Scene News: SPARTA Announces #11HOURWORLDTOUR ~ “TRUST THE RIVER” Online Album Release Shows This June

Sparta, the band featuring Jim Ward, released their long-awaited new album Trust The River via Dine Alone Records in April.

Today, Sparta is excited to announce an online album release show to celebrate in the wake up their tour postponement. Sparta will do three separate shows to accommodate all time zones using the hashtag #11hourworldtour. Dates, times, and ticketing can be found below for Australia.

This Saturday June 13th AUS/NZ
3pm AEST

Sparta’s Jim Ward had this to say about the shows: “I’m excited to play these songs in this format for everyone. We’ve been trying to find a way to connect and celebrate and thank everyone for their overwhelming support on the release of this record while staying safe, and this seems like the ideal space and moment. Me and at least one guitar, playing three shows to cover as many time zones as I can in one day. In my mind I’ll be picturing all these cities I miss being in and all those faces I look forward to seeing again. We’ll record these shows and send a link to each ticket buyer to get a mixed/mastered version of the songs I play- grab a drink and come hang out and sing along. I miss you all!”

Trust The River is the band’s first full-length studio album since 2006. Listen to Trust The River here.


“That quick progressions from writing to recording gives “Miracle” an immediate, raw feel. Driving drums and bass provide a fresh feeling of relief in the face of hardship, as Ward sings, “You asked me to wait/ Sometimes miracles come late.” There’s clearly torment in that plea for patience, but with the propellant instrumentation, there is also hope.” CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND

“Miracle” delivers that raw sound as if the band wrote and recorded it right then and there.” MXDWN

“”Miracle” will inspire you to live in the present.” SPIN

“This one almost sounds like a post-hardcore version of War-era U2.” BROOKLYN VEGAN

“Built on swirling riffs and cathartic bursts, the track takes you on a spin letting you vicariously unleash all your inner angst from your system.” AUPIUM


1) Class Blue
2) Cat Scream
3) Turquoise Dream
4) Spirit Away
5) Believe
6) Graveyard Luck
7) Dead End Signs
8) Miracle
9) Empty Houses
10) No One Can Be Nowhere



When it comes to his long and fruitful career in music, Jim Ward has no ulterior motives. He’s not guided by vanity or money or some grand narrative in which he’s the central player. It’s all about the song, the melody, the lyric. It’s all he needs to tell him where he’s headed.

“I’ve always been a fan of listening to what the song wants to do and not forcing it,” Ward says of his embarking on the journey of writing and recording a new Sparta album, the first offering in more than a decade from the seminal post-hardcore outfit.

“I’ve never sat down and said,“I’m going to write this kind of song.” Or listened to what was popular to guide me. I’ve never had that inclination. Never.”

It’s Ward’s commitment to following the song’s muse, full stop, that’s led him to this point. Or rather, what’s help guide the natural progression in a multi-dimensional talent’s musical life–one where genre, style, tempo and even band demarcations are merely a signpost of where he resides at any current moment.

It’s why in late-2017, when he began writing music for what became Trust The River, the forthcoming new Sparta LP, Ward relied exclusively on how the music made him feel when determining where it should land.

The specific song, he recalls, was “Cat Scream,” a barreling whiplash of pent-up emotion, and immediately upon completing its writing, “I knew what family it belongs in,” Ward notes.“And I know exactly what family that is. It’s Sparta. And that family has not lived its full trajectory.”

It’s true: while he’s performed in various bands and under several monikers over his long and winding career—from the iconic post-hardcore band At The Drive-In, to a slew of solo titles under his own name and, recently,hisalt-countryproject, Sleepercar —Ward is the first to admit that Sparta was and never has been finished. It’s whya few years back,when he began making heavier,moreriff-ladenmusic, it was a no-brainer, he says, for him to ring up his friend and bandmate of more than 20 years, bassist Matt Miller, and begin work on what evolved into Trust The River.

“I’ve made a real point to never break up a band,” Ward says when asked if Sparta had ever been on hiatus or even dissolved completely in the years since 2006’s Threes. “I’ve never had a press release say, “We’re done.” Mostly because if you look at my history it’s filled with on-and-off-again projects. It’s filled with tragedies and reunions and tragedies again. As much as I can control it, I don’t want there to be permanence. So here we are.”

Being here right now means sitting with a monumental new album courtesy of one of rock’s most poignant storytellers. “I enjoyed writing the record more than anything. It’s the thing I love doing the most,” Ward says of a multi-month songwriting process that culminated in some of the most inspired recording sessions of his career,with help from Miller and drummer Cully Symington, and guitarist Gabriel Gonzalez. Also joining them was Austin-based musician-producer, David Garza, whom Ward describes as “ a better musician than anyone you’ve ever met,” and who Ward says was crucial in helping guide Sparta towards a cohesive record. Additionally, Garza’slack of pretense about what constitutes a Sparta record, Ward adds, was key to creating a fresh new offering.“He knows Sparta but he doesn’t know anything really about it,” Ward says of Garza, who he adds kept the sessions “loose and collaborative with no rules.” “So the attitude going into the sessions was simply that we were just going to have fun and maybe eat some breakfast burritos.”

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