We've been excited to interview KC-via-Brooklyn rock duo Schwervon! ever since they blew us away at Lawrence Field Day Fest last month (they truly earn that exclamation point in their band name). They'll be back in Lawrence this weekend along with The Gleaners and our LFK friends in Sona (reread our Sona interview here). And Schwervon! promises there will be more tap-dancing than other rock show in Lawrence this weekend.
Give them a like on FB here, check their website here, and listen up via Bandcamp so you'll be fully prepared to sing along with songs like "Truth Teller" and "Daydream Ration" (you scenesters better get that title's reference!) and, our favorite, "Cougar Pride."
Now enjoy this chat with Schwervon!'s Matt and Nan in which we talk about their legendary cat Gummo, the best Memphis garage-rock bands, and the likelihood that Saturday's Replay show will culminate in a little old-fashioned 70s-style partner-swapping.
Chip: So the “Schwervon! story” is pretty well documented already: an internationally known New York band relocates to…Kansas City. An appropriate first reaction is “What. The. Fuck??” But how is it working out so far? Are the audiences receptive? Are the bars hip enough?
Nan: We like to do the unexpected thing! Matt grew up here and, though we love NYC, we wanted to live cheap and do music more full-time. So far it's workin' out! The audiences ARE receptive here. We've played with a lot of different bands here and so far no one has thrown things at us. Hip bars are overrated, unless there is a really good band playing in one. I do like the Bourgeois Pig in lawrence though. It reminds me of Brooklyn. I think writers hang out there.
Matt: Everything is the same these days with the Internet. (kidding...sort of)
Richard: I saw you play for the first time last month at Lawrence Field Day fest, and I dug your sound from the first notes. Can you describe your sound and your process for us, making sure to use one of those "_______ meets _______" descriptions that music critics love so well?
Chip: I enjoy your music, but I’m primarily interested in your cat, Gummo. And I have several questions: Is he named after the Harmony Korine film and why? What is the absolute most hilarious/terrifying Gummo the cat story? And will Gummo be at the Replay show on Saturday, because I’d like to party with him?
Matt: The name has a dual meaning. I acquired Gummo soon after seeing that film in the theater in NYC. I know a friend of a friend who made the cat-doubles for that film. Gummo was a stray kitten, basically, hanging around in the hallway of my building along with the odd junkie. No one in my building claimed him so I got him by default. The movie Gummo is a pretty morbid film, from a cat's perspective, but it must have been good luck because he's around 17 years old and still kicking. He also had a bad case of gingivitis when found him. Sorry to say, Gummo will not be at the show. He spent most of his life in our apartment in New York so he's a bit of a homebody. But we have a yard now and it's fun to watch him go outside and freak out about walking on grass.
Richard: As a southerner by birth (small-town Arkansas), I’m interested in the Memphis pilgrimage you made a few years back. Want to tell us a few tales of your Southern adventures? I know you went down as huge Grifters fans, but did you discover any other musical Memphis treasures while you were there (new or old)?
Chip: You’ll be playing with our friends Sona at the Replay this Saturday. They’re also a very talented “married couple band” and they are ridiculously attractive people to boot. What do you think are the odds that the evening will evolve into some kind of swinging-70’s style partner-swap right out of the Ice Storm?
Nan: The odds are high. Sona are very attractive and talented! We'll see where the night takes us. Maybe a shot of tequila, maybe some talk about our favorite bands. Once in Germany a handsome fellow in another band declared his love for me and I got so flustered I had to leave. But I said "thank you" first. Because that's nice, isn't it? Love is nice.
Richard: Also, what do you think are the odds of some tap-dancing, which we’ve heard is known to happen at Schwervon! shows. I’ve seen clogging on the Replay patio during bluegrass shows, but I can’t say that I’ve ever seen anyone tap dancing in the main room at 1:00 am (well, not performers anyway).
Nan: Oh you'll see something all right! I've been watching White Nights a lot so get ready! i'm a beginner hoofer...but I have a lot of enthusiasm for dance improvisations and this mixes nicely with an indie rock show it turns out.