Sam Swinson’s road to where he is today has been anything but smooth. A crippling addiction to drugs and the demons that surrounded him in part to his upbringing lead him to an unforgiving downward spiral. After a long hiatus, Swinson’s project Ohtis has reunited and will be releasing their debut album Curve of Earth on March 29 via Full Time Hobby. The band has released one of the singles off the album “Pervert Blood”, a song that painfully divulges the pain caused by Swinson’s torment over being an addict.
“After a very unpleasant encounter with a drug dealer, I left his house with a small bag of coke hoping it might be enough to stroke out and overdose. It was late, the sun was coming up but the sky was cloudy and rainy off and on. I took what I had to some woods by a lake on the edge of town and fixed up a shot, but I spilled too much water in the cap and it was too weak to overdose. So I drove back to my friend Zack’s parent’s house in Bloomington, IL who were letting me live in their basement.
I laid in the dark room with no windows and wondered why I was such a piece of shit. I figured my ancestors must’ve been perverts and I got the gene. I thought I’d heard a rumor once that my grandpa killed a litter of puppies because he couldn’t afford to feed them, so he just put them in a bag and threw it in the burn barrel. I really hope that’s not true, but I tried to imagine what kind of fucked up shit they’d done that I inherited the curse for.
The kind of shame I was feeling was life threatening, but I went into the bathroom where the acoustics are good and started singing. I was crying so much my whole face was wet and my throat felt hot. I was still pretty high.
I wrote it then and sang into the handheld recorder my little sister’s boyfriend Michael had given me. For many years he was very supportive of our music, but he died of addiction last year. I remember him often and think of the millions of other people who died heroically in a losing battle, so I don’t have to. Eventually Adam and Nate tracked over that recording and we used it on the album, which explains the poor sound quality of the vocals and guitar.
It was a confession to a god I knew wouldn’t save me. On the contrary, He has a record of incinerating whole wicked cities and will turn you into a pillar of salt just for peeking back to see what happened. I cursed Him to see what would happen. Nothing did. I knew for sure I was mentally ill.
That would serve me well later when I started going to meetings, because a large part of recovery is being able to admit you are insane before coming to believe you can be restored to sanity. I was on a suicidal fast track, so the need for that admission was glaringly obvious. It’s harder for others, and society as a whole, who are facilitating a slow death, who might benefit from some version of that as well.”
In support of Curve of Earth Ohtis will be playing at SXSW and following that will hit the road for a North American tour as direct support for The Murlocs.
3/12 – SXSW – KVRX Showcase @ Love Goat – 4.40pm
3/13 – SXSW – Desert Daze Showcase @ Hotel Vegas – 7pm
3/14 – SXSW – Levitation Showcase @ Hotel Vegas – 7pm
3/15 – SXSW – Panache Showcase @ Hotel Vegas – 8.30pm
3/16 – Springfield, MO – Golden Girl Rum Club +
3/17 – Bloomington, IL – Night Shop
4/9 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom *
4/10 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel *
4/12 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios *
4/13 – Vancouver, BC – The Fox Cabaret *
4/14 – Seattle, WA – Barboza *
4/16 – Bozeman, MT – Filling Station *
4/19 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club *
4/20 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall *
4/21 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern *
5/9-10 – Brighton, UK – The Great Escape
5/11 – Leeds, UK – Gold Sounds Festival @ Brudnel Social Club
5/15 – London, UK – The Lexington
5/24 – Manchester, UK – Dot To Dot Festival
5/25 – Bristol, UK – Dot To Dot Festival
5/26 – Nottingham, UK – Dot To Dot Festival
8/29 – 9/1 – Salisbury, UK – End of the Road Festival
* = with The Murlocs
+ = with Paul Cherry