Behind the Beat: Selling Swill

Rockers The SwillMerchants offer new sounds on

Comments (143)
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Photo Courtesy of the Swillmerchants

The SwillMerchants opted to do their interview in a bar. Shots were poured, passed and downed before I could switch on my tape recorder.

This is par for the course for these local rockers, who are legendary for their whiskey-soaked antics on stage and off. Besides working nights to maintain that reputation, the roguish rockers recently took a little time off to record their first full-length album, The Mint Hotel.

The band has offered rock clubs all around the Northeast their raw, energetic sound and lubricated stage show for nearly four years. With their evolving sound came a few lineup changes, and the band is super-stoked to finally release the album that showcases their new direction.

"If you think you know something about us, come to the CD release and see that you don't," bass player John St. Onge said. St. Onge and frontman Rich Tardy are veterans of the band's original line-up, and the pair could not be more enthusiastic about what they've created with their new bandmates. "Listen to the 12 songs, come to the show and I fucking dare you to find better," Tardy said.

You can give a listen May 15 at the band's CD release show at the Iron Horse. "It's gonna be a great show," St. Onge said. "We don't play quietly like the other bands there."

The SwillMerchants say they invited like-minded loud-rockers Yucky Octupus to support, because of their similar energy and presence on stage. "Yucky is opening for us because they're the only band on our level for the live show," Tardy said.

Experienced audience members know that a real Swills set features violent energy, abused equipment and the occasional stage dive. "We're on the stage to kill it," St. Onge said. "It's not hard—it's about responding to the crowd, how much liquor is in the room and how much liquor is in the people. It's just feeling the energy."

Tardy has no doubts about the band's stage show: "We don't need to talk about the live show; the live show is fucking great."

"The problem we had before was that our live energy wasn't captured on the recording. Now it is. The goal was to get the same sound as we have live, with all the same energy," St. Onge said.

This time around, the band recorded with longtime friend and local producer/engineer Eric Arena. "Eric has seen and listened to us from the beginning, so he knew the sound and the live energy, and how to capture it," said keyboardist Matt Silberstein.

Work on the record has spanned almost two years, and it features the work of three drummers and three guitarists. The band finished recording in February with the latest additions to the Swill family: drummer Peter Riley and guitarist Bobby D.

The recording captures some of the band's party vibe—Tardy's hangover is audible on "Tigerbeat." "The day I had to lay down vocals, I had the flu—or I'd just been drinking for five days straight—and you can hear me coughing and spitting in the background," Tardy said. But he continued reassuringly: "We're professionals in the studio. We'll drink you under the table, and then record you under the table and outplay you live."

That approach has paid off—The Mint Hotel is as fresh as the name suggests. Swill-sound has always been an angsty, bass-driven rock with infectious energy, but the new album offers loads of new stuff, and does everything in big style. Heaps of MGMT-esque keyboards and thick guitars give many tracks a intriguing vibe, and, Silberstein said, their synth-heavy songwriting was influenced by '80s pop like Aha, The Cars and Crowded House. Each track is dynamically different; "More about the City Later" has a hip-hop feel, "The Passenger Who Never Falls Asleep" is a keyboard-driven oldies charmer, and "Before the Fever" even rocks a little fiddle.

"People are going to be surprised," Tardy said. "Listen to the album or come to a show and you're gonna be like, 'Holy fuck, I didn't fucking expect this.'"

Pressed and packaged album in hand, the SwillMerchants are finalizing plans for a busy summer with gigs up and down the East Coast. Their creative juices still untapped, the band will head back into the studio in August to record new material. Tardy sees the CD release as a jumping-off point: "For so many local bands, their CD release is their swan song—the peak moment of their career," Tardy said. "For us it's the beginning of what we're going to do, not the culmination. We're looking forward."

