Even as record sales dip to no apparent end, labels are still a significant source of pride, stability, experience and (despite poor sales) money for young bands. The Swellers know a good label’s value intimately, probably because it’s taken them eight years to find one.
Swellers drummer Jonathan Diener recalls taking a walk with the band’s old bass player and lamenting that the group’s many DIY tours and handful of releases had yet to lead them to a substantial label. From the way Diener discusses it, the Flint, Mich., outfit was close to calling it quits. Returning from their excursion, good news had arrived: Fueled by Ramen Records asked The Swellers to sign. As one of the two remaining members of a group that approached the hit-making Pop-Punk label ages earlier, Diener was ecstatic. Did he see the victory as a long time coming?
“Oh yeah,” he says. “That’s putting it lightly.”
Originating as a riff on the Screeching Weasel style of Pop-Punk, The Swellers’ hook-heavy material has gained loads of polish (at times, too much).