The Sweeps
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The Sweeps

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Alternative Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Mar
02
The Sweeps @ Schubas Tavern

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jan
11
The Sweeps @ Subterranean

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Sep
29
The Sweeps @ Private Show

Richmond, Virginia, USA

Richmond, Virginia, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


- Best Rock Band -

THE SWEEPS
soundcloud.com/thesweepsmusic

RUNNER-UP
THE LAWRENCE ARMS - Chicago Reader


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. - Rawkzila


With a name like The Sweeps, I was in danger of immediately writing off this Chicago trio. I have made a habit of poring over every possibly decent release that comes my way though, so I dipped my toe into the waters that is their debut LP Swift Armour - and whilst it may be winter still here (albeit an Aussie winter, particularly a Queensland winter, doesn't often call for layers of clothing), rather than being frozen out, the temperature was just fine. This is raucous, edgy, yet edifying guitar rock - think the more rambunctious fringes of Built To Spill, the dingy breakdowns of Desaparecidos, the sonic sleekness of (dare I say it) early era Arcade Fire, with a lashing of the cantankerous scourings that likeminded bands Pile and Spook Houses to fill out the boisterous recipe. But Swift Armour is emblematic of the trio, staunch Chicago kids, who although not always hitting their mark, spray the speakers with gusto that most of their efforts indelibly stick. When everything explodes is when the band finds traction - a growl and expulsion of emotion that feels visceral and real. I still find it difficult to warm to the name - but dive into this album. It's fine, once you get in... - Sonic Masala


Chicago Reader's Best of 2010 Awards - Runner up for Best Local Band of 2010 - Chicago Reader


Best Rock Band - Runner Up - Chicago Reader


10. The Sweeps – The Terrible Children

Chicago’s original power-pop trio grew up into some horrid little monsters with their second album and I like it. Recorded in just two days, this album is a tighter, yet slightly unhinged version of what was heard in their debut album, Midnight at the Box. Although influences like Arcade Fire and Wilco can be heart, The Sweeps dabble in more complex directions – from dirty-bass rock to heart-felt folk – showing they aren’t just a catchy pop and structured harmonies kind of band anymore. - LoudLoopPress


"A little dreamy surf rock, a little power pop, the occasional waltz and lots of screaming good fun make up the sound of The Sweeps. Just coming off of their recent, massive Midwest tour, the trio is making their way in the Chicago scene. The future holds both tv appearances, and endless shows for The Sweeps. On stage, The Sweeps could never disappoint. Their songs are catchy, their stage presence is amazing and the energy from their fans is intoxicating. Check out The Sweeps on January 16 at the Double Door.
Must hear: Waltz" - LoudLoopPress


“Take Five” is a new interview series that will focus on Chicago’s ever-growing music scene by giving you insight on the city’s best local acts via the best source possible: the acts themselves. We ask five questions, and they give five answers. Here is the latest installment featuring The Sweeps.

Chicago’s tenacious power pop trio, The Sweeps, are taking Chicago by storm one medium at a time. After finally putting their never ending Midwest tour on pause and holding off on their usual tv and radio appearances, the boys have settled down to track a live recording for their second album tentatively called The Terrible Children that will drop on January 14.

But with a massive fan base chomping at the bit to see more of Bob Dain, Aaron Medina and Santiago Torres, the band will only have a moment before they are up and at it again. Already booked for Double Door’s Fourteenth Annual Halloween Bash, The Sweeps are moving at light speed with future TV spots and radio appearances planned and another string of live shows and touring time coming up November through January. We were able to catch guitarist and lead vocalist Bob Dain out of the studio and ask him about the album and The Sweeps future.

LLP: As far as this new album goes, where did you record it?