Comments (143)
Post a Comment
all those years of priming Matt with Stones, Dead, Who, etc have finally paid off! Baby Boomers, give your kids the tools for success, your good music!
Posted by sam silberstein on 4.29.09 at 7:28
The writer certainly makes one feel the energy of the group... well done.
Posted by Carol on 4.29.09 at 7:37
Wow, someone likes the Gallagher Brothers.
Posted by John on 4.29.09 at 10:41
Put me in a room with any of these bands - they wouldn't f***ing walk out alive. I'd put money on it. -Liam Gallagher
Posted by noel on 4.29.09 at 10:50
Such an amazing article! I love this band.
Posted by stupendous on 4.29.09 at 10:51
THIS ARTICLE IS COMPLETELY OBSURD!! They come off like the most erogant egotistical no names who should go see some real bands before laying down those quotes. 4 years to produce your first full length, doesnt seem like talent to me. Pete Riley is the only real musician in the group with his modestness... letting his playing do the talking, he rules! The others talk a whole lot of shit. Go out and see local bands like the Capps, Creeping Cadavors, Subculture Stereo, or some real F-ing energy from the Prozacs. Take the King of Local Swagger and go back to the studio!
Posted by NOT IMPRESSED on 4.29.09 at 17:20
The singer has really nice sunglasses
Posted by Ben on 4.29.09 at 18:06
not impressed with "Not Impressed's" inability to spell simple words. maybe he should go see some elementary school teachers before laying down HIS quotes...
Posted by Edna on 4.29.09 at 19:19
Spelling aside- Not impressed with the writer's inability to put together a solid article. This makes the band look bad and the Advocate look like hacks. Are they outsourcing to high school students? Nice use of the F-word though. It really made the article more effective. The singer's quotes were great and ballsy, and lost punch with the lazy editing.
Posted by Not impressed with Edna on 4.30.09 at 1:51
What's really funny is that people (Edna) are actually attempting to defend this piddle. Yes, piddle. Read the article. It speaks for itself. I feel kinda bad though. What if the writer is disabled? I guess for a downs-syndrome collegiate, it's not so bad. Still beyond defense.
Posted by Red Leaf Lettuce on 4.30.09 at 2:01
This is a horrible article. All I can say about these guys is, their music is OK, but the singer always dresses up and wears sunglasses to the gigs and he dances around like he's Iggy Pop or Mick Jagger. The whole stage act seems really forced.
Posted by Sir Peter on 4.30.09 at 4:28
Way to go boys-Can't wait til the 15th!!!!
Posted by Kat/Cottage street studio on 4.30.09 at 5:47
Hey "NOT IMPRESSED", you're an idiot. "Subculture Stereo"?!?! Are you kidding!?!? Swillmerchants are pretty unique in comparison to most groups I've seen around the valley (that encompasses the majority of groups with any credibility around here in my humble opinion), they put on an intense live show -"interesting" at times I will admit and they're fun to watch. This article isn't written too well but it does seem to capture at least some of what this group may be about...I'll be at the release fo sho'!
Posted by FredericktheOK on 4.30.09 at 6:04
I agree. The band is good, they have a good live show for sure, but this article is embarassing for them and the author. The cocky confidence is great if that's the angle you want to play. Shame it just sounds like garbage in this write up. I agree with the piddle comment. Hopefully someone who has something of value to say about the band is the one who writes a review of the cd or show
Posted by Not impressed with Edna on 4.30.09 at 8:09
haaa. i am quite amused that getting wasted and giving an interview and saying fuck a lot can lead to such debate. come on out on the 15th for a good time. cheers and kisses everyone. rich, singer, sunglass wearer.
Posted by rich tardy on 4.30.09 at 10:38
In consideration of the topic of the article, the writing is fine, but fluffed. How can you write a piece on a band that the only reason to go see them live is for the chance to possibly see this egotistical drunken lead singer fall off the stage and, god willing, knock himself unconscious. Its like NASCAR except with giant sunglasses and less class. Drop the persona Rich and let the music speak for itself.
Posted by Retired Rocker on 4.30.09 at 11:26
In reference to this bands' live show -it DOES rock! nice sh*t talking! too many people and bands around here are too damn soft and meek -kudos to the balls! hooray!
Posted by A real fan's fan on 4.30.09 at 11:49
these guys are the baddest asses in town and they can drink the wine coolers to prove it!
Posted by guess who i am on 4.30.09 at 12:02
Mick Hubis is an angry child
Posted by the truth on 4.30.09 at 12:33
Nascar with giant sunglasses and less class- That is the #1 most amazing thing I have ever read about Rich Tardy. I am sure he could not deny that that may be the best description of him ever put into physically typed words.
Posted by NASCAR SUNGLASSES on 4.30.09 at 14:24
the article is FINE. Why do you blame something who wanted to write an article on the Swills and call them incompetent in doing so? Everett did a great job. and, obviously, whoever is writing these rude and hurtful comments, is no doubt a jealous musician, - and I probably know you too, not know who you are in this disguise, but in person - you're still wrong. Every local band in this area hums to their own vibe, whether some people hate them or not. I don't go out to many shows anymore but I still enjoy catching a variety of local music, whether it's the "popular" band to see or something else. I've known Rich, John & Matt for years, if you have too, then you'd know that throwing back a few, is like a trademark to the band (why do you suppose they use the word SWILL in their name????). There's nothing wrong with using drinking in a sense to sell their industry's done it for years and obviously the guys have the self control to abstain from alcoholism. So what's the point in causing trouble? Nothing. There's no point in it, all you're doing is upsetting the young lady that wrote this article, who made an effort to make it sound great, and you're causing unrest in this music scene proving to me YET AGAIN, what is WRONG with the WMass music scene. We ALL used to support each other, NOW, we all belong to our own cliques and it's total BS. AND I"M SICK OF IT. This scene was once great, inclusive and friendly. Now all I see is the "exclusive" people, the popular trendsetters, and now the "important" bands play the same three clubs all the time, although when I ask other bands to play the ONLY club I may book at...I'm snubbed! Yes, and this is coming from your local, neighborhood Kissy - sick of the bullshit and the snubbing that she's noticed in the past couple of years - not to mention even the attitude I've gotten from people just because I'm not as devoted as I once was....let's see, I stopped drinking as much, and going out - why? I bought a house. My family's pride in seeing my grandparents home being occupied my myself is much more important to me than the bellyachers I hear about me missing their gig. And...try I can't afford to go out? I can't AFFORD to pay $5+ for my boyfriend and I to see bands every weekend? and then pay for drinks??? there's my rant. My point of view. Leave Becky alone. You got a problem with the Swill Merchants? Go to them, I'm sure Rich would find it amusing. And I'm not that much of a chicken to not leave my name.
