Founded in Atlanta in 1978, The Swimming Pool Q’s were among the first generation of Georgia’s celebrated New Wave bands that included THE B-52’s, THE BRAINS, PYLON and R.E.M. When original members Jeff Calder and Bob Elsey were joined by Anne Richmond Boston, the initial configuration of the Q’s quickly established a reputation for superb musicianship and originality.
The band maintains an active performing and recording schedule, having completed several new songs at the legendary Southern Tracks studio in Atlanta. They will be celebrating their 35th anniversary and the reissue of their two A&M Records albums, The Swimming Pool Q’s and Blue Tomorrow this Saturday, June 15 at Smith’s Olde Bar.
We caught up with Jeff Calder before the big night to ask him some questions about the upcoming show, performing live and the band’s future plans! Check it out.
Congratulations on celebrating your 35th anniversary and the double CD reissue of the “A&M” years! What an accomplishment. Looking back did you ever imagine you would be where you are today?
In 1978, I moved to Atlanta with $75 in my pocket. I’m still hoping to someday break even.
What can fans expect from this anniversary show at Smith’s Olde Bar? Any surprises in store?
We’ll play a lot of songs from our A&M period, with guest appearances by original bassist J.E. Garnett on a few songs and Tim DeLaney on electric autoharp (“Silver Slippers”) and keyboards (“Now I’m Talking About Now”). We’ll have a horn section on “Rat Bait”, too.
What is your favorite part of performing live?
Playing guitar while Anne Boston sings and Bob Elsey plays guitar solos.
How do you connect with your audience?
Out of all the gigs you’ve played, which one stands out as being the most memorable?
Opening a national tour for Lou Reed in 1984, which ended in Atlanta at the Fox Theater where The Q’s jammed on “Sweet Jane.”
If you could play at any venue with any artist/band, where would you play and who would you play with?
Performing at Stone Mountain Park with the lady who plays the Electronic Carillon.
Name 3 songs on your playlist that you’ve had on repeat.
“Big Fat Tractor”
What does the future look like for the Swimming Pool Q’s? Where do you think the band will be in 5 years? New music? A tour?
1. Finishing a new album that’s about 2/3 done.
2. Reissuing the rest of our back catalog.
3. Finishing two more albums.
4. Headlining Bonnaroo.
5. Resting on our laurels…or not!