It is a rare music act that can maintain a strong following for more than one generation, so it’s no surprise that The Swellers have what it takes to do just that. The talented punk band, from Flint, Michigan, have continued to tour all over the world while winning over more fans wherever they go. With the release of their new album, The Light Under Closed Doors, they are busier than ever. Still, The Swellers take time from their hectic schedule and let fans into their lives. In my interview with the punk band, they let us pick their brains on what inspires them, the tours they have been on, and what we can expect from them in the years to come.
Amaris: The Light Under Closed Doors is the first actual album released since 2011’s Good For Me. How is this album different than the other projects (EP’s and 7”) that have been released?
Nick: The first 7" since we left FBR was called Vehicle City Blues, and consisted of two songs that were recorded during theGood For Me sessions that didn't go on the record. The EP was when we wanted to self-release something and wound up having some great songs and recorded them ourselves in my studio. The new album is basically where we were trying to go, but taking baby steps and shaping our sound with a new thought process.
Amaris: Why release an EP and a 7” instead of just going straight for an album?
Nick: We weren't quite ready for another full length, and we thought those two releases would keep the momentum going. It's scary when you're a band and you don't know if you'll be relevant in a month or not. I'm glad people dug what we were going and we kept dishing out more and more music until the album was ready.
Amaris: Your music is known for having a 90’s punk feel, what artists/band inspires this sound?
Nick: We grew up loving all the Fat and Epitaph records bands, as well as a lot of the emo-ish stuff like The Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, and especially Weezer. It all came together because we thought we could take that grungy rock sound and punk it up a little bit.
Amaris: Out of all the tours you have been a part of, which one was your favorite? Why?
Nick: There are far too many to even think about. Recently we went to Brazil with Story Of The Year and we had a blast. This current tour has been incredible, too. We've made so many friends in bands that it's just too hard to choose.
Amaris: If you could tour with any act that you have not previously toured with, who would you choose and why?
Nick: I'd love to tour with some of the guys that influenced us. We got to tour with Strung Out, play onstage with members of No Use For A Name, so getting to play with Weezer or Jimmy Eat World would be great.
Amaris: You’ve been a band since 2002 and have had a pretty consistent punk sound. How do you find inspiration for new material?
Nick: We've always played punk music but as we grow up, things change. We wanted to play a little slower, get groovier, focus on songwriting. We could only write so many lightning fast songs before we got bored. We still like to play that stuff live but as far as records go, we want it to sound like 26 year old kids playing music and not 17 year olds.
Amaris: I read that you and Jonathan are responsible for most of the bands material. How important is it for you to write your own lyrics?
Nick: Jonathan and I are a great team. Sometimes I'll write entire songs, sometimes he will, but more often than not, we co-write. We seem to better each others' songs.
Amaris: How do you think that helps connect with fans?
Nick: When they know we write the songs, they have something to say to us after the show. Some people tell us what thesongs have done for them, and it's awesome to hear.
Amaris: Would any cross-over collaboration be out of the question?
Nick: If I had the opportunity to write and record with someone I really admired, I'd love to do it. Other than that, not our style.
Amaris: What can we expect from The Swellers in the years to come?
Nick: Songs and tours. That's all we got!