Save The Swim Team: Blending Ska & Punk as well as a Del Taco Burrito

save-the-swim-team-interview-golden-mixtapeThe holidays are over, thank jebus. Now I can get back to my hermit life of TV watching and music blogging. I told myself I would be less judgmental this year and then I looked at Twitter, rolled my eyes at friends’ tweets and broke my resolution. As my eyes stopped their bitter stares towards the idiocracy that’s reality, I opened up my interview with SoCal’s Save The Swim Team.

No, Save The Swim Team aren’t and never were the next Michael Phelps. They’re just a group of seven dudes who love Del Taco and make music that’s a blend of Ska and Punk. When I approach a band with that many members, I usually ask one or two of them to do the interview….Well in this case five out of seven participated and what’s funny is that the two that had nothing to say, happened to get the most shout outs. Maybe because they wanted everyone to feel a part of it, or they thought it’d be funny to mention them since they had no say? Either way it was a fun read for me, and I hope that it is for you.

Kendra: When it came to the ska and punk fusion in your guys sound, was that based upon some of you being into one and some into the other, or did you just think it sounded like a good mix?

Scott (guitar): Most of us grew up listening to ska/punk and some of us didn’t. I believe it mostly started out as a ska/punk band, but with all the different styles of music that we all listened to, we threw in some untypical, non-ska/punk elements.

Doug (guitar): I just plug and chug.

Brent (drums): We’ve always tried to write songs that accommodated all of our tastes in music, especially since not all of us listen to strictly ska and/or punk. I think we’re finally at a point where we can say we’ve achieved that. Well…with the exception of playing Norwegian black metal. For THAT genre, we have a side project band.

Kendra: If your music could’ve been used as the soundtrack to any movie from 2012, which would it have been and why?

Dan (trombone): I haven’t seen enough 2012 movies. I could imagine us making music for an anime film.

Doug: Chimpanzee. Monkeys (well…apes) and ska…easy choice.

Brent: I think the only movie I saw from 2012 was Paranormal Activity 4. Having our music as the soundtrack wouldn’t even had made it a good movie.

Kendra: Speaking of, are there any plans to make some new music soon?

Zack (sax): Planning on redoing old songs, besides the new EP.

Scott: Yes! We just finished recording our new EP…two new songs and one re-worked old song. It’s not done yet but hopefully early next year it’ll be out!

Brent: We are currently finishing up in the studio with three (mostly) brand new songs as we speak. If all goes to plan, we should have them out on a 7” in spring of 2013, with one of the tracks streaming online as early as January or February.

Kendra: You’re probably aware that only 17 states offer Del Taco, so does that kind of influence where you’ll play? No, in all seriousness, any plans on heading out east in the coming months at all?

Dan: Our next tour’s going to be a big one. Brent definitely is networking with the east coast for it.

Scott: Haha we may be addicted to Del Taco but we have occasionally ventured outside of our comfort zones! Yes we do plan on coming out next year to the east coast finally! Hopefully the recently re-united Daly’s Gone Wrong will take us on their 2013 tour of the universe or something…

Doug: We like to go where there is no Del, to spread the gospel that is Del…and we hope to head east as soon as we can.

Brent: Although food is one of the biggest highlights of touring for us, we don’t strictly play in cities/states that offer Del Taco. We do, however, make it a point to go to as many as we can in the areas that do have it. As for heading out east…we will be doing 25 days on the road early summer of 2013, going through the northwest, midwest, and east coast. We’ll be announcing the dates/cities early next year.

Kendra: But since I got to Del Taco, with seven grown men in the band, do you have to stock up on coupons when you do hit the road? I mean feeding 7 guys can’t be cheap.

Zack: Coupons are a good idea, but generally we end up fending for ourselves.

Dan: It’s not cheap feeding ourselves on tour…it’s definitely a good budgeting experience. Del Taco is mostly ritual to when there’s one in the area. Like, if there’s not going to be some around for at least 3 days, we have to stop by a Del Taco.

Scott: Eating on tour is rough if you only want to eat out…you’ll burn a hole in your wallet real fast. We bring snacks, canned food and other non-perishable items (and some not) to eat most of the time.

