Behind the Swell Man-Ideas by Elliot on How to be Swell

10858503_1543576439223659_7862076634773835398_nIts been a long while since I’ve made a post on How to be Swell. There have been some major changes in the swell household, and some minor ones on your favorite swell blog. I’ve got some exciting content coming up for all you swell readers, but in the meantime here is a little behind the scenes to tide you over.IMG_2067-2

11890976_10155799576100538_7578170652224433040_nI happen to be very involved and connected in the city that I live in. Recently a friend of mine, who just started this amazing podcast called Ideas by Elliot that you need to check out, invited me to do an interview. I was flattered because he is interviewing some of the movers and shakers in my small town, and somehow I became a part of that group. If you’ve wanted to hear what makes Mr. How to be Swell tick here is your chance, check it out, and while you are at it listen to the rest of his content, you won’t be disappointed.

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Gavin Degraw

Apparently Gavin Degraw has been the best kept secret for a while, well, at least from me. I was always aware of Gavin Degraw and his career, he has had some good singles, but had been kind of background music for me.  He performed songs that I liked, but never really paid attention beyond hearing it on the radio, until now. I always liked his songs “Chariot”, and “In Love with a Girl”, but he totally hooked me  with his new track “Sweeter”(watch the video at the bottom). His sound is the perfect blend of bluesy rock and roll with just the right amount of grit to make you feel it. One of the best new singles ive heard this year. Continue reading

Empire of One

This is one of the greatest bands on the rock scene that I have heard in quite a long time. Empire of One is a California-based band with a smooth, fresh, rock sound. I listen to their song “Roam” and imagine myself on a warm evening cruising up the 101 in a drop-top, staring at the ocean with no particular place to go. They have a mellow contemporary sound with some great hooks that will stick with you and you’ll never tire of. They are steeped in the alternative rock genre and definitely have a west coast, almost Seattle sound, but they are much better than whats been coming out of that area lately.

The band has performed and written together for less than a year, yet seem to have a kinship that has lasted a lifetime. They call it a brotherhood, separated at birth. All of the members come from a diverse musical backgrounds. The lead singer is Wil Seabrook, a veteran of indie and major label deals has a long history in the industry. Luke Thomas on guitar and vocals has written and recorded solo and with a number of groups as a session artist, and also is a music instructor. Darwin Johnson on bass & vocals studied at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles. Alexander E. Gonzalez on drums is also president, musical director and producer at G-Man Musical Services. Wil describes the band this way “With this group of guys I’m spending time with some of my best friends who also happen to be the most talented musicians I know”, and you can hear it in their music.

Empire of one plays all over California, and hopefully more places than that soon. Right now you’ll often find them at Witzend in Venice, CA. For other show dates look here. Of course if you’re not in the So-Cal area you can find their EP on iTunes. They are continuing to write new music and perform, and I for one am looking forward to what els they have to delight our ears. Of course in the interest of full disclosure one of the band mates is a close personal friend of mine, so all the more reason to support this band. So, go now and check out Empire of One, because dude, they are swell.