Michigan’s The Swellers have had a busy last few years, they’ve built themselves a solid fan base on our shores through their releases and touring. With a new EP ‘Running Out Of Places To Go‘ due out in October via Shock, and an Australian tour to co-incide with that, this week we caught up with Nick from the band. Expand this post to check out his answers. The tour begins in Adelaide on October 12th and wraps in Brisbane on October 21st. Tickets are on sale now.
Name : Nick Diener
Band : The Swellers
Job In Band : Vocals/Guitar
Website Address : www.theswellers.com
Hometown : Flint, Michigan
Hometown is best known for : Michael Moore, the auto industry packing up and leaving town in the late 80′s, mass exodus, and a very high murder rate and violent crime.
Best venue in your hometown : The Flint Local 432. It’s where we played our first show and many of our earlier shows. It closed for a bit between 2006 and 2011, but it’s back in full force. Brings back a lot of great memories and it’s awesome to share what we had with the kids and bands of today.
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : Probably the many times the Suicide Machines rolled through, or a band from Chicago called Oh My God. Some of my fondest memories.
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : We played our 10 Year Anniversary show last month at the Local 432. Blew our minds how many people were there to support us.
How did the band first come to exist? In 2002, my brother (our drummer) and I decided we needed to start writing our own songs and playing shows. We asked our friend Nate to play bass, he came over, we recorded a demo, and played a show 9 days later.
How long has the band been going? 10 years now! Can’t believe it’s been so long, but cool things keep happening and we have more songs to show the world.
Any particular story behind the name? Not really. I was 15 when I came up with ‘The Swellers’. It sounded catchy, and no one else had it. I’m thankful we chose it, now, because it’s really easy to find us on the internet and people remember it.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… We have an EP called “Running Out Of Places To Go” coming out in mid October. We recorded most of it in my house and we’re releasing it ourselves in the states. Some of our favorite songs we’ve ever written since there were no deadlines, no pressures, just guys and their instruments.
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? I think selling out our hometown venue, though small, was one of the coolest things we’ve done. Traveling the world is also up there. Amazing that our music enabled us to go to Southeast Asia, Australia, and Europe.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? Listening to the radio and seeing videos on MTV really made me want to pick up a guitar and emulate the songs I was hearing. I started off playing piano, but I couldn’t rock as hard, so I got a guitar soon after.
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? Nirvana playing ‘Lithium’ live on MTV was huge for me. When starting The Swellers, No Use For A Name was my biggest influence and still is in many cases. RIP Tony Sly.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? I was 11 years old and we started a band called Something Unusual, but later changed the name to Revolution Zero. We played every style of music, unfortunately. Didn’t last very long, but we weren’t bad!
Most prized music related item you own? I’d have to say my Ernie Ball/Music Man Albert Lee guitar. EB/MM made it for me back when we signed to Fueled By Ramen. It’s one of a kind and no one else has one like it.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? When I’m home, which is rare, I hang out with my girlfriend as much as possible. To make money, I record bands in my home studio. Mostly everything I do is music related. Also, trying to get back in shape. The gym sucks.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… Getting home again.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… Being incredibly bummed out over leaving home! It gets worse for me every time.
ON THE STAGE
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? Water, please. Simple enough, right? That’s all we really need.
Favourite place you’ve toured, and why? Australia and Southeast Asia are our favorites because of how well we’re taken care of. Touring in the states is the hardest, since we’ve in charge of everything and do all the driving/traveling/finding places to stay, etc. UK and Europe are like a mix of the easy and the hard.
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? Jakarta, Indonesia with Paramore. The biggest show we’ve ever played. As much as I love the 150 capacity clubs and being a punk rock sweaty basement kid… I love the arena/festival shows!
Got a favourite song to play live? Lately I like playing “The Best I Ever Had” because it gets the best response. Other than that, I’d rather play Weezer songs.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? Luckily, no. We’re a pretty solid machine.
Any pre-show rituals? Typically we’re supposed to warm up our voices and stretch our bodies, but sometimes I don’t even do that. I just get onstage and do my thing.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? No money. No home. Too much competition. Lack of people caring about the hard work you put in. Gas prices.
Last song you listened to? A new song by Dan Cribb, the singer of an Australian band called The Decline. We’re working on an album together at the moment!
Last album you acquired? Probably Diamond Youth’s “Don’t Lose Your Cool”. One of my favorites.
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? Nada Surf, their whole discography. Their new one “The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy” is incredible.
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? Diamond Youth. I don’t like many bands these days. They win.
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? Touring with Strung Out in the states, headline tour in Australia soon after that, then back to the states for more shows, new EP coming out.. quite a bit!
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? Something To Write Home About by the Get Up Kids. We all dig that record a lot and I think we’d pull it off really well. That record was pretty important to me, along with No Use For A Name’s “More Betterness”.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? Saves The Day. We’ve been big fans of theirs for years and recently got to be good buds with them. They’re awesome musicians and I’d love to hear them play some of our tunes!
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? Original lineup of Lynyrd Skynyrd. I would say Refused.. but oops! Got to see them finally.
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? Gilman Street in the Bay Area, California. It’s like our Flint Local 432, but where Green Day and Operation Ivy grew up playing.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? I’ve gotten to do this already twice with one of my favorite bands, A Wilhelm Scream. But I’d love to play in Foo Fighters. Their songs aren’t too tough to figure out, they sound awesome, and it’d be great to play on such a huge stage.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band. If it were Australia, since we’re already taking out Endless Heights, I’d take out The Decline from Perth. And Silverchair. Is that allowed? In Europe/UK, I’d love to do something with Sharks again. Also Great Cynics.
Got any final words? Keep checking up on The Swellers. We need your support more than ever. 10 years in, we’re finally figuring out exactly what we want to do. Check out the new EP “Running Out Of Places To Go” coming out in mid October!
For full tour information, visit [Here].
THE SWELLERS - Running Out Of Places To Go
Available October via Shock.
Pre-Order Digital and Vinyl versions [Here].