (Red Hot Chili Peppers cover by SEZWAH)
What SEZWAH sounds like
The best way to describe our sound is by what we DON'T sound like: the evil of auto tune. These are field recordings by a basement band actually recording live, rarely using overdubs, and even with backing tracks usually playing or tracking live. If you as the listener sometimes hears background noise, pops, or a buzz, or whatever you normally wouldn't hear on commercial corporate driven radio, rejoice - you are hearing true freedom of expression, true music being made by real musicians in a real environment who know what they're doing, why they're doing it, and (even though in rock it's true it's the least important aspect) we know how to do it! If, like on the following sound of a SEZWAH taped over the air jamming session, the amps cut out, the recording tape maybe even for a few seconds, the SPIRIT of the jam, the song is there...don't just hear it, listen...
Buy song "Long Live Rock" (WHO cover by SEZWAH)