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Interview | The Swellers

February 11, 2010
By: Whitney Johnson | Filmed By: Heather Johnson
Label: Fueled By Ramen
Video Interview: Available here.

* So the tour so far has been filled with lots of bad weather and getting sick. Are you still having fun at all?
Jonathan: It’s been one of the most fun tours we’ve done in a really long time. We have our videographer friend, Mike, he shot our “Fire Away” video and our video before that. He makes everything fun.
Nick: We’re good friends with Set Your Goals and This Providence already, so we got to meet the Motion City guys and they ended up being really awesome dudes. So we’re all getting along, lots of good hang-outs. It’s unfortunate…. it’s not really effecting us all hanging out, so it’s been okay.

* You guys have been on some pretty great tours. Last year it was Paramore and Less than Jake, and now it’s Motion City Soundtrack. So, what would be your dream tour?
Oh, man. I think something realistically would be touring with a band like Green Day or Weezer, just like a really big—Blink 182, Foo Fighters—any of those bigger bands. Jimmy Eat World would be alot of fun. As far as if we were going to headline, bringing out like friends bands or even doing a co-headliner, A Whilhelm Scream, Living With Lions, We Are the Union, we’d love to go out with those guys. There’s so many. We’re going to give our booking agent a headache with telling him who we want to take out.

* ‘Cause You guys like to tour alot.
Oh, yeah.
Jonathan: So we can take everyone out.

* Like “Round Robbin.” Making sure everyone gets a chance. I also read after this tour with Motion City, you’re going on your first European tour?
Yes, we are.

* So, any apprehensions? Or more excitement?
More excitement. We’ve never been there and we know some family over there and stuff too.
Anto: It’s awesome to think that doing music is taking us to other places in the world now.

* Lucky.
It’s going to be alot of hard work still, so we’re trying not to get too excited about the vacation. It’s going to be intense trying to cross all of the borders.

* Do you know who you will be touring with?
We’re doing festivals; Groezrock in Belgium, and then Give It A Name festival. Then, some headlining stuff all over.
Nick: A bunch of different brands of bands we’re going to be linking up with, so it’s going to be real fun.

* And, you guys are doing a leg of Warped Tour as well. So that’s a whole year of practically touring.
We’re doing the first half of the Warped Tour on Ernie Ball stage which is pretty much the stage we grew up playing. They always give local bands a chance to play and now their asking us to come back and headline the stage. Totally an honor. They’re really great people and I think we’re gonna have a really good time. Hope we meet alot of people. Andrew W.K. is gonna be on the tour so I wanna hang out with them.
Ryan: We’re going to party hard.
Anto & Nick: Party ’til we puke!
Jonathan: And hopefully not from sickness.

* You recently signed to Fueled By Ramen, who in recent years has been associacted with more pop sounding music. So, why do you think a kid who’s used to listening to Cobra Starship or Panic! At The Disco should give you a chance?
I don’t know. I really don’t know. If you’re listening to those bands, I don’t know why you would ever even want to listen to us but we’ve actually had a lot of cool crossover fans like that. A lot of kids who just liked Fueled By Ramen gave us a chance and said, “I’ve never heard anything like your band. I’m gonna buy your CD.” Which is really cool. Which is one of the reasons that we wanted to sign to Fueled By Ramen. We wanted to something that no one was gonna expect from us. And we knew the people had really great plans for us; they do really great things with their bands. So we just thought let’s use their army and let’s load up their cannons with our sperm and shoot it all over everyone.

* Oh, my. Oh, boy. That’s like impregnating the world.
One of the things we wanna do with our bands is—well Jimmy Eat World wrote a song about it. Make the radio good again. Give these kids something to look forward to on the radio, not nu-metal crap. 3OH!3 and Cobra Starship are all over the air and whatever, but I want to the band that influences other bands. And people see where we came from and bands come full circle again and start liking that kind of stuff. That’s our goal.

* You guys went from a more do-it-yourself band to now a label with lots of people who handle a lot of things for you. Is it more of a relief, or more overwhelming to have so many hands involved?
We were just talking about it earlier. Having a manager is awesome! The fact that these little jobs that we used to try to do ourselves all the time, that we did poorly, now we have a guy that knows exactly what he’s doing. We have guy who’s booking our shows and we have people who are doing our publicity and we have people to care for all the stuff we used to try to take care of on our own. These people are paid to do this and really believe in our band so that combination alone is pretty powerful. If someone’s getting paid and likes what they’re doing it’s really awesome. That’s what we’re doing now. We’re getting paid and we’re doing what we love to do—not getting paid a lot—the people who work for us get paid more than we do, but that’s fine. We’re building up as much as we can.
Ryan: It’s a lot of hard work.
Nick: Yeah. The actual touring itself is the same. It’s a little bit more reliable.
Jonathan: There’s more opportunities that we’re getting now—more so than we were before. That’s why all these other people are handling that extra stuff. Which is helping us do things in the long run. We get to focus on music and focus on touring and that’s the most important part of being in a band. A lot of bands let that get to their heads and they get too overwhelmed. But if definitely helps out a lot.

* You guys recently released a video for “Fire Away” and I also read you’re going to be doing a new video for “Sleeper.” Is that true?
Before Warped Tour we’re gonna try to get a video for that one out. We we’re gonna do one really soon but we changed our minds and we have another really crazy idea that we’re gonna try. We can’t really talk about it yet because it might not happen at all.

* Not the treadmills?
It’ll be a different song. We were going to announce the “Sleeper” thing, but that didn’t happen.

* Uh-oh.
No, it wasn’t going to happen anyway. We’re doing it a different way. You’ll find out.
Nick: If it happens, it’s gonna be ridiculous and we’re going to wonder why we did it, but we’re gonna be happy we did it.
Jonathan: It’ll be huge.

* Well, our interest is piqued.
I’ll say that it’s gonna be the opposite of the “Fire Away” video.

* Like LOST? Like a desert instead of being out in the ocean by yourself?
Well think like the act of being stranded and being upset, the opposite of that. But also take our tour videos which are pretty raunchy and terrible, the opposite of that too.

* Oh yeah, the WWE one. I liked that.
Wait till the next video. It’s coming out like tomorrow or the next day.
Anto: It’ll blow your mind.
Jonathan: If you liked that one, you’ll like this.

* So lastly, is their anything you want to say to your fans before we go? I’m freezing out here.
Yeah, it’s really cold. I just wanna say thank you so much for buying our record and coming to shows and giving us a chance at all.
Jonathan: And stop global warming so it’s not cold in Texas.
Nick: Is that why it’s cold in Texas?
Jonathan: It could be all the sin in the world…but probably global warming.
Nick: What about you guys?
Anto: Yeah, I want to say thanks too. It means a lot to us to have kids even at our show. We’ve been hitting so many different kids…
Nick: We’ve been hitting kids!

* I love hitting kids.
We had the Paramore crowd, the Less Than Jake crowd, and now the Motion City crowd. For kids that have never heard of us to come up after and talk about how they really enjoyed the show and buy our cd and buy a tshirt. We really cant thank you guys enough.