Million dollar question, and the one you already heard a thousand times for a couple of months now: why did you change your name? And why Swain?
We got tired of the old name, it’s been with us for a while. We also wanted to distantiate from our earlier work before “Howl”, that’s why we repressed it under the new name and why we’re not going to repress the “Verve Crusade” or “Repent. Repeat.” ever. It was also a good way to symbolize our change in sound and approach to songwriting. You’ll figure it out in due time. Amongst other things, Swain means young lover. We chose that name as it stands for a certain youthful nativity that we constantly strive to retain while growing up. It’s also a name that has a vibe that we can relate to instead of a direct meaning as with This Routine is Hell.
You’ve moved to Berlin, that s another substantial change since Howl. I’m not quite sure if all of you are now living in Germany’s capital, but, in any case, is that switch partly responsible for your brand new identity?
Our bass player still lives in Holland, but other than that we all moved to Berlin. It’s something that comes together as a package; moving, making different music, changing your band’s name, it all relates to the four of us changing as human beings. We don’t like to stay in one place too long, and we don’t like to operate with the same formula either. I guess we’re just too restless and the move to Berlin and the name change is just the culmination of that.
When listening to “Heavy Dancing”, the first track “I Weep For Mankind” actually resembles the old This Routine Is Hell. What happens in the subsequent minutes, though, is slightly different your musical range is perhaps maturing, perhaps thriving into different fields. Is Swain open to multiple sorts of experimentation beyond the hardcore punk background?
Yes, definitely. In many ways, “Heavy Dancing” was a way for us to experiment with new ideas and to see what felt comfortable. There were some other tracks that we dropped and some stuff that we realized we would like to have done differently. In many ways, this EP was a preparation for the new full length we are currently working on.
Was it released with the intention of underlining this transitory passage between TRIH and Swain?
Kind of. Like I said above, the EP is definitely more of a teaser than a fully developed concept. We also needed to show people that changing our name was by no means a reason to believe things would change in terms of our touring schedule or the rate with which we release music. We wanted to show people that we still make aggressive but dancy music, and that you can still catch us on an affordable show where everyone is welcome and tolerated.
You’re currently on tour with Direct Effect. How is it going? Thrilled to play once again in Portugal?
The tour has been amazing so far. I’m still mind blown that people everywhere are into our music. Most of the shows have been super wild but I know that Portugal will be amazing once more. It is pretty much our favorite country to play and we’re super happy being back. I can’t wait for tonight’s show and the rest of the remaining days!