Doug: They don’t make enough coupons to cover us. We all fend for ourselves unless we need to feed the Dan.

Brent: Personally, I try to stock up on gift cards and/or coupons to various places that I know are abundant on the road. The rest of my meals come from either canned food or non-perishable snacks. Touring is NOT cheap, so I try to save money wherever possible.

Kendra: Sticking to the band. Being fans of Adventure Time and having a big enough ensemble to be able to, if each one of you were a character on the show, who would be who?

Zack: I think we actually discussed that before, but I don’t remember who I was. I think Max was Finn and Richie was Princess Bubblegum, but that’s all I remember.

Dan: Zack – Cinnamon Bun, Doug – Jake, Richie – PB, Max – Finn, Scott – Ice King, Danny – Beemo, Brent – Peppermint Butler

Scott: I still don’t own cable. Only 3 episodes maybe…not all the way. My roommate said he illegally downloaded them but we can’t find them. Basically I suck at watching TV.

Doug: Agree with Dan on all, except Zack is Peppermint Butler and Brent is LSP.

Brent: Me – The Earl of Lemongrab, Dan – Juice Goose, Doug – LSP, Max – Jake, Richie – Lady Rainicorn, Scott – Ice King, Zack – Finn

Kendra: Are there cliques within the group, like are there a couple or few of you who always stick together when it comes to band decisions?

Zack: Sometimes…but for the most part it’s pretty easy to work things out in a group discussion.

Dan: I’m just a boy. I don’t understand conflict.

Scott: Richie and Max think they own the band or some shit. They constantly fight for the title of Richie Saves The Swim Team or Max Saves The Swim Team. But in all seriousness, I would say I mostly agree with Brent. At the same time, though, I try to maintain an open outlook on everything.

Doug: We all try to decide what is best for the band and not what we personally want. We argue of course, but we are all good friends and try to hear each other out.

Brent: I tell everyone where to be, what to do, and when to eat.

Kendra: I really liked the extra talents each one of you had listed on your Facebook from Scott’s “yeti growls” to Dan’s “dream snake wrangler,” but what’s Brent’s extra skill?

Zack: He doesn’t need one since he shreds so hard.

Dan: The Saturday Morning Special

Scott: Shreds and doesn’t sleep or eat…just books shows and band stuff.

Doug: His skills are private 😉

Brent: I’m really good at remembering to bring enough napkins for the whole table, whenever we’re at Del Taco.

Kendra: Okay, Scottie…that picture with one of my biggest fears, Gary Busey, was that at the NFG show at Chain (because I am pretty sure I recognize that wall)? Or is that guy frequenting shows there more often than I’d like him to?

Scott: Yes it was. Brent and I attended that show and right when we walked in, Gary and his son Jake were just chilling and talking to NFG. Couldn’t resist taking a picture with the legend!!! If he ran for president, I would vote for him…Busey rules.

Kendra: Since you are obvious lovers of the 90’s (as am I), with your Nickelodeon splat and purple parrots tee and pogs, I want the top 5 songs you’d put on a mixtape to give to someone who was unfamiliar of how awesome that decade was, go!

Blues Traveler “Run Around
Eagle-Eye Cherry “Save Tonight
Mark Morrison “Return of the Mack
Kris Kross “Jump
OMC “How Bizarre

Chumbawamba “Tubthumping
Seal “Kiss From a Rose
Weezer “Surf Wax America
A Tribe Called Quest “Find a Way
That one “heeeyy heeeey heeeey hey hey hey” song

Rx Bandits “Ten Seconds Never Seemed So Long
Suicide Machines “Someone
MC Hammer “Can’t Touch This” (late ’89…so it counts)
Saves The Day “Rocks Tonic Juice Magic
Lifetime “Cut The Tension

Spice Girls “Wannabe
R.E.M. “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Tag Team “Whoomp! (There It Is)
Will Smith “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It
The Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” Is that 90s enough?

Ace of Base “The Sign
Green Day “J.A.R.
Jimmy Cliff “I Can See Clearly Now” (I know this one is a cover, but this was the 90’s version, and was featured in Cool Runnings)
Polaris “Hey Sandy
The Presidents of the United States of America “Peaches


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