Noise pop, indie rock band, The Sweeps, has been getting recognition from the very start of their existence. With their alluring performances and natural raw talent, this magnetic trio is climbing to the top in the Chicago area. Last year, the band played at Metro – a venue known for attracting some of the greats, such as Bob Dylan, Ramones and Nirvana. The sweeps knew this was a step in the right direction.
Since first forming the project in 2009, there has been a few changes in band members. With the current line up being Bob Dain (vocals), Santiago Torres (vocals, bass), and Chris Dye (drummer), they have formed a powerful chemistry that draws attention and shines through their music.
Music From The Sweeps
The Sweeps’ 2013 album release, Swift Armour, captures the grittiness of their sound, paired with feisty lyrics about being among the working class in the heart of the city. The album art, done by drummer, Chris, is based off a very old postcard of the Chicago stockyards. “ It was actually done with chalk. It’s a representative of what the album is. Which is kind of an ode to our city. The good and the bad,” says Bob.
‘The Lark’, a single from the album, stirred quite the attention with the graphics in the music video. It’s a real trip to watch. At one point there is a green monster chasing a guy through the woods and big clay heads changing form with the vocals. The video was created by Rafael Bonilla by using stop motion mixed with 2D and 3D animation. A very unique and wild spiral. “We threw around different ideas to Rafael. And he just totally made it his own. It turned out pretty wacky, and we absolutely love it,” says Bob.
In the beginning, the band recorded all their live performances and used the recordings to critique their sound. I was able to speak to Bob and ask him about this and if there was a hidden vault somewhere. “Yes, we have a pretty extensive collection of live recordings. But we did stop doing that so we could concentrate on putting more work into our studio recordings.”
Reviews And Accomplishments From The Sweeps
A review from the Daily Vault says “The Sweeps opted to replicate the raw energy of their live performances with a minimally produced live recording. A good decision, for sure: much like the early Black Keys albums, this strategy amplifies the loose, invigorating style in which they seem to thrive.”
The Sweeps were voted best rock band for the Chicago Reader in 2013. A significant accomplishment since one of Bob’s favorite bands growing up was the runner up – The Lawrence Arms: an indie punk band, also from Chicago. “To even be mentioned with a band like that is an honor,” says Bob. The band was also voted runner up for best local band in 2010, and best rock band in 2012 for the Chicago Reader.
Other Doings From The Sweeps
The Sweeps have taken part in Tails Pet Media Group, a pet rescue that started out as a magazine but now has a mission. And Chris-drummer, is really involved with pit bull rescue and other animal humane society events. “For local causes, we really like to help out and make a difference,” says Bob.
Bob also owns a small guitar shop located in Chicago called 312 Vintage Guitar. They buy and sell used guitars. Earning 5 stars on the rating scale for Yelp, the shop has a nice selection of new and vintage effects and gear. Bob says “it’s nice ’cause I have quite a bit of gear we can use for the band too. And it’s a good way to network.”
My Review On The Sweeps
This band really caught my attention in my search for indie rock bands. With their harsh vocals turning into merciful sounds paired with a realistic vibe to the tone, I recommend their music. I can tell they are humble with their accomplishments, which makes for a down-to-earth conversation.