What can one say about Swervedriver? Cast on the tides of that shoegazer bullshit with their first album and, even with consistent ass fuckings by record labels, they've stayed the course and have managed to keep a large core of loyal fans.
A little older, a little wiser blah blah blah yada yada fuckin' yada here's my interview with Jez, the drummer, and his take on shit.
PeterBelly (PB) – Jez, how are you sir.
Jez (J) – Oh, not too bad.
PB – Just recovering.
J – Yeah. That king of thing. We found a bar in New York two nights ago that's fantastic! First night we were in there a sailor ties to pick a fight with one of us. Then there was this sixty year old woman complaining about a guy with half his face burned of who left and didn't come back and then she turned around and offered our bass player, Steve, her daughter for a hundred bucks. Not long after that a guy offered us some coke and said he could get five kilos instantly anytime.
PB – That's sweet.
J – Yeah, he then said anymore then that would take about ten minutes.
PB - That guys a mover.
J – I know. I was saying I just came in for a drink actually.
PB – And a couple of kilos in your pockets.
J – Or one in each nostril, but needless to say we went back last night.
PB – How come you aren't still there?
J – Cause I had to be here mate.
PB - How are your shows going?
J – Really good. We played last night and got the hell out quick to get back to our bar.
PB – What bands have you played with so far?
J – We've been out with Beck, Dandy Warhols, Libido, and Lucky Me, the guitar player from the Posies new band.
PB – I haven't heard of that. How were they?
J – Quite good actually. Reports vary from the band. A few thought it was too Siouxsie and the Banshees. I thought there was an inkling of that, but I like his way of doing business. We also played with a band called Orbit that we're playing with at the moment.
PB – These guys are great. They're giving us a song for the magazine and some bands from their own label Lunch Records.
J – That's great. We played two gigs with them and have one left. I said to their booking agent about their singer, and I don't say this very often, he's a star. He's got a thing about him. I think they haven't quite got their own sound down yet. But I really enjoyed them. We also play with a band called Fuel who I guess sold 80,000 records in the first two weeks.
PB – Jesus.
J – I suppose the next time we come over we'll be opening for them.
J – Like I give a fuck.
PB – As long as you get to play is that the motto.
J – Yeah. We're going to knock out this tour, get back to England and hopefully record a new album. Then we want to get on a major support tour cause we like those. We play and are off the stage drinking by 9:30. That's obviously better than midnight.
J – I'm only talking about myself. The other three members of the band are completely shit faced before we go on. I can't do that. I tried back about five ears ago on a tour with Smashing Pumpkins. I put back half a bottle of Jack before the show, but it wasn't until the middle did I realize that it wasn't such a great idea.
PB – Why the hell did I do that?
J – Exactly!
PB – With each album you've recorded there's been a definite progression in sound. Since 99th Dream was actually recorded over a year ago have you seen a change in what you're recording now?
J – Some. We haven't had much time to record. We have some ideas on DAT and we recorded one new track for an Australian EP.
PB – Space Travel , Rock and Roll?
J – Yeah the second track "Good Ships" is our first delving recently.
PB – That's a great song.
J – It was my first shot at recording a bit and then looping it. It was quite a bit of fun actually. I'm looking forward to getting back in the studio and tinkering around some more, but I can't tell you what our next album sounds like till we've recorded it.
PB – Yeah no shit. You'll have a different idea next week and then the following month another one.
J – Yeah. You know what I told you a month ago, well it's bullshit.
PB - We've changed it again.
J – Then the orchestra came in.
PB – Bring in the Synthesizers.
J - Or we could start ripping off Oasis.
PB – The Beatles er I mean Oasis.
J – Yeah no shit. Whatever that is. I mean can you imagine John Lennon writing a line like "Walking slowly down the hall, faster than a cannon ball". Give me a fucking break.
PB – Isn't one of those guys from Oasis dating Geri Spice?
J – No fucking way! Really?
PB – I just recently heard that somewhere.
J – That's great. Some fuck from Oasis is fucking trailer trash spice. That's amazing.
PB - The rest of them should marry Hanson.
