The Swingin’ Utters (Darius)

Interviews | Feb 24th, 2005

NOFX, Lagwagon, Strung Out, Swingin Utters, The Flatliners, Masked Intruder, Bad Cop Bad Cop, toyGuitar @ Stone Pony Summer Stage (70)

So what’s been shaking? What are your plans for the day?
I’m off today, with my wife and my 18 month old. . . I’m gonna go to cinder block and work on the designs for our new t-shirts, then I’m gonna pick up my 4 year old from daycare, then I’m going bowling with Johnny and his wife and kid. I lead a very exciting life.

You guys always struck me as political and worldly and junk. What do you think about the coming war?
I think it’s fucked up, because it’s not about Iraq posing a threat to world security, it’s about the U.S. becoming even bigger and badder and controlling/protecting our interests. . . It’s about money and oil, it’s not about saving the world. I hate Bush, I hated his father, I hate the Republican agenda, and I just hate politicians in general. They’re just not to be trusted, ever. Our country is run by a dim frat-boy, who became president because of influence. He bought his way in, and it’s disgusting. Ugh.

Not many people know this, but you play like every instrument known to man. Could you give us some details on your musical background and training?
I started playing violin when I was 5, and piano when I was 7 or so. I played pretty seriously until I was 17, when I gave it up altogether. I’d played in several orchestras and symphonies and chamber groups, etc. and just got sick of playing classical music, sick of playing other peoples music. . . and classical music is all about being a virtuoso, practicing hours a day, etc. and violin is a particularly hard and at some times painful instrument to master. . . so if I wasn’t into it heart and soul, really passionate about it, I figured I was wasting my time. I had no desire to become a concert violinist or anything. I wanted to play rock and roll and write songs.

Would you rather spend a year in prison or six months in the army?
It depends. If I really believed in it, I suppose I’d go to war, but I don’t see myself ever believing in a war strongly enough to go out and kill people. I’d probably go to prison first. I’m not fighting for any fucking politician’s evil scheming.

Would you have sex with Courtney Love if she paid you?
How much? It’d really have to be a lot.

I read somewhere that the Filthy Thieving Bastards are aptly named because they stole the Pogues’ sound. I think that’s unfair and I say we break that guy’s legs. Your thoughts?
We sort of steal a lot of sounds, but I think that’s just what you do in rock and roll, punk rock or whatever. I mean, when you get down to it, everyone’s ripping off chuck berry whether they know it or not. . . Yeah, break the guy’s legs anyhow…

Why do you suppose prog-rock is missing from today’s punk scene?
I don’t know. Most of the music that’s really huge right now sucks pretty hard, so prog-rock would kinda fit in, because it sucks pretty hard, too. Where’s Emerson, Lake and Palmer when you need ’em? Yes?

Describe what a reality show based on your band(s) would be like.
Maybe that would show the kids out there that go to see their favorite bands that we actually do go through a lot of boring shit, like driving, etc. and endless downtime when we’re on the road, and that it’s not all tour buses and groupies and drugs and parties and cash. It’s more like 6 guys in a van pulling a u-haul trailer listening to the same cds and mix tapes for a month and getting lost in a St. Louis ghetto a half-hour before doors.

I’ve got some good Swingin’ Utters pick-up lines: “Girl, you are Utterly beautiful!” “Those are some mighty low-swingin’ utters!” “Wanna see my new 7″?” “I know someone from the Foo Fighters.” Have any of those worked for you? What are your fave lin
I’m the wrong guy to ask. . . I’ve never even been single since we’ve been touring. . . I’m a very domesticated gentleman, thank you.

Thanks for taking the time. Anything you’d like to plug?
Our new record comes out February 25. . . and our website is at . . and we’ll be on the road in march and april, so you can check the fatwreck website or ours and check out the dates. . .