The Swellers came to Liverpool as part of the Give It A Name Introduces Tour. Laura and Lauren met up with Jono Diener (drums) and Anto Boros (bass) for a quick chat before they hit the stage.
GW: So, give us a quick geography lesson because you’re from Michigan, what’s it like?
JD: Michigan is kind of the epitome of the Midwestern United States. It’s hot summers, really cold winters, sometimes it seems like the winter goes on for a really long time. The Flint, Michigan area, where we’re from, that’s where Michael Moore, he’s from there, the movie Semi-Pro starring Will Ferrell is based there. Pretty much, it’s a town that used to be a thriving automotive industry town and all of that kind of moved to Detroit which put Flint in shambles. That’s where the first sit down strike ever was and there’s a lot of history there. Right now it’s kind of a ghost town, I think it’s the number one city of people leaving at the quickest rate in the US, but the houses are really cheap. Nick and I are renting a house there. That’s where our very first show was, in Flint, and I don’t know, it’s just home to us. Like that’s where we always played our best shows, that’s where we go to hang out and now we actually live up in it away from everything so, it’s really nice.
GW: Well, besides you guys was there much of a scene before you came along music wise?
JD: Ah, the band Chiodos is from there.
GW: Oh no way! But apart from that did you get many shows or was it like you guys invented something?
JD: There’s a place called The Flint Local 432 and that’s where we played our very first show and we’d actually play there like every weekend. It was around while we were part of the scene for like four or five years and every month we’d play there. We all started working there every weekend so we would get into shows for free. For a while there was a lot of big bands that would come through like Avenged Sevenfold, Coheed and Cambria, My Chemical Romance came through there when they were first starting out and you know that venue’s been around for a really long time. But about, I think, three or four years ago the venue closed and the whole music scene died. All these bands, you know just started either moving on, people started going to college, the whole scene kind of depleted so pretty much the only bands left were us and Chiodos. Chiodos got really big and we were kind of just touring, waiting to see what happened and now we actually got signed so that’s pretty cool.
GW: Well your record label is Japanese?
JD: We were on a Japanese record label for the last release. The label were actually on is fuelled By Ramen.
GW: Oh! Which is the same as loads of big bands.
JD: Yeah, like Paramore, Gym Class Heroes, all them bands.
AB: Fall Out Boy.
JD: Fall Out Boy.
GW: Of course. Speaking of Paramore, Hayley Williams is your number one fan, how do you feel about that?
JD: It’s pretty cool. It’s funny because we’re just friends with her like a normal thing. At the time we were freaking out, you know when it initially happened, but after that tour we’re all homies now so it’s really nice.
GW: You guys have been a band a long time, like 8 years and your brothers in the band, what’s that like?
JD: Errr… it’s the worst! *laughs* It’s actually cool; Nick and I have been playing music all our lives. I think we started playing drums and guitar when we were 8 and 9 years old. We started out as a cover band and, you know, finally started playing our own songs. There’s a natural chemistry that we have over a lot of people, we can just look at each other and know what’s coming next so writing songs is really easy. We’re always in the same house so we can just walk over with an acoustic guitar and be like “Do you wanna play a song?” “cool” or “do you want to jam in the basement with drums and guitar?” “cool”. So, you know, we’re both the songwriters, at the same time like the business people of the band, everything kind of boils down to the brother thing. The other guys get a kick out of it you know, because we get in our brother fights once in a while and it’s just an argument that really makes no sense but just because we’re brothers it happens so that’s always fun.
GW: So you guys are never apart then? You grew up together, you formed a band together and you went on tour together?
GW: That’s close. Is it just you two or are there any other siblings?
JD: Ah no, just us.
GW: Do you have any bizarre rituals before you go on stage?
AB: Cocaine *laughs*
JD: Yeah, we don’t tell a lot of people about this but we normally go outside, take our shirts off and do this hug stretch for about ten minutes. We kiss each other’s necks and squeeze. It sounds funny but it really releases a lot of stress….. and then we do a lot of coke…. during that… and lsd… yeah and Ryan likes it when we like his eyeballs so we do that too. But our other bizarre rituals are… stretching… and that’s it!
GW: Ok, so last question then, can you lend us a fiver?
JD: No! *laughs* I’m broke and I want food all the time.
GW: Awesome, thank you very, very much.
JD: No, thank you guys.