Bob: Erik Widman’s of Tesla Studios was gracious enough to set us up with some recording time and we took advantage of it. We had been dragging our feet for over a year trying to decided if we would spend tens of thousands of dollars with a major studio, or try to do it ourselves and on a much smaller budget. In the end we realized that we needed to record an album that captured the same feel as our live shows. We demoed the songs and spent a few months working on them and making the right changes until the songs felt right to each of us. Erik Widman is helping us pick and place the right mics in the right places and track us. It’s been almost too easy this time around to record this album. We approached this album with months upon months of plotting and planning. It helped immensely when it came to recording nine songs in two days.

LLP: So, why record the album live as opposed to tracked?

Bob: As a band, we have always been afraid to track live. We’ve heard again and again how more effective it is to track separately. With live recordings the quality is less and it can be extremely frustrating. You’re not able to go back and fix that minor flub or noise you may have made. However, it quickly became apparent that recording live is who we are. Our music relies on emotion. Recording live has finally captured that feeling we’ve always lacked in previous recordings. We went this route because we came to a point where we had 30 songs, and needed to get something out to the public. It takes time to be able to capture the sound exactly how you want.

We spent hours playing the same riff over and over again and would tweak the mic a quarter of an inch in a different direction, then start over until we got it right. It helped out that Erik had a whole slew of amazing Neumanns and Blues and other wonderful mics to play with. But it was frustrating at points to record something only to realize that the floor tom wasn’t mic’d just quite right or that a room mic needed to be lowered or raised. Patience and preparation were our saving graces.

LLP: How does your new album differ from your last release, the EP Midnight at The Box?

Bob: We have been so lucky with the attention our first EP brought our way. However, these new songs really are what we see our sound being as The Sweeps. I know it’s our best work yet. I just hope people listen to this album and feel something they have not felt before. We recorded Midnight at the Box only 4-5 months into this project. We did not take our time developing the songs as we needed material out to be able to book and tour off of. It was our first crack at an album and I think the songs were what we thought best represented us at that time. Some of the songs were pieced together with new material we came up with, but did not fully develop.

Initially, the idea was to have each song flow into the next and tell more of a story. Bassist Santiago Torres had written “Steve-Z” about a year before I joined the band. A few days before we went into the studio for the first time, I wrote “Waltz”. Both songs we love, however they were not written for a common goal. We think it took a few more months for us to really gel as a group and develop what we wanted this project to be. We hate to define music or get into genres, so we write from the heart and leave it up to others to decide. But each of these songs should create a stir or feeling in the listener as they for us. We want peoples’ hairs on the back of their necks to stand when they first hear our music.

We want people to run and tell a friend. Each of us was absorbed in other things and our minds were not fully dedicated to the project when we recorded Midnight at the Box. This time around we were really able to utilize time and maturity as musicians and a group to our advantage. We deconstructed the songs and built them back up with as much or as little instrumentation, harmonies and vocals were needed. We have poured our hearts into these songs.

LLP: You guys do a lot of touring around the Midwest. When do you plan on doing this next tour?

Bob: Every weekend in November and December we will be playing across the Midwest. Our next major tour will take place soon after the album is released. We are now looking at booking a two week tour for late January/early February. We’ve stuck to the Midwest so far out of necessity. As an indie band, it’s hard to generate the funds to cover a few thousand dollars in gas to head out to the West Coast and back, so we’ve had to stick to shows within manageable driving distances, which are under 10-12 hours from Chicago. We would obliviously love to tour the west and east coast after our album is released, and have ton’s of fans from outside the Midwest asking us to come play their area. So, we’re always working on routes and keeping our ears open to show/tour offers.

LLP: You have a show coming up on October 30th at the Double Door. Will you be doing anything special for the show?

Bob: The lineup is still being put together, but it is actually Double Door’s famous Halloween Show. We’ll be going as The Cars this year and playing their hits. None of us really are major Cars fans, but after going through their song catalog, we realized how many catchy hit songs they had and loved the idea of covering them. - LoudLoopPress


"Even though all the bands were local, the crowd buzzed with anticipation before the show kicked off last Friday night at the Double Door. While the night was proclaimed an album release party for The Terrible Children, the new full-length from Chicago’s power-pop trio The Sweeps, performances from the hard rocking The Streets On Fire and danceable Love In October gave the whole night an feeling of electricity and illustrated everything that is right with Chicago’s current music scene."

