Popular Hudson Valley Band Changes Their Name Under New Rebrand
If you have frequented the local music scene over the past couple of years, you may have stumbled upon Hudson Valley’s very own Swamp Fox. You may be aware of the well-rounded rock band for their high-energy performances and heavy improvisational jam element, or you may even recognize some of their originals such as “Lose Control,” or “No Laws.” The days of Swamp Fox, however, are coming to an end. Do not feel sad about this because this is the beginning of a new chapter for the group.
On Tuesday, December 7th, the band announced on Instagram that Swamp Fox is rebranding and from now on, will go by the name Madame Gazelle.
I recently got to sit down with the band and discuss the latest changes. In regards to the name change, lead singer and guitarist Connor McCarty had this to say:
“We felt over our time, as a band, things changed in both our sound and overall aesthetic. We got two new members who added to our sound greatly and pushed our songwriting and improvisation to new levels. So the rebrand was like a fresh start to hit the ground running with all the knowledge and things we have learned along the way.”
The pandemic, as well, played a major factor in the band’s decision to rebrand. “Covid really made us step back and reevaluate how we operate and gave us time to really narrow down on our craft, whether it’s playing our instruments or songwriting.” When asked about the new name, they said that it is a play on words from the French term “mademoiselle.” They continued saying that the word “madame” often comes with thoughts of elegance and refinement, while a “gazelle” is a chaotic, jumping animal. “So, the name can be seen as ‘Refined Chaos,’” said McCarty.
The initial members of the band got together back in 2016 when saxophonist Scott Chatfield posted on Facebook that he was looking for people to jam with. McCarty contacted Chatfield, and then Chatfield brought in Johnny Lu on drums. They jammed for about a week when they invited Josh Cergas to play lead guitar. Over the next two and a half years, the band formerly known as Swamp Fox played many local shows and managed to figure out their sound. “We try not to shy away from any specific genre while still maintaining our sound.” After cycling through two prior bassists, Alex Massimi joined the band to become their permanent bass player. Cergas moved over to become the group’s keyboardist, and Tom Messina joined as lead guitarist by 2019. "Every member of the band comes from different musical backgrounds which we feel benefits us in making our sound so unique," said McCarty.
Reflecting on the past year, the newly Madame Gazelle mentioned some recent performance highlights as a band. One event, in particular, was Craft Fest held on September 26th on the Newburgh Waterfront, hosted by Craft Draft. Besides headlining the event, they were a major force in the management and production of the day. “Craft Draft has really become a home base for us, so it really made sense to partner with them, and create this festival,” said McCarty. “The turnout was great and every band that played killed it! Not a single set from that day disappointed.” Another event they said they had the honor to perform at was this year’s Mazzstock Festival. They played the first night of the festival, and the band agreed that that set was one of their best sets of music to date, and cited that Mazzstock is by far one of their favorites to play.
So, where can you now find Madame Gazelle? Well, they will be keeping themselves busy through the end of the year into 2022.
- 12/22 at The Roosevelt in Beacon, NY
- 01/08 at Craft Draft in Newburgh, NY
- 01/19 at The Roosevelt in Beacon, NY
- 02/19 at Snug Harbor in New Paltz, NY
Along with the steady gig schedule, Madame Gazelle plans to drop their first album in 2022. “We have 14 tracks almost ready and we are looking forward to giving an official release date on it.”