Alternative/pop/rock band, The Sweet Resistance consist of Tash Meister on vocals and guitar, Mike Vaughan on bass, keys and vocals, Gray Lowndes on guitar, and Nick Ornellas on drums.
They formed in 2015 and released their debut album ‘Where There Is Hope’ in 2016.
Taking a look at each band member’s music experience, this is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
They joined the supporting band line up for the Pixies earlier this year, and now join an incredible line up at this year’s Rocking the Daisies.
Let’s go back – what sparked the formation of The Sweet Resistance; how did you all meet, what are all your music backgrounds, etc?
“It all started end of 2015 with me and my previous manager walking into Mars Music for a meeting with Mike. After a focused discussion, the informal idea of having a jam session came about. A few jams and about a month later, Gray joined the band. It was only after going through a few different drummers and finishing our debut album that Nick rocked up in Sept 2016. And thus, The Sweet Resistance was officially formed.”
To briefly touch base on each of our musical backgrounds…
I grew up in a musical family. Started singing at the age of 6 and my dad taught me guitar when I was 13. My sister and I would perform around the house all the time. We sang in church and entered singing competitions. In 2009 at age 18, I moved from Canada to SA and hit the gigging scene hard. Started my solo career, fronted several different bands, and shared stages and collaborated with some of SA’s finest.”
“Mike is a visionary. He has been successful in all his business ventures while feeding his passion for music and playing in bands. He was the bass playing frontman for The Rescu and has played countless shows across the country, everything from humble dive-bars to supporting Switchfoot on their SA tour in 2012.”
“Gray is a lover of life and guitars. Watching Slash play the solo in the dust of “November Rain” video as a kid got him hooked. He and Mike began their musical partnership when they both played in Naked Lyric. They continued writing and crafting together and evolved into The Rescu in 2010 and gigged hard for 4 years. Gray is also an experienced guitar tech having worked with a host of local and international artists.”
“Nick has been on the gigging circuit since the age of 16. He has played drums for a number of SA bands to the likes of 7th Son, The little Kings, Saber, Joshua Grierson, and Mac Stanley. He has also had the opportunity to perform at most of the big festivals all over the country.”
I am assuming that the PIXIES tour was a huge highlight for the band – take me through that experience?
“We were super stoked when they announced the lineup. This was our first opportunity as a band opening for a big international act. We rehearsed hard and took extra time preparing our set for this one. When soundcheck day arrived and we got to the stage, I was blown away by the setup..it was next level. This was our chance to get our sound right and become familiar. Then show day was upon us. It filled up from a few hundred people to over 16 000..this was the largest crowd I’d ever personally been in front of. As we were about to walk onto that stage, the nerves and excitement kicked in. Getting through the nerves in the first song then paved the way for confidence and exhilaration through the remainder of our set. We enjoyed every minute of being up there in front of that amazing crowd. Certainly an experience to remember.”
Besides the PIXIES’ tour, is there any other moment that sticks out for the band, it could be a funny moment, sad, inspiring…?
“Some of the highlights have been crafting and releasing our debut album – that was our first major stepping stone. Our album launch shows were our first gigs and opportunities to get used to a live environment. We all felt a bit unsure of ourselves, but being surrounded by family and friends that supported us, really encouraged us. We were honored to be the support band for the VCK Final Tour…we played some really cool venues to packed out crowds. VCK was an entertaining/inspiring band to witness live.”
Take me through your debut album; this is the first taste of the band, what did you want to achieve with it, what was the message, the theme, etc.?
“The goal was to craft our sound as a band on this album. With all of our tastes in music combined we formed a blend of alt-rock and electro-pop. We wanted the songs to be rhythmic, melodic anthems, plumbing the depths of life, love, opportunity and release. We named the album “Where There Is Hope”. It’s about finding the good and the hope in the world, its finding your purpose to live.”
Which song best represents the band; if someone had to ask you who you were based on one song of yours, which song would you pick and why?
“I suppose I’d pick our self titled track on the album, “Sweet Resistance”. I feel like it represents what we stand for as a band. It’s quite a deep song that resonates with all of us. The lyrics speak about the awareness of a fallen world but through it all still seeking what’s good and right..and standing firm together.”
You are playing at Rocking for the Daisies – who are you most excited to see/ listen to, and why?
“The Naked and Famous. I’ve only heard of them recently but they’ve got a really cool sound and it’s always inspiring watching other female fronted bands.”
What can people expect from you at the festival?
“People can expect to hear our blend of alt-rock with compelling hints of electro-pop. Our sound overflows with towering guitar hooks, driving percussion, shimmering synths and tender/lyrically captivating songwriting. It’s a journey of hope, determination, grace and inspiration. Plus we’ll throw in our own renditions of some of our favorite covers.”
Trapped on a desert island – you can only listen to one album for eternity, which would it be (besides your own album)?
“Vice Verses – Switchfoot”
Watch The Sweet Resistance at Rocking The Daisies – click on link for details: http://www.bsharpentertainment.co.za/rocking-the-daisies-line-up/