SWMRS is a 4-piece punk band out of Oakland consisting of brothers Cole and Max Becker, Sebastian Mueller, and Joey Armstrong (son of Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong). The guys stopped by the Red Bull Sound Space at KROQ last week to perform a few tracks for us and talk about their new album Drive North. Watch the interview above.
After seeing the movie “School Of Rock” they immediately decided that they could also form their own band. “We wrote a song that day. We recorded it in our bedroom – it’s called ‘Stormy Day.’ Then we met Seb in high school – him and Joey were in a jazz band together.”
The band went through a few name changes before settling into their current identity: The Raining Souls, Clocks, and Emily’s Army. Joey’s father, Billie Joe Armstrong, helped produce their first 2 albums.
“I think the most important thing is he told us to do it ourselves, and that’s what we did,” says Joey.
Although they played Warped Tour and embarked on their own east and west coast tours, they decided it was time to shed their pop-punk image and re-brand themselves. “There’s like a series of things that happened where we realized we didn’t want to play pop-punk anymore. We thought the easiest way out was to completely change directions,” says Max.
“Drive North,” the title track off the band’s new album that dropped February 12th, is more than just a song about hating LA. “It’s a jealousy song,” says Max. “We’re bummed that a lot of the entertainment industry is down here when we feel like the Bay is way better. We feel like you don’t need to move here to make it big.”
“The underlying theme of that song that really plays into the whole album is just about being from elsewhere, cultivating your own identity and creating yourself in the wake of people focusing their energy elsewhere,” adds Cole.
The band recently released the video for their single “Figuring It Out,” which was directed by fellow Oakland-native Kreayshawn. “It was her idea. She brought in this guy named Goons and he specializes in making crazy art out of cardboard. He actually was the person in the video who sprayed us with the hose,” says Armstrong. “We heard a lot about her and Rick Ross’ beef.”
SWMRS new album Drive North is available now on iTunes.