10 Questions with ... The Swon Brothers - Zach & Colton
April 20, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
The Swon Brothers (Zach and Colton) first hit the national radar charming fans with their sibling harmonies and fun-loving personalities as finalists on Team Blake in Season 4 of NBC's "The Voice." Newly signed to Arista Nashville, the brothers returned to "The Voice" in December of 2013 to perform "Later On," the first single from their upcoming album, helmed by producer Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood, Sara Evans). Upon the single's release in March, the Swon Brothers garnered a record-setting 70 first-day adds. The single has already landed in the top 30 on the Mediabase Country singles chart, just six weeks after its release. Their journey marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the history of the Swons, who had the ambition to take their first swing at a record deal when they were only 9 and 11 years old, asking their parents to stop in Nashville so they could audition at record labels on their way to a family vacation in Florida. Recently honored with the Rising Star award by the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, The Swon Brothers are currently writing and securing songs for their major-label debut album, coming in 2014.
1. Hey guys, congrats on an amazing start to the single. "Later On" is your debut single and it was most added on impact - now you're already inside the top 30. That's big.
Colton: Thanks, it's just insane! We didn't expect it and nobody hinted at this. We were on the road and [Arista's] LT (Lauren Thomas) sent a tweet about the big add day. She said 'how does it feel to break a record,' and we just said 'Holy crap!'"
Zach: We were hosting a twitter party for fans and she was there. She filmed our reaction reading it.
2. What exactly is a Twitter party?
Zach: Basically it gets our undivided attention for a set amount of time. They get fans involved, they send us questions and we send answers; all we do is tweet people back.
3. Do you actually send a reply, or do you have "people" doing that for you?
Zach: No we did it ourselves!
Colton: We're actually on Twitter all the time, we'll reply a lot but during a Twitter party you answer everyone, nothing but question after question.
Zach: no phone calls, no breaks. It's pretty cool when a bunch of people get involved. You never know what you're gonna get.
4. How many stations and cities have you guys visited since launching this single?
Zach: I couldn't tell you how many. We've been to a different one every day.
Colton: I couldn't even tell you what Countries we've been to, to be honest.
Zach: We've been to four countries in the past month. Let's see, there are Russia, Mexico, Canada and the Cayman islands.
5. Tell us about the experience of being in a conference room performing, after singing on a televised show.
Zach: For us, it has been pretty cool, really. I've never been on a radio tour before but from TV, we have a loyal fan base. So the station visits have been like listener shows at clubs and other venues. We'll do a mini-"Swoncert," where we carry a guitar player with us. We just have a good time and it's cool. It lets us know our fans have carried over from the show and they're ready to hear our music on the radio. The fact that they would show up is just awesome.
6. There is a very fun brotherly dynamic going on with you two - naturally, because you are brothers. Is it that way off stage too?
Colton: Oh man, that's 24-7. We're always giving each other crap. That's our relationship. We stay sane that way too. Instead of getting mad at each other, we'll just say it on stage. And then you can't get mad.
Zach: It's bad when we are actually arguing; you bring it to the stage but you have to keep the happy face on.
Colton: Yak, we have to laugh; we live together, work together and travel together. So you learn to get over things real fast. But that's all real and it never stops.
Zach: We try not to take anything serious. This is a dream. The only thing that's bad is we don't sleep as much as we used to but I've been waiting for this for a while; I've been sleeping for 16 years. And the fact that you get to do this with your brother is priceless.
Colton: We've been fortunate to get mentoring form Blake ]Shelton] and Carrie [Underwood]. They said to enjoy this. You'll look back and see this is all fun. It does get a little stressful but we're doing what we love. Eating and paying rent - and we're playing music for people.
7. You guys grew up down the road from Carrie Underwood, right?
Colton: Yes, we grew up in Muskogee, which is about 10 minutes down the road from Checotah, OK. Our high schools were rivals in football. She and my brother went to college together. We all did this college show together ; Carrie has always been a powerhouse singer and beat us in all these singing competitions out there.
Zach: I remember seeing her when she was 12 and I'm not lying dude, she sounded like she does now. It's insane; she's always been great.
8. I've seen you do an Eagles medley live. Were you fans growing up?
Zach: Oh yea, we did a couple Eagles songs on "The Voice."
Colton: That's our favorite band by far.
9. Ever done a Merle Haggard song? Say, "Okie From Muskogee?"
Zach: We've done Haggard. But one of the first times we came to Nashville we were asked that. We had never done that, or really learned the words or verses. Somebody said "you're gonna need to learn that." Sure enough we did it on the voice. It was all Blake's idea. And it worked. It was cool.
Colton: He basically asked us, 'Do you like Country music? Do you like George Jones and Merle Haggard? Don't be afraid to do it." So that's basically what we did.
10. If I'm in Muskogee for 36 hours, what are the two best things to do there?
Zach: There are a couple places I eat there you can't find anywhere else. One is Chet's Hot Dogs, a little shack where only about four people can fit into. It is the best hot dog you'll ever have.
Colton: Then you have to pick up some Runt's BBQ. It's amazing, just awesome.
Zach: The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame is in Muskogee. It originated there and I think Merle Haggard had a lot to do with that, doing a recording of "Okie from Muskogee" there one time. There are a lot of cool artists you wouldn't think were from Oklahoma, whose names are on that wall. Where they have the museum now is an old train depot, so it's a really cool place with a venue in the back.