Saturday, February 6, 2010

Fueled By Ramen's 2009 Jewel: The Swellers

           On a cold Monday evening, I walked up to the Recher Theatre in Towson, MD to see hundreds of college kids lined up ready to rock out on the My Dinasaur Life tour with bands headliners Motion City Soundtrack, and Set Your Goals, This Providence, and our latest favorite, The Swellers. As I climbed through a sold out crowd of kids, I hopped over the barricade and entered the pit to join a few photographers from Sony that were filming for openers This Providence. By 7:00 the crowd grew anxious as The Swellers came on to make their Towson and Recher Theater debut. Though This Providence's gear cluttered most of the pit beyond the barricade, I still got to enjoy their set and grabbed a few good shots (look below for a few photos of their set at The Recher and at the end of the blog).

The Michigan based pop-punk band consists of Nick Diener, (guitar/lead vocals), Jonathan Diener (drums/backing vocals) Ryan Collins (guitar), and Anto Boros (bass/backing vocals). Yes the Diener boys are in fact brothers and they are quite the duo indeed. As the ONLY band to be signed by Fueled By Ramen (FBR) Records (Paramore, The Academy Is..., Cobra Starship) this past year, The Swellers started a new wave of music with their latest album release "Ups and Downsizing). Though new to the label, the band is certainly not new to the whole touring scenario. The Swellers recently finished their album release tour as an opening act for Paramore's album release our as well. When chatting with Drummer Jonathan Diener, he described the experience as "almost too perfect...Not many bands get to experience what we experienced daily on that tour and we wouldn't trade it for anything". The Swellers have been perfecting their live act for the past two and a half years playing hundreds of shows with well known rockers like The Suicide Machines, Mustard Plug, Bowling For Soup, Much The Same, A Wilhelm Scream and made their Vans Warped Tour debut last year where they rocked three dates of the tour on the Ernie Ball stage. However this year, you'll be able to catch the band on Warped Tour all summer as they will be playing the full tour.

            The band agreed that their song writing abilities and performance capabilities have matured and grown over the years, but they say that their key asset was their friend, recording engineer, and producer Mark Michalik. Michalik runs a small studio out of Chicago and has worked on The Swellers last three albums. He has been with the band since the beginning and according to guitarist Ryan Collins, he has been the bands biggest influence throughout the creative process.  After hearing their latest album the first time about 3 months ago, the song "Feet First" marked a milestone for the band as their deepest song yet. The song was inspired by a suicide documentary, The Bridge, which chronicles several suicide attempts from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The song’s title comes from the story of one jumper changed his mind on the way down and hit the water feet first, the safest way to hit the water. That jumper is alive and is now an advocate for anti-suicide. “It’s one of the most powerful songs on the record,” says Nick.

           So if you haven't been lured into buying their complete discography yet (consisting of 4 albums, a demo, and a 7'' vinyl release) then I recommend purchasing or downloading (legally please!) their latest two albums "Ups and Downsizing" and "My Everest" so you two can get in the hype of FBR's best pop-punk band on the label. You can check the band out on Myspace at or on their own website

That's all for now on this snowy Saturday morning. Keep it cool, keep it rockin
The Pulse
All photo credits go to Alena Moran

Jonathan Diemer (top), Nick Diemer (bottom)                                                     




  1. Love these guys! and a great article! We recorded with Mark as well and definitely share the same respect. He is an awesome producer.


  2. These guys are amazing! I saw them play with Paper Route and Paramore and it was probably one of the best shows I have ever been to! Great article as well.