"Though The Streets On Fire would be a tough act to follow, The Sweeps were up to the challenge as they opened their set with a surprise addition of a small chorus to the band, playfully named, like their new album, The Terrible Children. Consisting of Erynn Baronia (Up From The Wormwood), Mitch Mead (singer/songwriter), Marc Stranger-Najjar (The Gorilla Press) and Chris Kang (The Gorilla Press), The Terrible Children provided harmonic backing vocals, egg-shaker and tambourine. They kept up with their name by teasing the crowd and shooting endless amounts of confetti at them from glittery, iridescent tubes.

The Sweeps played all new music from their album and every song showed a more mature and complex version of the band. Although keeping their power-pop sound, The Sweeps raised the bar with the fearless orchestration, free-wheeling lyrics, and open-hearted harmonies. Bob Dain, Santiago Torres and Aaron Medina push their musical limits as they dabble in an array of new sounds that range from punk to folk. One of the highlights of the night was the cover of Kanye West’s “Power”, where bassist Torres took the lead and spit some fierceness for the crowd. The band was called back for an encore by the audience shouting “Sweeps” over and over again. The boys played their fan-favorite song “Waltz” as the crowd swayed and sang every word."

- LoudLoopPress


DK: Thanks guys for taking the time to answer my questions today. I really appreciate your time!

Sweeps: No, thank you! We really dig what you do for the Chicago music scene!

DK: Thanks! We sure try! Now, you’ve been on the scene for about two years, correct?

Sweeps: Correct. Over 200 shows, a few albums and tours later, we’re finally hitting our stride.

DK: 200 shows in two years is definitely something to be proud of, great work! What is each of your musical backgrounds prior to starting the band? Were any of you in other bands?

Sweeps: Aaron actually just started playing the drums within the past five years. His dad played drums, but he never got into it into he started jamming with Santiago in college. Santiago and Bob both started playing guitar in High School and had a few small bands they played in. Bob had some moderate success with a few local bands and bounced from local project to project until he met Aaron and Santiago through a classifieds post and everything clicked.

DK: Did any of you take lessons?

Sweeps: None of us have had any formal training. We push it each other musically and rehearse 5 times a week, so we consider that our proving ground.

DK: What would you say sets The Sweeps apart from other bands?

Sweeps: Our live performance. We want everyone to leave wanting more and singing our songs all night long. We take pride in putting on an amazing show.

DK: In your two year career, what are some of your observations you’ve made about the Midwest music scene and the bands you’ve shared the stage with?

Sweeps: We’ve run the gamut when it comes to positive and negative experiences in the Midwest scene. There are a ton of talented and hard working bands that never get any attention. We’ve met many good friends and talented artists who have dedicated their lives to sharing their art with the world. On the other side of the coin, the “pay to play” scheme has crept its way into the Midwest and Illinois. This has led to a flood of promotional companies/upstart venues and other folks trying to make money off of young aspiring musicians. It’s understandable that venues/promotional companies need to make money, but charging a $7-8 cover and paying the bands $1 a head if they draw 50+ people is absurd. Another popular scheme is asking for hundreds or thousands of dollars to get a song on a compilation that will not get properly distributed. It saddens us to think of how many amazingly talented bands have broken up or stopped playing because of the pressure or traps that’s put upon them instead of actual support.

DK: Yeah, you really have to be careful out there, my old band had similar problems and it will unfortunately probably continue unless we can collectively put a stop to them. Who handles all the business for the band, Bob, right,? Or do each of you have your hand in it?

Sweeps: Bob does handle all of the management and booking for the band. Santiago does almost all of the graphic design and Aaron contributes with art as well.

