PropertyOfZack Road Blog : : The Swellers (Final Update)

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 28, 2011

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From Jono Diener: 

This final week has been so great. It was full of some of the big awesome cities and smaller markets that surprised the shit out of us with great shows. In Atlanta we met up with our good friend Ryan Russell and did an acoustic session for his series NERVOUS ENERGIES. He’s done a lot of great bands like Against Me, Lemuria, etc. Nick and I did acoustic versions of our songs “Inside My Head” and “Runaways” and based on the performance we think they were great, but maybe we’re just extremely cocky and they could sound horrible? Who knows. Well, we know. We’re great. That’s it. WANNA FIGHT ABOUT IT? 

Charlotte and Norfolk were tied with confusing awesomeness after rarely ever playing either place. The crowds went nuts, a lot of kids knew the words and came up to us telling us they’ve been waiting for a Swellers show for a while. I love seeing touring actually help our band. We do it a lot, like 8-9 months out of the year a lot. It’s the best feeling doing well in places that used to be so hard for our band. The Norva in Norfolk, VA was a great place for tour bonding. The Title Fight guys got our tour manager Robert Cheeseman to play “point blank” with them, aka you run around a ping pong table and hit the ball to each other. If you miss, the person next to you throws a ping pong ball at you as hard as they can point blank range. The guys played for 30 minutes and looked like they had ringworm all over their backs. I don’t understand why they played, but I completely understand why I couldn’t stop watching. 

After that we played a game of lightning at the INDOOR BASKETBALL COURT in the venue. If you didn’t have a childhood, it’s a game where a bunch of people lineup at the 3 point line, single file, then you have to try to make a basket before the person in front of you to get him/her out. It got really dirty pretty soon into the game, lots of balls slapped out of other’s hands, that’s what SHE SAID OH MY GODDDDDDDD and then I would’ve won if Tim the stupid merch guy for TItle Fight didn’t cheapskate me by hitting my ball down the court. F YOU DUDE. SERIOUSLY. Ok, I had to get that out. Need to calm down, you know? Andy from SHARKS was killing it. He’s a beautiful british baby and surprised everyone with his talent. Sometimes I think he’s from Led Zeppelin or the past or a prince of some sort. 

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PropertyOfZack Road Blog : : The Swellers (Update V)

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 18, 2011

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From Jono Diener:

Texas and Florida, two great places to play full of incredibly interesting people. We started off this block of time in San Antonio where I finally got to interview Ben from Title Fight for the site I’m starting to contribute for http://www.kick-snare-hat.com and it went really well, despite their merch guy Tim throwing firecrackers at us throughout. There were some people tattooing at the show doing 11-11-11 tattoos, but since it’s 2011 I don’t really considering it that special of a date. I refrained and saved my skin for my friend Tim Shafer aka Shafey Fury of Ocala Tattoo in a few days. It was definitely worth the wait and I’ll get to that soon.

One thing that really stood out over the last few days was our off-day show in Panama City, FL. Our friends previously of the band Ambush, started a new band called Young Lungs. They stayed in Nick and my house for a week to record their EP and we became really good friends by bonding over the movie Hobo With A Shotgun and their singer stepped in my dog’s poop. They offered us a headline show in Panama City, a place I’ve never been, and we figured if anything it’d be great practice for our UK tour considering we’ve been playing the same songs for the last 5 months. We showed up and it was instantly first tour flashbacks. We made the times for all the bands to ensure we don’t go on at midnight on a monday night in a place we’ve never been. On our first tours we used to ask to play in the middle of the set so people would watch us, now we have slightly more confidence. The first band starts playing and about 2 seconds into their set the whole PA goes out. They play two songs without vocals even though the singer is still going crazy inaudibly screaming into his mic. We’re al looking at each other shaking our heads while the sound guy frantically tries to repair what happened. All we could think was, “Dammit, we’re playing at midnight now.”

The show resumes 30 minutes later and the band plays a few more songs. There aren’t many people in the room and we literally know just the Young Lungs guys and the previously mentioned Tim Shafer who drove 4 hours to come hang out. The worry slowly diminishes as more people start showing up, gets start getting rowdy, and by the time we play it ends up being a great show (not just because we played, but because things went well). We had a blast and got to yell at kids for drawing swastikas and “KKK” on our trailer because that’s pretty intelligent and makes perfect sense to do to someone else’s property. We stayed at this ridiculous pirate themed motel for the night and befriended a country artist fellow who was very nice. He tours and plays bars and we honestly can’t judge if he’s a big act or just some goofball considering he has a mini van with his face on the side of it. That’s right. It’s real. I hope we can do that one day.

