HELLO, THANKS FOR TAKING YOUR TIME FOR THIS INTERVIEW. FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW CURRENT SWELL, CAN YOU PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF, WHO IS IN THE BAND AND WHAT INSTRUMENTS DO THEY PLAY? Scott Stanton – Vocals and guitar Davers Lang – Vocals and guitar Chris Petersen – Drums and vocals Ghosty Boy – Bass and Vocals ON YOUR NEW ALBUM „ULYSSES“ THE MUSIC SEEMS TO BE MORE FOCUSED THAN ON YOUR PREVIOUS ONES IN MY HUMBLE OPINIION! HOW DID IT COME TO THIS DEVELOPMENT? With our previous records we were flying by the seat of our pants a lot of the time. This time we finally had the time and resources to focus our efforts. We worked through dozens of songs and arrangements until we found things that clicked. By the time we went into the studio we had vision and a direction. We knew that we wanted to evolve as a band. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY FROM THE SONGWRITING OR RECORDING PROCESS? It’s tough to pick. We have a lot of great moments. If I had to pick I’d say that when we all take turns doing vocals… it’s kind of this round robin where we all egg each other on. Sometimes we just all go in together and sing it out. DURING THE RECORDING SESSIONS, HOW MUCH WAS RECORDED LIVE IN A ROOM TOGETHER? Every song you hear on the record is built on a live foundation. We’d record as a band and then get the greatest takes we had and work with them. We’d do overdubs and vocals after, but the drums, bass, and a lot of guitars and keys you hear are exactly that… 4 guys jamming in a room. You can’t fake that sound, you just have to do it for real. YOUR NEW ALBUM „ULYSSES“ HAS VERY WARM AND NOSTALGIC SOUND. WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF AS NOSTALGIC PEOPLE? I don’t know if I’d say that… but we are definitely passionate about our histories, and those we love. The feelings that we experience in life is what we channel into our music. I like the idea that those sounds we make have an emotional impact on the listener. That communication between us… I think that’s the reason we do this. HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK WITH NATHAN SABATINO? Such a fluke really… we had like 2 weeks until recording and no producer. We figured there’s no way we could get anyone, especially not someone who was amazing. We were digging on the Dr.dog sounds and we were just like „let’s give him a call“. It was like serendipity… He just happened to have our slot open between projects. He did an amazing job and had a big impact on the sound of this record. HOW BIG IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SONGS DURING THE WRITING PROCESS AND THE END PRODUCT? I’m some cases there was almost no difference, in other cases they were completely different songs by the end. You have something like „Flesh and Bone“… Davers wrote that, and we pretty much recorded it the way we first jammed it. Gunshots on the other hand evolved so much that youd barely recognize it except for the main vocal. „Who’s with us?“ is another one that evolved a crazy amount from it’s original shape. HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF EVOLVING AS A BAND OVER THE YEARS? We’ve come a long way. This band started as just some friends casually strumming some tunes… Hundreds of shows later… we are a pretty tight unit. We’re more creative, more musical, we make better decisions. The band is always growing and getting better. We are more confident. No matter what happens we can work out a way to make it click. AND WHICH BANDS OR ARTISTS HAVE YOU BEEN LISTENING TO LATELY? This differs a lot depending on who you ask. We’re all very different. A couple bands that we all dig on are Bahamas, ALT J, TAME IMPALA. Beyond that we all have very unique paths. ARE YOU READING THE CRITICS OF YOUR ALBUMS? Nope. What’s the point? We stand behind the record we made whether it gets praised or torn apart by critics. There’s no reason to muddy your vision with someone else’s musings. OVER THE LAST YEARS THERE WAS A HUGE COMEBACK OF THE VINYL RECORD. HOW DO YOU SEE THAT DEVELOPMENT? DO YOU THINK THAT PEOPLE HAVE THE DESIRE TO LISTEN TO AN ALBUM AS WHOLE AGAIN, INSTEAD OF JUST A FEW SONGS? Maybe not so much in the pop world, but in our world I think that listeners put on the whole record. Records are a long standing tradition in the business… they’re not going anywhere. Which is great because they sound awesome! TOURING HAS BECOME MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER NOWADAYS. HAS TOURING BECOME THE MAIN ELEMENT OF BECOMING BETTER KNOWN AS A BAND? It’s huge. Your live show will make or break your band. We’ve always been a live band first and foremost. That being said, anyone who can tell you the way to make it in this business would be a richer man than I. HOW IS THE TOUR GOING SO FAR? It’s amazing! We have more people out to shows then ever before, and we are having a lot of fun playing the new material so it’s kind of a win win. DO YOU FIND THERE IS MUCH DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PLAYING IN EUROPE AND ELSE WHERE IN THE WORLD? Yeah. Europe has this thing where they treat musicians with a lot of respect. They want you to come back and they seem to put a lot into showing us a good time and being professionals. Our first time in a lot of cities in America it’s like your just another punk they have to deal with. The green room is a closet, here’s two drink tickets and no soundcheck with some soundguy who hates his life. Obviously a lot of places are amazing, but there is a lot of that sort of trash on the way up here. DO YOU SEE MUCH OF ALL THE PLACES YOU GO TO WHEN YOU ARE ON TOUR? Sometimes we are lucky and spend a few days off in Paris or Australia, but too often we are so busy… it feels like you just blink and it’s like Bam! There’s San Francisco in the rearview mirror and I didn’t see anything! WHAT DO YOU PREFER: CLUB CONCERTS OR FESTIVALS? They both offer different experiences. For us festivals are more fun because we can go watch bands in the sunshine after our set… but for the fans I’d say the club is better… We can deliver a more focused performance with better sound, lights and and more than anything we are all more engaged together. It’s just us and our fans and the music in a room together. YOU WERE ONCE OPENING FOR THE BEACH BOYS! HOW DID THAT GIG COME ABOUT? Lucky break early on for the band. To be honest I barely remember, it’s definitely not like we party with them all the time or something. I think they found us on Myspace of all places and reached out to us directly to play the Victoria show. It’s funny though, because we’ve played with so many acts for years and everyone still talks about that one gig that was years ago… DURING A TOUR ARE YOU ALREADY WRITING ON NEW MATERIAL OR ARE YOU JUST FOCUSED ON THE TOUR? Mostly we focus on the task at hand, but every now and then we’ll just start jamming at soundcheck and something magic will come out. Sometimes the best things come out of all of us just playing live in a room together. WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL GOALS FOR THE FUTURE AND WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR? We’re taking this thing as far as we can. Eventually we’d like to do everything on our own terms, tour when we want and still have enough time at home. We still load our own gear most of the time… maybe one day well have a guy for that! Highlights… man there’s been a lot. There’s nothing like that feeling of landing in Brazil for the first time and being greeted with a sold out theatre show. That was really something! WE THANK YOU A LOT FOR THIS INTERVIEW AND WISH YOU GOOD LUCK FOR THE FUTURE. ANY LAST WORDS FOR OUR READERS? Yeah. Stick with live music man, because we are out here hustling. Especially now when people are just drowning in options for music and entertainment having people come out and support live music means more than ever. Next time that band you’ve never heard of comes rolling through your town take a gamble and buy a ticket… that’s what keeps us all rolling.