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A brief chat with the Swingin’ Utters


Santa Cruz street-punks the Swingin’ Utters come to Denver on August 20 for the Fat Tour, along with a whole bunch of other bands signed to Fat Wreck Chords, so we chatted with frontman Johnny Bonnel.S

Yellow Scene: Fistful of Hollow is a great record – it was only out last year but are you working on a follow-up?

Johnny Bonnel: We’re sort of constantly writing stuff. I know Darius [Koski] has been working on stuff and I’m constantly working on stuff. I know Jack [Dalrymple] and Miles [Peck] are kind of busy, but they’ve always got stuff to add and stuff to bring when it’s time to do a new record. I like to just keep it going, try to get a record out every year-and-a-half but if we don’t it’s not the end of the world. We just want to keep being busy and keep writing more records, get them out as much as we can right now.

YS: The band is coming up on a 30-year anniversary. After a couple of recent line-up changes, how do you think the current band compares to past line-ups?

JB: Yeah, it takes a little getting used to but usually by the end of one tour, with the members that we have now, it seems to start clicking. It’s just a matter of us remembering the songs and getting a tight set down. After that, we get to add whatever we want live, just so we’re prepared. It’s just a matter of practice. We’re happy right now. It seems to be going pretty good. We did one tour with the current line-up and it went fairly well. We’re excited about doing a new record, just because we’re adding more pieces.

YS: Are you looking forward to the Fat Tour? It’s quite a bill…

JB: Yeah, it should be great. We’re friends with most of these bands so it should go pretty smooth and we should have a lot of fun. I’m never going to complain if we are touring and we see the world. We’re pretty lucky just to be in a band in the first place.

YS: Do you like playing Colorado?

JB: Yeah, as of late. The past three of four times we’ve played there have been really good shows. It wasn’t like that for a good two or three years – it was kind of dead for us. It picked up three or four years ago. We’re excited about going there for sure.

YS: When this tour’s done, what’s next?

JB: We head out to a tour in November, and then we go to Japan for one show. It’s kind of a ridiculous thing, but it’s one show with most of the bands on the Fat Tour.

Swingin’ Utters play with NOFX, Lagwagon, Strung Out, the Flatliners, Masked Intruder, toyGuitar, and Bad Cop/Bad Cop on the Fat Tour at 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 20 at the Fillmore; 1510 Clarkson St., Denver; 303-837-0360; $42-$45.


Brett Calwood
Brett Callwood is an English journalist, copy writer, editor and author, currently living and working in Los Angeles. He is the music editor with the LA Weekly. He was previously a reporter at the Longmont Times-Call and Daily Camera, the music editor at the Detroit Metro Times and editor-in-chief at Yellow Scene magazine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Callwood

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