Another act appears out of the mists of the interweb for us to check out. Today’s band of the Day, Swirl! Duane “DT” Jones has given us some great in-depth answers to our profile questions…
Sunny Southern California, where today it is 77 degrees, in January. As I understand Moshville Times comes from the UK so I am going to guess the weather is a little colder there. We have been working with various UK members of the music industry in the past 6 months trying to line up our first ever tour there.
How did you meet?
All the credit for me meeting the drummer of Swirl goes to our parents as my brother Brian “Bam Bam” Jones is the drummer. I have pretty much worked exclusively with Brian since just after high school. He really is my right hand on all things Swirl.
I was introduced to Alfred and Shane by former Dio keyboard player Claude Schnell when he was interested in producing a band those two had. He contacted me to say they had parted ways with their guitar player and wanted me to write with them so we could work in the studio together. That was the plan at the start. However, shortly after we started writing together we all got the itch to play live, so a few gigs were booked. It was after one of the gigs a friend of mine said Alfred would sound really good on Swirl songs so I approached him and he was interested. We went into the studio with Cinderella drummer Fred Coury and created the songs “Time To Fly” and “Mad Disease”.
How long have you been playing as a band?
This year will mark 10 years for Swirl! Same band members. No line-up changes. No members “taking time off”. We truly respect each other as musicians and people so we are a very tight knit group. We have toured together extensively in the US, created some great memories and even better music. We are looking forward to the next 10 years together.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Take one look at a band photo and it’s pretty easy to see. It’s not a political statement or anything like that… it just fits visually and musically as we combine our varied influences to create the Swirl sound.
What are your influences?
We are all coming from different places musically. I am more of an 80s guitar fan at my core, but I have really come to appreciate more modern guitar stylings and look to incorporate some of those tunings in my playing. I always say take a Jake E Lee, Warren DiMartini or George Lynch and put them in a Shinedown, Seether or FFDP type of band and that is where my head is with my playing these days.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Well like I stated before “it’s in the name”. I went over my influences and style so I will move on to Brian who, like myself got started in rock n’ roll with KISS music, but then went into a more progressive direction with Rush and jazz drummers. Shane is the most metal in the band with bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden and Korn cited as influences. Alfred approaches things using his David Bowie and Billy Idol influences.
The way we do what we do makes what comes out of our collaborations unique. Songs like “Fourth Of July”, “We Are Alive” and “Message” are harder edge songs compared to songs like “Rise Up”, “Time to Fly” and our latest release, “The Lift” which came out in January 2018.
We have been referred to as “an amalgamation of Slipknot and AC/DC” by a writer for the Huffington Post (2017), but I think my favourite quote has to be “an interesting and diverse band to check out, as they combine the best of the past 20 years of American rock/ hard rock”.
I suppose the best thing you can do is listen for yourself.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
I don’t know that Alfred strive’s to create a “theme” per se, but I do know we have had many reviews that say things like “after listening to Swirl my mood has improved” or words to that effect. All of our press and reviews can be read on Reverbnation.
We are adding to the list of press all the time and are looking forward to adding this Moshville Times interview when published.
As “The Lift” is our newest release I will share with you the meaning behind the lyrics as told by lyricist Alfred Ramirez:
I would like to start by saying that when I write lyrics it’s usually tied to a personal experience of mine or one that I have witnessed in the world we live in. I also feel what’s most import is not so much what my lyrics mean to me, but more importantly what my lyrics mean to the listener. I want the listener to find their own story within the lyrics. To me that means the listener can interpret and apply them in any way they chose.
What “The Lift” means to me is that we all need help sometimes, be it an emotional lift or a physical lift. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when we need it. We also shouldn’t be afraid to offer to help when were able to. We are all on this planet together and we are all connected, so let’s help one another.
My personal Lift was given to me by “The Minor Goddess” who lifted me out of a depressed and stressed out anxious time in my life. Thank you MG! Your words will always stay with me.
Speaking of lyrics, you can check out the lyric video for this song below.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Our live shows are just that… a show. We are high energy and there is always something going on visually. We kind of live by the creed of being musicians in the studio and entertainers on stage.
How many shows? Well after the 5-tour 50,000 mile year in support of acts ranging from Bulletboys, Cinderella, RATT, Extreme, LA Guns, Souls of We and more we continue to play in Southern California as a headliner or support act for Slaughter, Red Dragon Cartel, Lynch Mob and many others it would be hard to put a number on the live history of Swirl.
We are adding to the live list as soon as February 3, 2018 as we play The Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood at a pre-Superbowl show to debut the latest Swirl single, “The Lift”.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
The best thing about road stories is they stay on the road! So the “wild” stuff will remain in the “you just had to be there” file. However I will say they we have had more fun on tour than should be allowed and will definitely have more opportunities, this time both in and out of the United States by the time 2018 is done.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Brian: “I play a vintage Yamaha Maple Custom kit that has quadrupled in value since its original purchase. I have tried other kits from other manufacturers and while I liked some of them I always end up back on my Maple Customs.”
I play Charvel/Jackson guitars. I have over 20 in my collection with my Psycho Swirl being a staple at shows along with a white body, black pick guard strat with an ebony fret board.
Some of my guitars are studio only with the main one being a ’65 Fender Strat and a Jackson Randy Rhoads originally made in 1982 I believe.
What are your plans for 2018?
Now that “The Lift” has been released and is being received so well (it finished the 1st week of 2018 at #1 on 365 Indie Radio and #4 on Banks Radio Australia) we intend to capitalize on it, piggy back it with the success of the Swirl EP in 2017 where we saw the release of 3 songs from it licensed into the 2-times award winning horror film Ditch Day and tour in all countries where either the movie or music are available. The film has been released in the UK, US, Brazil, France, Korea and Germany so far.
We will continue to record the new songs we have written using the crowd funding page for Swirl where our supporters, called the “Swirl Society”, are literally acting as our record label by donating to help us create new music and videos.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Great question and if you ask each member of the band I am sure our answers would be entirely different. That is one of the reasons we play with just about any rock band. We can make it work. However since you asked and I am the one doing the interview I will say have KISS headline and I would love to share a stage with Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel again.