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PropertyOfZack Road Blog : : The Swellers (Update IV)

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 11, 2011

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From Jono Diener: 

Hollywood! MOVIE DIRECTORS! SCRIPTS! SURFING!?!?!? We had a great time playing the House Of Blues in Hollywood, mainly because we got to be incredibly famous via other people. The day started off with me going on a walk with Chris Speer and walking down the Sunset Strip to the Hustler Store where he explained to me the difference in each model of the Flesh Light. He explained that porn stores are like his record stores. Ladies, get a hold of him! The night took a swift turn when we played and it was just perfect. The crowd was going nuts, more than they ever have in LA for us, and we had an absolute blast. After we played we had some big talks with our manager Kenny about the future (it’s looking awesome) and got to hang out with Benji Madden of Good Charlotte. We heard the GC dudes were fans of our band for a while, and talking to Benji was really cool/uplifiting. He’s a super down to earth dude and had some great input and advice on being in a band. Much respect to that fella. I also heard he has a pet tiger or something…

After the show we headed to Swingers instead of Angels & Kings after party (I can’t really handle that place…) and saw Davey Havok, Nick 13 (Tiger Army) and after I used the lavatory, walked outside and met with the other guys… we saw Russell Brand standing about 5 feet away from us. He was glistening with stardom. It was pretty awesome then he jumped in a super nice SUV and drove off into the sky (i’m assuming it was half jet). We continued to eat, reminicse of times past and present with our friend Marwan (aka him talk about hardcore and vegan food) then retired for the night. 

The next day we play Soma in San Diego and continuing the tradition of my last foodaholic blog, I ate at one of my favorite burrito places, Sombrero, TWICE. Both times I ate a huge burrito with french fries in it and an oversized cup of horchata. Don’t worry, there’s more to this story than just food. We played one of our favorite sets due to the fact that there was FINALLY no barricade in front of the stage. It’s nice actually being able to see people while we play. During Gallows set (and my 2nd time eating Sombrero) we got a text from a friend saying a kid stage dived, everyone moved out of the way, he landed on his neck and didn’t wake up for about 10 minutes… That was incredibly scary. They stopped the show for a while but the guy spent the night in the hospital and ended up OK. Hoping the dude if he hasn’t already makes a full recovery!

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PropertyOfZack Road Blog : : The Swellers (Update III)

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 4, 2011

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From Jono Diener:

The third chapter of my AP Tour Road Blog (as PropertyOfZack owner, Zack Zarrillo described it) will be named, “Foodaholic”. I don’t drink or do drugs, and I don’t eat meat and rarely ever dairy… but when on tour I become entranced in each city’s food items and it becomes an addiction. My brother, Nick, is vegan and I don’t claim veganism but I’m very close to it and we go on adventures to find the best vegan spot wherever we can.. or sometimes whatever is closest to the venue. We’re like Christopher Columbus if he was really lazy minus the forcing people out of their homes so we could eat their food. 

We played St. Paul, Minnesota in the same venue we were at on our very first tour. That story really quick: we showed up bright-eyed ready to rock out, loaded in, were told we were on the “early show” played to 4 people then as we were loading outside saw about 8 kids waiting for our show to start… They didn’t know like we did that there even was an early show. So great experience already? Well, things got better over the last 6 years and we had a fun time, but more importantly… we knew EXACTLY where we wanted to eat after the show. We loaded up and headed immediately to THE TRIPLE ROCK in Minneapolis, MN. Infamous from the NOFX song, “Seeing Double At The Triple Rock”, but in our case it relates to eating way too much. We ordered the massive BBQ Po’Boy sandwich and all rejoiced with happiness. Our buddy Josh from Motion City Soundtrack came to hang out and we talked about diets, MCS’ new album and the state of music. It was good talks as always. 

Let’s start skimming now, Kansas City, MO which the whole tour thought would be an “eh” show ended up being one of the best of the tour. We all had a blast, and again most importantly got CHIPOTLE. I still haven’t learned that eating a huge burrito an hour before we play is a bad bad bad idea. I sit on a hydraulic drum throne that bounces a bit as I play AND I sing which means my diaphragm is clenching and my stomach isn’t very happy. Also adding to the fact that two of my cymbals are now cracked AND my pedal is broken so I’ve been borrowing several things from Sharks and Title Fight (who I can’t thank enough). Let’s just say playing each day is an experience for me. Holding back breaking stuff and losing my lunch. I guess one of those is an easy fix, but dammit I love food way too much.

