California rockers SWIRL who have just recently released their newest single titled "The Lift", say to believe in yourself, and stand up for what you believe in. That said, Duane D Jones or "DT" on guitar, discusses the band's history, recent music content, and what plans they have, as they want to become the next big band out of California!
1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
DT: The current lineup came together after I (DT) left Washington State and moved to Southern California where my brother and Swirl drummer Brian "Bam Bam" Jones was already living. Shortly after relocating our father passed away which led me into a bit of dark place for over a year. I really have to thank former Dio keyboard player Claude Schnell and Cinderella drummer Fred Coury for getting me making music again. Claude was getting ready to produce a band in California that had just parted ways with their guitar player and he asked me to go write with them so we could go into the studio together. He introduced me to singer Alfred Ramirez and bassist Shane Carlson. After a few writing sessions that band wanted to play live shows. After a show my friend suggested that Alfred would sound really good singing Swirl songs so I approached him about it and he agreed to go into the studio with Fred Coury and I. Brian was playing in another band by then. Fred co- wrote, mixed, played on and produced the songs "Mad Disease" and "Time To Fly" to mark the return of Swirl. "Time To Fly" was particularly well received and led to tour offers which afforded me the opportunity to get Brian back in the band and recruit Shane to round out the Swirl lineup.
2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?
DT: The name came from the previous Swirl lineup. On the drive from Washington State to California to record what would become the debut Swirl release titled "Out Of Nowhere" with the singer and bassist at the time kicking around names for the band. I suggested Swirl and we all agreed it just works. Given the cultural make-up and ethnicity of the band coupled with the idea of how we put that all aside to make music together that name Swirl made sense. The lineup has changed from then, but the message behind the name stays the same. We think it is an important message given the state of the world we live in today.
3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
DT: Swirl is based in Southern California with Shane and Alfred in the Pasadena area while Brian and I are in Temecula. We play in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties. There is definitely a music scene alive and well in Southern California. A friend of mine who reviews live shows for Metal Sludge (Gerry Gittleson) recently named Swirl and Stonebreed as bands that draw well in Los Angeles. I am also a big fan of Motorbone where my good friend Josh is the singer. We have all talked about playing shows together while Swirl is preparing the live show to get back on tour in 2018.
4. How would you describe your style?
DT: Our style is a very positive one. Our sound is best described by our name, Swirl! I am a pretty positive person and fortunately Alfred is too. He writes the lyrics and melodies which along with the music we create have led to the recent success for the band.
"According to Swirl, the "Message" behind the music has to do with standing up for what you believe in – not giving up and going for what you want in the face of those who put road blocks in front of you, it’s staying the course, staying focused and not giving an inch in any other direction, but the road you have carved out for yourself. Sometimes you will fall down, sometimes you will lose your way, but in the end the only way to win is you have to get back on your feet, dust yourself off and carry on so are you ready to "Rise Up"? "(SWIRL "Rise Up" Video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_RhbgL5Cv0&t=11s).
The four of us come from very diverse musical interests and we all get to bring our style to the music. We combine them to create the swirl style of music.
I have read so many reviews and they are all different whether they are from the music of the "SWIRL" EP for example…
"…they sound like an amalgamation of Slipknot and AC DC,"- The Huffington Post
"An uplifting vibe..." The Happy Headbanger
"This CD leaves a memorable impression that permeates the mind with its passion." ION Indie Magazine
Overall: "If you are looking for a really sweet hard rockin’ melodic band that will have you humming along and singing with the CD in just a few listens than make this new SWIRL release yours. 9/10 Stars"- The Examiner
"After listening to "Swirl" in its entirety it has lifted me up mood wise! Now when music has a positive vibe like this it is what keeps Rock/Metal alive and well! You can really feel the passion and the exceptional quality in the music that SWIRL creates!"- Metal Temple
Now with regard to our new single "The Lift"…AEA Zine
"...somewhat reminiscent of a heavier U2 albeit with a pop-punk edge"
"… everything possesses a joyous, downright celebratory spirit." "the track positively teems with life"- Skope Magazine January 2018
We just are who we are. I suggest you give us a listen and see for yourself.
Here is a link to our reviews- https://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl/press/.
5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?