Posted by Kissy on 4.30.09 at 15:01
Posted by Music Man on 4.30.09 at 15:15
I'm quite glad that Ms. Everett writes for The Valley Advocate; Had she written this trite piece of garbage for a substantial newspaper that shouldn't only be used to line a kitty litter box, I'd be upset. She fits in nicely here. And if any of you expect more out of a local rock band than what you see here, you're insane.
Posted by I'm scared to leave my name. on 4.30.09 at 15:34
there was someone making fun of someone else for spelling? let's quote the author: "guitars give many tracks a intriguing vibe..." i believe the correct grammar would be "AN intriguing vibe" re-read the article first. maybe have that person calling others out on bad spelling edit it first?
Posted by not impressed with anyone on 4.30.09 at 17:54
Originality is hard to come by in the Western Mass scene, so it doesn't surprise me that one of the few bands to put out quality original music would be bashed. Fortunately... I know they don't care in the least. Neither do their fans for that matter. Enjoy your weak attempts to tear them down... :) Looking forward to more insane music! BTW Rich...You don't dance like Iggy Pop or Mick Jagger but you could be their lovechild...
Posted by Bernard on 4.30.09 at 19:01
I used to go to highschool with Rich. He was in most of my classes and all I have to say about him is... He always showed up to class late, and the teachers had to mark him as TARDY. HAHAHAHAHAHA... GET IT?!?! He was always TARDY to class and his last name is TARDY. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Posted by Snow white on 4.30.09 at 20:01
Dammit... you jerks. I WANT MY SUNGLASSES BACK
Posted by Liam Gallagher on 4.30.09 at 21:02
well hopefully all that horseshit holds up out on the road when you actually need to get fans.
Posted by ominous turd hurdle on 4.30.09 at 21:10
For anyone who doesn't know Kissy........and, by her own account, there can't be many of you.........allow me this moment: "DJ Kissy", as she so fondly refers to herself, is anything but an institution in the Western MA music scene. I can't help but wonder why she thinks any of these local bands should "support" her. Is it because of all the "support" she has shown by playing local music on her HCC joke of a radio show? Kissy ought receive no special treatment for what she does (or used to do). Does she honestly believe that bands should be paying homage to her for merely coming out to bars and making an appearance? Let's not kid ourselves. It's always been about just that. Making an appearance. Kissy, in her prime, used to drive from bar to bar to bar to bar searching for praise and acceptance from any band member, sound guy, or bum who bothered to give her a second look. I can recall multiple instances in which Kissy would post on MySpace about how she was literally sitting outside of a bar trying to decide if she should go inside or drive to another bar instead. And people are supposed to "support" this brand of idiocy? Give me a break, DJ Kissy. You've no place to suggest you helped any bands in this area. Unless, of course, you're referring to your signature vile stench of perpetual perspiration that seems to follow you around like a turd in the bathtub. If it's your stench that's helping out the scene, then thanks a million. And congrats on moving on with your life. You're at least able to retain some semblance of a respectable being by no longer pretending to be this fixture in local entertainment.
Posted by Red Leaf Lettuce on 4.30.09 at 21:23
Not a fan, but I wish em no harm. The stages in Northampton are pretty bright. There's worse bands, worse frontmen, worse hype. Don't really know a lot of folks that go beyond saying that "most of the band are cool guys", and into the realm of "wow what a rock experience".....I read the article and just kinda rolled my eyes throughout. Either way, good for them, hopefully not 4 more years till the next one. Killed Oasis's momentum.
Posted by Gallagher III: Gallagher Rising on 5.1.09 at 7:31
PS to DJ Kissy, you wrote: (why do you suppose they use the word SWILL in their name????). Cos it's from a movie? Almost Famous, a cheese movie revolving around a ficticious bar-rock arena-rock band...Lester Philip Seymour Bangs Hoffman's character uses the term "swill merchants" in the movie.
Posted by Gallagher III: Gallagher Rising on 5.1.09 at 7:37
"Originality is hard to come by in the Western Mass scene, so it doesn't surprise me that one of the few bands to put out quality original music would be bashed. Fortunately... I know they don't care in the least. Neither do their fans for that matter. Enjoy your weak attempts to tear them down... :)" This right here. This isn't first time that people have got down on the Swills publicly because of their attitude. Swagger is a must in rock, don't argue the point, just think of some of your favorite acts, and tell me that at least one guy in the band isn't a cocky prick. If the interview displayed them as being all hugs, kisses, rainbows, and flowers, not many real music fans would respect that. As far as those who have seen them in the past and branded them mediocre, I would definitely give them a try. They have progressed on many different fronts over the last few years, and by leaps and bounds on the record. p.s. NOTIMPRESSED, really many, use a fucking spell check. See all the words underlined in a red squiggly line? Those are there to remind you that you are an uneducated fuck. An uneducated fuck entitled to his own opinion, but an uneducated fuck nonetheless.
Posted by Dave(DWI) on 5.1.09 at 8:41
ha! this is awesome! i never thought an article could be even more entertaining than being at a swillmerchants show, but this takes the cake! love ya boys!
Posted by belly button on 5.1.09 at 8:44
Nascar with sunglasses is possibly the best line to ever come out of anything concerning Western MA period. Unfortunately I am surprised at the Advocate for submitting this article with what seems like no attempt at all. Fine if bands want to say 'fuck' in an interview, thats rock and roll. But really? The advocate needs to hire some writers with a bit more class if they want theyr'e paper to be respected. Oh well....
Posted by Capn' Crunch's Toy Sailboat on 5.1.09 at 9:15
Did no one attend 4th grade? Dear Capn' Crunch....... It's "their" paper. Not they're paper. what your contraction said is "they are" paper. get it right. this is simple grammar. go park on a boulder.
Posted by Ughhhh on 5.1.09 at 9:36
whether you like the swill merchants or not, they've managed to get your attention yet again, which is ALWAYS their M.O Swills: 1 You: 0
Posted by iloveagoodcarcrash on 5.1.09 at 9:37
