Swollen Members return to the Harbour City

Swollen Members perform at the Spice Lounge on Thursday (June 5).

Swollen Members perform at the Spice Lounge on Thursday (June 5).

Swollen Members perform at the Spice Lounge on Thursday (June 5).

Five years ago it would have been easy for Prevail and Rob The Viking to simply walk away from Swollen Members.

At the time, their bandmate, Madchild, was going through a horrific drug addiction that had forced them to stop touring.

However, instead of walking away from their friend and bandmate, Prevail and Rob The Viking remained right by Madchild’s side and formed an even closer bond.

“Having been through that struggle together I think it brought us closer together as friends and as brothers,” Prevail told the News Bulletin.

Fast-forward to 2014 and Swollen Members experienced a resurgence and doing what they love again.

On Thursday (June 5) the Juno award winning hip-hop group will be performing at the Spice Lounge in Nanaimo. The trio’s performance in the Harbour City kicks off the Canadian portion of their tour, which has already seen them perform across the United States.

“We’re stoked,” Prevail said. “It’s good being back on the Island.”

Their Nanaimo show is also partially a homecoming for the trio. Producer and vocalist Rob the Viking was born on Gabriola Island and Madchild, who is from North Vancouver, will have members of his family on hand for the Harbour City performance.

“We got a lot of love for the Island,” Prevail, who is from Victoria, said. “One of the things that I love about playing in Nanaimo is seeing Rob and Madchild’s family come through and enjoy the show because my mom gets to see us when we come through Victoria but it is always cool to hit the Island and see some of their family and see them enjoying the show. That’s always heartwarming.”

Swollen Members are gearing up for the release of their newest album, A Brand New Day, which will hit store shelves on June 17.

Long-time Swollen Member can expect to hear a more traditional and classic sound from the trio.

“It’s definitely got that classic Swollen signature sound with very heavy and well produced beats … we were able to create something that was a breath fresh air in a way,” Prevail explained about the upcoming record.

Since Madchild’s sobriety, Swollen Members have released four full-length albums, Dagger Mouth, Monsters II, 1997 and Beautiful Death Machine.

Prevail explained that A Brand New Day is essentially an extension of their last release.

“We really didn’t stop recording after Beautiful Death Machine,” he said. “It was a further creative extension of reestablishment of us getting comfortable in our own skin and getting back to the real Swollen sound.”

Between 2006 and 2009, Madchild had a serious addiction to drugs, which nearly cost him his life. The band have addressed his recovery throughout their newer material, but Prevail said the newer record has different lyrical content.

“I am proud to say that it has been is coming up on four years for his sobriety,” Prevail said. “It’s awesome. Obviously we went through that reflective period, at the beginning, where we, especially Mad [Madchild], is talking about in his lyrics about having gone through the struggle. It was 100 per cent completely important for us to be able to talk about things … we needed that. Now we’re at a point where we feel that message is fresh and the word is out there and it freed us up to move on to different topics.”

Aside from his work with Swollen Members, Prevail, who is currently the spokesperson for Vancouver Craft Beer Week 2014, has also become involved with the Vancouver-based charity, Music Heals, where he is a lead ambassador. The charity provides a wide range of music therapy to a number of British Columbian based organizations, such as women’s shelters and the BC Children’s Hospital.

“In the last couple of years philanthropy has become very important,” Prevail said.

Swollen Members perform at the Spice Lounge in Nanaimo on Thursday (June 5). For more information visit www.battleaxewarriors.com