Life is a beautiful struggle says Madchild

The Vancouver based group Swollen Members returns to Chilliwack for a gig at Tzeachten Centre on April 25

Juno Award winning hip-hop group Swollen Members perform at Tzeachten Community Centre (45855 Promontory Rd.) on April 25.

Life is a beautiful struggle.

That’s how Shane Bunting, better known as Madchild of Swollen Members, sees it.

It’s also from a lyric on the title track off the new album, Brand New Day.

Swollen Members are coming to Tzeachten Community Centre in Chilliwack on April 25.

“That life is a beautiful struggle is very true,” Bunting tells the Progress. “You can always look at things from two or more sides. You can choose to look at something as a new beginning.”

The rap artist has been busy touring with the guys, Prevail and producer Rob the Viking, as well performing as a solo artist.

Since re-grouping in 2009 after a four-year hiatus, the members of Swollen Members have been on fire creatively. They’ve released three studio albums, a greatest hits collection. Both Madchild and Prevail have launched solo ventures.

Bunting is clean from his much publicized battle with drugs for many years now. It was a nasty pill-popping habit that tripped him up, but he kicked it. He’s still talking about it, years later.

“It stays with you forever,” he says. “It was five years of my life, and it was 14 years prior to that leading up to those five years, of thinking the wrong way and making the wrong choices. It’s something I still have to reflect on, if not continue to be thankful for. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about it.”

He was even barred from crossing the border into the States because of his association with Hells Angels. But that was ironed out and he is now free to travel and perform down south.

“You get on the right track and start doing good stuff, and good things happen,” he says. Having a “great manager and partner” also helps, the artist adds.

“We’re happy to be coming back to Chilliwack,” Bunting says.

They’re touring from west to east with 16 shows across Canada, and 17 in the U.S.

The new album has no features, or special guests, which is something they were among the first to pioneer in the hip hop recording world.

“We thought we’d make kind of a cool statement with that,” Bunting says. “It’s something that our younger fans may not be aware of. We’d make friends with our favourite rappers and have them come down, record with us, and stay at our houses or at a hotel.”

The members of Swollen Members have always stuck together through thick and thin.

“That’s very important,” Bunting underlines.

He could easily make a go of it on his own as a solo artist, but he is staying with the group.

“There’s something about being part of a group for a decade and a half that makes it worth it,” he says. “I think we’ll still be at it for a least another four or five years. I love doing this.”

They are also relaunching Battleaxe Records which shut down in 2006, after it went from making decent coin to “hemorrhaging” money.

The label was once at the forefront of the hip-hop scene. It being reborn and is still run by people who understand artist development.

In general, Bunting says he is in a better place. He’s been renting a pricey penthouse in Yaletown, but is making plans to move to L.A. later this spring, and maybe buy a house.

“Life is such a blessing when you come out of such a dark place,” he said.

The B.C. born artist credits his grandma for offering him some solid advice, like making a point to save his money. It’s good advice that he ignores at his own peril, he admits.

“It’s absolutely true. Even things today I’m regretting. I spend money like it’s water and can’t grasp the concept of being frugal.

“But I know if I can get my head around it, I’ll be in a good position. Not that there’s anything wrong with wanting a nice watch or a house. But rappers don’t have a retirement fund.”

Swollen Members, April 25, Tzeachten Centre, all ages, doors 7:30 p.m. Tickets $35 (+ sc) at

Just Posted

Shelter access moving to the side of the building in Chilliwack on the heels of complaints

Renos to The Portal will see new bunk beds, indoor washrooms and a review of security and cleaniness

Drivers warn of slippery conditions on the Coquihalla

Snow is falling at the Summit of the Coquihalla

Rotarians digging in for new tree planting project

Trees will be a way to honour loved ones through Chilliwack

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

UFV bans cash after accepting 17 payments over $10k last year

Ban on cash payments follows report warning of potential money laundering through universities

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Man found dead inside Richmond business, IHIT investigating

Police believe the incident was not random

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Most Read