INTERNATIONAL FEATURE ARTIST: Swirl (USA)
It's been said that a man who stands for nothing will fall for anything, and for Southern California rockers Swirl, the heart and soul behind their upbeat modern rock doesn't boil down to posturing or imitation; instead their melodic brand of poppin' and rockin' tunes swirls (hah) around finding a genuine connection with their listeners and having a damn good time doing it: "the 'message' behind the music has to do with standing up for what you believe in – not giving up and going for what you want in the face of those who put road blocks in front of you...sometimes you will fall down, sometimes you will lose your way, but in the end the only way to win is you have to get back on your feet, dust yourself off and carry on".
With 2018 marking a decade with the current line-up, Swirl have come out swinging recently with their brand new track 'The Lift' reaching #1 on Indie rock radio in the States, and #4 on Banks Radio Australia in a short space of time. And marking the first sign of new music from the quartet since their self-titled EP dropped last year, it's definitely not going to be a quiet 2018 in the Swirl households. But in between touring their new tune and plotting to take over the music world, the Swirl gents had a chat with The Soundcheck about their insanely busy future plans (including an Aussie tour), and share their bulletproof pick for the greatest song of all time. Interview below.
BAND NAME: Hello! We are Swirl from Southern California.
LOCATION: Southern California, United States of America
BAND MEMBERS: Brian “Bam Bam” Jones- Drums Alfred Ramirez- Lead Vocals Shane Carlson- Bass, Backing Vocals Duane “DT” Jones- Guitar, Backing Vocals
HOW DID SWIRL START? Former Dio keyboard player Claude Schnell introduced DT to Alfred and Shane while they were looking for a guitarist to do demos with. Shortly after the writing sessions for that demo began they all got the itch to play live and it was after a show a friend of DT's suggested Alfred would sound really good on Swirl songs. DT and Alfred entered the studio with Cinderella drummer Fred Coury to record 2 songs, “Mad Disease” and “Time to Fly” with the latter being particularly well received. “Time to Fly” led to tour offers so naturally Shane Carlson joined Swirl to round out the touring line-up.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AROUND FOR? 2018 will mark the 10 year anniversary for the current Swirl line-up.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES? Brian: Kiss, Rush and multiple Jazz drummers. Alfred: David Bowie and Billy Idol. Shane: Korn and Metallica. DT: KISS and multiple 80s guitar heroes (Jake E Lee, Warren Demartini and George Lynch for example).
DESCRIBE YOUR BAND IN THREE WORDS: Alfred: Empowering, Uplifting, Passionate.
WHAT'S THE MOST MEMORABLE GIG YOU'VE PLAYED SO FAR AND WHY? DT: In the current line-up I would say the being on the East Meets West Tour with RATT and Extreme has been the highlight of the rebirth of the band. Bam Bam: Headlining On Air West Arena in Tokyo Japan on the ‘Out Of Nowhere’ CD.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE SWIRL SONG? Shane: “Spell” or “We Are Alive” because of the way the rhythm section pushes the song.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON RIGHT NOW? ANY NEW THINGS ON THE HORIZON? DT: Since the spring of 2017 Swirl has received an incredible amount of press and global radio support surrounding the release of the movie ‘Ditch Day’ (2017) and the January 2018 release of our new single “The Lift”. We now have 11 countries to tour including Australia where “The Lift” reached as high as #4 on Banks Radio Australia so Swirl is working on tour dates that will keep us out on the road for the rest of the year. We have been performing in Southern California getting the live show together for “The Lift Tour 2018”. We have live dates on April 14 in Temecula, April 28 in Hollywood and May 12 in Pomona as the details of the first tour dates are finalized. Shane: Speaking of “finalizing” things, we are finishing negotiations for more licensing deals to get music from the ‘SWIRL’ EP and “The Lift” in either film or television. 100% of the music of ‘SWIRL’ will be licensed by the end of 2018. Alfred: We will continue to write and record new music in between tour dates as well.
'THE LIFT' LYRIC VIDEO (SWIRL)
IF YOU WEREN'T PLAYING MUSIC, WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU BE DOING? Bam Bam: Pro Angler. I love to fish and go back to Alaska as often as I can to do just that.
IF SWIRL WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE OTHER BAND, WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY? DT: Badlands! I absolutely love Jake E Lee's guitar playing and every song on their debut is amazing. I can't think of any song in their catalogue that I would not enjoy listening to or jamming along with, not to mention learning from Jake.
PINEAPPLE ON A PIZZA, YES OR NO? Shane: Absolutely, but only if it`s Hawaiian style or with Pepperoni. Anything else is a cardinal sin.
CATS OR DOGS? DT: Dogs! My German Shepherd wouldn't let me say anything else.
WOULD SWIRL SURVIVE A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE? Bam Bam: I would think so as we are all avid fans of ‘The Walking Dead’ so we would know where to aim and we have had each other's back for over a decade now so there is an extremely high amount of trust among us.
AND FINALLY, WHAT'S THE GREATEST SONG OF ALL TIME AND WHY? Alfred: “Happy Birthday”. Can you name a more universally recognizable song? It's the ultimate “hit song”. Everyone know the lyrics, sings along and you can't help but have your spirits uplifted when singing it.
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BY TIANA SPETER