PC: You guys have been touring like crazy, where and what are you up to?
We got home a few days ago from the “Gig Life” tour with Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, and Fireworks. I’ve been just enjoying our 6-week break at home before the new record and tours happen! Watching a lot of “Full House,” “Home Improvement,” eating and bathroom-ing regularly, etc. All the essentials.
PC: Congrats on signing with Fueled by Ramen, how did this come about?
Thank you! We’d been talking to the label for months and months after they heard our stuff, and after talking to a few other labels, we decided that FBR felt the most like our family. They really roll deep and show their support. They wanted to sign The Swellers… Not just a bunch of bands who sound “like” The Swellers. That meant a lot.
PC: How did the Japanese respond to The Swellers? Is there a big punk rock scene out there?
The punk rock scene out in Japan is tremendous. I’d say it’s the biggest and best in the world. We had the pleasure of playing there 3 years ago and it was some of the best times I’ve ever had in this band. Everyone was so nice and helpful, even though we were strangers to most people. It’s the most we’ve ever been recognized on the streets, though, which blew our minds.
Seeing kids singing your words in English in a foreign country was a trip. We really hope we can get out there again soon. It’d be cool to see what’s happened since then. Maybe more people know of us? Maybe they all forgot?
PC: Sounds like you guys had a great time in Japan, any interesting stories?
One thing I’ll never forget is eating at a buffet with a Japanese band called Local Sound Style. They laughed at me for smothering my rice with soy sauce, and said I was eating it “Michigan Style.” Also, at the same dinner, the bassist of a band called Go Postal kept trying to say “vagina,” and would nod and say it super politely at the Americans. I don’t know if he knew what it meant, but he was super cool.
We had a couple fans crying when we had to leave the show… Made us super sad to be leaving! Oh, and while Jonathan (my brother, drummer) and I were sleeping, some of the guys went out on the town in Tokyo. They were lured to a whorehouse and propositioned. Wanted to know if they wanted “bro-jobs.” Only 5000 yen. That’s like 50 bucks. But they got outta there REAL fast.
PC: Obviously you’re huge punk fans, any guilty pleasure bands/singers you guys listen to? Is there something in your ipod that causes others to say, “WTF? You listen to this?”
We listen to HIM, Tears for Fears, Meat Loaf, and Michael Jackson quite regularly in the van. Not for nostalgia sake, either… We just love that stuff. I think that’s why our band sounds a bit more well-rounded than most punk bands, if I do say so myself. Gotta have that Meat Loaf influence.
PC: You’ve toured with Less Than Jake, Wilhelm Scream among others, any bands you’d like to see yourselves touring with?
There’s an endless list of bands we’d like to tour with. Andrew WK, Nada Surf, Black Dahlia Murder… but the more likely bands would be Rise Against, Rancid, Strung Out, Propagandhi, All Time Low would be fun, those guys are really cool. We’re down to tour with anyone and everyone as long as they’re legit and good people.
PC: How did you guys like touring the west coast?
Our last west coast tour was our favorite so far. I think it was our 9th time being out west. Always feels like a vacation!
PC: Can you give us any details about your upcoming album?
It’s called “Ups and Downsizing,” and it comes out Sept 29th on Fueled By Ramen. The artwork is really cool. It’s coming out on vinyl as well, which I’m stoked about. It has some of the biggest radio jams we’ve ever written, some 90’s indie/emo and alternative moments, and of course the aggressive quick punk rock that we’re known to play here and there. Maybe this record sounds like Jimmy Eat World if they played faster and were more pissed.
PC: Aside from an album, what’s next for you guys? More overseas tours?
More and more touring. Hopefully never stopping. Lots of US and Canadian stuff, but hopefully Europe very soon! We’d also love to tour Australia. That’s on my list for the next 2 years!