Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Brian “Bam Bam” Jones- Drums
Alfred Ramirez- Lead Vocals
Shane Carlson- Bass
Duane “DT” Jones- Guitar
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Swirl?
DT- I think the last band that I was in that wasn`t Swirl just after high school. A band called Eye Witness from Anchorage, Alaska. After I moved to Washington State I started Swirl with my brother Brian and really haven`t been doing much of anything with any other band since with the exception of 770.
Alfred and Shane were in 770 in Southern California that I did some work with briefly at the request of former keyboard player Claude Schnell. He wanted to produce a demo for 770 and asked me to write with them after they parted ways with their guitar player. I decided they were too good for me not to recruit for Swirl.
How long has the band been around?
This year will be the 10 year anniversary of this lineup for Swirl!
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
For most people it only takes one look at our band photo for the name Swirl to make sense LOL, but it does go deeper than that. The blending of all the nationalities and personalities in the band are tied to the name as well.
Who writes your songs?
We write our songs together. Usually they start with me writing almost a full song on guitar then I get together with Brian to work on the arrangement. Once we have something formed we present it to Shane and Alfred who add their ideas.
This is a standard writing practice for Swirl, however with our new song, “The Lift” (released January 11, 2018) the band wrote slightly differently. I still created an arrangement with Brian before presenting it to Alfred and Shane, but then there was a separate writing session I did with Alfred to make adjustments to the verse guitar part. Shane had his chorus part pretty much dialed in the first day we got together to work on the music. It`s really a brilliant bass part.
What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Our songs are inspirational! I don`t know that we set out to do that, but it`s been a pretty common theme to the reviews for either the ‘SWIRL’ ep or this new song “The Lift”.
“…everything possesses a joyous, downright celebratory spirit…the track positively teems with life"- Skope Magazine
“An uplifting vibe...” The Happy Headbanger
"After listening to ‘Swirl’ in its entirety it has lifted me up mood wise!!"- Metal Temple
“…if you are looking for a really sweet hard rockin’ melodic band that will have you humming along and singing with the CD in just a few listens than make this new ‘SWIRL’ release yours. 9/10 Stars"- The Examiner
Here is a link to our reviews- https://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl/press/
As for future topics that will depend on Alfred for the most part, but he is influenced by personal experiences or things he has witnessed so I would expect that as the experiences change for Swirl so too will the lyrical themes to a degree.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
All four of us have very different influences that we bring to the table to write Swirl songs, but for me I have to say I have always wondered what Alterbridge, Seether, Shinedown or even FFDP would sound like with a Jake E Lee, Warren DeMartini, George Lynch or Carlos Cavazo style 80s guitar player in the band.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
KISS! That answer works for both Brian and I. We went in very different musical directions after that with him getting into Rush and then jazz drummers.
For Alfred he is influenced by David Bowie and Billie Idol. Shane is the Metallica and Korn guy with Iron Maiden thrown in which is band we all love.
We have read that we are “an amalgamation of Slipknot and AC/DC” with the ‘SWIRL’ ep and with “The Lift” we recently read we were “a heavier U2 albeit with a pop punk edge.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
Our shows are high energy so I prepare like I am heading into a sporting event. Stretches, breathing exercises go along with vocal warm ups and guitar scales for sure. When you see the band on stage it will make total sense. Alfred introduces me as the “Rock n roll linebacker on guitar” LOL.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
From a touring angel being on the “East Meets West Tour” with RATT and Extreme ranks pretty near the top.
From a recording standpoint it was finding out that “The Lift” had charted at #1 with 365 Indie Radio here in the US and #4 with Banks Radio Australia.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
This the question that would cause the most different answers within the band for sure. For being the band that inspired me to put down the violin and pick up a guitar I will say KISS.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Swirl had a great 2017 by having three songs from the ‘SWIRL’ ep licensed into the 2 time award winning ‘Ditch Day’ movie which is now out in 6 countries. Adding to the huge buzz around the band is the reaction by internet and FM radio to our first song release of 2018. We are looking forward to touring every country where either the movie or our music is having an impact.