Swingle & Thompson Ordained is a collaboration between Bride vocalist and songwriter Dale Thompson and songwriter / rhythm guitarist / backing vocalist Randy Swingle. The collaboration started at the outburst of Covid-19 pandemic. Randy accepted to answer Lucas Biela’s questions (later LB) for ISKC Radio Group.
1/ LB: Bride, fronted by Dale Thompson and his brother, Troy, is a well known band in the metal circles. Less is known about Randy Swingle. Randy, could you tell us more about your musical career?
Randy: God had a call on my life for music but he didn’t have me to start music till i was 25 back in 1985. I’ve been playing rhythm guitar ever since, 37 years. I first started playing the rhythm guitar in the church ministry in 1987. God had me to sing later in ministry while still playing rhythm guitar in 2013 and i continue to do both still today. I did have a couple of songs in 1993 that the lyrics were used on some small record labels in California doing compilation albums.
Dale: I started very young playing in churches with my brother playing church music. In my teens I heard artists like Larry Norman and Resurrection Band which led me into more rock oriented material. From there Troy, my brother and I formed a band, played some local shows and it grew from there. We had very humble beginnings.
2/ LB: Randy, could you tell us how the idea of the collaboration with Dale Thompson came?
Randy: I actually had thought 30 some years ago how cool it would be to do a song with Bride. So I prayed to God about that and 30 some years later God opened that door for me! As I’ve seen that Dale was offering his vocal services for hire, so i knew this was that door from God, so i contacted him about wanting to do a christian rock heavy metal album for God and if he would be interested in helping and he gave me that awesome answer yes! Sometimes we must just have the faith in God even if it takes 30 years amen.
3/ LB: Dale used to live in the USA before relocating in New Zealand. Randy is based in the USA. How the two of you worked on this common project?
Randy: Through today’s awesome technology we can do it. I record my parts here at Erik’s studio [Erik Nelson, credited on lead guitars, bass guitar & drums], then we send them to Dale in NZ via online, then he adds his powerful vocals, then sends those back to us online and we finish the songs here in Illinois. We do have a couple songs where I recorded guitar and vocals in the Philippines also when i was there, then put them on a USB key and brought them home and added them to the songs.
Dale: I have several projects outside of New Zealand. I tried to start a band in New Zealand but found the Kiwis to be a decade behind on musical styles when it came to rock music so I waited for bands to come to me. Randy was one of the artists that approached me and I am unsure exactly how the initial conversation went but it has blossomed into some very good hard rock. Randy records the music, sends it to me and from there I lay down the vocals, send it back to him and he does his producing bit and makes sense of it all.
4/ LB: Let’s talk about the music. Swingle & Thompson Ordained is a really good slice of heavy rock music, with gutsy vocals, fiery guitar solos and solid drumming. First time I heard the duo, I was so hooked that it gave me the will to write a review (available here: http://clairetobscur.fr/swingle-and-thompson-ordained-firestorm/). Could you tell us how the writing process occurred/occurs?
Randy: I always pray because this is God’s ministry and God gives all the lyrics and music over time because the songs are all about Him and His Will and plans for all lives! So, me and Dale both come up with the lyrics from seeking God and His Will and, lo and behold, we have the songs from God!
Dale: I usually have several dozen sets of lyrics ready at any given time. Randy does lyric writing as well. We have combined our thoughts and convictions and both have contributed not only to the writing but also the vocals. Some may not know it but Randy is a vocalist too.
5/LB: You are signed on a christian music label. Do you nonetheless have a good following outside christian circles? (Again, your music is really good hard rock meets heavy metal, and it would easily appeal to all kinds of rock and metal music lovers).
Randy: There are all kinds of people that like our music the reason being is because God created it all the glory goes to Him amen.
Dale: I find that rock music in general is saturated with so many great bands it is hard to get recognized. For me, I see our audience mainly Christian based. Hopefully that will change as our popularity grows.
6/ LB: With the distance issues between you two, do you plan some touring in a near future? Maybe some festivals?
Randy: I’m always open to whatever God decides. We just want to bring the message of salvation through Jesus to our world. So a good way to do that is recording albums getting them out to our world. Thanks to Bill Roxx at Roxx Records we are able to do that and distribute them digitally to all the major platforms and then just wait and see what God does amen !
Dale: I have retired from touring. Physical issues prohibit me from long travels. My voice is still as fresh as a daisy but physically I am not sure I could manage a tour.
7/ LB: Randy, you told me about a new album in process. Is it a third album with Dale Thompson, or any different project? Anything from the Bride front?
Randy: Yes, me and Dale are working on a 3rd album to be released sometime this year with some powerful musical legendary guests on it on some of the songs !
Dale: I am excited about the next album with Swingle & Thompson Ordained. It should be a homerun on every front. Bride is releasing a new album in the next couple of months and there are a couple other side projects that you’ll wanna pick up too. The Reconciled with Todd Evans, Perpetual Paranoia 4, Iron 501 with Myles Barfield, there are all sorts of goodies from my camp.
8/ LB: Some more general considerations now. Bride was important part of the christian metal scene in the 80’s (and still is as the band is still active). Christian metal brought some amazing bands, from the lighter to the most extreme end of metal spectrum. Is the scene still vivid?
Randy: Yes to a certain extent but we need to have more coverage because these are unique and special ministries of God that will change our world! So we want to thank you Lucas and ISKC Rock Radio and Clair & Obscur out of France for your international support of our ministry from God. We need more support from the wonderful people like you for all of the christian heavy metal rock ministries to get our message out to this world because Jesus is coming back soon!
Dale: The scene is small but exuberant. The fans are very supportive and expressive and are there for the bands. Our brand of rock and metal dwindles away a little more with each passing day. I find the underground has the coolest bands.
9/ Anything else you want to add?
Randy: It’s our mission from God to reach all for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through this awesome blessed avenue from God of our music through these albums!
Dale: I want everyone to know that what I do is not about me. It is always about Jesus. I am no rock star or whatever people want to call me. I do this for the glory of God and to introduce people to the Savior of the world who loves them and wants them to be what they were intended to be. Christ is our identity. We ought to be living in that identity in communion with God the Father by the Holy Spirit always.
Swingle & Thompson Ordained:
To buy the Swingle & Thompson Ordained albums: