–Tell us what inspired you to write “Let It Roll” and how you chose it to be the first new music from Never Shut Up.

“‘Let It Roll’ is one of my older riffs and one of the last ones I wrote in our LA studio before moving to Vegas. Once I set up my first studio here in Vegas, I would record a batch of songs by laying guitars and bass to a click and Chris Slade would lay drums to them when he came to town.  This session happened to be the last one before he was called back into AC/DC for the tour in 2015. “

“I had loved the music to it and I always had the title ‘Let It Roll’ but the lyrics never came to me or Janea. It sat unfinished for years as we adjusted to life in Las Vegas and went through the pandemic, locked away in the studio while finishing the other songs on the record.  After listing to all the other songs, I felt like the record was unfinished. I happened to pull up the music to ‘Let It Roll’ and it hit me like a steam roller!  Suddenly after all these years, the words flowed out of me with a new melody. I felt like we had officially landed here in Vegas, and I wanted to capture that in the song.  Janea and I played it for the rest of the band and everyone said, ‘this is the one!’  It became the song that we feel properly represented us out of the gate as a brand-new band out of Vegas.  ‘The Vegas Knights are showing anything can happen, you make your wishes with a role of the dice…’”

–How did you pick the locations to shoot the music video and was there something special that drew you to them?

“We wanted to capture our version of Las Vegas in our debut single and video, so for our first location I wanted to film an after-hours party scene here at our newly acquired studio that I named Dragon Castle Studios since it was formerly a studio band house owned by Imagine Dragons.  Having it be the hallowed ground where they recorded and produced several of their hit records, we wanted to establish it as the new home base of SWAGGERMOUTH by christening it with a party of select friends, industry peeps, and Vegas staples like Showgirls, who raced from a Golden Knights playoff game directly to our video shoot set.  Imagine Dragons had left two huge bottles of champagne in the fridge for us when we moved in, and you can see us opening one of them in the video in the party scene.”

“For Location #2, our bass player Joseph Nile mentioned this kick ass place called the ‘Wheel of Misfortune’ and sent me a link to preview.  I LOVED it immediately, as it’s graffiti ridden ruins matched the heaviness & grittiness of ‘Let It Roll.’ Vegas is a place that you come to roll the dice either for money or success, but pitfalls or bad luck can take you down, so it was a perfect match in its Mad Max ‘end of the world’ way. It matched where I feel that we are in society now… livin’ on the edge.”

‘I believe in keeping music and creativity in the minds of our youth, as music is what got me through my childhood and entire life for that matter.   So, when my friend Marissa invited me to do a walkthrough of RockStars of Tomorrow here in Las Vegas, I thought that it would be another perfect location to shoot some concert footage and help spread the word by featuring some of the Rock Stars of tomorrow!  The kids were all really excited about it and have been telling all their friends about the experience…so mission accomplished!”

— Can you share how you met Chris Slade and what it was like co-writing the album and having him perform on drums?

“I’ve actually known Slade longer than Janea, believe it or not!  I used to play weekly at the Burbank Bar and Grille and Slade would come in with Geoff Downs & John Payne, as he was playing drums in ASIA at the time. Meanwhile, Janea and I had formed a new band ECOTONIC and we’d just finished our debut record. The band imploded just as the record was completed. I was at NAMM with Janea when Slade sat down across from us. I happened to have an ECOTONIC CD with me, so I went over and said hello, told him about the band and that we were looking for a drummer and gave him the music. He called me the next day saying he loved it and two days later he brought his kit over and we started recording the CD with him on it.”

“Slade is very other worldly and of a higher consciousness, which always leads us to deep conversations that turn into new songs.  He is super easy to write with, as there’s no ego or bullshit, only creativity and flow with everyone going for the best result.  He used to drive to our studio house in the hills of Glendale all the way from Orange County, and he’d arrive at the door humming new song ideas saying, ‘quick, get something to record this”…and 10 minutes later we’d have a new song.”

“I am always humbled thinking of the people that Slade has played drums for whose spot I was standing in–Jimmy Page, David Gilmore, Angus Young–and it’s always a bit of a thrill every time we jam together.  Janea and I are so grateful for him as a human and for his talents, and I’m honored to be playing drums on the same record as him.  He’s a forever friend and an extended family member.”

NEVER SHUT UP Track Listing:

3. TURNIN’ ON A DIME (Ain’t Takin’ What’s Mine)