Band breakups are tricky. Sometimes it’s the only option as a group implode, sometimes it’s just one of those things, and there’s always that lingering, what if?
When beloved Philly punks Swearin’ disbanded in 2013, they left a nagging itch that just had to be scratched. Now, five years later the band are back, older, wiser and with a renewed sense of purpose.
The Swearin’ that have returned with long-awaited third album ‘Fall Into The Sun’ sees their dynamic transformed. Now a trio and, following songwriters Allison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride’s breakup, based on opposite sides of the US, they came back together gradually but with new vigour to push themselves creatively.
“The dynamic of this group is something special to me,” begins Kyle. “Making the third album was something I always wanted to do, and I don’t know if we ever necessarily thought we were going to get the chance to do it again.
“There were times when it didn’t feel like such a priority, but there was definitely unfinished business. I’m psyched that we got together to do it.”
For Allison, there was almost a sense of inevitability that something would happen, the question was how and in what form.
“Swearin’ was only inactive for a few years so I always hoped that we would do something again,” she says from her new home in California. “I don’t know that I ever thought that this record would exist in its context and the way that we’ve done it. I’m excited because it feels very specific to this set of circumstances.”
She continues: “After we stopped playing together there was a clear divide in the band. I was doing my own thing, and everyone else was doing their own thing or in tandem with one another. We took a lot of space, both intentionally and circumstantial. I was travelling a lot and thinking about moving.”
The gradual rebuilding of Allison and Kyle’s friendship came to a head as all the members of the band found themselves at the same show and confronted the elephant in the room head-on.
“It took a little time for me and Allison to rebuild, to get our friendship on a good foundation where we could make it work,” says Kyle. “There was one singular event when we were at [Allison’s sister Katie’s band,] Waxahatchee’s record release show in Philly, and we were all hanging out backstage and she was like, what if we played some shows? I was like, no! She was like, well, what if we made that record?
And I said, okay, that’s interesting. I wouldn’t mind starting things up again if we got to make that record.
“The band is an outlet for me that I haven’t tried to recreate in any other way since. It was cool to think about writing songs for it. I loved recording songs for this band.”