Swamp Wolf rumbles at the Rolle


By Laura Thompson

Wrestling and martial arts weren’t the only things rumbling the Rolle on Friday night; local band Swamp Wolf commanded the show as the musical addition. Hosted by Kick Axe Wrestling, Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) pro-wrestling club, Rumble at the Rolle was a night of wrestling, martial arts and metal.

Kick Axe Wrestling hosts the Rumble at the Rolle twice a semester and incorporates martial arts and wrestling. This semester, they added a new dynamic: metal with local hardcore thrash band, Swamp Wolf. Swamp Wolf has been around for just over a year and they have been working hard to make their mark on Flagstaff by playing as many shows as possible.

“We play mostly the house parties [in Flagstaff], but we’ve played the Orpheum twice,” said Steve ‘Dirty Steve’ Kaufman, the band’s singer.

Metal and fighting usually complement each other well, and Rumble at the Rolle was no different.

When asked how the band got into doing the event, Daniel Toberg, guitarist said, “We were asked by my friend from work, Sean Patrick, and I wasn’t sure if the guys would be down but they were so stoked!”

The marriage of metal and wrestling was entertaining and full of loud, screaming debauchery. The band’s interjection to the quiet of the martial arts was unusual, but complimentary. Swamp Wolf came out in luchador wrestling masks, a nice touch for the overall theme. Their chugging riffs and the screams by Kaufman bombarded the audience, and they brought a spark of life to the Rolle. The audience and competitors alike were itching to breakout into a mosh in the confined space.

The band’s set was split in two, broken up by the display of wrestling and the Chinese martial art, Wushu. In the second half of the set, the band tried some wrestling moves of their own. Toberg dominated Kevin Pennick, guitarist, throwing him on the ground in pro-wrestling style. The cheering crowd ate it up and wanted more.

Megan Sissingh, a sophomore visual communications major and fan of Swamp Wolf, enjoyed the pro-wrestling dynamic of the show.

“I think [the band] complemented the wrestling and it was so much different than what you regularly see,” Sissingh said. “I’ve never seen wrestling at a show before.”

Overall, the members of Swamp Wolf were happy with their performance, even if they had to soften the lyrics.

“I missed a few words in the second song we played ’cause I had to think about what to say instead of the profanity I normally use,” Kaufman said.

Swamp Wolf is as entertaining to listen to as they are to watch. They are heavy but groovy and their music sounds like a party. With their  hardcore metal riffs and screams, the vibe feels like a metal show at a seedy bar — it’s dark but fun.

The future looks bright for Swamp Wolf as they will be kicking off 2013 with a southwest tour.

“We’re going up through Albuquerque, Colorado, Salt Lake City and back to Flagstaff, playing with our friends, Drug Culture and Stress Relief,” said drummer Nate Edenhofer.

“We’re writing more music and just continuing to do what we’re doing . . . we have a good chemistry together so we’ll just keep going,” Kaufman said.

Swamp Wolf’s tour will take them back to Flagstaff on Jan. 8 at a house show. For more details, message the band at their Facebook page.

Swamp Wolf’s full length album, The Brilliance of a Feral Mind, is on Bandcamp at http://swampwolfband.bandcamp.com/


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