Somehow Ryan Collins got hotter and Nick Diener's vocals became fuller, cleaner and more enticing. Combined with the talent of Ando Boros and Jonathan Diener, I believe the band put out their best music to date. The music is a little less pop punk and a little more rock and roll, but also more technical and interesting than their previous releases. This album to me is a tease, 5 songs is too short of a glimpse into a fuller sounding band showcasing what they do best.
To top it all off, the band made this record on their own. They recorded it with the help of Mark Michalik inside Nick's home and at 37 Studios. It shows that without a label this band is willing and able to mature and grow as artists and are far from reaching their peak.
Before they return home we wanted to talk to Ryan Collins, an old friend to some of us here at Hip In Detroit, but also an amazing example of where your dreams will take you if you are talented and willing to follow your heart. You can download the EP here, but first see what Ryan had to say about himself, The Swellers and all the places he has yet to go.
hipindetroit- What did it feel like to record a record on your own without the support and rules that comes with being backed by a record company?
Ryan- It was great! By doing the record ourselves there was no pressure at all to reach any deadlines. It was the most laid back recording experience we have ever had. I think I got all my stuff done in like four hours!
hipindetroit- Was this a positive or negative experience for you?
Ryan- Very positive. Being able to record all your parts and then getting to go home right after was pretty sweet! We liked the process so much that we might even do our new album the same way.
hipindetroit- What was the process behind the scenes when you were writing the new material for the EP “Running out of Places to go”?
Ryan- Well pretty much we are never home to practice or jam out new material. A good chunk of this EP was written on the road in the van and the other was when we were on break from tours. The thing with our band is that we are always writing!
hipindetroit- How do you feel that this music differs from the previous albums that you have put out in the past?
Ryan- I feel that Running Out of Places to Go is our strongest material to date. With the previous records we were still trying to figure out what kind of direction we wanted to take the band and I feel like we finally nailed it. We took what we do the best on each record and made the best five songs that we could.
hipindetroit- What bands have you enjoyed touring with the most over the years? Any specific groups or tours come to mind?
Ryan- Oh man there are too many too count! Some of our biggest shows we have ever played were with Paramore in Indonesia and that was insane! We also just recently toured with Strung Out and that was a big one for me because I'm a super fan! Oh and we played a Fest in Europe with Rancid!! Too many good bands out there!
hipindetroit- What is it like to tour other countries? What is your favorite memory from this last tour in Australia or any of the other places you have gone?
Ryan- Being in other countries is such an amazing experience! Just being able to say I've been around the world just from playing my guitar is so crazy to me. It also seems like people appreciate music more overseas than the US. They aren't worried about stupid scenes or being seen at certain shows. They come for the music and to have a good time. I'd have to say my favorite memory was playing Bali, Indonesia with Paramore. That place was so beautiful and we had the best time! Oh and we visited that whale wars ship that's on TV in Australia. They invited us on to take a tour and have lunch with the crew!
hipindetroit- You have been on tour for a good part of the last 10 years, what is the best and the worst part about being on tour?
Ryan- Well the best part of my day on tour is obviously playing the show! I'd have to say that being away from friends and family is the worst part. Touring full time is such a sacrifice and well sometimes you miss important things back home that you just can't attend.
hipindetroit- Is coming home and playing Michigan a positive or negative experience for you?
Ryan- Playing at home whether its in Detroit or Flint has always been great for us! We have such great fans but there is nothing like a hometown crowd. The last show we did in Flint was sold out and that was one of my favorite shows!
hipindetroit- What is it like to basically live with three other men in vans for most of the year?
Ryan- Very smelly and hot. Things get weird.
hipindetroit- What is your favorite fast food or chain restaurant to eat at when you are on the road?
Ryan- That would have to be Taco Bell. Nick and Jono are Vegan so that has the best options for all of us. Plus they hooked us up with Taco Bell bucks!
hipindetroit- What is the future of the Swellers?
Ryan- After this tour we are off for the rest of the year! Shortly after the new year we are shooting to tour Europe and then following it up with one in the States. Plus we will be working on a new record which will hopefully be coming out this summer!
hipindetroit- Because we grew up together I know that this music was what you always wanted to do, are you happy that this is how you make your living?
Ryan- Yes this has been one of the best choices in my life! I'm so lucky and honored to have been able to travel the world and to have met so many great people and bands along the way.
hipindetroit- What bands are you currently listening to both local and major label wise?
Ryan- There is a band who we are taking out on our headliner called Diamond Youth who are amazing! I've also been rocking Living With Lions, Strung Out, Title Fight, A Wilhelm Scream, Deftones, and Such Gold.
hipindetroit- What advice do you have for the kids out there that want to grow up to be like you someday?
Ryan- Just stick with it. The touring and music scene has changed over the years but as long as you love what you do there is nothing greater than accomplishing what you set out to do.