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Switchblade Symphony

San Francisco's Switchblade Symphony formed in 1989, when vocalist Tina Root and composer Susan Wallace were introduced by mutual friends in the local goth music scene. Frustrated with the musical projects they were currently involved in, the duo began collaborating and performing, and soon won a devoted audience.

As Switchblade Symphony, Root's musical theater training and Wallace's film-scoring experience showed in their theatrical vocals and orchestrated, dreamlike sound. Early, self-released cassettes like 1991's Fable and 1992's Elegy were sold at shows and caught the attention of influential forces in the darkwave scene, such as Propaganda magazine and Cleopatra Records.

Cleopatra signed Switchblade Symphony and the group issued their debut album, Serpentine Gallery, for the label in 1995. Serpentine Gallery featured lusher, fuller versions of many of the songs on the group's initial recordings, mixing a poetic, ethereal sound with hints of harsher, industrial beats. The album gained critical acclaim and provided Switchblade Symphony with opening dates on tours with labelmates like Christian Death in 1996, and other prominent darkwave acts like the Sisters of Mercy and Type O Negative.

1997 saw the group return with Bread & Jam for Frances, technically Switchblade Symphony's first new material for Cleopatra. A heavy electronica influence permeated the album, which featured dub loops and trip-hop beats mixed into their dark, ornate signature sound. Bread & Jam for Frances also kept the group's critical momentum going, receiving great word of mouth; two singles, "Clown" and "Drool," followed in its wake, along with a limited-edition tour album, Scrapbook. After spending much of 1998 on headlining and supporting tours, Switchblade Symphony released their third album, Three Calamities, the following year. A fusion of Serpentine Gallery's opulence and Frances' futurism, it reflected the group's advances as songwriters and performers. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi
full bio

Comments

I love Switchblade! ! !
My favorite Switchblade Symphony songs are Clown and Gutter Glitter
Love them. Period.
I absolutely love Switchblade, still to this day!!! Luckly enough to see them twice in concert in the 90's. Wish you guys were still around.
I love to listen to switchblade this time of year (fall/hallow e e n / w i n t e r )
it sucks that they aren't a band anymore. they were awesome. First goth band I listened too 13 yrs ago. Still faithful fan too
awesome this is the 1st time i listen to and them i like it.
very good first time liste
Love these ladies!
im just coming into the goth scene, and im just sad to hear that so many amazing acts have broken up. Like what happened to peter steele. whenever i hear the voice of a goth artist singing, it kind of pulls me out of my own body and takes me on a dark, articulating , musical journey.
veronikacern a d a s
Yep... Coven 13 in L.A. 1997. Those were good days.
saw them in Austin way back amazing show
veronikacern a d a s
i remember seeing them at Coven 13 in Los Angeles in 1997
Takes me way back
douglas_camp b e l l 7
One of my favorite bands for over ten years now. Their music just never gets old!!
black corridor, alabaster columns...ru n !
Chilling..., in a good way that makes feel apatheticall y detached.
Awww this makes me miss being young and goth.
lllymunster
i feel young and pale again
They ROCK A**!!!!
Makes me remember the days before family and kids. No worries about anything. Gives me the same feeling. Love it
Just had my first listen of Switchblade today and I'm loving what I'm hearing.
Swichblade takes me back.
Switchblade Symphony is one of my favorite bands, I'm lucky to have seen them twice live.
i love you guys!!!
If you miss them Sirenia check out Tina's other project Tre Lux she did after Switchblade in 2001, and she and she and a guy named George Earth have gotten together about 2 years ago and half a album coming out under the band name SmallHalo this year supposedly.
Still one of the great darkwave bands of all time!
Still one my all time favorites of the genre.
Damn. haven't listened to them since highschool. I really missed them.
j9holstad
she sounds like Souxie Sue
arico.gabe
How is Depeche Mode in any way similar to this? This is hypnotic dance music for goths, Depeche Mode is... Depeche Mode!

*falls back into the song*
one of goth's greatest acts ever. fell in love w/ them when i saw them in 1997.
Tina is adorable live! :) Her cute girly laugh! :D We love you, too, Tina and Susan!!! :D
Brilliant band...
Unique, in the strictest sense of the word.
It's too bad they stopped when they did. Fortunately everything they did record can be listened to over and over again. It's that good :)
beautiful... . l i k e angels crying!!
Wanna hear more Switchblade. . . Their twisty music just draws me into their lush, dark little world and makes me wanna dance like a marionette on speed with broken strings! :D
These ladies are awesome. Saw them several times in the late 90s, what great shows, punctuated with the occasional shout of "we love you Tina!"
such tranquility
Very good music.
Gawfffilicio u s , of course.
hahaha.
Hey, I'm dancing next to you . . .LOL!!!
I too agree the Goth-Ann, this music puts me in a berlin nightclub (mentally)
I just heard Dissolve a few days ago and I love it.. great voice.
I agree with Goth-Ann, it is the quintessenti a l goth music. They are so talented. Their music is beautiful and haunting... there's nothing quite like it. I was so sad when they broke up. I saw them open for Front Line Assembly in Philadelphia years ago. Definitely one of my favorite bands.
Doesn't anyone else like this band????? This is the quintessenti a l goth music!!
These songs seem quite unique, if one can qualify 'unique.' If there is another band making music like this, I'd sure like to know about it!

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