Schwervon! Moved From NYC to the Midwest and Never Looked Back

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You've discussed in other interviews some of the difficulties between separating your musical and personal lives. As you continue with both, does it get easier or harder? What is the biggest blowout you've ever had before a show?

Mason: We've had some pretty big blowouts. There were times when we'd actually fight onstage. I'm kind of embarrassed about that now. We've started a new policy recently that we just don't do anything, bandwise, unless both of us are really enthusiastic about doing it. It's really simple, but it seems to be working. I think we both have a lot of respect for the work that we're doing now. It's like any job: If you are fighting with your coworker, then you're not going to do a very good job. It's funny how it can work both ways. Sometimes, our love for each other can get us through the shitty shows. And sometimes a good show will make Nan forget how annoying it is that she had to sit next to me in the car all day for six hours.

Turner: I recall more pre- or post-show blowouts than onstage blowouts, including one where I was locked in a backstage after a show in Hamburg. I have a history of getting locked in bathrooms and backstages, which results in a lot of panic and shouting. I think Matt is right, though, about us. Maybe it's age and experience, but we're definitely getting better at getting along.

Rumor has it that recent Schwervon! shows have included tap dancing. Do you expect that you'll amplify the tap-dancing as a percussive instrument, a la Tilly and the Wall?

Turner: It's sort of a performance-art break in our set where I "interpretive dance" while Matt reads a poem he makes up for each show. It's less a Tilly and the Wall thing, and more of a "what just happened?" thing.

Mason: I like to call it making the most of our assets.

You've played with both Belle & Sebastian and the Vaselines. What is your connection to Scotland, or is it just a coincidence?

Mason: We love Scotland. Oddly enough the Scottish connection for those gigs were a coincidence. But, aside from loving a lot of music from there, we do have a connection to Scotland and, even more specifically, Glasgow. Our first two records were released in the UK on a Scottish label called Shoeshine, run by Francis MacDonald. He is the drummer for Teenage Fanclub, and a very talented musician and songwriter in his own right.

As a two-piece, do you ever find it a challenge to fill out larger stages, rooms or festivals?

Mason: That's been a challenge that has sort of accidentally helped us develop our style, I guess. Sometimes those limitations free you up to explore other cool stuff you might not think about. Even though we don't have a bass player, I think a lot about bass. We didn't set out to start a band without a bass player. It just worked out that way. I feel like we're often finding ways either through dynamics or our arrangements to sort of fill in that space. People are often telling us after shows that they've never heard a two-piece generate so much sound. It's a nice feeling.

What's next?

Mason: We have plans to go into the studio in May to test the waters on a handful of new songs. We didn't wanna rush these new songs, but we wanted to put something out because it's been a while. So we had this idea of recording some acoustic versions of some songs off of one of our lesser known albums, I Dream Of Teeth. We're gonna call it Broken Teeth. We'll probably just record them here ourselves, and then shooting for a new album in the spring of 2015.

Do you have any tips to staying sane on tour?

Both: Drink lots of water. Bring books. Eat something green every day. Don't drink too much. Get enough sleep. Take walks on your own when people drive you crazy. Listen to Marc Maron podcasts in the car. Try to work out as many details of the tour before the tour. Then you can relax more on tour.


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