Swashbuckle Rapes and Pillages New York City
On Monday May 4th, 2009 I had the pleasure of interviewing the pirate metal trio, Swashbuckle at the Blender Theater at Gramercy in New York City before their performance at Paganfest 2. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since pirates are hostile. These pirates were definitely just out to have fun. The band, though not dressed like pirates at this time, certainly acted and sounded like them from the interview. Enjoy.
Zack: How has the tour been?
Admiral Nobeard: Ah the tour has been fucking awesome so far, it’s been very good.
Commodore RedRum: Aye
Admiral Nobeard: It’s been very busy. Fuckin six seven days of tom foolery shenanigans and lots of foreigners. I love it.
Commodore RedRum: Aye
Zack: Did anything unexpected happen?
Admiral Nobeard: Oh yeah, pirates being on a tour bus.
Zack: How are the other bands? Are they cool to tour with?
Admiral Nobeard: Ah dude, it’s been amazing every night, watching all the bands. Primordial surprised the shit out of us. We figured they’d be hatin’ on us, but they’re actually really cool guys.
Commodore RedRum: Because they’re so evil
Admiral Nobeard: Evil. Yah, but they’ve been fucking tight every fucking night and we’ve just been chillin.
Commodore RedRum: Aye.
Admiral Nobeard: They’re very consistent. And fuckin’ Moonsorrow blowing me away every time, it’s amazing. It’s okay if we say fuck a lot right?
Zack: It does not matter.
Commodore RedRum: Fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck. Yar.
Admiral Nobeard: Blackguard is from Canada in the Northern Hyperblast crew, but not really Hyperblast. We’ll just call them the Northern Crew. [laughs] And fuckin Korpiklaani has always been on. You know just drinkin drinkin drinkin and then polka polka polka.
Zack: [laughs] How has your music been received by the audience during the tour?
Admiral Nobeard: It’s been pretty good. Depending, on you know, well last night kinda sucked, they stood there with their arms folded like, ‘what the fuck are pirates doing on Paganfest.’
Commodore RedRum: Jokes on them.
Admiral Nobeard: Aye. Canada’s been really receptive. Fucking amazing as hell.
Commodore RedRum: They love metal in Canada.
Zack: Are you gonna tour back there soon?
Admiral Nobeard: Definitely, we’re coming back in September with Primal Fear.
Zack: Oh wow, they’re fuckin crazy.
Admiral Nobeard: we’re coming back there with just a one off date with them and then we play with them in New York City, actually, at this club again. So it should be fun times.
Zack: So where are best crowds?
Admiral Nobeard: Quebec.
Commodore RedRum: Thus far, Quebec.
Admiral Nobeard: They’ve been circle pitting all fucking night, nuts.
Commodore RedRum: They loved the shit out of it, it was crazy. Then I blew up their bathroom.
Admiral Nobeard: Oh you did.
Commodore RedRum: Dropped some cannon balls in that septic tank. That’s for sure.
Zack [laughs] So what did you think about the venue change in NYC, and do you know why they changed the venue from Irving Plaza to the Blender Theater?
Commodore RedRum: Oh we don’t know.
Admiral Nobeard: They don’t really tell us anything. It could have had to do with presale tickets. It could have had to do with different sorts of codes and violations. We don’t know, we don’t care, we show up we thrash we poop in your toilet, and then we be out.
Zack: So you recently got signed to nuclear blast records, which is fucking awesome, did that come as a surprise? How’d that come about?
Admiral Nobeard: Aye. It kinda floored us. It definitely came about as a surprise. We recently got picked up under management from hard impact music, which Maurizio Iacono from Kataklysm manages us now and also Blackguard on the tour as well. He got us on the Paganfest and he started getting offers from labels and Nuclear Blast and that fucking sparked a light in our asses so we’re just like, fuck it, we’ve been listening to bands off of nuclear blast for years since we were kids. Fuck it we’re gonna go do it and we’re gonna get signed with Nuclear Blast then take over everything.
Zack: Like the world.
Admiral Nobeard: Aye the world, and then the Somalian pirates.
Zack: Hehe. So what was most helpful to get signed? Was it the connections, the fans, or your
Admiral Nobeard: Well nowadays it’s got a lot to do with who you know and who you’re blowing, but we ain’t blowing shit. Just cannon balls in toilets.
Commodore RedRum: Shit just really starts to happen seemingly for no reason.
Admiral Nobeard: We were just chilling one day and then all of a sudden, bam, Nuclear Blast.
Zack: What has been the most helpful in spreading the word of your music?
Admiral Nobeard: Internet.
Commodore RedRum: Internet, yeah.
Admiral Nobeard: The interwebs are seas of technology and shenanigans
Zack: So does that include filesharing?
Admiral Nobeard: Well there’s a little bit of filesharing.
[drummer enters the room]
Admiral Nobeard: Ahoy, arg. Ah the late drummer finally shows up to collect his fucking per deim, you sack of shit get outta here. But yeah filesharing, you can’t stop it, you know, we support it. Musical piracy, support musical piracy.
Zack: Support the bands too. Buy the CD.
Admiral Nobeard: When our record comes out on nuclear blast records, buy that fucking thing. Because we’ll know when you download it. We’ll come to your house, I will shit in your toilet and bang out your mom.
Commodore RedRum: You probably already have anyway.
Admiral Nobeard: Oh I know. Your mom fears the wrath of the No Beard.
Zack: Besides pillaging the lands, what are your day jobs? Or was it one of those things, ‘haha we’re on nuclear blast, fuck you day jobs!’
