RGM Introducing – SWINE

Welcome to the RGM lounge folks, take a seat…

What made you decide to start the band?

Michael: I’ve always been passionate about music even though I never took it in school or college, etc. In 2017, I was dying to start a band but didn’t really know any musicians. Then I contacted Dan and he learned bass on the spot.

Dan: I’ve always loved music too, but it wasn’t until later I knew I wanted to pursue it myself. I started off college studying a construction related course, which was a terrible mistake haha. But it made me realise that music was what I was really passionate about and wanted to pursue, so I switched to a music technology course. I also really wanted to start a band and was learning guitar at the time, when Michael told me he was looking for a bassist. I was still torn between guitar and bass, so I gave it a go and loved it even more.

Stephen: I joined the band when I didn’t have much on and they needed a drummer. I joined because I knew they’d be open to pretty much anything musically.

Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?

Michael: I’m Michael, frontman of SWINE. Been in this band since I was 17, that’s all of my musical history summed up.

Stephen: I’m Stephen. I’ve been playing live since I was 13 on drums and guitar.

Dan: I’m Dan, I play bass in SWINE. I’ve been in the band since I was 17, and have studied music technology in college and am in my first year at uni studying electronic music production. I only started playing bass when I joined, and had been trying out guitar for a few weeks before. I also DJ and produce electronic music.

It’s been a bit of a wild last year, how have you guys managed to pass time and stay sane during lockdown?

Dan: I’ve been learning how to DJ and delved deeper into producing my own electronic music, which has been great fun and it’s a perfect time to practice. I also started my uni course in September which has obviously given me plenty to keep busy with. Apart from that, a lot of gaming and listening to a lot of music.

Stephen: I’ve been running and working out, reading, aside from that I’ve not done much really.

Michael: Lots of reading and plunging into the back catalogue of some old artists. I’ve also been churning out lots of poetry. Some of it good, some of it criminally awful.

How positive are you feeling now we are in 2021?

Michael: Well, at the moment, I’m hopeful that we will be able to get gigging this year, saying that you never know with this virus. It is a madness.

Stephen: I’m quite positive that things will start becoming relatively normal by the end of the year and gigs will be phased back in slowly.

Dan: Everything is still uncertain but I am feeling positive about the future, you’ve just got to keep that way. I’m hoping gigs will be back on later this year, fingers crossed. It’s been far too long, I’ve really missed playing shows and going to them too.

How has 2020  effected your mental health?

Michael: In the worst way. I suffered with my mental health beforehand, mix that with the strict rules we have in place – fucking grim. Perseverance though! Everything will get better, I hope

Dan: It definitely hasn’t been great for it, however starting my uni course has really helped. While online lessons aren’t ideal, it’s given me a sense of direction and allowed me to meet a lot of like-minded people. It’s been great studying something you’re really interested in.

What’s your favourite song right now from another band currently on the circuit?

Dan: I’m loving the new Squid track ‘Narrator’, which is the first single from their upcoming debut album, really looking forward to that. All the instrumentation is on point, and love the emotive vocals as well as the inclusion of Martha Skye Murphy’s vocals. DEAFDEAFDEAF have released a new track called ‘Nothingness’ that is really great too, we’ve played loads of gigs with them and they’re smashing it at the min. 

Michael: I’ve been bashing a tune by Yard Act called ‘Fixer Upper’, pure lyrical genius. Also, I know it was released a while back but ‘All Cats Are Beautiful’ by Rodents is unreal, such a bop!

What support is out there for new artists in Manchester / Salford  ?

Stephen: There is quite a lot of support, to be honest. In Salford people tend to really try and promote their own, people have a sense of pride when a band emerges from here. 

Michael: There’s a big creative presence in Manchester, for sure. Many blogs and magazines that promote local bands and that. The scene in Manchester is very wholesome! I love meeting up with different bands we play with and having a chat. Salford is a bit more introverted when it comes to creativity, although, the artists that do emerge from our hometown are of another level of class! 

Dan: Manchester is a great place to be a band, great bands/people, venues. Deco Records definitely deserve a shoutout, they’ve been putting on gigs for ages and have had us on for loads of their gigs, much love!

What useless talent do you have/ party trick? 

Dan: Nothing really, used to be able to do the worm in primary school, reckon I could still do that. 

Michael: I’m not too sure. Pretty decent at accents, if I do say so myself.

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

Michael: Our last gig at Peer Hat just before National lockdown. Wow. It was immense! The energy from the crowd was a sight to see. We also once went shopping for silly hats and stuff to play a gig at the Castle Hotel, in where I sported my Thai boxing shorts – fit for a 13 year old.

