[michael j. donahoe]
There was a time without Leda Swan; there was an empty room in which bits and pieces of trash lay scattered about; there were four guys with music in their hearts and a melody in their mind but with no place to put it all together. It all began many many years ago when Henry Johnson first picked up a lone pair of drumsticks and began to beat on things. From that day forth, Leda Swan existed. Henry was in his first band in the 8th grade - playing small gigs like BETA conventions and such; but even then Leda Swan was present. Then, a year later, Michael, Chris and Stephen picked up their seperate instruments completely void of each other's musical existence, and Leda Swan was through this all.
Approximately two years ago, Henry Johnson and Chris White made a friendship
with each other and began to discuss music. The idea of being in a band
together began with those simple conversations. Then there was Michael,
on the other side of the vast gym, sitting quietly while the other kids
played basketball, completely unaware that the conversations occuring
on the opposite end would one day involve him personally. Rumor was circulating
about Michael's amazing guitar skills, but as of this point, it was simply
rumor. The conversations continued...Henry and Chris jammed a few times
with little musical success, just simply having a good time. About a year
Not long after Lukewarm broke up, a man by the name of Stephen Bowling leapt onto the musical scene in Lake Charles. The band Lost Cause featured a talented Stephen on bass and guitar. While this was going on, Henry and Chris had begun to jam together again with another, Dylan O'Bryant (present member of The Curbs). The band had no name but did have a few songs to its repertoire that would prove to be classics among the Leda Swan set list. Stephen, being a media/digital genius, aided Chris, Henry and Dylan in the recording process at his home. During this time, Stephen expressed a wish to play, due to the fact that Lost Cause was beginning to back up its name. Chris, Henry and Dylan decided, after much discussion, to invite Michael Donahoe into the band. While these discussions were taking place, however, another, more secretive, one was partaken in between Henry and Chris. This clandestine topic was that of kicking Dylan out owing to the fact that he was much more involved in The Curbs. The decision was reached and Dylan was quietly (very quietly, not even audibly) asked to leave. Hours after, Chris phoned Stephen and asked him to be the new bassist. Stephen gladly consented and Michael was invited soon after.
A preliminary jam session was held, and all fell together like a puzzle
- the picture was clear and
A note must be made that a particular Greg Kramer was present during
every jam session of Lukewarm, Henry and Chris's projects, and
the present Leda Swan. He has proved to be more faithful than
some of the members of the bands themselves. Greg serves as an advisor
and assistant when it comes to ideas, shows, and simply hauling equipment
from place to place. He also acts as our photographer. Thank you Greg
for your time and effort.
Michael has been influenced by various bands over the years. His major muses are Radiohead, The Pixies, Modest Mouse, Vivaldi, Joe Pass and the entire electronica genre. Michael is the vocalist and guitarist for Leda Swan, bringing with him an intense musical background and skill that amazes to this day. Outside of Leda Swan, Michael plays piano, organ, drums, bass and virtually anything with tuning keys on it. In his earliest days, he often gravitated towards speedy guitar players a la Dream Theater or Metallica. But he's moved past and moved on. These early influences can be heard in the solos from "Two days from sorrow." When asked if Michael wanted to put any additional comments, he responded, "My political views, metaphysical views, and TV contracts will be discussed at a later time I guess. I have atrocious handwriting. This was good for me."
Henry once said, "I dig music more than anyone has ever digged anything," which shows to what extent Henry enjoys what he does. His influences consist of The Beatles, The Strokes, Led Zeppelin and Nirvana. Henry is Leda Swan's talented drummer who also plays guitar on the side. He is the only member of Leda Swan who got their braces removed on 04/29/04.
Chris is Leda Swan's guitarist and back-up vocalist. Along with a love for music, Chris brings with him his old school background of influences among which are The Doors, The Beatles, King Crimson and Pink Floyd. His modern day influences include Modest Mouse and Radiohead. Outside of Leda Swan, Chris attempts to play drums and messes around with bass and the ocarina. Chris comments, "May all those seeking nirvana attain the eye which sees reality, free of extremes and proceed to the land of enlightnment."
Stephen Bowling is the bassists/media genius of Leda Swan. Among his plethora of influences are Bob Marley and the Wailers, Sublime, Dave Matthews Band, UB40, and U2; these influences can clearly be heard in the song "Casual Sex." Stephen brings with him a dedicated soul and a passion for what we do. Without Stephen, Leda Swan would still be only a dream... Stephen denied further comment.