Yeah. We're not mediocre for sure. Maybe not everyones taste but that is the name of the game in music, some love, some hate and some don't know. All good. My point for posting here is to defend Becky Everett -not that she needs it. If you people were in attendance the night of the interview you could possibly understand...yes, it was sloppy and "informative". We don't apologize for writing the music we love, putting all we have into it and then making strong stands on shit. We've done this our whole lives, if we believe in something then we go for it. Becky got to see a band with A LOT going on, yes drunk, wrestling matches during the listening party and so much conversation that anyone's head would have spun...she had to have been a bit overwhelmed because honestly, we came right at her with all sorts of stuff! She is a writer/journalist, there ARE editors that can "EDIT" what has been submitted for print, if things are edited too much, it can appear choppy (which it is a bit). All I know is that, after hanging with Becky that night and the way she took all our lunacy in stride, I was impressed. Most interviewers would have walked out I think. Kudos to Becky from myself and the rest of Swillmerchants. As far as any naysayers, who cares? We never were going around collecting opinons anyway.
Posted by John Saint on 5.1.09 at 9:42
I'm sure the Swills' album will be chock full of overproduced mediocre garbage. I wish these cocky turds would stick to playing in Chicopee, where the worlds worst bands can be rock stars.
Posted by Bongo The Clown on 5.1.09 at 10:32
alll yous fuking klowns thet korrect eache othars spellin mistaxes an tha grammer uzed en tha erticle ar fuking losars.
Posted by jack duluoz on 5.1.09 at 10:48
from the bottom of my heart, thank you all. this is hilarious. but on a serious note, could anyone tell me which color sunglasses are appropriate for watching the kentuky derby tomorrow? nascar with less class. fucking brilliant.
Posted by rich tardy on 5.1.09 at 10:49
Obviously alot of you haven't spent much time with Rich because he has had that swagger since he was five years old, and he wasn't on stage then!
Posted by Mrs. T on 5.1.09 at 11:38
pussy farts are cool.
Posted by iloveagoodcarcrash on 5.1.09 at 12:06
i never see articles on these guys really, and they're putting out a new record, makes sense to promote it. article paints them in a pretty cocky corner. i wonder if anybody outside of w.mass will be impressed. whatever, even if you think they suck, hey, publicity.
Posted by duder on 5.1.09 at 12:40
bollocks! I have to see this band soon...are they as bloody terrfying to get people brassed off or as ace as these words suggest?
Posted by lite it up on 5.1.09 at 12:44
Yo.. I just read this thing and listened to their songs on myspace... these guys aint shit. they are like the oldies crap that my parents listen to on rock 102... and most of those bands aint reel rock... its just crap that only old people listen to.... if you want to see reel rock... then listen to bands like godsmack... nickleback... disturbed... shinedown... theory of a deadman... and pantera.... also punk rock like rage against the machine.. linkin park.. and system of a down. thats were its really at.... this rock 102 crap on here isnt rock for reel. ~peace~
Posted by Big Dawg on 5.1.09 at 12:53
wait, there is a turd floating in someone's bath water, and you people are are fussing over the swill merchants?!?
Posted by coronawalime on 5.1.09 at 13:30
I am impressed with the initiative that western mass musicians are showing in regards to commenting on this article. If they dedicated this much energy to their Lyrics and trying to come out with something people haven't heard before, the scene wouldn't be so shitty. The bands in this scene, barring only a few like The Capps and The Room, have been pumping out the same bullshit for the love of the attention, not the music and diluting what could be a beautiful collaboration of musicians creating something worth driving from the other end of the state to see. Those of you who are just taking up space: Get your shit together or go fuck yourself. Swills, congrats on the new album. I hope that you have progressed past the bullshit or that your overbearing front man is sufficient to sell enough CD's so that you break even on the costs of recording at Zing. Becky E, You did a fine job in painting Rich Tardy as being an actual musician. A feat that he himself has been unsuccessful in doing in the past four years. The article was fine and don't let these naysayers get to you. "Big Dawg," You put "shine down" into the "reel" rock catagory...... nuff said. Rich Tardy, Mirrored Aviator glasses are the appropriate eye wear for the Kentucky Derby. Peace out Bitches
Posted by Retired Rocker on 5.1.09 at 13:35
So Rich, you think you're band can out drink any band in Western Mass do ya??? Blasphemy. How dare you slander my band in the Press??!?!?! I'm taking it as a personal challenge to prove you fuckers wrong. Yes I'll be at the CD Release, and we better have a date set by than. Swill Merchants vs. Gone by Daylight. May the drunkest band standing win.
Posted by Eric Paquette on 5.1.09 at 14:20
The first offical review of the new SwillMerchants disc "Mint Hotel"! Track by track! Thanks for reading! 1. Gagga For Gravy (0:49) - an intro track if you will, keyboards swells, samples of snakes hissing run through a wah pedal and the phrase "I wear my sunglasses at night" repeated 8 times 2. On The Drink And Rockin' Nasty (3:04) - an ode to being "on the drink and rockin' nasty", the track opens with a blistering guitar flurry before settling into a groove so white that your mama will feel safe in the ghetto. 3. Blarg Blarg Blarg (A Pirate's Tale) (4:31) - the Swills prove that they are no mere western mass pony boys on this adventurous track featuring a french horn and the fearless lyrics "yar, she be sick of the sea and the falcon has yet to land". 4. Rattle Snake Suitcase (2:56) - the track that finally answers the question: who rocks more? Guns n Roses or the Swillmerchants? Answer: Demos. 5. Spray Paint Of My Love (5:13) - a ballad. New territory for the Swillmerchants. With the addition of a keyboard player in the band, emotions run high on this surprisingly vulnerable track about a lost love and "tagging" the mean streets of Northampton. With pain. 6. Boo-Yah Sluts (3:17) - apparently the Swills have fucked ALL the chicks. Even my girlfriend. Who lives in Niagra Falls. How'd they find her? 7. The Mint Hotel (1:49) - in a bold move, the title track of the new record is one minute and fourty nine seconds of recorded bees with a maudlen trumpet line skipping over the top like that last drink of the night. Very apropos. 8. Shit Boots Brings The Flavor That Your Tongue Loves (4:21) - a song about smoking weed that has been dipped in cow manure which boasts the chorus hook "we don't care but we've got our fingers in all the pies / smoke if ya got 'em smoke if ya got 'em". The song also goes one second longer than 4:20 so you have a second to catch your breath after the extreme rocking. Kudos boys. 9. Blitzed And Awesome (3:25) - it's important to periodically remind people just how much you kick ass, so this strategically placed barn burner lets you know in case you forgot. It even flaunts "and mama cooked the breakfast with no hog" sample from Ice Cube's "Today Was A Good Day" over the bridge section. Brilliant. I had to wear two pairs of sunglasses aftet this tasty little mother fucker. 10. Two In The Pink, One More Drink (5:49) - an epic album closer done with such bombast that you would swear The Who was still young and kicking. In this final piece, the SwillMerchants practically beg us to drink with them, as the line "so thirsty, daddy I'm so thirsty" is sung over and over and over and over as the song fades out, giving way to the intro track's keyboard swells and the sample "I've ALWAYS worn my sunglasses at night" is left ringing in your ears. So, in closing, The Mint Hotel fucks you and leaves you wanting more. I haven't heard anything so good since The Ducky Bird Big Band's classic "Get Off My Lawn" or the sardonically relevant Poos Poos album "Yes, Because, And No One Came To Dinner". Buy it. Now. 10.
