Shwayze and Cisco

Shwayze and Cisco
Bill Portoghese | The Oswegonian

Avery: So you have an interesting and unique way of blending genres such as folk, pop and hip-hop. How does this affect your songwriting process?


Shwayze: I think it’s all part of the songwriting process because… it doesn’t affect it in a negative way. I think that Cisco and I both are music lovers. We come together and make music that we really love to make. Cisco’s trained in bass guitar, piano and making crazy beats. I’m trained in loving just all kinds of music. I like experimenting… so I can go anywhere and there’s no rules. I think that’s how we roll.


Cisco: I think that’s the effect is that we don’t have rules, which is cool. If we feel like we want to go over on that side, we can and I think because we come from not even two different sides of the spectrum but two different perspectives, we can always smash together and it comes out cool. Different than say if just one person did it.


Marlena: Do you guys put a personal limit on what you write about? Are there certain things you just won’t write about?


Cisco: No. That would just stifle the process. You know what I mean? Plus, there’s so many songs that artists write that you’ll never hear … because it’s just an everyday act. So maybe some of the more personal stuff might get filed away in the “more personal” folder…but I don’t think there’s any rules …


Shwayze: Sometimes you just write and not even know what you’re writing about until you hear it.


Cisco: Oh yeah three months later you’ll be like, “Oh wow. I know what I was going through there.” You know what I mean?


Avery: So “Island in the Sun,” was released under Bananabeat Records. Were there any obstacles in the recording process this time around?


Cisco: No. We jut got back together after taking a little break. We toured for four years almost straight, took a break and decided to get back in and make a record. Once we start making it, there’s no obstacles. It’s not a race or something like that.


Shwayze: Especially this time because since we’re putting out under Bananabeat, it’s our own pace. We’re really relaxed. It’s not like we have to have it out by then or here now. We just make some music. Cisco had some tracks that were already prepared and he had kind of a concept of the record.


Cisco: I don’t think we knew it until we wrote “Island In the Sun” and then we were both like, “Oh, this is it!” That’s why it’s named that because we were like, “Oh wow. Now we know where we’re at.” I think it’s a good representation of where we both are now as musicians, artists and people.

Marlena: Where are you now?


Cisco: We’ve traveled the world playing music, doing the thing we love and growing up during it and I think it’s going to affect your music, no matter what.


Avery: “Island In the Sun” is a self-produced album. How does it feel to have released an independent album?


Cisco: Well, I’ve produced all of them. So they’ve all been produced by me but to release it independently, I think is an amazing thing for both of us. Really, we’ve made every decision this time around.


Shwayze: Even if we did on the way, you know we still had to deal with other people. This time it’s just me and him. If it comes down to it, we have room to figure out the answer.


Avery: How does coming out independently affect you career wise?


Shwayze: You know, this is the first time we’ve come out independently. Overall, I think it gives us more freedom to do anything we want and not have to ask any other people. There’s no middleman.


Cisco: Yeah, I mean, we can go to a studio tonight, make a song and release it tomorrow. Literally, it’s like that real-time now, the industry is so real-time now. People want new music and if you’ve got all these barriers…we can make something and throw a demo up and be like “you guys like this?” and that’s really cool.


Avery: You recently embarked on the Seedless Summer Tour with artists such as Slightly Stoopid and Rebelution. Is there anything that stands out in your mind on this tour? Anything strange or exciting?


Cisco: Stands out? I think I can speak for only myself but we talked about this is one of the best tours we’ve ever been on. Vibe wise, we really bonded with all the bands. We’re all slightly different musically. It just blended really well and the fans got a really good ticket. We’re actually not done. We have a couple more dates on the Seedless Summer and I’m sure we’ll do more with both of those bands. We’re fans and friends and now we’re family.


Marlena: Do you guys feel like you’re going to be a long-time thing? Do you feel like it’s going to last a little while?


Cisco: It’s already lasted a little while.


Marlena: It has. Do you think it’s going to last longer?


Shwayze: The funny thing is is like we’ve been a group for a while now. Four and a half years at least.


Cisco: Almost five years, which is a long time. You can come out with one record and never be seen again.


Shwayze: Right, but I just think it’s interesting to see our fan base. We had a couple songs that had moderate radio success but besides that, we still have a crazy fan base that loves our music because they know the different types of things we do.


Cisco: I think also we’re just getting started and figuring out ourselves. Because we’re so “genre-less,” you never know what can come. We can go do a reggae record. We can do a blues record. We can do anything and I think that’s what’s exciting about the future. The doors are wide open.


Avery: So any future plans for touring?


Cisco: Yeah, we’re actually working on it right now but we’re going out in November on the “Island In the Sun” tour to support our record. We’re just working out the lineup but it’s looking really good. We can’t say anything yet but some cool acts are coming out with us.


Avery: Plan on going international?


Cisco: We’re doing America and we’re talking about Europe in like winter or January. Austrailia we always go [to], once a year at least. The love has been great out there so we have to get back.


Shwayze: We’ve got to hit up Canada too.


Avery: How about new material?


Cisco: We’re always writing but right now it’s all about “Island In the Sun” and getting people to come experience this record with us. It’s kind of like, “come to the island with us.”


Marlena: Would you guys consider it one of your favorite albums produced so far?


Cisco: Definitely. I mean the first one has a magical appeal because it’s our first record ever and it was like this wild treasure chest that we opened. But this one I think we’ve grown up musically, we know who we are as artists and it feels good to listen to it. Really it’s just about “Island In the Sun.” I think it’s going to open a lot more doors.


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