by Jono Diener
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been utilizing the internet to express my opinions and feelings. Whether it’s something complex like the meaning of life or something as simple as what I had for lunch that day, there’s some strange solace in knowing that I let it out of my system. One thing that has stifled my complete expression is the politics of being in a band. I’ve made a lot of friends in all walks of life over the years and anything I say can get back to them in a heartbeat. I’ve even had the singer of a band google his own name, read one of my tweets and Facebook message me to address what was going on. Although I backed what I said, I stayed polite and mature (enough) so his following message was inviting me to be in their band’s video shoot (I declined). Without run-ins like this, I would have never become the person I am today.
I’ll be the first to admit, I can get fired up and escape logic when I feel I’m being threatened. Unfortunately, this goes with situations where the person writing me is simply contributing to a conversation rather than attacking me. Obviously there’s the people who only poke their heads back into your life when there’s an opportunity to say something negative, but there are others who genuinely want to contribute to a debate. Debates and conversations are the healthiest thing for a human being to engage in, if done properly. With these social media tools we are engaging in one giant conversation with the rest of the world. People can choose to agree with you, yell at you or suggest new alternative ideas. I’ve been trying to dive into the third option. I’m sick of shutting down and I want to experience instead of defend myself. I’m not right or wrong when it comes to opinions. Take me to the gray area.
The debates I’ve had lately always come back to the mainstream music conversation. I find no pleasure in a lot of the “club music pop” that is constantly played on the radio. I never once said it is BAD MUSIC, it’s just not for me. This way of wording things is thanks to years of arguing with friends. Music, whether intelligible or not, is all opinion-based. One man’s trash is another’s treasure. I grew up listening to punk rock around age nine and had a big chunk of my life with no outside musical influence. It was MY choosing. I turned down the chance to open my mind on several occasions with the fear that it would change the person I wanted to be. Hating something for the sake of hating it seemed like a real waste of time. I guess that’s just called, “maturing.” I wanted to see what the other side was like, and I actually really liked it. It’s the same as not wanting to eat your broccoli as a kid. These days I think broccoli is pretty great, but growing up I was SUPPOSED to eat it and that pissed me off.
The Swellers have posted their Running Out Of Places To Go video update. Watch it below after the jump.
POZ Review: The Swellers - The Light Under Closed Doors
by Erik van Rheenen, edited by Jesse Richman
My muse works the late shift.
There’s a frantic kind of energy that comes from writing at night: scratching out blunt admittances with reckless abandon, inking self-effacing truths to paper and knowing that when the morning light spills in through the windows and the cracks in the door, something you wrote will – hopefully — mean something.
Following my initial listening session with The Swellers’ haymaker of a new record, The Light Under Closed Doors, I started to wonder if the Brothers Diener hired their writerly muse from the same agency as mine. Though the album sports an optimistic title (albeit not the sort of “rah-rah” pep rally slogan that pop-punk fans can print onto Day-Glo shirts), The Light Under Closed Doors is the most blunt, honest record of the Rust Belt band’s career. While they’ve always had a knack for penning burly hooks and no-frills, blue-collar lyrics, The Light Under Closed Doors finds the Swellersfilling them out with the cutting underpinnings of self-growth; as a band, they face steadily increasing anxiety with a head held high and a fuck-you smile.
The searing “Should” opens the record with a jolt of nervous energy that courses from drummer Jono Diener’s rambling beats to vocalist/brother Nick Diener’s panicky confessionals, as the singer quickly jumps from post-relationship musing (“I gave up / I know things won’t get better”) into gang vocal-backed catharsis (“Let it out/ Let it all out”). The bold emotional liberation of “Should” becomes a pivot on which The Swellers swivel from snapshot to snapshot of life as a twentysomething, laying pretty much all they’ve got on the line — musically and lyrically.
The Swellers have posted a new studio video for the recording of The Light Under Closed Doors. Watch the video below after the jump.
The Swellers Stream ‘The Light Under Closed Doors’
braidedveins (Jono of The Swellers) will be releasing Future/Forever via Save Your Generation Records this December. Check out the artwork and track listing below after the jump.