by Eric Swain

Over the past month SwainBros has been working on several different projects but one in particular has an element close to the hearts of both Eric and Paul. "As members of the rock band Ten-On, music; which invokes a positive influence in both Paul and myself will always have a special place in our hearts and Swainbros is proud to partner with The Imperial Valley Press to bring back and help redesign the segment that was started by ex-editor Richard Brown and videographer Alejandro Davila", says Eric Swain.

How it started

Press Play originally was formatted as a way to introduce touring bands that were passing through the Imperial Valley who made a quick pit stop at the Imperial Valley Press to perform a small set within the now closed Printing Press. The idea to use the unused space and create an environment that not only highlighted the talent but also gave a glimpse to the history of the Printing Press that at one time employed hundreds of local residence to operate resonated well with positive community feedback.

Changing of the guard

The original Press Play had just finished wrapping up its 4th installment when news came down from Imperial Valley Press that they were no longer owned by Schurz Communications, Inc. This led to months of instability and uncertainty that eventually gave way to the departure of Richard and Alejandro. With this change also came the consolidation of space and the once available Press Room space was now occupied equipment and cabinets making this room no longer usable.

Format for change

With the project now abandoned and the space now unavailable, the lack of new content left people who were once advocates for the project questioning if the Imperial Valley Press were ever going to bring it back. Without a location and without the right personnel the Imperial Valley Press turned to SwainBros to see if there was a way to collaborate on bringing this project back to life. Through discussions and meetings, Paul Swain contacted Jacob Zavala co-owner of Bujwah, a local skate apparel shop and Ernie Quintero of Strangers Bar about moving the production and recording to their place of business when touring bands were in town. A discussion was made with Julio Morales of The Imperial Valley Press on the location changes and on how the format could change to better fit its use for the Paper. A decision was made to move away from a studio performance and onto a live performance that would include an on-camera interview with the band and Julio from the Imperial Valley Press.

Roll Production

With everything set, the inaugural re-launch of the production was set to take place August 15th at Bujwah’s store location on State St. in El Centro, Ca. When on-location an immediate problem was announced that the current sound system was faulted and there would be no available lighting. With both of these elements not only critical to the success of the production but to the performance as a whole SwainBros immediately acted and brought in both sound and lighting to use not only for the production of Press Play but for the show. Every shoot brings on its own series of obstacles but this was one that required an alignment of elements to go right to pull this off in the extremely short amount of time that SwainBros had available to them before the show started. With just minutes to spare the last, “Check, Check, 123” came out of the loudspeakers and the sound was balanced and ready to use. As the sun set the use of Par cans were used to bounce off of the building in an X formation highlighting the branding on the building and another placed up front illuminating the lead vocalist and with the production was off and running.

Organic Evolution

With the completion of the 3rd production of Press Play just released on September 10th, 2015 SwainBros is looking at ways to keep the evolution of this series as organic as possible. “Our name may not be in the reel but our production mark is, and because of that we will always look at ways to constantly improve the production quality”, says Eric Swain. SwainBros next production of Press Play is scheduled for September 22nd 2015 at the Bujwah store on State St. in El Centro, Ca. when AJ Davila Terror Y Amor from Puerto Rico will perform.

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