Seeing as they consider each other to be one of their greatest influences, it is clear the alternative four-piece SWELL DAZE was destined to come together to create music. The Purcellville natives have a clear, strong chemistry throughout their performances and musical delivery. This chemistry was on high display last year when they were reigned winners of Empire’s Mid-Atlantic Battle of the Bands where 90 bands competed. Considering they started as a wild card, the natural talent of the band is something that isn’t overlooked. The band then worked in the studio with renowned producer Jim Ebert. This led to the creation of their song “Hooked”, which has been featured on MTV and The Discovery Channel. The band, which includes vocalist McCoy Douglasson, guitarist Addison Smith, drummer Greg Barton, and bassist Mitch Weissman, has continued a steady pace of performing at locations in Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland. Their sound truly can’t be pigeonholed, as they draw influences from various artists and strive to make each song its own entity. Even so, in their biography on Facebook, you’ll find that they consider their genre and sound to be uniquely defined as SWELL DAZE. For those looking for a new indulgence that’ll satisfy multiple musical palates, look no further than SWELL DAZE.

What inspired the band name?

McCoy: It came from a t-shirt I had for a while, and it just said, “Swell Day” and my brother suggested it being the band name. But, then I thought of replacing “Day” with “Daze”, and it sort of stuck.

Who or what inspired you to create music?

Mitch: My dad was a major influence. I went to my first concert at five-years-old. Then, I eventually picked up the electric guitar in high school and listened to a lot of classic rock.

Addison: I guess I have to give a similar answer. My dad was who introduced me to in music in the first place. I picked up the guitar in the 9th grade, and I took it from there.

Greg: I’ve always liked all sorts of genres, and it was my next door neighbor who got me into rock. The rest of the band inspires me as well; we all build off each other. The band is my main source of inspiration.

McCoy: I was actually singing as I exited the womb. My mom was a singer, and I used to go on stage and sing with her. Then, I met these guys (the band), and they got me into some really good music.

You guys worked with producer Jim Ebert on your album. How did that opportunity present itself?

Greg: We actually hired him. We were looking for a good producer, and we took the money from what we won at the Mid-Atlantic Battle of the Bands. We thought he was a good investment. He had a great studio and resume, and we thought he was a really good candidate.

Is there another producer you would like to work with?

Greg: We really did enjoy working with Jim. When we were in the studio, he kind of changed how we wrote, and it gave us another source of inspiration.

What was your experience like competing in the Mid-Atlantic Battle of the Bands?

Mitch: It let us improve our performance and music and develop choreography It really helped us develop.

Addison: There were a lot of bands, and at first, it was daunting. What drew us to the competition was that we were judged by a panel of judges. You know, it wasn’t about ticket sales, and we were the only ones who were rock. We tried our very hardest every round.

McCoy: We were actually picked as a wild card in the first round. We just wanted to see where it would go and how far we could go in the competition. We at first placed 7th, and then we won the next round, and then the next one, and then the next one. Then we ended up winning! We were really excited to learn new things about the band and develop knowledge about being in the music industry. We didn’t just do it to win. We kept the advice to heart, and it has changing our writing style and made us develop as a band.

What exactly is the “SWELL DAZE” sound?

Addison: I would say the closest to describing the sound of the band is that we have a classic rock core to our sound. We all respect classic rock, and we try to incorporate catchy melodies and forward thinking into our songs. We try to take a normal song and make it something that’s unique, and something that people enjoy and can remember.

Mitch: There are a lot of different elements, like ska and pop.

McCoy: Each song has its own distinct sound. We make it ours throughout, and we try to keep it different and unique.

Your performance is something that is unique to the band. What is the level of performing to the band itself, and what inspired you guys to create energetic shows?

Greg: Whenever we do have a good performance, we look back and see what went right and what the crowd liked and try to make everyone happy. If the crowd is happy, then we’re happy.

Mitch: Performing takes the music a step up from listening to it on your iPod. Performances are so you can see the band, not just hear the band.

McCoy: Well ever since we played our first show we had this sort of chemistry. We all love music so much, and it all evolved into this passionate performance. I mean, you see some bands that just stand up there and play, but we feel the music. We take everything as a growing experience.

For more updates on SWELL DAZE, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, “become a fan” on Reverbnation, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Shelby Baker

Shelby Baker

Shelby is pursuing a bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in writing and studio art from Christoher Newport University. Music and writing, in any form, have always been a strong passion of hers. During her time at CNU, she has written frequently for The Captains Log, CNU's student newspaper.e. The most recent article I wrote for the newspaper was about the Vegetarian Club. Shelby personally enjoys post-hardcore, pop punk, and alternative music.


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