Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, chances are, you’re familiar in some capacity with Greyslake, Illinois’ hard-hitting and progressive hardcore act, Sworn In. Nearing the release of their debut full length, The Death Card and half-way through their tour with For The Fallen Dreams, I was able to get some questions in with vocalist Tyler Dennen about the band, their future and the crisis involving their now un-impounded van.
First and foremost, thanks for taking the time out of what I can only imagine is a massively trying time in your band’s history. I really appreciate it and I’m sorry it couldn’t have happened in person while you were in Pontiac. You guys have gotten me through a couple really dark times in my life with your music, and for that, I’m eternally grateful.
We couldnt be any more lucky to have the ability to have an impact on peoples lives. We’re glad we can help.
Second, would you guys mind introducing yourselves–who are you and what do you do, basically?
I’m Tyler, i do vocals. There is also Chris who drums, Sean the bass player, and Eugene and Zak the guitar players.
What’s the full story with this van situation? I realize you guys are probably tired as hell of talking about it, but what really happened?
Tyler Dennen: The whole story is this, we made it to the pike room and unloaded all of our gear, after that Zak wanted to go to a “sprint” store to get this phone fixed, so we entered the address into a gps and ended up in a long driveway. Zak can’t back up a trailer so he cut a corner and ran over a little bit of grass, which happened to be a police stations lawn where the mayor and chief of police were planting seed. So we got pulled over, they ran our plates, and everything came up “invalid” due to “auto future” (dealership we got the van) not registering our plates. So the van and trailer got impounded, but we got it back thankfully.
Will the issue with your van have any implications or impact on your release of The Death Card?
No, not at all.
Speaking of The Death Card, you guys have made a couple allusions to it being somewhat different from your previous releases. In what ways? What are some of the lyrical themes and atmospheric elements behind the release?
Its a concept CD about death, its also much darker and much more technical than our other music. But its also still extremely heavy, so hopefully we wont lose too many old fans. This cd isn’t meant to make kids feel “pissed”, it’s meant to make kids feel insane.
What made you want to choose that direction with the album? Was there a defining moment which influenced the writing of the album?
Maturity, definitely. We want to write music for us, not music for kids to mosh to.
What artists would you guys say influence you the most?
Klaus Nomi, Between the Buried and Me and Meshuggah.
Any cool/funny/outrageous stories from recording?
Not really, we were so rushed for time there was not a chance to goof off and have fun.
Recently, you guys announced a signing with Razor and Tie; how long was that in the works? Have they been helping “fuel” your already relentless touring schedule?
It’s been a few months, and surprisingly no.
For instance: right now you’re on tour with Hundredth and For the Fallen Dreams—two pretty big-name acts who are widely considered to be “experts” at what they do. Not to mention, they make great music. That’s gotta be pretty harrowing. Can fans of Sworn In expect to see you on more tours with bands like these? Will you guys be lining up another national tour to support the release of your full length?
Yes we are working on that as we speak.
What would you say has been your favorite moment touring?
For me personally it was probably climbing a huge ass mountain in Utah.
When you guys aren’t touring the country or writing relentless music, what do you guys do? How do you enjoy your down time?
We literally just hang out with eachother in Chris’ basement non stop. We aren’t too productive haha.
Finally, if you could have the opportunity to tour across America with four other bands—either still functional or defunct–who would they be? Why?
Oh man, thats a hard question. I really have no idea. My favorite band is Thrice, but our genres dont match up at all. I really dont have a good answer for this one. Meshuggah would be cool, so would BTBAM.