Interview With The Swellers 1st May 2010
Photo Of The SwellersBen caught up with The Swellers in Manchester before their headline show on the Give It A Name Introduces Tour to talk about their rise to fame and how they are finding the UK.

This is your first time in the UK, how are you finding things?
(Nick Diener) It’s been incredible, we feel really at home here which is something I didn’t expect at first. We toured Europe right before this and it was very foreign, it was very strange but we had great shows there. So we came here and it’s really comfortable and because we’ve never toured here before, we’re very surprised that people are actually coming out to the shows to see us and sticking around until the end. In the States it’s really not that easy, you really have to make your way around. So we’ve had some great press and some word of mouth from our friends and we’re making a lot of great friends over here too.

Is it what you were expecting?
It’s very similar to the States over here, which I’m pretty excited about. Everything’s working out exactly as we’d hoped.

How does it feel to be a band that has four albums under their belts but this is your first trip over here?
We don’t even count our records that we put out a long time ago because we were just kids! We put out an EP in 2005, and then a full length in 2007, but this record has been out first record on a real label. It finally felt like it was the right time to make it overseas, we’d had a lot of opportunities in the past but we would’ve either lost a lot of money, or something disastrous would have happened because you just can’t trust people who want to book you to tour when you’re a really small band. So this opportunity arose, it just seemed perfect and we were ready to go.

How are the British fans reacting to your music?
It’s been great, they’ve been really, really appreciative of us coming here, they’re really thankful, but at the same time, we’re really thankful that they’re actually coming to see us and letting us into their country, that’s amazing to us! They’re singing the words at our shows, which means the world to us, that’s our number one favourite thing, it just couldn’t get better for our first tour here.

Are you finding anything difficult to adjust to over here?
It’s just a completely new place, so we don’t know what to expect from each city. Sometimes the kids are a little more intense and they jump around and go crazy, other times they’re really polite and they just stand and stare me down! Whenever that happens I think ‘these kids are not digging this’, but then when I realise that they’re still there and they haven’t left, that’s a good sign! I try to take that in my stride and just hope that they’re having a good time like we are.

Is there anywhere in particular that you couldn’t wait to see in the UK?
I wanted to go everywhere and we pretty much are on this tour. We’re going to Scotland tomorrow and then down to London pretty soon, I just want to make sure that we get to see everything. There are the little touristy places like Stonehenge that everybody wants to check out. Everybody’s been telling me that this show in Manchester is going to be one of the better ones of the tour and so far it has proved to be, we’re having a blast, even sound check was great! It’s going to be a good show.

You’ve recently released your new album Ups and Downsizing to fantastic reviews across the board, was this expected?
I was really surprised, in the States we got great press too. Our album came out in late September over there, and with the record coming out so much later over here, I had no idea what to expect from the press. But they’re treating it like it’s a brand new thing, which is great because we’re brand new to the UK. We’re very, very happy with everything we’ve read and seen so far.

You are tipped as a band to watch in 2010, do you think this has added any pressure on you to meet people’s expectations?
I think we’ve been making baby steps ever since we started the band when we were 15 years old. We’ve just been slowly, slowly progressing and we’re finally at the point now where we’re touring everywhere, all the time with great bands and we’re really happy with our live show. We’ve always been a band with the mentality that we get on stage, we’re going to sweat and play these songs and hope everyone has a good time too, if not – that’s cool, we’re going to be up here doing our own thing. So the fact that we’re considered as a band to watch in 2010 is great that someone can appreciate a bunch of normal guys who just want to play songs.

It’s not only the press that have given you glowing reviews, but also your counterparts, how does it feel to have acts such as Paramore praising you?
It’s definitely unreal, Paramore is just one of the biggest bands out there right now, so for them to actually be into us is just a really great feeling! They’re a bunch of great kids, they’re a great band, so the fact that we have their support has been a lot of help, especially since we signed to the same label. Hayley in particular has been really hyping us up and it’s just been awesome. We’ve been getting to be buds with bands like Less Than Jake and the Bouncing Souls over the past year, and they’re like our childhood heroes. Just them knowing our band, touring and getting to hang out is really quite amazing. I could definitely leave the band today and feel like I’ve done more than I ever wanted to do, but the fact that things keep getting better and better means that I still want to see how it goes.

There are a lot of mentions of your hometown Flint, Michigan in your lyrics, are you proud to have come from there?
I really, really love the state of Flint as depressed and scary as it may be. It’s where our band learned everything about being a band, from how a show works to how everybody who works at a show works, just everything like that we learnt from a lot of local bands and local people – just how to make your band be the best thing it can possibly be. Once we had left Flint to go touring, it really made us appreciate just how great our scene was. It’s really humbling to be from a place like that, to realise that a lot of people who live around you don’t have a lot and they’re still happy. We’re very privileged people, just by the fact that I have a roof over my head, I’m thankful for that every day. I think the town itself, a lot of people have heard about it, just because it’s not a great place to live, but I think that it’s coming back. There are a lot of schools there and kids are coming to go to school and maybe they’ll stay in town and maybe it’ll be a family town again, which will be great.

Do you think that bands such as yourselves are encouraging kids from Flint to get into music?
I think we definitely used to, but we haven’t played in Flint for a while because there aren’t really many places to play. Whenever there is press going around saying “Flint, Michigan band called The Swellers”, we’ve heard a lot of kids going round saying, “Wow, a band from Flint, that’s so cool that they’re from here”, to us, we’re just normal kids, we’re just the same 15 year olds that played in our basement. It’s really cool that kids from Flint think that it’s cool, it’s good that we can at least give the people from Flint something else to get excited about, even if it’s just a few people it’s great.

Will we be seeing a lot more of The Swellers over here on British soil?
Definitely. By coming here we added this place to our map of places we have to tour all the time. We tour the states pretty much every three or four months, so we want to do the same here, at least twice a year would be great. We’ll make it over here maybe once or twice before the year is out, we’d really love to make this a regular place for us.

Interview By Ben Connell
 Band Members

Nick Diener
Jonathan Diener
Ryan Collins
Anto Boros
 Latest Releases
The Swellers - Ups And Downsizing
Release Date - 29th September 2009
1. 2009
2. Fire Away
3. Sleeper
4. Welcome Back Riders
5. Feet First
6. Do You Feel Better Yet?
7. Ups And Downsizing
8. The Iron
9. Watch It Go
10. Stars
11. Dirt
 Band Related Links
The Swellers Myspace