Swann Danger

An interview with Cynthia Mansourian of the promising new American gothrock formation Swann Danger

Recently there seems to be a renewed interest in traditional gothic music. Maybe the new generation of goths that has grown up with loud beats and distorted vocals are beginning to take notice of the authentic form of gothic music. In anyway, there have been quite some good releases lately in the gothrock genre. New labels emerge for this kind of music, or strengthen their activities and new bands are forming, that prefer rock over techno. One of the most promising new bands is Swann Danger. Last year they released their untitled debut EP on their own. It is a record that raises expectations or the future. Therefore I thought it was time for a little introduction to the band.

Swann Danger

Who are you?

The band consists of Andy Zevallos, who plays bass guitar, runs the samples and the drum machine, and me (Cynthia Mansourian) who sings and plays the guitar. We write the songs together.

Can you tell a little about the history of the band?

We were both members of the band Heart Of Snow, which put out an EP on GSL in 2001. While we were in Heart Of Snow we started playing as a two-piece and called it Die Little Death. When it came time to play out, we changed the name to Swann Danger to avoid confusion with another local band with a similar name. The songs ?You have won? and ?The now is mine? are a result of that period of songwriting. When Heart Of Snow broke up in early 2002, Swann Danger emerged as our primary musical focus.

Swann Danger started playing live in may of 2002 and has played shows up and down the west coast of the USA as well as a short US tour last summer. We have played shows with bands including like The Phantom Limbs, Black Ice, Turn Pale, Glass Candy, Sixteens, Holy Kiss, Get Hustle and Cinema Strange.

Where do you draw your inspiration from / what are your inspirational bands?

The inspiration behind Swann Danger is ever evolving. Initially it came about as a means to express the darker and minimalist side of the music we were writing that didn’t exactly fit in Heart Of Snow. Our sound has remained on the dark side, but has expanded somewhat from our early extreme minimalism. As a band we draw inspiration from personal experience as well as many different areas such as art, film, literature, and, of course, music.

Inspirations happen constantly and are pretty impossible to list…however, some artists that inspire us include Tones On Tail, The Velvet Underground, Tricky, David Bowie, PJ Harvey, Billie Holiday, Rom Music, Kate Bush, The Doors, Dub Music, The Birthday Party and the Swans, and the desire to break out of the lethargy and boredom of the routine of daily life (or maybe just document it, ha!).

What are you current activities and future plans?

In the immediate future we are recording the song ?One hundred years? for a tribute to The Cure’s ?Pornography? album which will be on the Swedish label Release The Bats Records. They will also be re-releasing our EP on 10″ vinyl in the spring of 2004. We are planning shows in Los Angeles for february, as well as shows in the San Francisco bay area. Next to that we are busy writing songs for a future full-length release and hope to come and play shows in Europe.

Swann Danger