Interview :: Swear and Shake

Swear and Shake will be at the House of Blues Thursday January 10th with G. Love and Special Sauce. Tickets are currently on sale.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Swear and Shake a few questions about how they got started and about the quick success the band has seen.

The Band:

KS: Kari Spieler

AM: Adam McHeffey

SS: Shaun Savage

BG: Ben Goldstein (not interviewed here)

Candis: The band was formed in 2010, not that long ago! How have you handled such quick success?

KS: With all of the great things that come, we're inspired to keep going. Every time we meet a new fan that sings along at the live show, it pushes us to keep creating, keep touring, recording.

Candis: Before Swear and Shake came together what were you doing? Does everyone in the band have a background in music?

AM: Swear and Shake started right after Kari and I graduated from SUNY Purchase, so we had our hands full with that. Shaun had just come off of a long stint of touring with a few different couple national acts. We've all been in bands and playing music forever.

Candis: Can you talk about your experience creating the album "Maple Ridge".

SS: The album's namesake, Maple Ridge, is a former B&B in upstate New York. There's a large hay barn on the property there, which is where we set up shop for a few days. The majority of the record was recorded there, where we were able to perform in the same the same room all at once. It gave the record its natural and live sound.

Candis: What is the song writing process like for the band?

KS: Adam and I write the chords, melodies and lyrics. Sometimes I'll write a song and bring it to Adam and we'll finish it together, sometimes vise versa. We have such radically different writing styles that it helps to keep one another in check.

Candis: You're opening the show in Cleveland at the House of Blues for G. Love & Special Sauce. How were you approached to go on tour with G. Love.

AM: We were originally approached to be on just a few dates with G. Love, and we were ecstatic. We had been hoping to get on a tour for a long time so we thought this would be a great start. When we found out there might be an opportunity to do five weeks with him, we said yes right away.

Candis: Will this be the band's first time in Cleveland?

SS: Yes! It will be our first time. But, Cleveland rocks, right? Being that the Rock and Roll HoF is there, we figure it's a city of music lovers, which works well for us.

Candis: Do you have a routine or any thing you do as a group before going on stage?

KS: The boys drink, I work on my voice. Then we do a group huddle.

Candis: In your own words how would you best describe your music to someone who is unfamiliar with the band?

AM: This definitely isn't a perfect answer, but for ease, we tell them that it's a similar folk-rock style to The Lumineers, The Head and The Heart… but less serious! Those guys seem so serious. I like to think we have the same playfulness as Dr. Dog. We're also seriously inspired by the older stuff: Carol King, Jackson Browne… those guys and gals.

Candis: Who has been your inspiration in the music industry?

SS: Arcade Fire is a good one. They've done so much on their own and seen such success doing it their way. They brought this genre to forefront.

Candis: Maple Ridge has gotten much praise. I don't think you could of asked for a better welcoming into the music scene but what are your hopes for the band in the next year or two?

KS: We're super excited about our next release. We just finished up three new singles which we'll be releasing early this year. We're thinking and hoping that these tunes will turn a few more people onto our music and keep us on the road for the long haul.

Candis: Looking forward to the show on the 10th!