Andrew Swift & The Rattlesnake Choir
added: 27 Jul 2013
interviewed by: Cate Altamura
Local Melbourne band “Andrew Swift & The Rattlesnake Choir,” just released their new EP, Up With The Anchor
and will be celebrating with a string of shows on the east coast of Australia. Band members include, Andrew Swift (lead vocals, guitar), Colin Dawson (guitar), Matt Davenport (bass) and Nate Hill (drums).
Like most bands starting out they have experienced both highs and lows and credit hard work and a hint of luck to get them where they are today. So far, the band have shared the stage with the likes of Evermore, Matt Corby and supported Sleepercar in San Antonio just to name a few.
Lead singer, Andrew Swift took time out of his busy schedule to chat with Music News about the bands early days, obsessive fans and the devestating morning they discovered all of their equipement was stolen whilst on the road. Music News - What can you tell me about the early days of “Andrew Swift & The Rattlesnake Choir”?
It is still kind of early days with this line up. I had been doing the solo thing since 2007, but after recording an album with some session musicians and friends helping me out, I realized pretty quickly I was missing having a band vibe and the recordings weren’t exactly capturing what I was doing live, so I got some friends together that I’d previously been involved with musically over the years, introduced them to each other and ‘The Rattlesnake Choir’ was born.
Nathan was my high school drum teacher, Matt and I used to tour together in our previous bands and Colin was a guitar teacher in a music store I was working in. This is our first EP as a band and I think we’ve really captured what we do live –it’s diverse and a little raw.Music News - Which artists have inspired and influenced you?
I didn’t really develop a solid interest in music until my mid teen years, while all the guys at school were listening to Nirvana I was getting right into Van Morrison. When I started expanding my musical pallet I was listening to and playing a lot of pop punk stuff like, Blink-182, Millencolin, Unwritten Law and Jimmy Eat World. When it comes to my song writing I think I’ve been more inspired recently by artists/songwriters like Brian Fallon (Gaslight Anthem/Horrible Crowes), Jim Ward (At The Drive-In, Sparta, Sleeper Car), Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Donnie Dureau (Blueline Medic/Ribbons Patterns), Jim Adkins (Jimmy Eat World) and Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie/Postal Service).Music News - You have come a long way and shared the stage with the likes of Evermore and Matt Corby. What do you attribute these achievements to?
I think it’s just been a lot of hard work and just a hint of luck. I’ve been lucky enough to support some amazing Australian artists, both old and new, the highlight for me was definitely supporting Sleepercar in San Antonio during the couple of weeks I was recording in El Paso, Texas. I’m a big fan of those guys and to support someone you’ve admired for such a long time really is a big deal, even if it’s only a big deal in my own head.Music News - What is one unforgettable tour memory?
One experience I’ll never forget is after that show in San Antonio we parked the van and trailer and hit the town, it was a great night, everyone was just enjoying life, the next morning though, we awoke to find the trailer with all our equipment had been stolen, guitars, amps, drums, merchandise…... everything. It was the worst feeling, everyone had been on such a high the night before and the next morning was the complete opposite, just that gut churning feeling. Unfortunately the police found the trailer a few days later with nothing left inside it. Music News - Have you had any crazy fan encounters and what can you tell me about that?
I think there is just the one… I used to work in a CD store not far from home. There was a girl who was a big fan of our band, she would come into the shop and say ‘Hi Swifty” then just stare at me while I worked, it was a little awkward. She only knew me as ‘Swifty’, so I would answer the phone as Andrew, when she asked if Swifty was working I’d say no not today. It was a little harsh but worth it to avoid that awkwardness. Music News - What hurdles have you had to overcome, to get to where you are today?
I think the music industry is the biggest hurdle in itself. It’s almost broken me more than once and a few years ago I was just about ready to throw it all away. It’s one of those industries that you just keep putting your all in to with minimal return, not just financially but emotionally and mentally. I’m happy to say I’ve stuck with it though and really happy with where we are at and where we are headed. I think we’re onto something good. Music News - Music aside, what do you like doing in your spare time?
One of my favorite things is mixed netball. There I’ve admitted it, I play netball, sometimes three times a week. We started a work team almost ten years ago and I’ve just stuck with it since then. There’s no skirt and bloomers when I’m on court though. (Phheeeeew!!! Glad to hear that Andrew!! – Cate)
I’m also a big fan of a few different TV series and movies, I’m always up for seeing something I haven’t seen before, so if you’ve got any recommendations throw them my way! Needless to say my DVD collection is getting a little bit silly.Music News - What is next for “Andrew Swift & The Rattlesnake Choir”?
We’re always writing something, slowly but surely, I think we’d be up for doing something on vinyl, even if it’s a split 7”. We’re also looking at doing more shows than we previously have, maybe a Melbourne based residency and hopefully another little tour of the east coast of Australia.Music News - Anything you would like to add?
Our new EP, Up With The Anchor
is out now on iTunes and available alongside some of our other merch at www.andrewswift.bigcartel.com
and stay tuned to our facbeook page for gig details https://www.facebook.com/andrewswifttherattlesnakechoir
Check out the video clip for Refer To The Atlas
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