Queen City Sounds Podcast S2E6: Jim Ward of Sparta

Jim Ward of Sparta, photo by Tom Murphy, 9/4/2022

Jim Ward is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of art punk band Sparta which releases it’s new album, self-titled, on October 14, 2002. Ward first came to the attention of many while a member of post-hardcore legends At the Drive-In. Growing up in El Paso, Texas, Ward came up through the underground music scene and hung out in the same social circles with Foss whose membership included then future At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Beto O’Rourke who went on to be a U.S. Representative and at this writing is a candidate for the governorship of Texas. Ward had been impacted by a wide variety of underground rock bands of the 80s and 90s including, of course, Fugazi and the energy and political consciousness informed his own thinking and creativity as a musician and songwriter. When At The Drive-In split the first time in 2001, Ward formed Sparta whose music was sonically closest to the sound of his former band than other post-ATDI projects but with more of a focus on texture and melody and maintaining the sharply observed yet nuanced social critique. Sparta has undergone its own periods of hiatus and has stayed together since 2017 but whether in Sparta or with Sleepercar or his own fairly prolific solo career, Ward has consistently delivered a body of work that is both thoughtful and visceral. This interview was conducted next to the parking lot south of The Gothic Theatre within an hour before Sparta took the stage on September 4, 2022, a testament to how Ward keeps it real and down to earth.

Listen to the interview on Bandcamp and pre-order the new Sparta record at the appropriate links below. And to keep up to date on Sparta tour dates and available merch visit sparta.band

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Author: simianthinker

Editor, primary content provider for this blog. Former contributor to Westword and The Onion.

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