Q&A

International Swingers: "Punk Rock Was More About Conformity and Nonconformity Than Protest"

Last night, the International Swingers rolled into 910 Live in Tempe and blasted out some big hits from rock 'n' roll lore, which is apropos, considering the punk supergroup's stature and history. Sex Pistols/Iggy Pop alumni and bassist Glen Matlock, guitarist/vocalist Gary Twinn of Supernaut fame, and onetime Generation X/Gene Loves Jezebel member James Stevenson took the crowd on a time warp into rock yesteryear on Wednesday night with covers of their former bands' hits, including "God Save the Queen" and "No Fun."

They also performed a number of International Swingers originals, like the politically motivated "Gun Control," perfectly illustrating how the band goes betwixt polemic and entertainment, pop overtones and punk rancor. The bandmates discussed whether the music they'd created with their most famous bands was about politics and protest or just plain old rock 'n' roll during a sitdown interview with Up on the Sun at English pub George and Dragon on Tuesday, the night before their concert. Matlock, for instance, told us, "It depends on how serious you take [the music]," since "at the end of the day, I'm an entertainer."

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.