DK: It is so important that each member of the band be involved, even in a slight degree in the business side of the band. It is so helpful for each person to know what is involved in making things happen, but also it becomes so much less stressful if only one band member were handling all those details. How do each of you balance your time with the band verses day jobs and family, etc?

Sweeps: It has been very hard in the past and we walk a fine line. The band is our passion, love and full time job. However, it does not pay. In fact, it costs a lot of money to be in a band. Maintaining your instruments, renting a rehearsal spot, spending time promoting and playing shows hundreds of miles away, it unfortunately adds up very quickly. So we need to each need to have supplemental incomes to support ourselves. It has created stress with loved ones and each other, but after two years, we’ve grown to understand each other like only brothers can. There is always uncertainty in our area of work, but we do our best to keep each other up to date on our individual situations.

DK: Now, you have two EPs out and a new self-titled EP on the way. You made 300 pressings of your second release and you’re almost sold out now. How many are you going to press out this time around on this release?

Sweeps: This time around we are going to print a limited edition Vinyl as well as 500 CD’s. We’re very confident that we will be able to move them quickly. We are very excited about the music which is going on this release.

DK: How much would you estimate each of you have invested into the band and how much of a return would you say you’ve received so far?

Sweeps: Between expenses every musicians face, each of us have put quite a bit of time and money into this project. We hope with another successful album release this summer, we can recoup some of our monetary investments into our love.

DK: Good luck with that, though I don't really believe luck is going to have anything to do with it. You guys are very talented and it is really only a matter of time, just wait. Who are the songwriters in the band and where do you pull your inspirations from for your songs?

Sweeps: Bob and Santiago are songwriters. We each pull our inspirations from real interactions and experiences in each of our lives. A great song always has an amazing story behind it, and we feel the only way to properly convey actual emotion into our music is drawing from personal experiences..

DK: With “The Terrible Children” EP having been recorded in two days, it seems you guys don’t care for staying the studio too much do you?

Sweeps: We actually love being in the studio. However, we firmly believe in being efficient and prepared entering the studio. Too many bands leave it in the hands of the producers and engineers to let them know what sounds good and what does not. Far too many bands enter the studio unprepared in any number of ways. Our music gets put through the ringer of live audiences, other musicians we bring in to critique us and as friends and/or fans we’ve gained along the way we reach out to for honest input.

There also has to be a confidence in your own art and direction as some may not immediately understand it, but hopefully will appreciate it over time.

One major way we cut time is tracking our music live. Hardly any bands do this anymore for one reason or another. Growing up listening to our parent’s classic rock and Motown on vinyl, and now going back and re-listening and appreciating every little nuance of the studio/environment, instruments and artist, we want to carry on that tradition. These artists didn’t benefit from Pro-Tools or a computer and had to rely on their talent. They needed to be more than amazing to get noticed and phenomenal to be heard.

DK: I am very impressed with you guys actually, if you keep running the band as intelligently as you are, success will not be as much of a struggle for you to attain. Where were the albums recorded anyway?

Sweeps: The first two albums were recorded at Tesla Studios with Erik Widman. He has a rehearsal spot on the West side of the city with some great vintage recording equipment. He also mixed each album. The upcoming album will be recorded with Brian Zieske at the Gallery of Carpet Studios.

DK: With your desire to capture the live sound on your albums, do you plan to release live EPs or sell individual live tracks online anytime soon?

Sweeps: We will be releasing live performances and individual tracks in the future. Our next album release we are currently considering recording and releasing. If we ever play one of the great theatres in the city to where it would positively affect our sound, we would love to get a recording. However, bars and most clubs are not the greatest places to effectively and accurately capture sound without putting quite a bit of money into the proper equipment.

DK: Yeah, that is the unfortunate part of a lot of the venues in the area. Does it take much effort to “win the room” over when playing out of state venues? Or are the crowds usually pretty receptive?

Sweeps: We do try to connect with local bands that share a similar style and make sure the venues we pick to play are good fits for us so we do not run into a Blues Brother scene and end up playing Rawhide behind Chicken Wire all night. We’ve hardly run into any bad attitudes or personalities on the road, but every once in a blue moon they are people you cannot avoid. There’s been a positive response from the out of town shows we have played so far and we hope our luck continues.