Stephen: The most fun at a gig had to be the one prior to lock down. The sound was next level. Little did we know it’d be a long time before the next one.

Dan: I’d also have to go for our last gig at the Peer Hat before the first lockdown. Probably the best crowd we’ve had, so much energy from them and a great one to finish on.

What was the worst experience on stage?

Michael: We played a gig to just 2 people once. It wasn’t actually that bad, sorta like a live rehearsal. Yeah, that or when I broke my low E string instantly, and then broke my D string straight after, when we were supporting Blackpool’s finest, ‘Strange Bones’

Dan: Pretty much any of the gigs where my first Yamaha bass stopped working, that happened so many times haha. Luckily, I stopped playing that quite a while ago now.

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about? 

Michael: Hmmm. I’m quite a savvy footballer. I used to play on my local team when I was a wee child. The skills have stayed with me. If SWINE doesn’t work out I can always go handing in my CV at Old Trafford haha.

Dan: I absolutely love drum & bass and jungle, other electronic music too.

Who would you like to work with on the circuit right now?

Michael: The Blinders would be pretty wild and Cabbage have kept consistent quality in their song writing. There’s loads! All the upcoming bands as well, just working with them makes me feel an overwhelming sense of community.
Dan: Definitely agree with Michael on The Blinders and Cabbage, they’re some of the bands that made us want to start a band ourselves. I’d love to work with Witch Fever again, we did a fundraiser gig for the charity Maggie’s supporting them in 2018 which was an amazing night. They’re easily one of the best bands around, so good live. I’d also love to work with Sports Team and Hotel Lux, they’re both really great, unique bands I’ve been listening to for ages.

What makes you stand out as a band?

Michael: Being from just outside Manchester, I would say we have a different vision than most bands. We want to create all types of different genre’d music but implemented into our rough, messy sound. Our live performances are a great workout as well.

Stephen: What makes us stand out is the we aren’t afraid to branch out and mess about with things that subvert your expectations, and you’ll see that moreso in the future.

Dan: We’re not afraid to try different styles and push our boundaries. I think from taking influence from bands like The Clash, we never wanted to just stick to one kind of sound, as we all love so many different kinds of music and want to take influence from all of them. I think this is going to show with No Fightin’ as well as our future releases. As a live band as well, I want to give existing fans and people who are just hearing us for the first time something to remember, and I think we stand out in this field too.

Right now, whats pissing you of the most? (Cant say the virus 🙂 

Dan: Sexism in music. (and in general) It’s really disgusting some of things I’ve heard about and even seen during gigs, and we make a point of this in our shows. Also, massive issues related to BLM, officers being fired but not arrested and charged, ect. 

Michael: Social media and it’s toxic side. The vile shit that people come out with on the internet, just because they know there are next to no repercussions, is disgusting. I would delete all my socials if it wasn’t a necessity for promotion in the modern world.

Tell me about your new single and  how it came about?

Michael: I wrote No Fightin’ at the beginning of the OG lockdown. It started off as an acoustic number where I was trying to capture the Reggae/Ska sound for the verse, and then a melodic punky chorus. I took it to the boys in rehearsal and we pretty much smashed it out after 2 or 3 play throughs. The lyrics project a toxic relationship in which both people are the problem. It’s focusing on human imperfection!

Dan: I remember when Michael sent the idea into our group chat, and I had a bit of a lightbulb moment as I listened to it for the first time. The bassline appeared in my head and I recorded it straight away, which is the bassline I ended up using. It’s probably my favourite bassline I’ve made!

I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?

Michael: Haha not much! It’s one we’ve played live before. It’s bit more gritty and weird, that’s all I can say.

Dan: I’m really excited for this one. It has a different vocal style to No Fightin’ and a different style in general. It includes the melodicism that we’ve been recently focusing on, along with also the dirtiness of our past releases.

How was the recording process given the various restrictions the UK has been under of late?

Michael: Because we recorded the tune when lockdown was eased, it wasn’t actually too difficult. The mixing was the tricky bit. We had to email back and forth with the boys down at Boxyard Studios, to tweak different bits of the tune. Overall, it sounds mega now, they did a great job.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Dan: Spread positive energy! Tell someone you love them. 

Michael: Keep your chin up, and just remember — being sexy is an attitude.

Finally and perhaps optimistically, what are your plans for the year ahead

Michael: Hopefully to perform at some gigs along with making a couple music videos to go along with our songs. Fingers crossed we are able to!

Dan: I’m certain we’ll be back in the studio recording again later this year too, I can’t wait to record and release more songs. I’m hopeful that shows will be back later this year, I think they will be. Also, can’t wait to record some music videos too, we were just planning one when lockdown hit so we haven’t been able to finish it yet.

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