BandsOnBands is back in its third iteration on PropertyOfZack with Jono Diener of The Swellers. We knew Jono’s passion for Nada Surf when we were shaping the feature, so we thought it would be a great idea to have him share the influence the band has had on not only his life, but The Swellers as well. Be sure to check out The Swellers’ dates with Strung Out here, a Spotify Playlist of songs by Nada Surf here, and check out what Jono had to say about his biggest musical influence below!
From Jono Diener of The Swellers:
When I was 9 years old I was given some music to listen to from my cousin, a punk rock enthusiast. Amidst the plethora of fast/angry music, my brother and I were exposed to brief encounters of the glorious 90’s garage rock movement. One band that registered was Nada Surf and their song, “Popular.” We loved the rest of the songs on the album, as people used to attempt in the previous decade(s) and soon became a nice nostalgic masterpiece to revisit as we grew older.
The premise of BandsOnBands is to talk about music you love but people wouldn’t assume you’d be into, so the next part ties in well. One day we were in a car to go record shopping with our friend Trevor (vocalist of The Black Dahlia Murder) and he played a few bands we fell in love with. One song sounded eerily familiar to something from our childhood until he pointed out it was Nada Surf’s song, “Your Legs Grow.” It blew our minds that a fairly abrasive band could put out something so different, relaxed and even beautiful. The fact we missed THREE albums from the band upset us and we went on a quest to collect the entire discography.
Enter: Let Go. From start to finish this album is a melancholy masterpiece exploring the ideas of wanting to fall in love, being in love and the terrible realization you want out. My favorite song of all time, “Happy Kid,” explores the feelings of things being great but always having this unexplainable dark cloud following you around. Even a song called, “Fruit Fly,” using metaphor of flies landing on trash and observing how you’re not much different, you’re never comfortable or settled. The album takes its twists and turns until it ends on the saddest song I know, “Paper Boats.” When I finally saw them play live I had to bite my lip the whole time they played the song because of all the memories I have tied with it. Whether you love punk, or metal or even rap, you need to sit down with this album with an open mind on a night drive, pay attention to every word and let it take you on an emotional roller coaster. To me, music should move you in every sense of the word.
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