DT: It all started for Swirl with the release of "Out Of Nowhere" which was produced by Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot/ RATT) and Matt Thorr (Rough Cutt). After the recording session with Fred Coury we went out on tour promoting a disc we called "Timeline".
We followed up "Timeline" with our 7 song self-titled EP "SWIRL" which is where things really took off for the band and most recently we released the single "The Lift" on January 11, 2018.
Right from the start Swirl has been fortunate to work with musicians who have reached the very top of the mountain in the music business. Quiet Riot was obviously very successful so we were able to learn from Carlos` experience when it came to rock n roll song writing. Matt is a Grammy nominated engineer so you can expect an incredibly well made 13 song debut from Swirl. I think people will be surprised to hear that we don`t sound like we came directly from that era. Obviously there would be some of that influence in the music, but I am an 80's guitar player fan so that is going to be a part of the Swirl throughout all of our releases.
With "Timeline" and everything recorded since we made a shift to a more modern style of writing and production at the insistence of Brian. I think it is fair to say "Timeline" is Brian and I finding our way with the new direction.
"SWIRL" is a very validating ep for us in that we took the lessons learned from the sessions with Carlos, Matt, Fred and deliberately took the new lineup out of Los Angeles to work with James Rieger in Lake Elsinore, CA. Together we produced the bulk of the songs on the "SWIRL" EP. The validation came when 3 songs we produced on our own were licensed into the full length film "Ditch Day" starring Bill Oberst Jr. The songs are "We Are Alive", "Spell" and "Rise Up". We gave the producer of the movie our full catalog and she chose the songs we self- produced. The "Ditch Day" movie went on to win 2 awards including "Best Feature Film" at the Burbank International Film Awards and is now available in 6 countries.
With "The Lift", we were introduced to Emad Alaeddin through Megan Waters (producer of ‘Ditch Day’) who, much like James Rieger, worked with the band to produce the song. Since its release we have scored our first ever #1 ranking here in the US and the song has ranked as high as #4 in Australia. Stations all over the world are picking up on the song. It seems we may have a "hit" on our hands with this one.
SWIRL - "The Lift" Lyric Video- https://youtu.be/xaBMGg0ACYo.
6. Do you have any new music in the works?
DT: We absolutely do and the great thing about what we are doing now is Emad convinced us to try "crowd funding". "The Lift" was the result of our first ever crowd funding attempt. Our fan base is called "The Swirl Society" and they are our defactorecord company. We have told them they are largely in control of how much and how fast we are able to get new music out to them. That fan base is growing rapidly and all are welcome to join. The Go Fund Me account at https://www.gofundme.com/launch-new-music-by-swirl-the-band will remain active as we work on promoting "The Lift".
7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?
DT: We just played our first show since the release of "The Lift" at the world famous Whisky A Go Go February 3, 2018. As I do this interview the band is booking more shows in California to sharpen the live show in anticipation of going back out on tour in the countries where either the music or the film are available. Swirl has toured in the United States and Japan already. We have headlined club shows in and out of California as well as been the support band on tours with RATT/ Extreme, Quiet Riot, LA Guns, Lynch Mob and others.
We really embrace the "indie" spirit. We are our own managers and booking agents. Everything we do down to the licensing deals are done “in house”. We are open to labels, a manager and a booking agent obviously, we just aren`t waiting on them to move forward with our career.
8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?
DT: This year will be the tenth year for this lineup of Swirl and we are all still very committed to seeing this band become everything we want it to be. We want to be a big band. We will continue to write, record, make videos and tour.
9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
DT: We are very easy to find. You can google "Swirl The Band" or "Swirl The Lift" and we will surely pop up. We have a very strong social media presence for an independent band. Whatever your favorite place is to find band, stream or buy music we are there.
SWIRL website- http://www.swirltheband.com/.
SWIRL Twitter- https://twitter.com/Swirltheband.
SWIRL Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/swirltheband/.
SWIRL Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/swirltheband
SWIRL Soundcloud- https://soundcloud.com/swirl-dt
SWIRL Reverbnation- http://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl
SWIRL YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/swirlgtr
"SWIRL" on iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/swirl/id627466984
"The Lift" on iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1325371769
10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?
DT: It`s, honest, pure and from the heart! If you are having a bad day listening to Swirl will certainly make it better. Its our "Time To Fly".