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Ready for Broadcast

Published Aug. 27, 2005

One in a series of chats with local music luminaries

2nd Day Broadcast is creating a buzz, not just locally but across the nation. The band recently nabbed a sponsorship from Budweiser and is currently featured in True Music magazine.

Add to that the ink the band garnered in Vanity Fair, and its distinction last summer of being the only unsigned act to ever get rotation on 97X _ or didn't you hear WSUN-FM 97.1 play its catchy single Now That I'm Gone from the Five Short Films concept CD?

2DB features lead guitarist Richard Anello, rhythm guitarist Dan Barton, bassist Derek Fair and drummer Peter Joseph, all of whom hail from the Tampa Bay area.

For now, we pick the brain of front guy John Swope, 28, who's a brand-new daddy.

(1) Tell us about your new daughter. Her name is Julia. She's amazing. She was fussy this morning. I think she's getting sick. She was just 6 pounds, 12 ounces when she was born (on Christmas Eve). Now she's 9 pounds. She just keeps getting chunkier and chunkier! (Laughs.)

You like being a daddy? It's incredible. It's like a switch goes off in your head. I never even liked holding babies before or changing diapers. Diapers are fun to change. (Laughs.) I'm serious. You save up and then take the diaper off and everything comes out _ it's like a water fountain or something! (Laughs.) I'm the first in the band to have a baby. The guys are supportive. We've been friends for 14 years. We're a family.

(2) Explain the concept behind Five Short Films. The CD is like a series of little movies. Now That I'm Gone is about a guy at a bar drinking who's going home to his wife, but he never makes it. He wrecks his car. Star is about a girl who goes out to L.A. and she's, you know, going to be a star, but ends up a prostitute. They're all stories.

It's unusual to find a younger writer not self-obsessed and writing in the first person. You're a storyteller. That's a compliment, by the way. Thanks. I've always admired singer-songwriters like David Gray, people who can tell stories. I'm attracted to that. Then people can interpret it. When your heart is too much on your sleeve _ like with Dashboard Confessional or guys like that _ I'm not knocking it, but there's really no room for people to fill in their own stuff and interpret it.

What other songwriters do you dig? Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers), Lennon and McCartney and Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon).

(3) You used to play guitar while you sang. Now you're a bona fide "front person." What made you take the guitar off? When we first started playing in bands together, it was during that whole early 1990s alternative grunge era when you went to see a band and there was no show, the band stared at their feet the whole time. It wasn't cool to be flashy.

Now, we want to give people something interesting to watch. When I first took off the guitar, it was so weird. I didn't know what to do. It makes you appreciate guys like Mick Jagger. How do they do it? You don't have a guitar in front of you to "protect" you.

But I'm getting better. Still, I'm no Freddie Mercury, prancing around with the mike stand.

(4) What's your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving. We have a real big family. We all moved from Puerto Rico to Tampa. We all get together, hang out, eat, watch football. We eat the obvious stuff like turkey and ham. My aunt Idalia makes this amazing Spanish rice. My in-laws, when they can't make it, they always make me bring some home to them.

(5) You studied film in college. What's your all-time favorite movie? I love The Godfather, of course, but there's another one. My wife (Kelly) was asking me this the other day and now I forget.

Call her. Seriously. (Times photographer Toni Sandys hands Swope a cell phone, and Swope calls his wife.) My wife can't remember my favorite movie either!

See, we really listen to each other. The secret to a good marriage. (The two chat, his face brightens.) Oh! The Hunt For Red October! She remembered!