Mike Little of The Swifts – Exclusive GIGsoup Interview

The Swifts latest album All Sunshine has been receiving excellent reviews across a wide spectrum of outlets. Their style of pop punk is catchy, punchy, very well constructed and most importantly delivered with heart. Here is vocalist Mike Little of The Swifts.

What did you originally want to accomplish when you started The Swifts?

It started as nothing more than an excuse to hang out, drink beer and play.  We were all friends that happened to be musicians.  Rob got the idea to put a band together to play punk-style 80s covers.  We did that for a couple years before we started writing originals and became what we are today.  Our goal today is the same…hang out, drink beer and play. 

What’s your personal favorite memory of playing in The Swifts?

We played this show on St Patrick’s Day a few years ago.  It was one of those shows where everything came together.  It was at the 12 volt in Denver which is a great venue.  We played on the floor with our amps on top of beer kegs.  The crowd was amazing.  Full house and flowing green beer.  I remember these girls in the front trying to sing along with our orginals that they had clearly never heard before. 

What do you think there is about All Sunshine that really connects with people?

At the start we really just tried to make a melodic record that covers a few different punk styles that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  We didn’t think too much about what people will connect with.  What’s been interesting to me is all the positive feedback we’ve received on the lyrics.  There are songs about loss and pain that have connected with people more than I expected. 

Do you still feel as close to the songs of All Sunshine now as when you wrote them?

For me there’s an evolution with songwriting where my relationship with the song changes as it goes from idea to demo to playing live to recording.  Once a song is recorded, I find myself trying to listen to it as if I didn’t write it.  And when I end up liking a song with that objectivity, those are the ones I end up feeling closest to. 

From the first All Sunshine writing session to the CD landing how long was that process and what kind of journey was it?

It took about two years to get enough good material together that we felt was worthy of recording.   The whole recording process start to finish was close to year but that had a lot of long breaks in between sessions.   I really love the recording process.  A lot can happen to the songs in terms of structure, backups, lead guitars etc.  It’s so much fun creating the final product.

Did you worry about fan expectations when you made the album?

Not at all.   I feel like we have great fans that are hard to disappoint.

How have your musical tastes evolved over time?

That’s a good question.  The 4 of us listen to all sorts of different genres.  I think my tastes have changed the least.  I pretty much listen to the same stuff I did when I was 14 years old.  I should probably spend some time finding new bands to listen to.    

Are any of you in side projects? If so how to you prioritize your musical endeavors?

Yeah sometimes we do side projects. Rich our drummer is the most active.  He currently plays in a couple jazz outfits.  Jim did side project last summer.  Generally speaking we prioritize The Swifts above everything else. 

Have any of you taken lessons for your instrument and vocals? Or are you self taught? 

Some of us have been to music school.  Not me though.   I am totally self taught in everything which is something I’m not proud of.  For as long as I’ve been playing I feel like I should be better.  But at the same time I’m strangely content in my mediocrity.  It’s me and I do what I do and I’m good with that.   

When can we expect more music from you?

I’m really like to get back in the studio towards the end of 2019.  So hopefully something new by early 2020. 

What’s the plans for 2019 and 2020?

We just want to play live and keep writing.  It’s been such a fun process getting All Sunshine out there and getting the feedback.  We’d like to do it again.  Thanks so much for chatting with me.  I really appreciate it and hope your audience likes the record.