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PropertyOfZack Road Blog : : The Swellers (Update II)

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 28, 2011

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From Jono Diener:

Welcome to the second installment of The AP Tour Road Blog Presented By PropertyOfZack Hosted By Jonathan Diener of The Swellers. I’m working on revising the name, but I think that has a good ring to it and would sound great if chanted in arenas from thousands of adoring fans. The good news is that if you read the previous installment of The AP Tour Road Blog Presented By PropertyOfZack Hosted By Jonathan Diener of The Swellers you would already know the bands playing the tour, the people we brought on our crew and how much fun we’re already having. If you DIDN’T read the previous installent of.. just kidding. I saved you.

One thing all bands from the states dread is having to deal with the Canadian Border. The shows are always fun and a blast, but when crossing back into the states you’ll be lucky if you aren’t stuck in a brick room with no windows for 5 hours until they finally let you off with a “warning”. This has happened to us many times, and yet we keep doing what we do and never actually get in trouble for it. Now you may ask yourself, WHAT would get such a wholesome band in trouble? Are you guys druggies? Did you smuggle (according to the signs at the border crossing) things like fruit, meat and parrots in your trailer? No. We did something MUCH worse… WE BROUGHT T-SHIRTS TO SELL. WHhhoooooOOOooAAAAAaa!!! Yeah, I’m really sorry if that ruined your perception of us, but for some reason we try to bring merch from the states into Canada to continue making our living. The countries consider that stealing money from them and want to tax you on it, but that’s bogus. I could just give them fifty bucks if they really cared that much. When crossing INTO the Canadian border they’re incredibly nice, barely ask questions and let you go through. On the way back in the states it’s like watching the 90s show Lieutenant Dad… but he’s no longer your Dad, he’s just a mean fella to you. We were clenching our passports as we pulled up, some of us sweating, some of us probably having to poop. We roll the window down, start talking to the border guy.. and within 2 minutes we’re off headed to Ohio. So.. I guess that worked out! You’re glad you read that paragraph, aren’t you? 

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PropertyOfZack Road Blog : : The Swellers (Update I)

by Zack Zarrillo - Oct 21, 2011

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The Swellers are currently out on the AP Fall Tour with Four Year Strong, Gallows, Title Fight, and Sharks. Jono Diener from the band has been kind enough to sign on for another PropertyOfZack Road Blog to keep fans updated on the tour. Read up and check back for more!

From Jono Diener:

For the first time in a while i’m writing an actual road blog and not some weird bummed out contributor blog whining about pricing in the music industry or how I want to riot against the government. OK, maybe the last part isn’t true but my punk blood boils when I hear the word “cops” or “governments”. It’s a hard living the life of an anarcho psycho rocker. The reason I’m really here is to tell you about our travels on the 6-week juggernaut THE AP TOUR!

This is a very special year for the AP TOUR as all of the bands are very, very awesome. We have the bright-eyed Clash rockers from the UK known as SHARKS, the hunky Swellers boys, the underground hardcore boy vinyl selling mosh masters Title Fight, another UK veteran band full of pissed off cool guys rounded out by their new Canadian vocalist known as GALLOWS, and… Four Year Strong. We’re going into the tour already knowing Title Fight and Four Year but we were really excited to meet the other UK guys. We’re also helping each other out and making the show run very easily for everyone. I’m sharing my SJC kit (had to awkwardly mention the brand because I’ll get like $5 if I say it on a blog) with Sam, the drummer of Sharks. The guys from Title Fight are letting the first 4 bands use their guitar cabs which is VERY generous. And Four Year Strong is letting us use their beards. We load in, play, load out and things run very smoothly. 

Our crew on this tour is also exceptional. We brought our dear friend, and previous Swellers merchant: Chris Speer. He loves Jwoww’s boobs and pizza. The new addition to our van for this tour is our Tour Manager, Robert Cheeseman. We met him while touring with Daytrader this summer and not only did he somehow get them all free Chipotle on an almost daily basis, but he got all of us free movie tickets one night. Is he a nice guy and a good dude? I dunno. What we DO know is that free stuff rules and we brought him along to help us with that aspect. 