Posted by Mr Witherbee's Enormous Creature on 5.1.09 at 14:59
Fuck, I so badly wish the above comment actually was our record. It sounds like an amazing album.
Posted by Rich tardy on 5.1.09 at 15:49
Now, that is a fine and wonderful piece of writing from Mr. Witherbee's Enormous Creature! ...and, no, that was not sarcasm . Creative, thoughtful...well done!
Posted by John St.Onge on 5.1.09 at 16:28
Oh My. I don't even know where to begin! I want to thank my mother for having me, my father for teaching me how to cook steak-ums, the public school system for letting me spread my wings and fly, and finally the internet for giving me a voice. You like me! You all truly like me! Kid n Play coming back in 2009!
Posted by Mr Witherbee's Enormous Creature on 5.1.09 at 16:59
I wonder who would win in a battle of the bands~ Subculture Stereo vs. The Swill Merchants. Despite our reputation for being a bunch of fuck ups and being considered the "outcasts" of western Mass; and often times driving people off the floor with our awkwardness and bizzarre behavior, we are actually getting our shit together. Despite being known as the band that only plays basements, warehouses, and blastermonkey shows; that is all behind us. Despite being known as the non serious joke band with our EP release "Hookers & Tea" we have proved listeners wrong with our new released album (don't believe me??? Just go to any record store in Northampton and give it a listen). I must say, we are very similar in music style, but at the same time different. A battle of the bands: Subculture Stereo VS The Swill Merchants. If you guys are game, then so are we. Just pick a venue and a date. This would be very entertaining and will probably pack any venue with at least 1,000 people. If we win, then we have proven that there is a band that you can't outplay live. If we lose, then more power to you, and you guys will have proven that no band in this area can outplay you. If you accept this challenge, then beware; we've been practicing non stop. In fact, I practice singing in my car so I can become a better vocalist. I also do finger coordination excercises so I can become a better keyboard player. And yes, my keyboard playing is up to par. Both of our guitarists and our bassist imagine themselves playing their instruments when they are not playing them, so when they pick up their instruments, it is like a breeze.
Posted by Dillon Price~Subculture Stereo on 5.1.09 at 17:06
hey babe. i'm ga ga for gravy right about now. come home so that i can gargle your balls while enjoying the musical stylings of The Ducky Bird Big Band.
Posted by MRS. Witherbee on 5.1.09 at 18:02
"Big Dawg", you're a retard.... seriously??? Rage, Linkin Park, System Of A Down= punk rock?!?!?!?!? Why don't you go hit puberty, move out of your mommy and daddys house and learn a thing or 2 about music... you turd!
Posted by Caption Douchery on 5.1.09 at 18:03
Caption Douchery! Captian is not spelled with an O. why don't you fix your spelling and while youre at it... add "bag" in the middle of your last name... and for the record... rage- linkin park- and system of a down are punk rock
Posted by The Truth on 5.1.09 at 18:24
Bahahahahaha wow. Western mass. Instead of a battle of the bands i think the two bands should stand back to back, walk ten paces, turn, and fire. That would be about as useful and prove just as much.
Posted by Mr Witherbee's Enormous Creature on 5.1.09 at 19:06
Band Challenge! The SwillMerchants vs. The Ducky Bird Big Band The Wager: Rich, the singer from the SwillMerchants and Gurble Tut Muk Muk, the lead crooner from the Duck Bird Big Band each stand to loose a lock of hair and a case of cheap beer. The Location: Old Man Finnigan's Weazy Late Night Diner Time: 12:01 Am, July 17th. Weapons Of Choice: a wet sock full of quarters, old crow whiskey, the bumper from a 1991 honda accord, 3 silver coins blessed by the pope, and a jar containing the mystic breathe of demos the invincible. Time Limit: 38 minutes, 14 seconds Referee: homeless Northampton drunks The reason: because it's important to know who reigns supreme Fatalities will be forgiven, police will not be needed
Posted by Mr Witherbee's Enormous Creature on 5.1.09 at 19:17
who the fuck are the swillmerchants? no really, who the fuck are they?
Posted by mitzy the marauder on 5.1.09 at 21:14
Fuck that! I would never go to a show with subculture stereo and swill merchants on the same show because both of those bands are fuckin horrible. Both bands plop a bunch of unorganized notes together and call it music. Its really hard to follow. Not only that but the singer of swill merchants looks like oasis and the singer of subculture stereo looks like a serial killer. If you think of it... there really are no good bands in western mass. The only good band to ever come out of western mass is Fear Nuttin Band.
Posted by Harry on 5.1.09 at 22:07
i love you guys .....i sell you energy shots and garbage!!!!!!
Posted by easy-e on 5.2.09 at 0:35
Subculture stereo is a joke! I saw those guys at max cap back in november and they didn't have a bassist. Some guy from the crowd had to come up and play bass for them and they had to teach him what to play in between songs. Then the singer got drunk, jumped off the stage and fell over, then he unzipped his pants on stage and told everyone in the crowd to suck his balls. I have to say after years of seeing live bands, that was the most unprofessional thing I've ever seen from a band. I sure those guys got their act together.
Posted by Santa Clause on 5.2.09 at 6:53
To the truth........... YOU ARE A MORON Captain is not spelled "Captian". HAHAHAHAHA - LOSER
Posted by Red Leaf Lettuce on 5.2.09 at 7:12
red leaf lettuce.. you are the real moron for choosing a name like red leaf lettuce.. LETTUCE IS NOT RED... IT IS GREEN.
Posted by The Truth on 5.2.09 at 7:20
I'm willing to bet that somewhere in western mass someone just farted.
Posted by Hoof Arted on 5.2.09 at 8:19
Posted by WILD WEDNESDAY on 5.2.09 at 10:12