Admiral Nobeard: [laughs] Aye. Coming from the pirates speak, we still have to sail the seven seas of the working crew once in a while. We don’t have a tour lined up after this. Hopefully something comes along our way, so we don’t have to pillage and plunder down under.
Zack: How do you feel the state of the music/record industry is? With the economy being shit do you think people won’t be buying music as much and coming out to shows?
Admiral Nobeard: Well, say for example, last night, Jaxx, in Virginia, it holds about 550 people. Well, it wasn’t packed let’s put it that way. The economy is gonna be effecting everybody. Record sales are in the shitter, but they’ve always been in the shitter you can’t help that. Mainly what it’s gonna hurt is the t-shirt sales and other sorts of merch sales. Plus it’s gonna hurt band’s chances to come over and fuckin tour the US.
Zack: Or for you guys to go to Europe or wherever else.
Admiral Nobeard: Well Europe is a different story. I don’t know if the economy is really affecting them that hard, but we’ll find out when we go over there.
Zack: Do you think the industry is in a state of change right now?
Admiral Nobeard: There’s definitely change due. File sharing is the way to go. That’s the way you are gonna do it. You’re gonna end up releasing your music for free for everybody to download and then you’ll try and make as much as you can off of t-shirt sales. So the more fucking crazy merch ideas you have the better off you are on the road. Kids be buying shit. Next thing you know they’ll be a Swashbuckle video game.
Zack: How would you define talent?
Admiral Nobeard: That’s in the ear of the beholder. [laughs]
Zack: Well what does it mean to you?
Admiral Nobeard: Well we’ve all been trained, we’ve played our instruments since we were wee lads. Again talent is different for every person. What’s talented for me can be different for you or the commodore, or the fucking 15,000 people we play for. There could be one dude who thinks you suck and 20 dudes who think you are amazing. You can’t really put a pigeon hole on it.
Commodore RedRum: I think you are amazing Nobeard.
Admiral Nobeard: I think you’re not.
Commodore RedRum: Thank you.
Admiral Nobeard: No problem.
Commodore RedRum: Aye.
Zack: How did the idea for Swashbuckle come about? I know you were both in the band Ash & Elm before.
Admiral Nobeard: Ah yeah, blast from the past. We were all in different local bands. We used to play with each other, I was their bassist. And me and the Commodore, we were friends for a bit. We finally decided after a show one night, hey let’s play some fucking music together. We were just sitting there at a Denny’s eating fucking shitty food and we said pirate metal, I agree and that was that. Then we ended up in a basement with a drum machine. And now we’re here today on Nuclear Blast Records.
Commodore RedRum: Har harr.
Admiral Nobeard: Ha har they got the punch line. hehe
Zack: Are you worried fans may not take swashbuckler seriously?
Admiral Nobeard: I hope they don’t take it seriously. I hope they have fun. That’s what we’re here for. We’re here for fun. If we were serious dudes, I’d probably quit doing this a while ago. [laughs] I mean we’re here for fun, we’re here to write some fun metal and we’re hoping everyone else has fun too. If they don’t they can go fuck themselves.
Zack: What is your musical background?
Admiral Nobeard: I’ve been shredding hard on thrash metal since I was a kid. We all grew up on classic rock and shit like that. Commodore likes power metal and the fucking epic.
Commodore RedRum: Aye!
Admiral Nobeard: I like it fast and…
Commodore RedRum: Listen to blind guardian, listen to them all the time.
Admiral Nobeard: Napalm death, SOD, Kataklysm. And Kataklysm, thanks Maurizio. I like testament, you know that type of shit. I grew up on the heavy hard stuff. Crash/ride was more into the punk shit. We’re all from New Jersey so the hardcore influence comes in as well. So it’s a whole big melting pot of fast fucking aggressive music.
Zack: That all translates well into swashbuckle.
Admiral Nobeard: Pretty much yeah.
Zack: Who’s your favorite pirate?
Admiral Nobeard: My favorite pirate? Long beard.
Commodore RedRum: I don’t have one. Me. I’m my favorite pirate.
Admiral Nobeard: I’ve seen that poster of Jack Sparrow on your fucking wall.
Commodore RedRum: NO!
Admiral Nobeard: You like his eye make up and shit, you wanna put it in his butthole.
Zack: Tell the readers about your upcoming music video.
Commodore RedRum: Aye, we just filmed a video for a single off the new album called “Cruise Ship Terror.”
Admiral Nobeard: We were out on a boat, it was nothing like that video with T-pain though. We were out on a boat. The release date should be sometime in the middle of May. Probably sometime before we head over to Germany for Legacy Festival. Summer nights and metal days, or metal days and summer nights or summer days metal nights, or whatever, we don’t know. You know though, the fucking festivals where you play for a bunch of people and they look at you funny and drink beer.
Zack: [laughs] So what can fans expect in the future for Swashbuckler?
Admiral Nobeard: You can expect more shenanigans, high sea hijinx, tom foolery, that’s what you can expect. More metal, faster heavier, stupider. That’s how we roll. That and we’ll steal your shit.
Commodore RedRum: Always.
Admiral Nobeard: Always, yup.
Zack: Raping and pillaging the land.
Admiral Nobeard: Coast to coast.
Zack: So what bout the new album?
Admiral Nobeard: [The] new album [is called] “Back to the Noose.” It blows away “Crewed By The Damned” in production wise, in fucking music wise, song-writing wise, all that shit. Everything wise. It’s a wise album. It should be out sometime in July in Europe and early August in US. Not too sure on the dates, but when we find out we’ll let you know.
Zack: Well thank you for this interview for Metal Underground.
Admiral Nobeard: Goto Metal Underground, or eat shit. Yar
Commodore RedRum: Yar
You can read my report of their performance here.
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