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PropertyOfZack Road Blog : : The Swellers - (Final Update)

by Zack Zarrillo - Apr 23, 2011

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From Jono Diener:

Well, this has been one very stressful week. The 5 hour time difference plus working on putting together everything for our upcoming album is a real gear grinder. Also being sick on top of the stress doesn’t help much. Luckily, everyone have been great to us on this tour from all the bands, crew and show attendants alike. Notice how I didn’t say “fans”? That is still a weird word to me. I think twitter “followers” are way creepier sounding. It’s like @jonodiener is a religion or something… ok that gives me some ideas..

Anyway, this week was an absolute blast. The biggest show of the tour was in London and that day was just ridiculous. Our tour manager: Kirk Harrington is very responsible and professional… he’s also dating our friend Bryony who is also a very responsible/professional tour manager on her own. Watching them walk through London was absolutely hilarious. They wouldn’t walk together, either person would be way ahead of the pack leading and walking obnoxiously fast almost unconsciously trying to out TM each other. We went to all the tourist hot spots like Big Ben, the National Gallery (I think it’s called?) and rode the Underground all over. The people at Reebok hooked us up with some killer kicks. I was the only person who didn’t get the crazy ZigZag shoes, I got the 3D Ultralight which are incredibly fly. More shoes happened once we got to the venue. Our good friends at Macbeth did a photo shoot with us and gave us some killer kicks. Way into the Manchester. Most of their shoes are vegan too! 

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PropertyOfZack Road Blog : : The Swellers - (Update II)

by Zack Zarrillo - Apr 12, 2011

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From Jono Diener: 

It’s much easier doing blogs once a week where I get to talk about all the funny/weird stuff that happens rather than what food we ate each day and how we sat staring at our laptops for hours until we play. Our lives are half really exciting and half really boring. 

One weird thing we’ve been noticing at all these shows is girls passing out and being carried away by EMTs. These girls will wait at 9am to get into the show, run to the front row without eating or drinking all day and get crammed into a barrier with sweaty gross bodies behind them moving around for hours… and they just collapse. The show in Edinburgh, Scotland a girl was crowd surfing (or so we thought) and she continued to crowd surf on security guards hands until she was taken outside. Imagine my confusion while drumming and seeing a limp floating girl go by… Birmingham we counted TEN passed out girls taken out of the show. We realized throwing water into the crowd could potentially save some lives or at least a trip to the hospital (JUST KIDDING IT’S FREE HERE). I guess our music just knocks the SHIT OUT OF PEOPLE. 

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PropertyOfZack Road Blog : : The Swellers - (Update I)

by Zack Zarrillo - Apr 5, 2011

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Though it just came together, we couldn’t be more stoked to be unveiling our new Road Blog with Jono Diener of The Swellers. Jono will be doing three different Road Blogs to recap each of the three weeks the band is spending on the road in the UK with The Blackout and Hyro Da Hero. Check out the first entry below and make sure to be on the lookout for the rest of the updates!

From Jono Diener: 

This was already going to be an incredibly fun tour. We’re returning to our phenomenal tour manager, Kirk Harrington and merch guy Jordan Daniels. We did the Young Guns tour with them and became great friends in a month’s time through good and extremely bad times. The part that makes this tour special is our longtime friend, Karol Gajda, is coming from the states with us to roadie and do lights for us! We’ve never had a light person so this will be awesome/hilarious.

Contrary to our previous endeavor overseas, our flight experience was amazing. We all landed at Heathrow in London, met up with Jord and Kirk and drove to Oxford for the first show. That’s right, we landed the day of the first show. We took naps when we could at the venue, slowly met some of The Blackout guys and ended up having a killer show despite our lack of sleep. 

We were trying to learn the guys from The Blackout’s names and I decided it’d be best if we just made them up. I named the drummer BATTLESHIP because he resembled a viking, the rest of the guys became: Pike, Freddy, The Ghost, Daisy & BaBulldog (British Bulldog shortened). They were pleased with their names and the second day when we were more conscious we became great friends. It all started with offering me a cookie which wins over my heart, then we talked about the Jersey Shore equivalent in the UK which is called something like, “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding”… it sounds amazing. Apparently they stockpile money then the women buy humongous dresses, even put lights in them to outdo each other then the guys go into town and steal girls. This is what I gathered from our big conversation about it… I was too busy eating cookies.

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