Your bio says you hail from Austin, Texas – mecca for a lot of indie music and home of the yearly SXSW Festival. Are you all originally from Texas?
– Only one of us are from Texas, and he grew up in Houston. We’re all transplants from Houston, Boston, Chicago, and Akron; but just about everyone in Austin is a transplant.
The members are from several bands, such as Daniel Hawkins from Papermoons and Colby James from Brother / Ghosts. How did you all meet up?
– Me and Danny’s old bands used to tour together (His, Little Compass and mine, Adios [Matt from Papermoons was also in Adios]) so we’ve been friends for years. When I moved to Austin, I didn’t think the band would continue but things worked out we were able to continue with a new lineup. I knew Joel from touring and meeting him and his band in Louisiana a few times, and Colby had been in another band, MANS, that we had mutual friends with. It all just worked out really well.
You switched from one pretty prominent indie label, Count Your Lucky Stars, to another, Topshelf Records. How did that come about?
– We put out that split 7″ with Into It Over It on CYLS, and planned on doing a full length too; but that was a weird time in my life – I had planned on moving to Austin and the idea of Pswingset didn’t seem feasible after the move – but then, as I mentioned, once I got to Austin, our original bass player, Matt, moved down too and we got together with Danny and decided to start the band again – or keep doing it, however you want to look at it, haha. We had always been talking to Topshelf and they liked what we were doing and we just made a decision to do the full length with them. No bad blood with CYLS or anthing whatsoever, just a random decision. I also really like when bands have released on several labels, it adds more depth to a discography.
How is the songwriting process for you (music or lyrics first? Single writer or collaborative?)
– We usually bring in a riff to a practice and go off that for bit; usually I’ll have 2-3 parts and show them to everyone and after we play it a few practices, over and over, it organically takes shape and people add their own parts/new parts/etc. Lyrics almost always come last, but I have everything – just not altogether. Meaning, I carry notebooks and have random sentences and lines scribbled down from various times and I’ll go through those and find pieces that match the theme of the song and maybe add those in; or maybe only use fresh ideas. It’s definitely the least focused part of our music but, at the same time, the lyrics and wording have to fit well or it’s all bullshit in the end.
With your new album, All Our False Starts released, what are the plans for the group (touring, records with the other bands, SXSW appearance, etc)?
– To finish out the year we have some weekends planned around Texas as well as Wild Frontier Fest, in Austin. After that, were planning a tour after the new year and hopefully, if all works out, short tours of the UK and Japan.
Who are you listening to now?
– Right now; The Life and Times, Markov, Kowloon Walled City, Miranda Sound, Torche, Castor, Polvo, ON (Ken Andrews), Weatherbox. It all looks so random when typed out, but in my head its all really cohesive and I, as well as everyone else in the band, pull alot of inspiration from different genres.
A big thanks to Pswingset for the interview. You can pick up All of Our False Starts at the Topshelf Records website here.