Interview with Swallow the Dog.

 Hailing from Maryland,US Swallow The Dog are the Heavy Metal band which was formed in Late 2010. We caught up with the band for a little chit chat

Metalhead Spotted: Could you introduce yourselves to our readers?
Steve: My name is Steve Winebrenner I am the Drummer of Swallow the Dog a Metal Band from Maryland.
Rob: I’m Rob.
Greg: Greg. Bass guitar, vocals and samples.
Rez: I am the Rez man, play lead guitar and Vocals. I joined with Swallow The Dog in 2012.
Shawn: I’m Shawn Gell, guitar player for Swallow The Dog.  I’m a Project Manager for a Heavy Civil Contractor Contractor.

Metalhead Spotted: What bands influenced you to start your own band? Or better set, what is the reason behind your band’s existence besides the fact that you make good music?

Steve: Can’t really say that a band influenced me to start playing music I just started playing music.  My first Rock C.D.’s though were KISS Alive III, W.A.S.P. – The Last Command and Slayer - Reigning Blood. That is I guess more or less is what started me into my metal music playing. My mother actually took the W.A.S.P.  CD from me when I was in the 2nd grade due to its content but I bought another one.
Rob: My main influences span multiple genres.  I’m really into Classic Rock, Death Metal, Stoner Doom Metal.  I listen to a lot of classical, bluegrass, and believe it or not 70’s Lite Rock as well.  As far as the band’s exsistence, they were already in exsistence when I joined but the band was very different.  I actually thought that it was going to go in a completely different direction than what we ended up.  I had known Greg and “Rez” from the Baltimore death metal scene in the late 90’s.  Those guys were in a death metal band (Decimation) that shared gigs with my band (Severed Head).  So when they were brought aboard to join, I knew at that point that we were going to be playing something close to that style.  We were are very different band though when I joined with Steve and Shawn.  So I guess in my eyes stylistic diversity would be the reason behind the band’s existence in its current state.
Greg: Sepultura. I’m a huge Max Cavalara fan! We are all die hard metalheads, the band is our outlet and our release.
Rez: Slayer, Iron Maiden, Testament. To write real good Heavy music and to get our name out there.
Shawn: When I was very young probably about 8-10 my uncle introduced me to Iron Maiden, 666 the Number of the Beast to be exact, and ever since then I wanted to be in a band.

Metalhead Spotted: How did you come up with the name Swallow the Dog?

Steve: Swallow the Dog is what the south had to do after they lost the civil war. They had to pledge their allegiance to the Federal Government and it was a hard pill to swallow so they refered to it as “Swallowing the Dog”. I’ve always liked history especially American, Especially the Civil War.
Greg: Shawn came up with that one. It’s an old Confederate term that loosely translates to “Forced Allegiance”.
Shawn: Our Drummer, Steve, watches a lot of History Channel.

Metalhead Spotted: When was your first gig? Where was it? And how did each of you experience it?
Steve: It was at Fishhead Cantina and it was great. Lots of friends and family and future fans were there. Couldn’t imagine a better first gig.
Rob: I think our first gig was at the Fish Head Cantina in Arbutus, Maryland.  It was a multiple band show.  But we had a great turnout.  I’m not sure maybe it was about a year ago.  Maybe more.
Greg: FishHead Cantina in Baltimore. It reminded me how great our fans are, everybody came to support that night!
Rez: May 04, 2013 at Fishhead Cantina, went great. We packed the house, was a great first Swallow The Dog show.
Shawn: My first Gig was at a local firehall I was in a band called Infection, I played guitar along with my current drummer who actually sang. The interesting part about this is that Greg and Rez who play in the band now, also played that show in a band called Decimation. This was about 20 years ago.

Metalhead Spotted: You guys are soon to release your first self titled album, what is the concept of the lyrics?

Steve: The lyrics range from War to Drug Addiction, Drinking to Religion.
Greg: We try to use what we see in everyday life the good and the bad. From war and politics to drinking with your friends. We put a lot of thought into our lyrics. Not all blood and gore!
Rez: Some lyrics are War based, some have a story telling concept, and a Drinking song.

Shawn: For me all the Lyrics in the songs are in some way what at least one of us in the band has experienced in the last two years.

Metalhead Spotted: You have been a band for almost 4 years now, what was the weirdest thing you’ve experienced at a gig?

Steve: Rez Law. Our bad ass guitarist and one of our singers.
Rob: We played with this one band called Bag of Humans.  They are pretty badass, kinda like hardcore meets Miles Davis avant garde jazz.  They were in the middle of thier opening song and this guy in a hospital gown and a nylon over his head jumped on stage and grabbed a guitar and was jammin.  Didn’t realize that he was in the band at first and it totally surprised me.
Greg: I’ve seen Rez do some funny shit! We played a show in PA once and an unknown assailant filled half Rez’s beer with hot sauce! Stuff like that is what I remember.
Rez: Nothing too weird we played a show for the Pegans Biker Gang, some crazy shit went down that night.
Shawn: Well, technically the band has been around for about 4 years. The current line-up has only existed for about 2 years. It was originally our Drummer Steve, myself and a different bass player. Steve and I weren’t 100% happy with the outcome of the music, we wanted to go heavier. So I asked Greg Meleny from Decimation to do a guest spot on vocals for the song, 1000 Year Revenge I wrote, after that the rest is history. I think it would be a tie with two shows.. We once had a motorcycle tire burnout contest in the middle of our set at a biker show, and at another show we had a wing eating contest halfway through our set. Can you tell we like to play?

Metalhead Spotted: Are there any bands you’re into at the moment?

Steve: Sure. Nothing new really. I like Clutch and of course Slayer and Listen to a lot of Country actually.
Rob: I’m really into Amon Amarth, Electric Wizard, The Sword and Earthless right now.
Greg:  Whitechapel and The Faceless are SICK! I’ve been listening to old Obituary recently too, Cause of Death is fantastic!
Rez: Lamb of God and of course always Slayer - old School.
Shawn: I’m really digging Amon Marth, that band had some influence on 1000 Year Revenge when I wrote it 4 years ago. I’m also pretty big into Faceless, and Necrophagist. And I’m always into anything Iron Maiden.

Metalhead Spotted: Where do you see Swallow the Dog in a few years?

Steve: Everywhere, Hopefully everywhere. But I would be happy if we were still just playing together even locally. The guys are my brothers they are certainly my family and I love the music we make.
Rob: Still cranking out good music.
Greg: Hopefully still jamin’.
Rez:  Touring and playing in front of thousands of screaming fans. Signed by Relapse Records.
Shawn: I would like to see us getting signed to a label, and doing a European tour!

Metalhead Spotted: A message to your fans out there?
Steve: Thanks for all the support. We have the best fans and friends. There ain’t nothing like metalheads. We appreciate you guys, support local music and as always Stay Metal!

Rob: Thanks for tuning in!
Greg: Thanks to all our family and friends for the never ending support! Especially our Baltimore family who have been with us from day one!
Rez: To all of Swallow The Dog fans out there,  thanks to everyone that has been to all of our past shows and sticking with us, hope to see everyone out on tour soon.
Shawn: Thanks for all the support! Without you we are nothing! Check us out and give us a like on Facebook!

Interview by- Vivean Stoltz


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