Sworn In released their third studio album All Smiles earlier this year via Fearless Records and Australian fans recently got to see the band perform live; Sworn In were graced with supporting Northlane on their recently concluded Mesmer Australian Tour.
OVERDRIVE got the chance to speak with assigned skin destroyer Chris George on the morning of the Sydney show, to discuss the recently released All Smiles as well as getting the opportunity to support Northlane around Australia. The first topic of discussion was not only about the tour, but how the shows that had taken place already went down; George was super enthuastic when explaining how the shows have gone “better than we expected!” before continuing:
“We’ve spent the last week in Newtown; it’s been great to get some off days on the tour as we’re getting to see Australia. The shows have been going great as we’re getting to travel and look around! The first three days were more prompt; we didn’t spend as much time in Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth as we had to leave immediately. We’ve been able to get these five days in Newtown to just relax; it’s a nice place and King St is amazing. It’s got a lot of good food and nice bars! When it comes to which city has shown us the best reaction so far, I would have to say Perth; we had a lot of kids coming up and saying how they’ve been waiting to see us or that they’re glad we opened with this song off the new album. It’s always great to talk to kids who appreciate of the new record, plus the show was amazing; everyone was very welcoming!”
Just how were Sworn In granted the opportunity to support Northlane on their Mesmer tour? George mentioned how “to be honest, most of that stuff was handled by our booking agent; we were shot the offer for the tour and of course we were ecstatic about it! We said “yes, let’s do this”, but us ourselves didn’t have a hand in doing anything for the tour; that was all done by our booking agent. This is actually first time meeting them and they’ve been nothing but great and friendly! I’d love to get to hang out with them in America if they ever get free time whilst touring over here.”
Touching further on the recently released All Smiles, this interviewer asked what songs have been getting the best reaction so far; George explained how “we’ve tried playing maybe four songs off the new CD at the recent Warped Tour; the fans there loved ‘Dread All’ which is track nine and ‘Don’t Look At Me’, which is track two. Whilst in Australia, we’ve actually started opening with ‘Cross My Heart’ which is actually the last song on the CD; however we always thought it sounded like a theatrical live opener!
One fan actually came up to me in Perth and said how much he loved that we opened with that song. People are recognising them which is nice; we’re always playing old songs in the live set so it’s good to mix in some newer songs and see them get a great reaction as well.”
During the creation of All Smiles, Sworn In made a label change from Razor & Tie to Fearless Records; this interviewer was curious if it was just time to move onto greener pastures. George casually mentioned how “it was generally that” before elaborating further, explaining how “the A&R who signed us with Razor & Tie left shortly after we signed; we were still signed with them for a while, but we lost our super personal connection that we knew really well! Over time, we realised that we weren’t super personable because we didn’t have our main contact there anymore. We let it sit for a while; during that time period we talked with them and decided that it was time to move on, Right with perfect timing, our manager got us onto Fearless Records who were really excited about everything; it was a very smooth transition actually!”
Speaking to George on a personal level, this interviewer was curious as to whether he preferred playing songs live or in a recording studio setting; George was quick to state how
“I personally prefer playing in the studio more than performing live” before not only elaborating further, but also touching on another personal favourite:
“As the drummer, playing live is a lot more demanding and physically exhausting. The atmosphere in the studio is a lot more laid back; of course you’ve got to get your good takes and record it professionally, but you aren’t setting up your drum-kit within fifteen minutes, as well as your electronics. Because you’re trying to make sure that everything will be heard on stage, this usually leads to a mini panic attack! My favourite song to record off this album was ‘Closer To Me’; I came in with just the chorus of the song written and I wasn’t expecting it to be on the album. I showed it to Kris Crummett who we recorded with and he said that it needs to be a full song; I actually wrote ‘Closer To Me’ in the studio, in a quick tab program that took the chorus and turned it into a song within a day or two. Honestly, I just like the song because it’s catchy and it embodies a future Sworn In I guess; it’s something where we were trying to be a little different.”
Touching further on the possible direction that Sworn In will take on their fourth album, George gives a small insight into the mindset of the band:
“In our history as a band, we’ve done a lot of experimenting with our sounds; this one was more of a mainstream and a radio play direction. I think the fourth album isn’t going to be back to our roots, but back to being heavy with not as much singing. We want to bring back some of our older fans who are rooted in that super heavy sound, so the fourth album is going to be a mixture of giving the fans what they want, whilst being what we want. We’re going to look at bringing the first album back in a little bit and make it something like a little gift to our original fan base, if you want to put it that way. Sworn In has been an interesting band to be in, as our fan base is well varied; there are the ones who like the second record, whereas there are others who only like our first EP. Sometimes people think the sound changes because this band member left or this happened; I’ve been writing the music the whole time and we’ve just been changing the music because we’ve wanted to!”