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Interview: A Swift Farewell Chat About Their New Single, ‘Stressed Out’ feat. Clay J Gladstone

Sydney-based pop-punk quartet A Swift Farewell have just revealed their emphatic new single ‘Stressed Out’ featuring fellow Sydney punks Clay J Gladstone and including an evocative accompanying music video. We caught up with the band to fin out more about the tune, collaborating with Clay J Gladstone and more!

Loving the new single, how did you find the song writing process for Stressed Out?

It was actually super fast. We wrote it just a week or two before going to the studio because we realised we had two mid-tempo, poppy songs ready but nothing very energetic. So we decided to quickly write this “angrier” song. Because the song wasn’t fully finished when we headed to the studio, our producer Mark Williamson (Keywork Audio) had a bit more input than usual on the songwriting and it helped the song so much. It’s our best song in my opinion. 

The song touches on struggling with mental health. What are some of the things you do to work on your mental wellbeing?

TAKING BREAKS. When you play in a band, it’s easy to get overworked/overwhelmed. There’s so much to do: organising, practising, replying to messages and emails, playing shows, etc…. and then you have to balance it with work and life. I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes I have to put everything on pause for a few days and just rest if I don’t want it to take a toll on my mental health.

What was it like collaborating with Clay J Gladstone? Did I see you played with them recently? 

It was great. Tim is a talented singer and he recorded his takes so quickly. When we asked him to scream or to hit ridiculously high notes, he just did it. His melodies were sometimes different than what was in the demo but because it was HIS interpretation, it just gave more color to the track. We’re so glad we asked him. We were scared he wouldn’t want to do it but as soon as he heard the song, he was 100% keen which was nice. 

YES, we played at Frankies with them very recently! Dream venue and Clay J are the nicest people and have the best stage presence I’ve seen in a while. I hope we  play with them again soon.

Are there any other artist you would like to collaborate with in the future?

I’d love to collaborate with a more electronic/hyperpop artist like Daine or Underscores so they could add some crazy production to the songs (they’re probably both way too big but we said  ‘in the future’ so…). And also having a Waxflower feature would be sick. Their singer has such a unique and genuine-sounding voice and they’re one of my favourite bands.

Can you tell us the story/meaning behind the music video? Did I hear right that you built some of the sets yourself? 

The video, like the song, plays on the contradiction looking fine on the outside/ hiding a storm of bad feelings inside”. You can see us performing in two very different sets: a dark, buried” set which represents how you feel inside. And a pretty set filled with flowers which stands for “pretending to be fine on the outside”. 

We did build the fake grass panels ourselves. Emma sourced some wood from work and bought astroturf mats at Spotlight. Ryo had to get a trailer to bring all of that home and build the panels. Now we have huge panels of fake grass and we dont know what to do with them… but it was worth it!

Do you have any upcoming live shows?

We’re playing at the Burdekin Hotel with Heroes For Hire and Father Deer Hands on March 27. Should be fun! Make sure to grab tickets before they sell out!

Are there any further plans for 2022? 

The usual: recording and releasing some songs! Hopefully playing a lot of shows and also we’re planning to make some cool merch!

Written by Chris Lamaro