Swear & Shake get intimate with the festival circuit in 2013

Swear & Shake are the quintessential nice guys of folk music. Their first LP, “Maple Ridge”, is the kind of warm you get from family (when you’re getting along), and the expect from neighbors. Which is lucky for me, because they are my neighbors. The band is in and out of greenrooms and studios constantly during this formative time for their band -if they’re not pumping their honey-kissed Americana through the front of house to packed room, they’re filming a music video; if they’re not filming a music video, they’re recording an album, and so on. Just a couple of days ago, however, I was well-timed enough to get everyone on the phone for a brief catch up while they had lunch off-set for the video to their new single, “Brother”. We talked about the network of neo-carnies you can get in with as a touring band, coming home, and of course, the band’s impending performance at Governors Ball next week in NYC.

You guys played SXSW this year, correct?

We did play SXSW. It was our first time playing SXSW.

A lot of bands seem to look at the festival circuit as a milestone, did S&S feel that way? Have you felt an influx of attention from new fans since playing SXSW?

That’s a good question. I feel like this has been the first year Swear & Shake hit the festival circuit really hard and I definitely do feel a difference. And it’s funny because as you go around the country and play these difference festivals you start to see some of the same faces, which is really cool. And I also notice you start to see a lot of the same bands, so that family starts to get built up. You’ll meet a band at a festival in one state and then a month later, you’ll see the same band at another festival; and that’s something that I really like. I don’t know if I’d call it a milestone but I definitely feel more connected with all of the bands that are doing the same thing as us, and sort of on the next level -the level that we would like to be at. So… yeah, I guess it is a milestone. That’s a good way of putting it.

How about other festivals you’ve hit this season?

We just got back last weekend from the Summer Camp Festival in Chillicothe, IL. Before that we played at the Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta, GA. That was the first year they did Shaky Knees and that festival was awesome. We felt right at home there. We’ve always loved Georgia and the people there.

I could definitely how Swear & Shake’s style would mesh well with Georgia.

Yeah, we spent a lot of time this Spring taking photos in the South; we took a lot of them specifically in Georgia, actually. So doing Shaky Knees in Georgia was a lot of fun.

So how have your experiences affected your expectations for Governors Ball? Will it compare to the others, or will it be its own thing since the Ball is a homecoming for you guys?

I think it’s going to have the same colorful energy as all of these other festivals, a lot of the other bands we’re used to seeing, but everything will be amplified because we’re going to be at home and in New York. I think it will be everything the other festivals are and more, being the homecoming show, but I also don’t want to get my expectations too high. We treat every show like it’s the most important show ever and I think this is no exception. We’re just gonna get on stage and do our thing.

What else is going on for Swear and Shake? Do you have an album coming out?

Well, first off we’re doing a tour with ZZ Ward and that’s just starting in a couple of weeks. We’re doing a lot of shows in the midwest and into New England. That’s throughout June.

Jun 11 @ FED LIVE
w/ ZZ Ward
Harrisburg, PA

Jun 12 @ Triumph Brewery
New Hope, PA

Jun 13 @ Higher Ground
w/ ZZ Ward
South Burlington, VT

Jun 14 @ The Road to Newport at The Sinclair
w/ The Lone Bellow
Cambridge, MA

Jun 15 @ Port City Music Hall
w/ ZZ Ward
Portland, ME

Jun 21 @ Warsaw
w/ ZZ Ward
Brooklyn, NY

Jun 23 @ The Altar Bar
w/ ZZ Ward
Pittsburgh, PA

Jun 25 @ The Pyramid Scheme
w/ ZZ Ward
Grand Rapids, MI

Jun 26 @ Majestic Theatre
w/ ZZ Ward
Madison, WI

Jun 27 @ Wooly’s
w/ ZZ Ward
Des Moines, IA

In July, we are going start recording our next full-length record. This will be our second full-length, and our third recording. I can’t give you too much information about that, but what I can say is that one of the songs, “Brother”, which is gonna be on the record, just premiered on Paste Magazine, which we’re pretty excited about. And for that particular song we’ll be releasing a music video in the very near future.

Great to hear. Still no info on a release date for the record yet?

No release date yet. We begin recording in July and that’s about all we can say at this point.