Local band kicks off 20th anniversary tour in Dayton

By: Erin Callahan – Chief A&E Writer

The Dayton music scene has no expiration date. Whether a band is young or old, an up-and-coming group or experienced veterans, the diversity isn’t uncommon, and you could even find them on the same stage.

On Friday at 7:30 p.m., longtime Dayton favorite Swearing at Motorists will play at Blind Bob’s alongside emerging band Dear Fawn to kick off their 20th anniversary tour

The tour will celebrate “20 years and two million miles under the radar” for Swearing at Motorists and give the audience an opportunity to hear music from Dear Fawn’s newest EP, “You’re Never Coming Back,” which was released in December.

Swearing at Motorists began in 1994 with a name frontman Dave Doughman picked from an unpublished Charles Bukowski manuscript – a memorable phrase, and not too similar to any existing band names at the time, he said.

Doughman and former drummers Timmy Taylor and Don Thrasher recorded their first self-titled album in their basement in 1995, and, since then, Doughman has worked with several musicians to create more than 15 EPs, LPs and CDs. The current drummer, Martin Boeters joined in 2010.

Doughman said the albums have followed the signs of the times, his inspiration is diverse and the sound has only become more powerful over the years.

“I feel my music doesn’t belong to any genre, as it is always a result of inspiration rather than song craft,” he said. “While I’m inspired by many of my favorite artists, I do not try to emulate them. So though I have been influenced by diverse artists such as Brainiac, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Kinks, George Jones, Fleetwood Mac and The Breeders, most listeners would never hear the association.

“To me, each record has been the soundtrack to the preceding period of time,” he continued. “On a record, there are many subtle touches, but, on stage, the songs rely more on raw emotion. I think the sound has evolved to be less experimental, and a bit more powerful.”

Swearing at Motorists toured across the U.S. and Europe and eventually moved their base to Hamburg, Germany.

When Doughman was considering the perfect venue to kick off their tour and the return to their hometown, he said Blind Bob’s felt like the right place.

“I keep track of what is going on in Dayton via social media, and Blind Bob’s seems to be hosting the events I would attend if I still lived in Dayton.”

Meanwhile, Dear Fawn is no stranger to the venue. You’re likely to find them playing their melodic tunes regularly throughout the Oregon District and beyond at Blind Bob’s, Canal Public House, Jimmy’s Ladder 11 and South Park Tavern.

Like Swearing at Motorists, Dear Fawn has been evolving since its inception in 2012. Vocalist Tifani Tanaka is the only original member and has brought aboard fellow musicians and friends to the band which now features Tanaka, Briana Anello on keyboard and backup vocals, Tyler McKinley on guitar, Daniel Madero on drums and their newest member Mike Patak on bass.

Madero described Dear Fawn as indie pop with a lot of guitar textures, a keyboard synthesizer, simple patterns on drums and a fresh approach to female vocals. They’ve moved away from the pop punk and rock sound and turned to more slow and thoughtful music that tells a story. Their goal is something like a fairy tale, they said, and very whimsical.

“Our idea was to not let the music overtake what a song is really about,” Madero said. “The lyrics and themes should be the focal point.”

Their new EP features a combination of fast and slow songs, but the direction they’re moving toward is more stripped down. They recorded each song live in the old sanctuary of a Miamisburg church, finding heavy acoustics within the high ceilings and wood pillars.

As a band still redefining their sound and finding where they fit in to the Dayton music scene, Madero said they were incredibly humbled to be placed on the same bill as Swearing at Motorists, a band they first heard about when they came to Dayton.

Doughman and Madero seemed to agree; it will be a unique show. Nicknamed as the “Two-Man Who” by a member of The Dead Boys band, Swearing at Motorists have been known to get wild onstage.

“In Dayton, it is always even wilder, like a big rock and roll family reunion, with everyone singing along,” Doughman said. “A Swearing At Motorists show is more of an event than just another concert … and I hope I am able to keep it up for another 20 [years.]”

Madero said there’s something in the air when there’s a homecoming show for a Dayton band that’s done well, and he doesn’t expect this show to be any different.

For more information, visit swearingatmotorists.net or soundcloud.com/dearfawn.