This is the most action an advocate article has probably ever seen. Nicely done, kids. If anyone knows Rich Tardy, especially as well as I do, you'd know right now his facebook photo is of a racecar with giant sunglasses on it. These insults are only fueling his cocky swagger. You should be ashamed. But please keep it up, he's been so giddy that he's been getting me free drinks at the bar. There is no need for a battle of the bands. The Room would obviously win it, even though they are not a band anymore. Then 99.3 would pretend to promote them, but it would all be a scam. Gone By Daylight has challenged the Swills to a drinking contest. I spoke with Eric and there seems to be one problem- 5 Swills, 4 GBD's. I have been elected the 5th member of GBD to drink against the Swills. This is key since most fo GBD weighs in roughly around 105 pounds and may not stand long. I will not let any of you in our community down. Anyone who is throwing out spelling as a point of contention needs to get a life. Everyone knows 97% of people can't spell (actual statistic not proven). You are not better than everyone else. Get over yourself. Stick to the topic at hand and continue bashing the Swillmerchants so that there is something to talk about at the next rehearsal. Finally, to whoever wrote the 10-Song Review, please reveal yourself. I have been wishing to take credit for that post and it is eating away at me that I can't. If you do not fess up to it, I will soon claim that I am the genius behind it. That review has brought tears to my eyes in pure joy, and watching Rich react to it was like watching a kid on christmas getting his most-anticipated gift. After knowing these drunken mishaps for as long as I have, even they have assumed I am the author behind it. Sadly, I am not, and my life is slightly more depressing because of this. I have enough on my plate knowing that some of the spelling nazi's here that I am not good enough for accuse me of slander, so I don't need to feel more failure. I am ready and willing to claim that post.
Posted by The Over-Producer on 5.2.09 at 15:30
Swill Merchants = pedestrian, by the numbers, cock rock shite.
Posted by Livid and Loose on 5.2.09 at 15:50
I can't wait to get this album when it comes out so I can help boost first week sales. Which equals more radio play (DUH!). I think it's gonna be on sale for 8.99 at Best Buy. Do yourself a favor and join their facebook and twitter page. Watch them play Letterman on July 4th. And Check out their viral video at Also their two week east coast tour supporting MGMT will be coming up soon. It's not released yet but you will hear about it at I Don't know what the first single is gonna be, but we can only hope they have the stereotypical 3 songs. The Rocker, the one that soccer moms like that could be on contemporary rock radio, and the pop hit. I hear that "mint hotel" encompasses all these. GOOD LUCK!
Posted by I like stuff on 5.2.09 at 16:02
You're right The Over Produce... what is the use of a battle of the bands. We all that no one would get anywhere... because there is not one band in this area or the world that can beat the ROBOT MILITANTS.. Don't believe me? Just give it a listen for yourself and you will see.
Posted by Dillon~ Subculture Stereo on 5.2.09 at 20:31
I have an insult that would really kill rich tardys cocky schwagger. Rich Tardy looks like the guy from oasis and he sings like that guy from the hives. he also dances like elvis presley and john travolta. i think rich tardy should take up salsa dancing. it would improve his stage performance.
Posted by the truth on 5.2.09 at 21:06
i wear my sunglasses at night and people taunt me for it and you know what....fuck them people!!! Swills all the fuckin' way baby!!!! The soundtrack to my damn life!!! i'm loving it!
Posted by Earache Swills on 5.2.09 at 21:15
"the truth" is only saying that rich tardy looks and sounds successful. if that was an insult, i'd think again. even i wish people compared me to oasis, the hives, elvis and john travolta. wait a minute... rich, are you posting all of these comments??
Posted by truth? on 5.2.09 at 21:21
truth?- you asked if rich was posting all of these comments. The real truth is. Its not rich tardy posting these comments. Its Mich Hardy of the spill merchants. I look like rich. I talk like rich. I sing like rich. I dance like rich. But my name is Mich Hardy.
Posted by Mich Hardy on 5.2.09 at 21:37
eat cha vegtables!!!
Posted by asparagus on 5.2.09 at 21:41
hey rich maybe you should spend less time writing comments and more time practicing your vocals ya filthy pig!!!
Posted by The S.T.D. of rock and roll on 5.2.09 at 21:43
The only comment I have taken a bit of offense this entire time to, Is that I would falsely post anything under another name. That is for all of you assholes to do. And I love each and every one of you. I just hope you will love me when I am the fat elvis or the bearded Paris version of Morrison. The kentuky derby sucked, I passed out at 8 pm, and am wide awake at 1 am, and that fake review of our album is the funniest thing I have ever seen. Cheers, and signed with full name as always. Rich tardy. Fuckers.
Posted by Rich tardy on 5.2.09 at 21:52
Posted by Fitch Vardy on 5.2.09 at 21:55
SCREW YOU FITCH VARDY! I alright trademarked my name. How dare you try to tell me to change it. Why dont you change your name Bitch Nardy!
Posted by Mich Hardy on 5.2.09 at 21:58
THATS IT MICH HARDY! Now you are really taking this to a personal level. How dare you tell me to change my name to Bitch Nardy you jerk. Why dont you change your name to Nitch Lardy!
Posted by Fitch Vardy on 5.2.09 at 22:00
HEY! Dont drag me into this. You jerks!
Posted by Nitch Lardy on 5.2.09 at 22:01
You guys are completely off your rockets
Posted by Witch Bardy on 5.2.09 at 22:04
I just heard my name mentioned.
Posted by Bitch Nardy on 5.2.09 at 22:05
bravo dickie!!!
Posted by The Mayor on 5.2.09 at 22:06
get i get some free tix for the show or what?!!!
Posted by dude c'mon on 5.2.09 at 22:08
im willing to bet that somewhere in the world.. at this very moment.. somebody just farted
Posted by Hoof Arted on 5.2.09 at 22:08
Hey "The Mayor" dickie is not spelled dickie. its spelled dicky with a "y"
Posted by the truth on 5.2.09 at 22:14
i like dickie for example ie: your being a dick!!!
Posted by captain obvious on 5.2.09 at 22:17
Posted by Dich Ardy on 5.2.09 at 22:19
Shit, I just noticed that comment above that I assumed I would be insulted that I looked like a British icon, sounded like a Swedish icon, and danced like an American icon. Haha, the girl I am in bed with is a bit offended that I am more interested in all of these new posts than her being here right now. Congrats everyone. Rich tardy. Going to go fuck, and pass out and wake up for more assholes. While wearing sunglasses.
Posted by Rich tardy on 5.2.09 at 22:20
Posted by MICH HARDY on 5.2.09 at 22:21
Posted by FITCH VARDY on 5.2.09 at 22:23
go fuck her....
Posted by i did on 5.2.09 at 22:24
Posted by PITCH DARDY on 5.2.09 at 22:25
Yes you are PITCH DARDY
Posted by Hitch Wardy on 5.2.09 at 22:26
HEY HEY ALL! Its Itch Mardy!!!
Posted by Itch Mardy on 5.2.09 at 22:28
you guys are silly...
Posted by Wi+ch Party on 5.2.09 at 22:30
"you guys are silly... " NOT ANYMORE IM NOT
Posted by PITCH DARDY on 5.2.09 at 22:32
i love you!!!
Posted by lil' school girl on 5.2.09 at 22:34
"i love you!!!" NOT ANYMORE YOU DONT
Posted by PITCH DARDY on 5.2.09 at 22:35
that's the gold right there fellas. nice work retardy!
Posted by DGC on 5.2.09 at 22:39
