Happy Birthday to The Swellers
Flint, MI-based rockers The Swellers may be one of the longest overnight successes in the punk rock world. Together for eight years today (June 24, 2010), the band turned in three albums – self-released and on tiny labels – before the rest of the world finally took notice. Punk labels across the country took interest in the band, but Florida-based Fueled By Ramen (home to Fall Out Boy and Paramore) finally snapped up the band last year. Frontman Nick Diener spoke recently about the band, and thier new record. If you're headed to the Van's Warped Tour on July 1 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, be sure to catch their set.
You guys were courted by quite a few folks. What made you decide to sign with Fueled By Ramen?
Of all of the labels we were talking to, Fueled By Ramen was the place that felt the most like home. They also presented a plan that allows them to grow with us with every record, which is really important to us. The FBR crew are some of our greatest friends now.
Most people think rap or classic rock when they think Michigan. Is there a decent punk rock scene in Flint?
Believe it or not, we were actually one of Flint's only punk rock bands when we started. It was mostly metal or Indie music. Out toward Detroit more and more punk bands were emerging so we found a nice nook recently. Flint is definitely home to some amazing musicians, though.
Did you guys think about calling it quits when Lance (Nelson) and Garrett (Burgett) quit the band?
We have never thought of calling it quits. Our ex band members were replaced in a matter of minutes, days before big tours were about to begin. We never stop.
Did bringing in Anto (Boros) and Ryan (Collins) change the band dynamics at all?
We are definitely tighter musically and as friends with Ryan and Anto in the band. We finally have guys with us (Jonathan and I) that want to tour and play music as much as we do. It's a great feeling.
What can you tell me about the new record?
The new record is finally showing the world what I've intended to show for seven years now. The right mixture of 90s radio rock and punk rock that we love to play. The songs are written by real people on real instruments, about real people.
You guys have been touring for a while now and now you're on the Warped Tour. Does it ever get old?
Touring never gets old for me. Always new places and people. Beats working 9 to 5. Tour is a 24/7 job when you're out on the road!
What's your best tour story?
Our best tour stories are pretty much documented in our tour videos. Those can be found on YouTube, usually on the Fueled By Ramen channel. Hilarious stuff…