DK: My old band was a speed metal band and we ended up playing a couple shows where we opened for glam bands, yeah, the vacant look on the crowds faces was pretty common. LOL, but it was an interesting experience. Before hitting out of state venues, do you try locating fans in those areas to help spread the word of the shows?

Sweeps: We start playing in areas we have friends, fans from social media or bands in the same position as us. This way we have a solid base to start with. Posters, stickers, buttons are mailed out and posted by our people and hopefully we get a few more people to really dig what we do live. And then next time hopefully they bring a friend and it snowballs from there.

DK: What are some highlights the band has had so far? How will these highlights help influence the band’s direction in the coming months/years?

Sweeps: Being featured in Metromix and the Red Eye only a few months after our first release as one of the top shows to see in Chicago next to U2, Bruce Springsteen and other major acts, we knew we were doing something right. After being asked to perform on the WGN midday news before our first major club show a few months later, a real excitement started to build. That summer we were runners up for the Chicago Readers Best of Awards as Best Local Band. We decided to record a new EP which gained airplay online, in college radio and on Q101 and that solidified the feeling that we needed to pursue this 125%. We really feel our next EP will take us to another level as musicians and artists and hopefully Chicago will take notice.

DK: Most impressive highlights there, you each have a lot to be proud of! How would you say the band has picked up the most following? At your many live gigs? Or online?

Sweeps: Hands down from our live shows. Our fans online have been great, and our social networks continually grow, however we really get to connect on another level with fans who come out to see us live.

DK: How do you best maintain your relationship with your fans? What is the best tool you found so far?

Sweeps: Continually playing better and more interesting shows connecting with them live and then hopefully having them stay in touch through one our social networks has been the ideal way so far. Facebook and Myspace can be both amazing tools.

DK: At the stage that the Sweeps is at in your career, what would be the top three things you feel the band needs to take things to the next level? (i.e. management, street teams, etc)

Sweeps: First would be solid financial backing. That is always the biggest battle. If we had a label who firmly believed in our music and releasing it, we would only have to worry about making music, and none of the other stresses we currently face. A street team is currently in the works, and will fall into second place. Having people other than you dedicated to spreading the word about your music and passion is simply amazing. It is overwhelming sometimes to consider people taking time out of their lives to help pursue your love and passion because they believe in you. Third would be management. Again, just like financial backing, this is something that would help us create more and better music and open more opportunities to share it with more people.

DK: Does the Chicago music community (i.e. venues, radio, resources, etc) meet your needs or are there some areas you feel there can be improvements to help bands along?

Sweeps: The Chicago community is great for helping upstart bands get noticed. There are tons of groups, utilities and individuals that are dedicated to local music. Some of these we have yet to take advantage of yet.

DK: Have there been any major hurdles that the band had trouble overcoming or have things been pretty effortless thus far?

Sweeps: There are always stresses and troubles anytime you ask three individuals to interact with each other daily in a small and loud rehearsal spot while under great amounts of stress whether it be personal or group stress regarding a big upcoming event or recording. We believe in talking and airing out what could help improve the group and always start and leave it there. So far we’ve got along great and it’s been very hard work to get to this point, but worth every minute.

DK: Does the band have any videos yet, be-it live or professional? If not, are any plans in the works for one?

Sweeps: We do have a few live videos on youtube. We are planning and in talks to do two music videos for our upcoming self titled EP.

DK: Getting back to shows, what do you have lined up for the next few months?

Sweeps: To start off April, we will be up in Wisconsin (April 2nd, Shawano, WI / Classic’s Lounge) and then April 7th at the Hard Rock Café downtown Chicago. April 11th we will be doing an acoustic performance and interview on Fearless Radio. To stay up to date on all our events, check our calendar at myspace.com/sweepsmusic or keep up with our posts at facebook.com/thesweeps

DK: What are some long term goals you’d like to see the band accomplish?