at least i still have my hearing to listen to this wonderful music of yours. thank you from the bottom of fully rocked heart!! but i bet i have better sex stories than you. oh those were the days.
Posted by BlindManShaftDeath on 5.2.09 at 23:00
I bet that the singer of the swill merchants is wearing big sunglasses right now.
Posted by the truth on 5.3.09 at 6:12
I bet hes dancing like elvis right now as we speak.
Posted by mcfully on 5.3.09 at 7:31
These guys are straight up nasty!!! Its impossible to stand still @ the swill.... Jhonny ill be there at the release!!!
Posted by Mike Blaze on 5.3.09 at 7:42
i bet rich looks at himself in the mirror while he practices his dance moves.
Posted by trip on 5.3.09 at 7:55
Im just curious... does anyone here like farts?
Posted by Hoof Arted on 5.3.09 at 8:54
"Im just curious... does anyone here like farts?" NOT ANYMORE YOU'RE NOT
Posted by fart lover on 5.3.09 at 10:13
I really get a kick out of all the bands making such a big deal out of this. First of all, we had a $10,000 Battle of the Bands last summer and most of the local area bands pussied out last minute. Unlike all the other area battles we actually didn't pick the bands based on crowd applause. Second, the Swills beat the shit out of almost every band in the battle and that was before they had all their new songs and were still working out the kinks with the new members and since they contest they have gotten considerably better. On another note, it's really annoying to me how ignorant most of the Western Mass bands are. I get emails every day begging for a Weekend show, yet the majority doesn't want to earn shit. Everyone wants a handout and most of you barely even practice. It is called a "Scene" for a reason. Me and Rich worked our asses off for the last few years on trying to bring back the scene and get bands to network together. Some of the bands listened and a lot didn't. Most of the bands that listened are packing clubs and actually getting paid to play out (yes, Max Cap actually pays bands to play on stage with an incredible new sound system unlike the Northampton clubs). We also set up shows with New York bands that are big in their area so Western Mass bands can trade off shows with them. If bands can't learn to work with each other and to play out of their home towns then there won't be a scene anymore. Instead we'll have to just keep booking the old 80's bands like "Dokken", "Firehouse", "Tesla" and many more so the rest of you can be reminded of where rock came from and what a TIGHT band sounds like. For those of you who have been working your ass off and keeping your mouth shut, I thank you and will continue to keep booking shows with you!! For the rest of you, how about spending more time putting together shows to help out causes like Shriner's Hospital rather than sitting on a computer all day bashing other people's accomplishments!! For the record.....there are only a handful of bands in this area with great stage shows and ironically those are the bands that actually bring in the crowds! So, on that note Rich....Keep giving the people what they want and making the night interesting!
Posted by Don Max Cap on 5.3.09 at 13:13
It's okay to think you're the best, but when you tell everyone you are, and you post on chat boards that you are, and you can't even sing in key.... I've scene the real thing, and it ain't the singer from this band, not even close.
Posted by unimpressed on 5.3.09 at 19:58
I'd love to take a nice stinky poo on Rich Tardys face and watch his bandmates lick it off.
Posted by Guy Who Doesn't Like The Swills at All on 5.3.09 at 20:54
hey "unimpressed" in your line "I've scene the real thing" you made a big mistake. You used the word "scene" in the wrong context. The correct word to use in this sentence would be "seen".
Posted by the truth on 5.3.09 at 21:26
Hey "guy who doesn't like the swills at all", if you are going to take a "nice stinky poo on Rich Tardys face" make sure it lands on his sunglasses.
Posted by the truth on 5.3.09 at 21:27
i'm willing to bet that at some point today.. rich farted
Posted by Hoof Arted on 5.3.09 at 21:35
"Hoof Arted" Shut the fuck up,, you farting fag>> you need to get out more and stop stairing at peoples asses
Posted by the truth on 5.3.09 at 21:57
I'm totally with "unimpressed" Rich doesn't seem to hit any other notes other than A and A sharp in his vocals. If Rich sat in his room and practiced hitting every not from G to A to B to C to D to E to F back to G, all the while skipping the sharps, I think Rich's singing would become unstoppable.
Posted by Music expert on 5.4.09 at 5:25
I must say they did use some nice pitch correction on his voice on this new record. Props to the producer.
Posted by although on 5.4.09 at 5:52
seriously?!?! Who cares about the local bands in this area and stupid scene. All these bands forming that call themselves "original" are not original. They are only doing something thats already been done before. I have much more respect for the tribute band that plays in sports bars and does covers by bands like Dave Mathews, Jimmy Buffet, and OAR than bands that play out and call themselves original. I'd rather see a band play cover songs by the bands I really care about and play the songs that I actually want to hear than go see some no name band play a song that I don't even know. I think western mass should just stick to tribute and cover bands. That is just my 2 cents.
Posted by Who cares on 5.4.09 at 7:10
I assume some of you people would like to hear music from us? Here's a link to download a free song: Also, "Who Cares", that is crazy talk. ...and we don't use pitch shifter vocals, we only use luxury vocals, the kind that shift themselves.
Posted by John St.Onge on 5.4.09 at 8:19
Who's the kid on the left? Is he even in the band?
Posted by Sohn T. Jonge on 5.4.09 at 10:32
I think rich would make a good "white boy" rapper. He has that "white boy" gangsta rapper vibe to him. I bet if he really put his mind to it he could become the next eminem.
Posted by Music Expert on 5.4.09 at 11:21
this band was in need of some sexiness so they hired that guy to sit in the band photos with them in an attempt to get people to come and see their show. obviously without Bobby D this is one ugly band.
Posted by Fatt Blubberstien on 5.4.09 at 11:31
Hey I want to thank all the people on here to red my earlier comment. The myspace page of my side project now has 134 hits and over 300 listens. Thanks for listening guys.
Posted by Dillon~Subculture Stereo on 5.4.09 at 11:53
but really, richs' voice isn't all that and i know you know it.
Posted by just a better singer on 5.4.09 at 11:54
I need to make a spelling and grammer correction on my last comment before some other jackass tries to correct me. "Hey I want to thank all the people on here to red my earlier comment" That line is actually suppose to be: Hey I would like to thank everyone on here who read my earlier comment.
Posted by Dillon~Subculture Stereo on 5.4.09 at 11:55
didn't you read the statistic above about how most people can't spell. don't worry dillon.
Posted by Mr. Greaney on 5.4.09 at 11:59
