Interview - No Swoon
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
Photo by Jake Gravbrot
The Mood 51: Tasha and Zack, how did you two meet each other and decide to start a band together?
No Swoon: We met back in 2012 when Tasha was still doing folk music. We started collaborating on that and just slowly evolved over the years to where we are at now.
M51: What was the process of making the “Don’t Wake Up, Wake Up” music video? How did you go about filming that? It looks like maybe it was a green screen or something? NS: Ha - not a green screen! But it is really hard to get NYC shots without any people around. So we filmed everything at night starting around 10 or 11 going to about 3 each morning. We collaborated with our friend Eleanor Petry who is the best. She is a great photographer (she also did the photo on the album cover) and videographer. All three of us were coming up with the concept together and coincidentally she was experimenting with this color overlay technique. We saw a little clip she made posted on her Instagram and were like "YES - that!"
M51: What’s it like being NYC musicians at the peak of the coronavirus? How have your lives changed? NS: Well coronavirus hit while we were on the road. We had a 30 date tour booked and were only able to play 2 shows! After our show in Albuquerque cancelled as we were setting up we realized that we should probably just book it back to the East Coast. Sure enough by the time we were back in NYC 3 days later, everything was shutting down. With not knowing when live concerts will be running again it's really effected the livelihood, income, and plans of ours and basically everyone we know! We still had sub leasers in our NYC apartment until end of May, so we had to find another place to stay. Luckily we landed in Western Mass through some family friends and have been camped out here since. NYC seems pretty scary right now and really feeling for what everyone is going through! M51: “Gold He Said” has some pretty ear-catching lyrics: “No gilded mountains/Why do you lust/You lust/Just to be gold he said/Just to have gold he said/You think of shine/But forget the mines/Off backs of mine”…etc. What’s the meaning behind these lyrics? NS: We wrote this around the 2016 election. It seems pretty clear to us that some people have too much wealth and too much power. They use it to exploit the people who are actually creating the wealth and who are doing most of the work.
"It seems pretty clear to us that some people have too much wealth and too much power. They use it to exploit the people who are actually creating the wealth and who are doing most of the work."
M51: The color red is ever-present in your videos, social media, logos, and merch. What is the symbolism or meaning behind red? NS: Honestly, it was mostly an accident. It was one of the colors that we used during the EP and it just seemed to work for us for the full length.
M51: What’s your craziest tour story? NS: Tour is always fun. We are pretty mellow in general but we did crash a members-only wine tasting at this super fancy winery on our west coast tour. Our drummer for the tour talked our way in and we ended up having a totally free no limit wine tasting amongst the most bougie Cali folks. It was pretty obvious looking at us that we didn't fit in.
"We are pretty mellow in general but we did crash a members-only wine tasting at this super fancy winery on our west coast tour."
M51: How did you come up with the band name? NS: Also kinda by accident. Coming up with band names is the worst - everything is already taken. We kinda liked the name Swoon but found out it was taken, so one of us (we don't remember which) said "Fine, No Swoon!" And we kept it. M51: What made you decide to do a flexi disc? NS: Our drummer at the time Ricky, told us about them. It was something different and kind of a conversation piece. Mostly it works as a cool looking download card for the EP. But it does play on a record player!
M51: What does No Swoon’s songwriting process look like? NS: It's kinda all over the place. But for the album we mostly started with both of us in a room playing synths and guitar until we liked something. Then it was a process of pushing and pulling what we liked until there was a song. Currently, we are trying a couple different processes. We are each writing separately and coming together with ideas. We are trying to push ourselves for the record and take more time in the writing process.
M51: It’s someone’s first time listening to No Swoon—which track do you recommend they start with? NS: I think Faces is a good place to start. We feel like that track is a good example of what we are trying to say, by combining distorted guitars, some dreaminess, and a bit of post punk.
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