The Swaggerin Growlers Biography:
All good ideas start by about the fourth drink. In this case, it’s four pints of a strong stout. The local beer variety store, Smiley’s, carried growlers of it, so we figured what the hell, lets try it on draft. After all, we are brewers and musicians – arms manufacturers in the war against prohibition; The front line soldiers in the war against boredom.
Therein lies the problem: we were completely fucking bored. The battle was not going well.
We were in a band together. It was a good band, a damn fine one, but slow moving. A show once or twice a month, and no chance to tour outside of the occasional weekend out of town. Playing shows at the same five or so clubs. My own tension was rising, between a dead end job, a girl that just left me, and the frustration of a part time band, I was starting to genuinely go insane. I’ve got travelers blood, really. I’d spend whatever time I could burning gasoline and midnight oil, going as far as I could while making it back in time for work the next day. All the while, I was writing all of my jukebox and beatnik dreams down on any random scrap of paper I could find – A proper madman, completely in love with the world and completely in hate with the fact that I hadn’t figured out a way to go see more of it.
In short, stability was fucking killing me. But in the height of this despair, an idea hit me. The fourth drink does that, you know.
Jonny: “Let’s start a band. A band geared around touring.”
Seth: “Let me down this pint so I can think that’s a good idea.”
Jonny: “Great! I’ll buy the next round, so I can convince you that we should practice in your basement.”
And thus, somewhere in the Summer of 2004, the nefarious folk punk pirate ship, The Swaggerin’ Growlers, was conceived. What was to become a complete rolling riot played their first show out on St. Patrick’s day 2005, drinking whatever Guinness we could con out of the bar, and nearly getting into a flat out brawl with the other band that night – Fitting for us, a band that pretty much started out by raping The Pogues legacy of booze bundled bastardry.
It didn’t stop there, though, stylistically speaking: like any good pirate ship, we added influences with each place we stopped and plundered: Americana, Swing, Ska, Crackrock Steady, with our dirty DIY basement playing punk rock roots becoming more and more prevalent. Acoustic guitars switched to electric guitars. The distortion was turned up. The drums got faster and louder. We’d swing, we’d shuffle, we’d skank; All the while, pogoing around on stage like bunnies jacked up on methamphetamine.
The band relocated to Boston, MA on account of unemployment and homelessness – all hail the mighty couch surfer’s union local #452, and the hospitality of SPSC. Songs were written while standing in puddles of stale beer in a punk house kitchen, albums put out on a mix of unemployment checks and contract work that was a straight up hustle to get. People came and went and came back again, with each person bringing their own special breed of bastardry to the band. Fights were had, booze was drank, and shows were played (so many goddamn shows – hundreds upon hundreds). We’ve played with an incredible list of different bands, some of which are huge influences of ours, and discovered a golden rule: Birds of a feather drink together.
We’re the sort of assholes that will crowd surf while playing Accordion, after a heavy case of pre-set van drinking with the band going on after us and some traveler kids we picked up on the side of the highway. Mostly because that’s exactly what happened on our most recent run out with The World / Inferno Friendship Society. Best goddamn punkrock circus you’ll ever see, by the way. Anyways.
By the end of 2011, 3 full length albums have been released, a DVD, a full US tour, Canadian tour, several East Coast tours, and a fantastic crew of assorted musicians signing on for various shows and tours – with 5 core members and an ever growing list of associate members, we don’t even know who is going to show up half the time and play unless they’re in the van with us. We do know, however, it’s going to be a hell of a party regardless – It always is. We bring unapologetic anarchistic joy, professionally and shamelessly.
The US, Canada, and Europe are all within our sites for 2012′s relentless touring schedule.
Damn it feels good to be a Growler.
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