Adam and Kari of Swear and Shake were recently in the Hudson Valley playing at a local venue.
We were lucky enough to sit with them for a few moments after the show and asked some questions to see what this awesome duo was all about!
When did you form Swear and Shake?
Adam: Swear and Shake formed in 2010. Kari and I were just finishing college and the summer after was totally focused on getting the ball rolling.
How did you come up with the name?
Kari: The name comes from a lyric of one of Adam’s songs pre-Swear and Shake. It’s called Shake me Endlessly which is off of his first record “Let’s Kick Fire”
How did you and Adam meet? What made you decide on forming a band together? What are your musical backgrounds?
Kari: Adam and I met at SUNY Purchase in 2008 or 2009. We didn’t start hanging out together until just before graduation when he asked me to sing on one of his songs. Adam was always in different bands with our bass player Shaun and our old drummer Tom since they were in 6th grade. I used to play at coffee houses and such in and around the Hudson Valley when I was in high school.
How did Sean and Ben come into the mix? What are their musical backgrounds?
Adam: Shaun was our bassist right from the start. Ben was our producer before he became our drummer. He joined us as a player at the top of 2013. We all share a love for soulful music; Motown, old blues and country, and folk are some genres that always come back to us.
What is your favorite US venue you have played so far? Why?
Adam: If I had to pick one, I’d say Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, OK. So many amazing heroes of ours have graced that stage.
What is your favorite Hudson Valley venue that you have played? Why?
Kari:We recently played Club Helsinki in Hudson and they took great care of us. It was great playing on that stage!
Who does the song-writing? Have any favorites that you enjoyed writing? Favorites you enjoy performing?
Adam: Kari and I do the actual songwriting: the lyrics and melody and chords. Ben and Shaun have a large hand in arranging and crafting the piece as a whole. There have been lots of songs that haven’t been fun to play or perform, and those go in the trash. The ones you hear are our favorites.
What is your favorite part about touring? Least favorite? Any awesome / funny / ironic memory or story from any tour?
Kari:Best part about touring is seeing cities I would never think to visit on my own. For instance, Carborro NC. We played a venue called Cat’s Cradle. I had no idea the city would offer so much art, music and good food. We had a blast spending time with some of the local folks and the venue owners. Those nights are always the most memorable to me!
Who are some of your favorite bands you have toured with and/or performed with?
Adam: Just some favorite acts we’ve played with have been Red Wanting Blue, The Traveling Suitcase, G. Love and Special Sauce, and Wild Adriatic.
What did you love most about growing up in the Hudson Valley?
Kari: Mole Mole. Nuff said. Just kidding, I love that it’s some where in between rural and suburban living. It wasn’t until I moved out of the area that I really began to appreciate it’s beauty. I love being able to go hiking and swimming in the summer time and eat local foods and wines.
Do you have any random facts you would like to share about yourselves? The Hudson Valley?
Adam: Random fact? I don’t listen to voicemails, I just delete them and hope that things work out. Hudson Valley? Swear and Shake and the Hudson Valley? Our first show ever was Mountain Jam 2010. Our first show with Ben as our drummer was Mountain Jam 2012.
Thanks for sitting down with us – loved talking with you guys and have fun out west!
P.S. Below you will find a Nixie staple.. ‘Fire’ – it has been played on repeat more than anyone can count!