Sweeps: Being able to tour more consistently and gain major recognition in Chicago and the Midwest is our first goal. We’d love to be able to pursue this full time and share it with as many people as we can. As long as we have a roof over our heads, we are content with giving our all into this music.

DK: Well, I would like to thank you very much for your time with this interview today. It is sincerely appreciated!

Sweeps: Thank you so much for your time and do not be a stranger!

DK: We won't and we wish you guys the best of luck on your careers! - Chicago Music Guide


"They're a great sounding band with good infusion and they just rock. Go listen to them!" - Chicago 3 Media


Should be called the Sweets because this record is sweet! But shouldn't be called the Sweet, because that's taken. Though not currently being used. - Roctober Magazine Reviews


From an outsider looking in, The Sweeps appear to be a band on the rise. Guitarist Bob Dain, bassist Santiago Torres, and drummer Aaron Medina have earned a burgeoning following in Chicagoland, as well as a reputation for chaotically energetic live performances. But what of their recorded material?

The pop-punk trio’s second release, The Terrible Children, follows their positively received debut EP, Midnight At The Box, which fueled their ascension into the Midwestern rock scene. Recorded in only two days, 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.

Opening twin tracks “Corsettes” and “Clowns” show off this energy front-and-center: throbbing intro bass, a couple of seismic dynamic shifts, and a startlingly simplistic melody. “Hotels” carries the commotion to an even higher degree, as evidenced by Dain’s piercing wail. Once the vocals cease near its halfway point, you’re treated with eerily manufactured phrases from looping effects, bookended by a couple of furious jam sessions. Here and elsewhere, The Sweeps excel with the use of effects and instrumental sections that dot the album.

Unlike the preceding EP, Dain ventures into acoustic territory in The Terrible Children, adding a needed second dimension into the mix. “Bleed For Love,” a standout, single-verse, solo acoustic interlude, is the first such occurrence, sharply contrasting with their body of work to date. Falsetto-laced “Everything Green” and “Guns” attempt to pace the album as well, to moderate success.

Perhaps The Sweeps show their greatest maturity and cohesiveness in closer “The Sound Of Cannons.” The track begins rather unassumingly, with meekly picked acoustic guitar and softly howling backing vocals that belie comparatively fiery lyrics: “All I hear are concussion grenades in my ears.” U2-like guitar riffs accompany an up-and-down, unhurried crescendo to the track’s climax. While the remainder of the album has no shortage of catchy hooks, it’s this finale that exhibits the most depth and ultimately intrigues me the most.

At just nine tracks, The Terrible Children flies by, clocking in at under a half hour. Of course, an album’s merit should be determined by quality and not quantity, but while there’s plenty to like, you can’t help but feel that some tracks end prematurely before fully realizing their potential. Despite the peaks and valleys, The Terrible Children solidly carries out the pop-punk formula. No doubt, it will be interesting to follow if and how The Sweeps’ sphere of influence expands from a local phenomenon into a widespread epidemic. - the Daily Vault - Josh Allen


The Sweeps like to drench their upbeat pop tunes in distorted bass, vocal effects and noisy drums. Hotels, off their new album, was recorded live in the studio and we dig the lively recording and the In Utero guitar squalls. - The Double Door


Although they have only two years and two albums under their belt, The Sweeps are developing quickly. The Chicago-based rock band’s sound and style have rapidly evolved since it released its debut EP, “Midnight At the Box,” in 2009.

Band member Bob Dain says the EP was the beginning of the group finding its identity.

“Our first EP basically was a collection of songs we threw together just to get our sound out there and to help us book shows and play more,” Dain said. “We were only together as a band for four months when that EP came out, so we were still figuring out our sound, and who we are as a band.”

The band’s follow-up album, “The Terrible Children,” was released earlier this month. It was recorded over two days to avoid over production and showcase an authentic sound.

