There's a lot of buzz about Swear and Shake - a new band from NYC. Mei caught up with them for this fun Q&A. Come check out their Jammin Java debut on January 15 with special guests Grace and Tony!
Where and when was your first show?
Adam: Our first show Kari and I played together was in Manhattan. It was a strange candlelit artist showcase at a loftspace that doesn't exist anymore. Kari had a terrible allergic reaction to some facewash or moisturizer and she looked like Glimmer when she gets stung by the tracker jackers in "The Hunger Games" movie. All in all it was a good show. We played "These White Walls" and "Johnnie." Our only two songs at the time. We walked at college graduation together the next day, allergic reactions and all.
What band/artist would you consider to be your main influence?
Kari: I find a lot of different types of music inspiring. The first artist I ever LOVED with all my heart and wanted to be just like was Michael Jackson. I loved him so much when I was a kid and was devastated when he couldn't make it to my 5th birthday party. Some things are never meant to be...
What is one of your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experiences?
Benny: One tour experience that is both memorable and off-the-wall took place on a cold evening in Abingdon, Virginia. We had just played at Wolf Hill's Brewing, an impressive brewery with a wide and delicious selection of craft beers. Making new friends is one of our favorite ways to celebrate a good set, and were doing just that when a fan of the band (we'll call her Tilly) challenged Adam and me (Ben) each to a fistfight. We both adamantly opposed, and not just because she was a beautiful young lady. Even after finding out she takes boxing class each week, the fact of the matter is, we do not like violence! (Not to say we don't have our fair share of Super 8 pillow fights, but those are really just a way of expressing love.) Tilly wouldn't take no for an answer, and after letting me playfully hit her well-defined bicep, she proceeded to kick my ass. Swing, undercut, jab, this drummer was down for the count, Bubba! Don't worry, Tilly, we still love you.
Benny: A home cooked meal, easy! When "the van" is home sweet home, and dinner is $15 from the venue per band member, there is nothing better than sitting around a dining room table with friends or family and having a good, old fashioned supper. Just thinking about those kitchen smells is making my stomach growl.
Benny: The beer that Shaun (our bassist) keeps on top of his amp. I think all four members of Swear and Shake think of it as a bit of a rabbit's foot. I would never want to play a show without it.
If you were to have a film/movie based on your career, which actors or band would you select to portray yourself?
Shaun: Kari's obviously going to be played by Zooey Deschanel. Will Smith will definitely play me. Adam played by Kevin Spacey. Who would be good for Benny? Charlie Day. That'd be really good.
What two words would best describe your music?
Kari: Heartfelt and passionate. I mean it.