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Swellers expand through success

Hailing from Flint, Mich., The Swellers have signed with Fueled by Ramen and are now traveling the country. Fueled by Ramen is an independent record label based in New York City dealing mostly with punk inspired rock/pop bands. Their new album, “Ups and Downsizing” focuses on our struggling economy and how to find the silver lining. The Swellers will also be touring in Eurpose during the Spring and finishing the The Vans Warped Tour beginning June 24 in San Diego. / photo by Rafael Anguiano

Hailing from Flint, Mich., The Swellers have signed with Fueled by Ramen and are now traveling the country. Fueled by Ramen is an independent record label based in New York City dealing mostly with punk inspired rock/pop bands. Their new album, “Ups and Downsizing” focuses on our struggling economy and how to find the silver lining. The Swellers will also be touring in Eurpose during the Spring and finishing the The Vans Warped Tour beginning June 24 in San Diego. / photo by Rafael Anguiano

Michael Escañuelas
Arts Editor

Not many bands have tasted the sweet subtle taste of success like Michigan punk rockers The Swellers. The foursome kicked off its first night, Feb 15, at the House of Blues in Anaheim opening for Motion City Soundtrack.

As the band took the stage to strum the first chord of the night, the Swellers, composed of Nick Diener on vocals and guitar, his brother Jonathan Diener on drums, Ryan Collins also on guitar, and Anto Boros on bass, are currently enjoying their third trip to California on a major tour; the band shared the stage with acts like Less Than Jake and Paramore throughout 2009. The band is now winding down on their final dates opening up for Motion City Soundtrack, Set Your Goals, and This Providence.

“The tour itself has been amazing,” Jonathan Diener said. “Usually it takes few dates for everybody to get into being friends.”

Formed in 2002 by Jonathan and Nick Diener, The Swellers built a modest following, releasing two albums on Search and Rescue Records. In 2009 the band released their most recent album, “Ups and Downsizing” through the popular label Fueled by Ramen.

Following in the footsteps of such label mates like Panic at the Disco, and Fall Out Boy, The Swellers have been on the road earning opening slots for major acts like Paramore and Less Than Jake, making 2009 a promising year for the band.

“Getting on these big tours is really helping us out,” Jonathan Diener said. “That’s kind of our main goal right now.”

After releasing “Ups and Downsizing” in September, the Swellers began to grow more buzz from endless touring and positive critical reviews.

“For me I didn’t notice anything, I just toured,” Nick Diener said.

Although for the last year The Swellers have found it common to open up for major acts. Since their formation, the band has gone through a variety of small tours. The shift between playing smaller clubs with lower profile bands to venues like the Hollywood Palladium and the Fox Theater was major change for the band. Even after completing their tour with Paramore, the Swellers found themselves adjusting to change when going back on the road with Less Than Jake.

“We went from a very structured and proper tour to doing the whole punk rock thing,” Boros said.

With plans to take their persistent tour schedule overseas to the United Kingdom, the buzz behind the Swellers does not seem to be dying down any time soon.

“It’s so cool to say that playing music is letting you see the world,” Boros said.

According to the band, after playing gigs in places like London and Oxford, The Swellers plan on heading back to the United States to start the first leg of the Warped Tour and intend on going back into the studio to record the follow up to their last album during that following winter. With all of these achievements, the band is beginning to understand how their strong tour ethic and new label home is beginning to benefit them.

“Now we’re starting to see what a structured label can do for us,” Nick Diener said. “Before it was some dude in his basement, now its people in a high rise building.”

Although the Swellers are currently portraying the small fish in a big pond act with their current tours, the band brought a big, but modest following to the House of Blues proving them to be worthy contenders for the larger acts that followed.

Michael Escañuelas can be reached at michael.escanuelas@laverne.edu.

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