SoulSwitch Talks "As It Seems", Movies, "Resident Evil", and Adele Tunes
Tue, 07 Feb 2012 07:03:37
"The songs have to mean something," urges SoulSwitch guitarist Jimmy Kwong.
The six tracks comprising the Orlando hard rock quintet's new EP, As It Seems, each harbor a deep meaning of their own. That's one of many things separating the fledgling outfit from the modern rock pack.
Not only can they write a stadium level hook, but they can encase an identifiable message within their anthemic assault. "Transmission's Lost" confronts addiction with an infectious refrain and scorching guitar solo, while "Saving Me" transmits a declaration of independence via an unforgettable distorted groove.
If you need a reference point, it's like they took Incubus's knack for melody and merged it with Sevendust's ability to pummel. In other words, they're the most exciting and explosive new hard rock band out there…
As It Seems, produced by Michael "Elvis" Baskette [Chevelle], is the start of something very, very big.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief and Dolor author Rick Florino, SoulSwitch guitarist Jimmy Kwong opens up about As It Seems, why he doesn't work for the Umbrella Corporation, movies, and so much more.
What's your take on As It Seems as a whole?
I sat down and really figured out how I wanted As It Seems to flow in terms of the track order. I thought the best way would be to start with "Change" because it's really powerful. Then, the album brings you into "Transmission's Lost" a couple of songs later, and it brings you down for a second after that with "Saving Me" and "Far Away". Finally, it slaps you in the face with "The One Thing". I felt like that flow would make sense for the listener. The songs were written in a time period together, except for "Transmission's Lost". However, we updated "Transmission's Lost" with this batch and made it current.
What's the story behind "The One Thing"?
When people look at a band or someone on stage, they only see the façade of what the performer is. They don't see what the person in front of them really is. So, the audience wants that "One thing". They only see one side of that person's personality on stage singing or playing guitar and they're in love with that perception. That first riff was written by Nic, and I wrote the second riff which is actually the verse. The chorus was a collaboration between us and Elvis. I wrote the exit riff, and it's one of my favorite riffs that I've ever written. It was a good way to end the EP on a nice, scream-y note.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
With lyrics, yes, it is. As far as the music goes, it's more emotional for me. When I write songs, I feel very emotionally attached to them. When I write an intro going into a verse or a verse leading into a chorus, I have to feel a movement within me. It doesn't matter how intricate the part is. It could be a fast guitar riff or it could be slow. I have to feel like that's where the emotion is going. That's how I write songs. I like to paint sonic landscapes. It's not visual though; it's audible. In terms of the words meshing with the music, Tom likes to make a storyline that you can envision.
What are some of your favorite movies?
I love The Crow and Braveheart. I'd say Transformers. I'm biased because I love robots though [Laughs]. Then, I'll watch martial arts movie [Laughs]. The Crow is probably my favorite though. We all like Forrest Gump, and we're all into sci-fi.
If you were to compare As It Seems to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Dawn of the Dead [Laughs]. All of us would be happy with that answer since we all love zombie movies. We're really into the Resident Evil soundtrack too. Our intro music has a lot of excerpts from those flicks. I have a badge on my stage outfit that says "Umbrella Corporation". I've had people coming up to me that don't know what it is and ask, "Do you work there?" I'm like, "No, I don't work there" [Laughs].
Who's on your playlist at the moment?
I was just listening to Five Finger Death Punch. I've also been listening to Endo from Miami, Sevendust, some Skillet, Bullet for My Valentine, and Adele. I would make love to "Set Fire to the Rain"—to the song itself [Laughs].
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