The Swellers did a “Stand By Your Van” feature with Alternative Press. Go get a closer look at their faithful mode of transportation.
We need assistance! It only takes about a minute to register and vote here, but with your help we can win $5,000 which will be directly used to improve the venue. We desperately need sound-dampening materials and other equipment to help reduce operating expenses and make bands sound better in our completely concrete space.
Please just take a minute to vote, re-blog this post, and share it with any friends you have who are interested in the Local.
Without our organization, thousands of young people from our area would be directly excluded from experiencing music due to most shows being 18/21+ only.
We provide a channel for young talent to express themselves and to be exposed to other bands. We help build a true community of artists who are dedicated to something greater.
Bands like The Swellers, Chiodos, Kid Brother Collective, or Empty Orchestra, would possibly not exist in their current forms if it wasn’t for this important institution.
We’re in 2nd place currently, but we can realistically pull this off if we keep spreading the word to help us get back into 1st!
Thank you so much for your time and support. We can do this!
Flint Local 432
EDIT: You CAN vote daily on this project, please make sure to check back each day and cast your vote again for the next 7 days! Thanks again!
Chiodos have announced their first show back before going on a short string of tour dates will be August 9 at a recently reopened venue in Flint, MI called Flint Local 432. Support will come from the Most Dangerous Animal and A Hero Fails. Read a statement from the band below.
We were directly mentioned in Alternative Press!
Check out @jonodiener talking about Flint, MI in Alternative Press issue 285! @altpress (Taken with instagram)
Thanks to Jonathan Diener of The Swellers for mentioning us in his “Next Exit” feature in Alternative Press Magazine! We’re extremely proud of these guys and everything they’ve accomplished as a band. Thanks guys, for keeping us in mind all the time!
Okay, this is a bit of older news, but you should check out Samiam’s new record coming out. It’s really good. Glad these guys are playing music again.
Alternative Press has named our new album, Good For Me, one of their favorite albums from the first half of 2011!!
THE SWELLERS Good For Me (FUELED BY RAMEN)
Bill Stevenson produced the Swellers’ second FBR album, Good For Me. To say that vocalist/guitarist Nick Diener was thrilled about this arrangement would be a vast understatement—after all, he and his bandmates are huge fans of Stevenson’s influential pop-punk band, the Descendents. Good For Me naturally has plenty of infectious pop-punk signifiers: breakneck drumming, pristine harmonies and hooks to spare. But the Swellers aren’t trying to emulate their heroes as much as they’re striving to perfect their own sound; in fact, Good For Me displays rather-impressive songwriting progressions. “Parkview” is the best tune Alkaline Trio didn’t write, while the nostalgic-but-optimistic “The Best I Ever Had” is a bona-fide summer anthem.
Congrats to the Swellers! This album is great by the way. Make sure to pick it up if you haven’t yet.
Check out the stream of the new song from the Swellers from their upcoming June 14th release, “Good For Me”. It’s available for pre-order here. Click the above link to listen to the stream.
Good For Me was recorded at the Blasting Room with Bill Stevenson, a legend in the punk rock community. If this is any indicator where the Swellers have gone since their days at the Flint Local 432, then clearly they’ve been sprinting.
Nice job guys, can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.
To record their second album for Fueled By Ramen, the Swellers decamped to the Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado, to work with producer Bill Stevenson. To say that vocalist/guitarist Nick Diener is thrilled about this would be a vast understatement—after all, the Swellers are huge fans of Stevenson’s influential pop-punk band, Descendents.
“We play poppy punk-rock music, and the Descendents pretty much invented that,” Diener tells AP while enjoying unseasonably warm Colorado weather during a studio break. “And they pretty much invented how we tour—get in the van, load up your stuff, get to the next show, play as hard as you can, sweat, don’t care about anything else except for the fact that you’re there to play, no matter how many people are there watching you. [Stevenson] was really happy to be working with us, because he sees how hard we work, he sees that we’re real.”
Diener says that working with Stevenson has also helped him become a better singer. Specifically, he’s benefited from the veteran’s tips on how to capture the energy and vibe of singing live, even while in the studio. That dovetails neatly with the Swellers’ goal for their still-untitled album. “One thing that a lot of people told us about [2009’s Ups And Downsizing] was that we come across way better live than we do on recording,” Diener says. “So we’re trying to capture some of that live aspect on this record, with a [few] more raw guitar tones [that are] maybe not as polished, but still sound like the best record we’ve ever made.”
Another member of the Blasting Room’s in-house staff, engineer/producer Jason Livermore, is tracking all the guitars on the album. Diener also gives him high praise. “He shares the same love of really huge, mid-’90s grungy guitar tones,” he says. “We’re starting to bring that back on our record, because it’s something we’ve always wanted to mess around with, but never had any time to experiment with.
“We [have] some really crushing guitar sounds on this record—they’re kind of known as Blasting Room guitars. Every record they do has some really awesome sounds,” he continues. “We’re definitely adding some crazy stuff to the mix.”
Lyrically, the Swellers are exploring some heavy stuff this time around. The album contains a song inspired by a serial killer who recently terrorized the band’s hometown of Flint, Michigan “pretty much in my backyard,” Diener says. “Not exaggerating—you know, 10 blocks away they found a body.” The lyrics focus on the impact the killings had on a friend of his who worked at the Flint hospital and had to deal with the somber aftermath “and how it took a toll on his nerves, [with him] wondering, ‘Do I really want to live here in this horrible place?’”