dillon... you are an idiot! It doesn't matter if you fixed your spelling and grammer on your last comment. the fact that you spelled "read" wrong and used the word "to" instead of "who" before "read" still makes you look bad. and for the record... your side project sucks!
Posted by the truth on 5.4.09 at 12:45
you are all delusional.
Posted by Salve Dolly on 5.4.09 at 12:57
dude! you really had 300 MYSPACE plays and 134 hits?? you're going to be famous. letterman will be calling soon and i hear Sony just checked your page to sign you. whether or not you like rich and his boys, their music is still being heard by more people than that! "hoof arted" could start a myspace page of farts and get 300 plays. i know i'd reload that. when are bands going to stop thinking that because they've written a song that it's good and start writing music that other people are going to actually want to put on in their car? just because anyone can burn your voice to a cd doesn't mean someone thinks your music is good. stop throwing a bunch of chords together and calling it music. go out and learn how to write a goddamn song. i don't even care if you can sing or not. write a fucking song.
Posted by you are blowing minds on 5.4.09 at 13:59
dude seriously! Robot militants?!?!?! That is the worst fuckin thing ive ever heard... and you totally butchered that styx cover.
Posted by Music Expert on 5.4.09 at 14:18
SERIOUSLY? I think all of the western mass bands should all have a giant battle of the bands. It could be 100 or 200 bands (however many there are in western mass). appearently all the bands in this area hate each other and every band thinks they are the best. it wuldnt make anything better or worse because the scene here is a joke. I cant tell you how many musicians i know in this area who think they know it all and they think their band is better than all the other bands. but tell me this. If all the bands in western mass are so damn good then why do I find myself having to travel at least an hour away to see a good show???????? Here the same bands play the same venues and the same venues keep booking the same bands over and over and over............. Its like a fuckin broken record. you have big venues like maximum capacity, pearl street, and the elevens. But whenever a really good band comes around... i always have to travel to places like club hell in providence RI, northern lights or valentines in Albany, or the middle east in Boston.
Posted by ROCK GODDESS on 5.4.09 at 14:50
Western mass is a joke. I cant even think of one band around here that i would want to get off my lazy ass and go see. i cant even think of 1 talented band that i would prefer over the big or semi big bands that i like. can anyone name 1 band around here that is good?
Posted by Fat lazy bastard on 5.4.09 at 15:36
subculture stereo
Posted by duh on 5.4.09 at 15:55
World's Greatest Dad!!!
Posted by Bethany on 5.4.09 at 17:39
subculture stereo???? are you kidding me??? that band is horrible.. I know because i listened to their stuff on myspace and its not good at all. the singer sounds like an annoying 10 year old who hasnt hit puberty yet. if i had a band we would outrock them in a heartbeat. so go tell your singer to hit puberty and learn how to sing
Posted by the truth on 5.4.09 at 18:32
What happened!?!?! I remember just a few years back when bands got along. We had some good times. The Room, Swill Merchants and I Am Balla used to play at the old Max Cap and have a blast. It was less about the music and more about me triple kissing with Rich Tardy and Eric Arena. Now those were the good old days. Whats the problem? Do people not triple kiss anymore?
Posted by Rickbo Balla on 5.4.09 at 21:34
whoever posted world's greatest dad, now that is just mean.
Posted by Salve Dolly on 5.7.09 at 14:13
this band sucks,great live show my ass. you want to see something nuts onstage go see The Aids. that guy is as crazy if not more fucked up then GG Allin. this band is a bunch of fucking dork hipsters.just like everyband in northampton,following the lame trends. punkrock needs to come back to the area. real punk not fucking lame pop shit.
Posted by fuckswillmerchants on 5.8.09 at 6:32
I'm sorry for my previous comment. I am a retard. I don't have a grasp on any local music scenes or music in general. I am one of those "punk troopers" that doesn't even really understand the true essence of "punk" music. I think it is 3 chords, loud, fast, bloody etc...when in reality, I have learned that punk is really about doing music YOUR way, non conforming to status quo and not "playing ball" with industry powers etc...I apologize for the drivel that escapes my mouth and brain because it is not well thought out, very narrow minded/uninformed and, well...I am a fucking retard. Thanks everyone!
Posted by fuckswillmerchants on 5.8.09 at 11:06
i didnt post that. rich sucks cock. these guys think they are fucking rockstars ,more like cock stars. i am very narrow minded. i fucking hate all these fucks. im fuckin narrow minded and proud mother fucker. fuck the indie fucks of northampton. hail the aids. and you guys are conforming since you are tryin to be big rockstars and want to fuck oasis up the ass. you suck,you are generic shit, rich can go lick his moms rotten asshole in hell. aidsaidsaidsaidsaids.
Posted by fuckswillmerchants on 5.8.09 at 18:29
well they attracted you to their article dick nuts...that says something. don't you feel like a douche having to advertise a punk rock band on their comments page. anyway, maybe after you get done with puberty you'll stop being so pissed off at your oedipal tendencies towards mommy and start to absorb some of the world of music outside of your very small and angry "safe haven". rock on fucko
Posted by theoxymoron on 5.10.09 at 7:58
gotta agree with theoxymoron, the guy bashing swillmerchants is a fuckin narrow minded retard. now i can't say i haven't bashed them myself, this all comes with a healthy relationship, but these guys will fucking rock your mother's clit off. so for all you closed minded "fuckos" out there jam a pair of needle nose pliers into your skull and open that shit up. you really don't understand what you're missing.... good luck with the aids!!! Hey Jack!!!!!
Posted by shellmerchant on 5.27.09 at 21:02
thank you very much for this website. The information has been useful. Thanks
Posted by yes on 7.21.09 at 20:09



New User/Guest?

Find it Here:
search type:
search in:

« Previous   |   Next »
Print Email RSS feed

A Blessed Event
New Englander Blessing Offor happy to land a spot on Team Pharrell in The Voice; masters of mock rock the Hippodrome.
CD Shorts: Sid Selvidge
Nightcrawler: One Life to Livio
Livio Gravini looks to crowdfunding to make his project a reality; blues, brews and barbecue in Greenfield.
A New Old-Timey
The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Dom Flemons moves along the Americana trail.
CD Shorts: Marissa Nadler
Nightcrawler: Soul Brothers
Local promoter brings the Brazilian metalmeisters of Soulfly to Max Cap; Chickenyard hatches sophomore studio product.
Nightcrawler: Koker and A Smile
The Valley celebrates “rising” artists; Danny “The Count” Koker kicks off the Big E concert series with a classic rock revival.
CD Shorts: The Dustbowl Revival