Mantua: Ample Living Space Attracts Musicians

Rob Swift discussed their recording studio.
Rob Swift discussed the house recording studio.

One of the greatest challenges musicians face is how to make a living off their craft. Rob Swift and Tom Williamson, members of the band, The Rivals, are attempting to supplement their band income with a social approach to teaching music out of their house at 3701 Spring Garden St.

“I was in a rival band, me and him actually hated each other in high school,” Williamson said.

Williamson’s band broke up, and Swift’s band wasn’t going well. Two rivals became bandmates, forming one appropriately titled band.

They relocated to Philadelphia from the New Jersey coast, settling in University City before moving into a house in Mantua.

“We needed a place that was big enough for an entire band,” Williamson said. “When we moved here our band had seven pieces.”

In an Internet-connected world, there are numerous places for someone to learn how to play an instrument on their own. People attempting to make a living on teaching music are being forced to get creative.

They are taking a social approach to teaching music. Hosting jams and song writing workshop sessions, they said they hope to offer hands on help and instant feedback.

“We’re doing how to play in a band, just six lessons on how to play in a band,” said Swift, describing one of their new programs.

While at first the musicians faced struggles, the endeavor recently has started to see some success. Good news for young men whose lives have always been musical.

1 Comment

  1. Yo These Guys Are Awesome!

    I’ve heard their band play several times, and they really rock out some great stuff. They’re really good guys, and they have a great grasp of music, theory, and they’re definitely tapped into the creative flow of it all.

    If your’e thinking of doing lessons, learning band basics, or anything remotely musically related, I’d give these guys a shout, for sure.

    Good luck!

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