A major figure in the US and international noise scenes and well-known as one half of the now disbanded cult noise duo Yellow Swans, Pete Swanson is concerned with cathartic, physical, extreme electronic music.
Swanson emphasizes improvisation in both performance and recording, creating “demolished beats” using idiosyncratic hardware and, on at least one project – Sarin Smoke with Charalambides' Tom Carter – guitar.
Originally from Corvallis, Orgeon, Swanson started playing bass when he was thirteen and later founded the hardcore band Murder after moving to Portland to study. In 1999 Swanson formed the Yellow Swans with Gabriel Mindel Saloman. They had a prolific nine-year run with Swanson covering vocals, drum machine, and electronics and Saloman playing guitar, feedback, and electronics.
Swanson carries forward many sonic and textural elements from Yellow Swans in his solo output. In 2011 he released the guitar drone album, I Don’t Rock At All (Three Lobed Recordings), and an album that has been dubbed the “outsider take on techno”, Man With Potential (Type Records). Other collaborative and solo projects include Badgerlore (experimental folk rock), Maggoted, Mudsuckers, and Sarin Smoke,
In addition to his prolific musical career, Swanson works in Portland as a psychiatric nurse and is doing graduate studies in mental health.