INTERVIEW: Dead Swells

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’ve been pretty good.  Thanks for asking.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Out Of The Window”? 

Its a fun synthy song that ends in a slightly dissonant jam.  I didnt plan for the song to be so synthy, it just ended up that way but i love it.  My favorite part is probably the back up harmonies/vocals.  Theyre basic and cheesy but fit so well. 

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song? 

No particular event.  I was just thinking of how sometimes life is better in general when you’re in a relationship with someone. I recognize the high/lows, ups/downs in everything though.

The single comes off your new self-titled album – why name the record after the band?

I think this collection of songs is the first real representation of what dead swells is.  It just felt right for the album to have no title really.  Its too early to say but ive always liked the idea of numbered albums, like Led Zeppelin 1, 2, 3 etc. I feel like not too many people do that anymore. So Dead Swells 2 could be next potentially.  Who knows though! I had a dream that the album was called “Blood and Orange Juice” which is so wild i love it.  Maybe the next one.   

How was the recording and writing process? 

I started this song in my bedroom with a synth bass line.  I thought it was corny and it kind of made me laugh so i knew it was entertaining at least.  I built the whole song in my room, then had my friend, Wolfgang Zimmerman, play drums on it to make it breath more and he just has a natural swag and swing to the way he plays his kit.   Hes the drummer for most of the songs.  I probably went through about 3 different sets of vocals melodies and lyrics for the song until i finally settled with the finished product.  

What role does Charleston play in your music?

I love Charleston a lot.  Theres a lot of music going on around here.  I live downtown and bike most places which is awesome.  I dont think much of it has an effect on my music really.  Environment doesnt do much to change how im feeling, at least i think it doesnt.  When im recording, im so far in my own head it doesnt matter where im at.  Ive recorded in so many different rooms and settings.  Doesnt matter to me, as long as im alone and dont have to worry about someone judging me for the stupid stuff i do.    

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics? 

Each song came up in its own little world at its own time.  Some beats and things just end up sticking out a little more than the rest and i keep messing with them until eventually a song pops up.  I wrote and recorded most of the lyrics/vocals in about a two week period.  It was the last thing i did.  I had most of the music done for a while.  Vocal takes are kind of excruciating for me.  I did hundreds of takes for most of the songs.  Im getting more comfortable with my voice these days though.  And  Im not a lyrical storyteller.  I can just get in a mood or vibe and write words off how i am feeling or something im thinking about and it kind of just comes out.  Only story i can tell is a musical story, if that makes sense.

What else is happening next in Dead Swells’ world?

I cant wait to focus on our live show because i think i have some cool ideas for it.  But who knows when show life will be back to normal.  So for right now, were gonna do what we can and make some videos and keep sending music to eachother.  Im still recording just about everyday and have some fun stuff planned.

LISTEN Dead Swells – “Out of the Window”
Soundcloud / Stream

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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