Despite “morbid stuff” like that song, however, Diener feels that this is the most “positive-sounding” album the Swellers have ever done. “There’s a new optimistic feeling to this record,” he says. “There’s a lot about growing up and just trying to hold on to what you used to have. We’re at that age right now where our friends are settling down, having kids, getting married. Meanwhile, we’re just kids in our 20s playing punk rock and seeing the world and trying to hold on to that carefree feeling, even though it’s getting harder and harder.”
Understandably, Diener notes that a lot of the album turned out “pretty introverted.” Still, it’s not always going to be obvious in the lyrics what the band’s referring to, as there’s been a conscious effort to keep things open-ended. “With this record, we’re just going to leave it for fans to decide what they think about the lyrics and the message,” he says. “With the last record, we came out and said, ‘This is what it’s about, this is what’s going on, this is what this lyric means,’ but I almost feel like now we don’t need to explain ourselves and the metaphors, because that’s kind of what art is – it is what it is, take it or leave it.”
In the end, Diener views this album as a logical progression from the Swellers’ past work. “I feel like we’re better at writing songs and we’re better at playing our instruments, so everything is just going to sound better,” he says. “We’re working in the best studio we’ve ever worked with and the best producers we’ve ever worked with—so everything so far is the best we’ve ever done. It’s a really good feeling to know that in our lives, this is going to be a huge milestone, making this record.
“Our goal is just to make timeless music that we’re going to still enjoy 10, 20 years from now,” he adds, “instead of riding the coattails of some cool new dubstep phase or something. We’re still doing our thing and having a blast.”
Boy, thanks Alt Press for only mentioning the serial killer when talking about Flint, we really appreciate it!
"It is a place with a rich history, home to some of the hardest-working people in the world and the Flint Local 432, our venue and the reason we are who we are today." -Jonathan Diener on the Flint Local 432
Jonathan Diener of the Swellers wrote an op-ed piece for Alternative Press about the Local and the importance of all-ages/substance free music venues. It was published today in April’s issue of Alternative Press. Also, Flint’s own, Craig Owens (formerly of Chiodos) is on the cover. Imagine that.
Go out and pick up the issue, or buy it online at the link above to check out the full story!
The Swellers, formed in 2002 by brothers Nick and Jonathan Diener, have long been a staple in the Flint music scene. For the last 8 years, the Swellers have been working extremely hard to make it by as full-time musicians. Since 2006, the band has consistently been on tour around the United States, Europe, and even Japan. With breaks as short as only a few weeks off the road, they’ve become a symbol of the hard-working band. For a group as young as the Swellers, their accomplishments are extensive. They’ve released three LP albums, two of which on independent Ann Arbor based label Search and Rescue Records, and their most recent “Ups and Downsizing" on Fueled By Ramen, a major independent punk rock label. Now among the ranks of other established Fueled By Ramen acts such as Paramore and Panic at the Disco, the Swellers find themselves quickly expanding across the globe. In addition, the Swellers are consistently featured on the front pages of music sites like Punknews.org and Absolutepunk.net, as well as nationally published magazines like AMP, Alternative Press, and even Spin.
Despite the new found fame, the Swellers maintain humility in what they do and rarely forget their roots. ”Ups and Downsizing" highlights several topics close to the Dieners, including the story of their own family experiencing the financial and emotional burden of unemployment when their parents were forced to move across the country for work. Despite their own personal setbacks, the Swellers epitomize the self-made band. They show us that If you put your nose to the grindstone as musicians, with the right people and the right support, you can go far despite the changing musical landscape in the age of piracy and internet stimulus overload.
With several U.S. tours and multiple major European tours, the Swellers have had the opportunity to play along side several established punk rock bands like Bad Religion, AFI, Strike Anywhere, Against Me!, Motion City Soundtrack, the Flatliners, Anti-Flag, A Wilhelm Scream, the Bouncing Souls, Only Crime, Less Than Jake (With whom Nick filled in on bass for one of their tours), and several other established acts. On top of it, the Swellers have consistently played the hugely successful music festival, the Fest, in Gainesville, FL on an annual basis.
With so much under their belts, the Swellers rarely forget their humble beginnings with the Flint Local 432. Both Jonathan and Nick were consistent volunteers for the venue. Nick developed his skills as a sound engineer and producer with Mark Michalik, a former 432 sound engineer who recorded and produced several Flint bands in addition the Swellers. The Diener brothers both worked at the venue in various other roles in regard to club operation. It was the Local that helped set the band for future success. The Local was where they learned the tricks of the trade, networked with veteran musicians in Flint, helped contribute to various local charities through benefit shows, and ultimately developed their work ethic that has continued to put miles on their odometer. It goes to show that if you give a little, you can get a whole lot in return. Without the Local, countless other bands like the Swellers would never have had the opportunity to play songs about teenage angst to to 20 some teenagers and young adults.
The Swellers are a shining example of how any band, with enough passion, talent, and drive can go from playing Misfits covers on a small stage in Flint, Michigan to a major national act. 2011 holds no boundaries for these guys as they continue to develop new material and line up additional shows around the country and world.
If you’re from the Flint area and if you’re not proud of these guys, then you really have no reason.