Sweet Invicta
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Sweet Invicta

Bellingham, WA | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Bellingham, WA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Let it Roll, Let it Ride"

by McKenna Cardwell

Surrounded by the skater shoes and graffiti walls of the Unknown Board Shop, the members of Sweet Invicta were suited up in coat and tie, embodying a trait the band says is something they stand for; “smart but punk.”

Bellingham band Sweet Invicta celebrated their latest EP release with a show on May 20 at the Unknown Board Shop, debuting their rocker yet refined album to friends and family.

Mixed and produced within a matter of days, the CD features six tracks, each with their own variation of the Sweet Invicta “sound.” A sound that members Vincent Blackshadow, Tanner Wallace, Ben Danielson, Kaleb Harrison and Noah Dunn says they are continually discovering.

“So much of being the age we are is the constant presence of some form of an identity crisis. With the band, we can recreate its identity to fit ours as it changes,” Dunn said.

Altering the band’s identity isn’t a new idea for Sweet Invicta. The introduction of Dunn, who replaced a previous drummer, prompted a shift from being a classic rock-sounding band called “Odd Ones Out” to the more inventive and original Sweet Invicta.

“When we were Odd Ones Out our audiences was mainly 50 and 60-year-olds,” Harrison said. “With this new release we now have more friends and kids our age behind us.”

This decision created the opportunity for songwriters Blackshadow and Harrison to channel their own inspirations into their songs.

“From music pirating to pretentious Instagram girls, our songs are about the life that only a teenager can have. The kind of life where you eat dinner at 3 a.m. and fall asleep at 5 a.m.,” Blackshadow said. “Basically, if a 90s band had a sax player and decided to write about what it’s like to be our age, to be a teenager in 2016, that’s what our stuff is about.”

It was in a “School of Rock” class outside of school that members Blackshadow, Harrison and Wallace began to entertain the idea of creating a band, later recruiting Danielson to play bass.

“As a person I didn’t like to put myself out there,” Danielson said. “Being in a band you are forced to be on stage which presented some personal challenges for me.”

“It’s been transformative for me in a lot of ways,” Dunn agreed. “I am just a nerd and being in this band has introduced me to a lot of different social situations I wouldn’t ever be in without the band, like playing at a bar in Seattle.”

The boys disagree on a host of bands that inspired them, ranging from Cage the Elephant to Tom Petty, but they do agree that coming from varying musical backgrounds has helped them reach a successful group dynamic.

“Essentially we are all self-taught musicians,” Blackshadow said. “I think had we been schooled educationally, we would have lost the will to continue to make music as well as the ability to communicate so well with one another.”

The band will face a new set of challenges as Blackshadow, Wallace and Danielson graduate this year. Blackshadow heading as far as Chicago to study music business at Columbia College.

Individually, their interests expand past the boundaries of the band; Wallace plans on going into auto engineering and Danielson is interested in medical or computer science. But together Sweet Invicta wants to continue having fun playing music while they have the opportunity to do so, and never take it for granted. They agree that after an “inevitable hiatus,” Sweet Invicta will continue to make music and play whenever they can.

“I’ve only known these guys a short while, yet this has shaped everything that I want to do with the rest of my life,” Wallace said.

Published in the June 2016 issue of What’s Up! Magazine - What's Up! Magazine

"Do It For You"

Sweet Invicta may be the only Bellingham band in 2016 that feels obligated to bring an enormous garment bag full of leisure suits on their very first jaunt down the West Coast. Nevertheless, they found room for it in the GMC Yukon, and were able to maintain their sharp-dressing reputation even in 95 degree weather, hundreds of miles from home.

Noah Dunn (drums), Ben Danielson (bass), Tanner Wallace (guitar), Kaleb Harrison (sax, vocals) and Vincent Blackshadow (guitar, vocals) set out in late July for shows in Oregon and California – what modern day maximalist rock really looks and sounds like.

After three-fifths of the group finally graduated from high school in June, the young local alt-rockers decided to set up this road trip that included some stops in the form of house shows, web series appearances, and regular DIFY* gigs. It would likely be their last chance to do so, what with college looming right around the corner, forcing a temporary yet inevitable hiatus for the band.

Armed with songs from their well-received eponymous EP released in May as well as several newer tunes, Sweet Invicta first struck The Leak, a house venue in southwest Portland. Followed by a loyal entourage of friends, lovers, and loyal one-man road crew Zach Naf, the band delivered their high dose of versatile yet energetic music, stitched together by ironic arena-style presentation. They made a lot of new friends and gave away a few CDs.

The next reward came only after a 10-hour drive through all of Oregon and some of California, where the uber-rich suburb of Walnut Creek waited to get schooled by Bellingham’s closest thing to supersuave trashlords. And schooled they did get; the all-ages multi-purpose venue known as Red House were hardly ready to let the Invicta gentlemen leave even after what seemed like hours of schmoozing and merch-selling. Cha-ching!

Not even a super-successful Saturday night in Walnut Creek was enough to keep the morale up for the 6-hour drive down to the Plastic People Capital of the World known as Los Angeles. Thankfully, the band weren’t meeting with any washed-up executives or associating with whatever 2016’s version of a “record label” is. Instead, they hung out with emerging mobile concert gurus Jam in the Van, and recorded a KEXP-style web appearance in their solar powered, albeit hot-as-hell RV. Shortly after, the sweaty Invicta headed over to Blind Cover. The premise of this cool series consists of a band receiving lyrics to a song they’ve never heard, and then spending one solid hour trying to write music for the song. Sweet Invicta banged out a new tune from John Lennon’s “Nobody Told Me,” and then proceeded to croon their way through “Post Love,” a saxy track off the new EP, and improvised future Top 40 hit “Hang Out With Your Mom.”

The group retired at Jam in the Van headquarters after a well-deserved trip to their favorite restaurant (Pho), and were somewhat conscious by the time they got to the Boom Boom Room in a refreshingly cool San Francisco for the final show on the jaunt, dubbed the “Last Minute Mini-Tour.” Throughout the traditional last-show-technical-difficulties, the boys (well-dressed even though exhausted) kept the energy up and stuck around for San Fran’s Unlikely Heroes and new friends and possible future tour comrades Love and the Zealous (give ‘em a Like.)

Even though Sweet Invicta were only out on the road for seven days and six nights, they really got a taste of what it’s like to tour—hurling handfuls of blueberries at the other vehicle, backstage flat-ironing, “This Could Be Them,” changing clothes in a bar bathroom, long nights, early mornings, overheated brakes, broken strings, cutting summer sausage with popsicle sticks, feeling alive and well, and feeling nauseous and dead…

Life on the road is tough, as they say— but as our friend Scott Greene said on more than one occasion, “hey— this is awesome. We’re on tour.”

*Do It For You, as opposed to Do It Yourself - What's Up! Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Currently at a loss for words...

Band Members