Sometimes, the genius comes in not overthinking it. Enter Cardboard Sessions #14.

May 25, 2023

The potbellied pig that started it all. You might have have heard of Nick Reinhart from his group Tera Melos or his cosmic guitar prowess in Big Walnuts Yonder. But few know the origin story behind Swollen Brain. It started with a pig. Nick lived in a duplex next door to Eric Gardner, the phenom drummer from Dot Hacker. When Eric had a gig or a need, Nick would babysit his Vietnamese potbellied pig named Francis. As a huge fan of his drumming, Nick always thought it would be cool to play music with him. In short, it was.Let’s underthink this thing.
Swollen Brain was born from the immediate chemistry between Nick and Eric. And it was born on the idea that you don’t need to have an idea, necessarily. The beauty of music dating back to jazz and WAY back to the carved wood and goatskin Djembe has always been the free-form nature of it all. Which meant there were three No’s to make Swollen Brain a big Yes: no rules, no songs and no intense band practices. Just the right brain playing without preconceptions and preparation, but with a whole lot of pedal action.Step aside and make room for the magic.
Of course, you can’t force those magical moments to appear in the studio or on stage. But you can set yourself up for success. One of the few, true preps that Nick brings to ours (and any) studio when recording with Swollen Brain is a freshly constructed pedal board. He uses them as tools to tell those stories and create those sonic bursts, all while synching with Eric to make a cohesive, free-form sound. Which could never be made into an album, right? Nope. They’re creating an LP by finding the interesting improvisational loops, capturing the drum and loop action, overdubbing, then sifting to see what makes sense. Welcome to Sessions #14. Check out the full in-studio session Swollen Brain, here.