J – Could you imagine that band in the sixties, before air brushing was developed. Geri still would've been a fat bitch, but nobody would've heard of her. One of my friends actually did a video for their last single stop in Ireland with like an eighty thousand pound budget. He's got a slightly wicked sense of humor like myself. This is fantastic. He'll probably never work again. Anyway, the Spice Girls came along, did the video and had to leave to do something else. So they had a couple of shots left that weren't done and one of 'em was Baby Spice running down the street. This is brilliant. He picked the crewmember with the hairiest legs and put him in the crème vinyl coat that Baby Spice was wearing. If you watch the video there's about a second long clip of a gorilla in a leather coat running up the street.
(much laughter on my end)
PB – I need to try and catch that.
J – I love subversive behavior.
PB – You'll love our magazine.
J - Can't wait.
PB – When you guys first started you were inaccurately labeled shoegazer by the press. Since I've seen you called metal, grunge, and recently dream pop.
J - Dream pop!!?
PB – I read that in some magazine.
J – Some piece of shit. And that shoegazer crap was just a general label for bands recording the same studio and being from the same area. A fellow in Australia recently asked me how Swervedriver can be the next big band. We've been around far too long to be the next big thing. I wasn't in the band in the early 90's, but even then I knew it wasn't on the shoegazing side. Son of Mustang Ford sound like Slowdive? Give me a break. All the bands in the center of that sound got fucked when it was no longer fashionable.
PB – They had committed their whole sound and style to it.
J – Exactly. Back to the guy in Australia, he said we just have a Swervedriver sound and I think he hit it right on the fuckin head. There's not much else out there to describe us.
PB – I'm glad to you've outlasted the shoegazer thing and some of those bands.
J – Hey we've outlasted Kurt Cobain and it looks like the Spice Girls also.
PB – Dear God. I hope.
J – Really. If we can get some bloke to start airbrushing me , we'll be huge. I'll throw on some Union Jack underpants.
PB – And dance around in a Pepsi ad.
J – There's the big money.
PB – It's all about looks.
J- That young little shit in Hanson will lose it when he hits about twenty.
PB – They've got about three other brothers and a sister or two, so they can just swap 'em out.
J – That's just like that the band Take That. The manager owns the name Take That. So I heard he was auditioning new singers to be called Take That as if the first one never existed.
PB – That's fucked. It's just like Menudo. As soon as somebody's voice started to change boom he was gone and replaced by some kid off the street.
J – That's just fantastic.
PB – It'll be the droop factor that'll kill the Spice Girls.
J – Sorry Geri we don't have enough wire to hold those up and air brushing is so passe. Hey there's a song in there somewhere. I should call the Dandys.
PB – You like those fellas.
J – Yeah. We played a couple of shows with them and I noticed that the girl is quite good at playing the keyboards and shaking her tits.
PB – She likes to take her shirt off. My friend's seen them twice and at the second show it turned into a big smokefest.
J – I like that, when the lights are low and you can see bowls being lit. It's also a bit of jealousy, cause I'm using both my arms.
PB – So you can't join in.
J – Exactly. But not that I support the use of any organic herbs.
PB – I won't put any of that in here. You probably won't read this anyway.
J – Oh, I will mate.
PB – And I will be after your ass.
J - Yeah I'm vengeful.
PB – Do you think you might put out o compilation album on b-sides on your own label in the future.
J – We've been talking with Creation about putting out a CD of stuff from the first three albums. It would be kind of a selective thing. I figure we could get one good album out of all that.
PB – Good luck getting that out of Creation.
J – Yeah, they're bastards to work with. Do you have enough here?
PB – Yeah, you can now head back to your bar.
J – I look forward to reading it to see how you fuck up my friend's film career. Next time we're in Austin come say hello.
PB – I'll show you all the good smoking spots starting with my house.
J - Wow I haven't hung out in anyones house in ages. What a concept. I'd quite enjoy that really.
PB – Good luck on your next show.
J – All right, speak to you soon.
Swervedriver.com is copyright © 1998 - 2003. Please feel free to contact us.
Web site designed and maintained by Logical Things.