Life in the Deep End: SWMRS


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Oakland natives SWMRS have ruled the stages around the Bay Area for quite some time, starting with Gilman in Berkeley, then the heavily noted Vans' Warped Tour. Now embarking on a tour with The Aquadolls (interview with Melissa Brooks here) and the close release of their debut album Drive North, we had the opportunity to talk to lead singer, Cole Becker, about the trials and tribulations of getting to where they have now. 

WRITTEN CITIZEN: Hey Cole. It's nice to be able to talk to you. Thanks for doing this interview. 

COLE BECKER: Yeah, no problem. 

WC: So just to start off, any songs you really recommend off of your upcoming album, Drive North

CB: All of them. Yeah, they're all really really good. 

WC: How would you describe the writing process behind Drive North and more of your upcoming releases?

CB: It's been awesome. I know that before this record, we were in an album called Emily's Army. It's been really different writing the record this time, and I think we all dug a lot deeper. We all wrote the songs, and we're all thinking deep for content and trying to make it so that you can feel the emotion in the record. So we really just wanted to make something emotional and powerful and fun, all in one. Hopefully you'll like it.

WC: So talking about influences, were there any bands that you listened to when you were growing up that made you really want to become a musician?

CB: Yeah, I always remember I listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival a lot. My mom had their CD, like their best hits, and I listened to that all the time. What really made me want to 
become a musician were two things: I don't really know what came first, but watching School of Rock for the first time and then at the same time, I heard The Ramones for the first time. Those two things really sparked me to learn how to become a musician. 

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WC: So what were some of your plans for the future when you were about sixteen or seventeen? Any definite plans? Did you ever really see yourself getting to where you have now?

CB: When I was sixteen, we were playing in Emily's Army and we went on Warped Tour and it was so much fun. But I didn't really think about it too far into the future. I was working on getting into college, and now I'm just trying to get done with college and play music all the time. 

WC: Talking about college, do you have any academic plans?

CB: Yeah, I think eventually I'd like to get a master's in anything like film or film theory or teaching. But for now, I just really want to play music all the time. Luckily, I'm at Berkeley, and you're allowed to take off as much time as you want, so I'm not gonna be a student for a really [long time] until I have downtime where I can work on that. Like, school can wait, but music doesn't always wait for you.

WC: You've mentioned before that you go to Cal and are from Oakland, but any places that you would really like to live and work in the future?

CB: Yeah, you get a taste of every culture here, which is cool. After starting at Berkeley, I have a new appreciation. Like, street music, Bay Area funk, punk, and jazz. I definitely wanna go elsewhere because of work and the opportunities to go out and do something different. I'd like to spend some time in New York City if I get the chance, and maybe the time to do something in Europe or South America, but I'll always come back to the Bay Area. The people here and the general attitude — the open mindedness — are what I love. 

WC: Going back to performing and tours, what's the best venue in which you've played so far? 

CB: There's a venue in Los Angeles called the Teragram Ballroom that sounded amazing, but my favorite place to play will probably always be Gilman in Berkeley.

WC: Oh cool! I know you guys have a concert at Gilman in about February?

CB: Yeah, we're doing a festival there and it's pretty cool. 

WC: Wrapping this up but thanks so much for this interview, Cole! Hope everything goes well. 

CB: Yeah, no problem. Thanks and have a great day.

Follow SWMRS on their Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud!

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