If it’s true what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, I screwed up. I arrived at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino prior to Dance Gavin Dance‘s limited engagement, sold out Mothership show with a million questions in my head and butterflies in my stomach. I was about to meet and interview Will Swan, and I knew I wasn’t burying that in the desert.
When Mothership released in the summer of 2016 I eagerly accepted an advanced copy for review. The moment Jon Mess (screamo guy) gave the call “Gimme that canvas/let me paint some shit” and Tilian Pearson (clean vocals) gave the response “Pass me some poison/let me take a hit,” my musical trajectory changed. Lyrics and melodies wove their way into my psyche and Dance Gavin Dance became my passion. Seeing Mothership performed live meant flying from Florida to Vegas, which I did happily. When I received a last minute approval to photograph DGD and interview Will, I hit my first Vegas jackpot.
Will Swan comes out to the hall with almost a bit of … reservation? I’ve interviewed people that clearly did NOT want to be dealing with press so I know that look, but this was familiar to me on more of a personal level. It was almost as if Will was thrust into the spotlight all alone with no ride or die to back him up, no wingman to start the conversation, no Thelma to accompany Louise off the cliff. I got it immediately. Immediately. My nerves disappeared as soon as I saw that Will Swan is not affected by his success and he’s not going to put on a pretend face for an interview. This artist who has created brilliant melodies and inspired songs is just a normal guy, slightly hesitant when meeting someone for the first time. I’m suddenly overcome with the desire to be a gracious hostess, get him a sweet tea, and offer him my favorite recliner. All my questions are out the window. It’s just me, Will, and 11 of my favorite minutes of 2017.
I take a deep breath and hit the record button. “Up in the casino, ain’t no doubt I’m ’bout to let it all go…”