Keep on Moving

Alt-Nation: Swan Point


“A more groove orientated T. Rex kind of Electric Warrior feel.” –Swan Point’s upcoming album Salt 

Whelp, the polar vortex has metamorphosed into a balmy-January-by-New-England-standards vortex. So let’s continue with a heat wave and talk about a new band that’s ready to catch some waves in Swan Point. I caught Swan Point a number of months ago at the Celtic Pub in Pawtucket, which just goes to show one you should never overlook any place that has live music.  One never knows where one is going to find their next favorite band. Swan Point is getting ready to release their debut seven-song CD, Salt, and I’ve come into possession of a rough version of it.  I like it.  I’ll save a full review for when it is actually ready for release in a month or two.  The CD features tracks like “Ruined,” which kicks off with a Stones “Live with Me” groove before veering into a more funky direction with the chorus.  “Love in The Ghetto” has a definite T. Rex flavor. “The Pin” reminds me a little of the band Spoon. So on the cusp of Swan Point’s debut inside Providence city limits, I posed some questions to guitarist/bassist Dino Paolantonio (ex-Shed and Mustang Cobra) on what Swan Point is up to and what to expect this Friday.

Marc Clarkin: How and when did Swan Point come together?


Dino Paolantonio: Swan Point has been together for roughly a year. Our drummer, John Reddington, who I’ve played shows with for over 20 years back when I was in Shed and he was in Freakshow, asked me if I wanted to come play guitar with his childhood friend Pat Baron who had recently moved back to RI after living in LA, Detroit and Austin, TX. I knew of Pat just by name from stories John would tell me throughout the years, and also knew of his songwriting talent.  So after one session, we already had four or five skeletons of songs that were ready for work. I would switch off between guitar and bass. We wrote enough songs to start recording a record. That’s when we realized we needed a true bass player. And who better to ask than the big guy Paul (Zeus) Souza. The record is called Salt and should be available for a record release in early March

MC: Listening to the new CD, I hear a more groove orientated T. Rex kind of Electric Warrior feel. What are some of the influences for you guys?

DP: Personally, the only way I can answer this is with the word “music.” I listen to all genres of music and am influenced by all of it. If I feel any emotion from a song, I am influenced. The T. Rex comparison is a compliment. I’m sure that there are some artists who are stronger influences on John, Pat and Zeus that I don’t feel as strongly about, and vice versa, but each member brings their own unique style that we add to the nucleus of the song. We ended up with something special that we are all proud of.  For 20 years Johnny and I have been introducing new bands, or often old bands, to each other.  For instance Ween, Phish, Grandaddy and Cake are a few that we are fans of.  But again, when it comes to music, genre doesn’t matter. Good is good.

MC: You’ve been involved in the local music scene for a long time between your time with Shed and Mustang Cobra. How has it changed?

DP: You know, going back 20 years, the local music scene was at its best in my opinion. No matter who was performing, all the bands came out and supported.  That was the scene.  It was one big scene.  Now I feel it’s a bunch of little scenes.  With technology evolving and the social media boom, most bands can build a personal page or create a Facebook event and that’s it. The show is promoted.  Back then we would go to the shows and meet people and hand out flyers to promote upcoming shows. I feel the connection from actual interaction with the folks is needed to make/build a scene. We have the venues to do it. There are pros and cons with social media. It’s a great way to keep people informed, but you also have local artists whining that no one came to your show or people are even bad mouthing other local artists. Those types of actions end up hurting the process of building a scene. Local artists need to support each other. The cliques and negativity only divide it. If four people show up to our show, we’ll do our best to make four fans.

MC: Having played in hardcore and metal bands, has it been a tough adjustment adapting your style for Swan Point’s music?

DP: It hasn’t been tough at all. When I was playing in Shed, it was loud, fast and aggressive or what have you. But at the time it wasn’t the only type of music I was listening to. I’ve always been a fan of music. I remember getting my balls busted unmercifully for going to Phish, Medeski Martin & Wood, and Billy Joel Shows cause, “That’s not metal.” I just never understood that if you play metal that’s all you’re supposed to listen to. And playing with Swan Point, it’s a totally different process when it comes to writing in comparison to Shed or Mustang Cobra. After Pat or John will bring a piece to a rehearsal, as a group we work out structure and dynamics. Then it might be a week or two before I’m fully comfortable with a lead for the song. I like to let the song develop an identity, and then proceed to work on what the song calls for to make it whole. I feel lucky and honored to be playing with these guys. We got a couple of great songwriters with Pat and his way of bringing his life experiences into song, and our drummer Johnny, who’s been on fire lately writing songs on guitar and piano.  So that along with playing with my best friends, putting out a record I couldn’t be more proud of, and fully enjoying it, it would be ridiculous to describe it as “tough.”

MC: What should we expect this Friday at Dusk, and who is playing?

DP: We are happy that we were asked to play with our good friends Hope Anchor & Dog Day Afternoon. We will be going on first; my guess is 9:30/10:00. We will showcase the songs on our upcoming release, Salt. This will be our little warm-up for the record release. There are going to be three great bands with a $6 cover charge. Hope to see you there. You as well, Freddy!

Swan Point, Hope Anchor, and Dog Day Afternoon will all rock Dusk on January 17.

Email music news to