“We just needed to be the trio that we are,” Dain says. “So, we went into the studio for two days with a few songs we had written and a few songs we just had a skeleton of, and crafted nine songs live over those two days. Our goal was 10 songs, but we came out with nine songs that we were in love with. They aren’t perfect, but that’s what we love about them. They’re live, they’re raw, and they show who we are as a music group and the direction we are going.”

Chicago, with its perks and pitfalls, has helped shape the band.

“We are blessed and cursed by being in Chicago,” Dain said. “We are lucky to tap into a market of 4.5 million people, but it’s also a curse because you have tens of thousands of musicians trying to do the same thing.”

In addition to the number of musicians in Chicago, the band has found the ruthless competitiveness of other groups daunting.

“It’s a great thing to have a large network of talent and musicians who you can work with, but there are also those out there who view it as a business instead of an art,” Dain said. “You have people trying to steal shows, they rip down posters, and they do stuff to sabotage other bands. They do horrendous things like steal equipment that you wouldn’t think goes on, but happens routinely.”

Despite these challenges, The Sweeps don’t plan to move any time soon.

“We wouldn’t have it any other way,” Dain said. “We love living in the city, and we love the response we’ve gotten so far.”
— Michael Gallagher - Hoopla


Promising local band that actually seems to have fun with indie rock. - Matt Pais - Red Eye/Metromix/Chicago Tribune


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

The foundation of any band is musical kinship. Within the exposed confines of a trio, this rapport is amplified, leaving an indelible mark on the songs. Glance through rock history and we see this repeatedly; the groundbreaking strut of Cream, the irresistible pop of The Police, the undone roar of Nirvana. Remove any member and the band's core unravels. For Chicago-based trio, The Sweeps, this affinity is vital. Their core is firmly intact.

Each member of The Sweeps--Bob Dain, Santiago Torres, and Chris Dye (ex-Chin Up Chin Up)--brings a hefty presence to their lean arrangements. Challenging the sonic boundaries of a trio, both Dain and Torres sing with longing, conviction and fury. Dain's dexterity, equal parts pedal-board and guitar, ranges from a delicate strum to an incandescent wail. Countering Dain, Torres brings a solid bass thump; playing slinky, soul-inflected rumblings along with fractured melodic fuzz. Dye's hook-heavy drumming supports Dain and Torres, while lending a swaggering rhythmic architecture to the songs. Live, the band explodes with an infectious adrenaline that has ignited their strong Chicago fanbase, propelling them toward building a national audience.

On the band's full-length debut, Swift Armour (released March 26, 2013), The Sweeps capture a live immediacy, yet further explore and refine their craft. Recorded at Chicago's Minbal Studio with the help of producer/engineer, Benjamin Balcom, Swift Armour is an emotionally rich and honest evolution for the band. It is a collage of loud guitars and chanting vocal hooks, an intimately pounding cadence, a call to arms. It is a record with a strong sense of place, Chicago to be precise---the historic struggles, the dying and thriving neighborhoods---all inhabit these 13 tracks. From the lush death march of the opening title track to the dark pop hymn "1600cc Engine," this record is equal parts confession, exultation and vindication: embittered but embracing. Swift Armour is an ode to Chicago: a battle between the harsh and the beautiful.

With over 300 live shows under their belt, appearances on WGN, WXRT, Q101 and several local radio stations, The Sweeps are building up a reputation as a one of Chicago's best noisy pop-rock bands.

The Sweeps have two previous self-released EPs, Midnight at the Box (2009) and The Terrible Children (2011); both achieve a raw sound, awash with urgency. Available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Napster, and countless other sites.

The Sweeps could never disappoint. Their songs are catchy, their stage presence is amazing, and the energy from their fans is intoxicating! --- LoudLoopPress.com.

Runner Up for Best Local Band 2010, Runner Up for Best Rock Band 2012, WINNER for Best Rock Band 2013 --- Chicago Reader

See you at the next show!

Band Members