Just did a farewell interview with one of my favourite bands in the world, The Swellers, who announced they’re splitting up today. I’m glad I was the one to do it, but there were moments – and I don’t say this lightly – when it nearly broke my heart. Talking career highs, the realities of the music industry and what it means to travel the world for a decade, on a shoe-string, with your best mates in tow was as bittersweet as it comes.
Ultimately, I think it’s more about what they represent that hits me though. They’re every band, and every person, out there who sacrifices a normal, easy life to do what feels right. Everyone who took the hard road out of nothing more than a bloody-minded love for what they do.
They worked hard, they never had a gimmick and they never took shortcuts – they never sold out their sound and they damn well never got the recognition that they deserved. In my mind, right now, they’re one of the last, honest bands in punk rock and, pretty soon, they’ll be a footnote, drowned out by a thousand and one bands who do it for all the wrong reasons.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that they were the best band in the world because, objectively speaking, they weren’t. But that’s not the point. They were passionate. They were honest. They were talented. They were real. And I think what really gets me, is how little all of that counts for. The Swellers were THE underdogs – and now, that’s all they’ll ever be.