It’s difficult maintaining a band in turbulent times, and no one knows that better than Philadelphia-based Rock/Reggae/Hip Hop group The Movement. The band started in Columbia, S.C., with childhood friends/high school bandmates Jordan Miller and Josh Swain. Upon Swain’s 2002 return from college, the pair, inspired by everything from Sublime to Pink Floyd, began writing in Swain’s garage. Beginning as a trio with Jon “DJ Riggles” Ruff, The Movement immediately impacted the local scene with a rollicking blend of Reggae chill, Hip Hop flow and Rock intensity, which they channeled expertly into its 2004 debut, On Your Feet. For the next three years, The Movement toured relentlessly, opening for Blues Traveler, Ludacris, Wu Tang Clan and Steel Pulse, among others.
But as the band’s profile rose, the members’ interest waned. After Ruff split, Miller and Swain met producer Chris DeBeneditto, who invited them to record at his Philadelphonic Studios, resulting in the band’s sophomore album, 2008’s Set Sail. DeBeneditto also introduced them to drummer Gary Jackson and guitarist/bassist Jay Schmidt, who ultimately joined forces with a reinvigorated Swain and Miller to create a brand new Movement.
The Movement’s most recent shake-up has been its most challenging — founding member/co-frontman Swain left early last year to take a job in Denver. Miller insists the split was amicable and that he and Swain have remained friends, but clearly his departure was a sea change for the band, forcing them to remove songs from the setlist because of Swain’s unique vocal delivery. Luckily, the addition of John Bowling on keyboards helped fill the gaps created by the loss of Swain’s equally important guitar work. The newly configured Movement has written a batch of new songs the members are ready to record a third Movement album, the group’s first with the new lineup. Physically and metaphorically, The Movement is on the move.