Updated: 06/02/03

Hereís some kick ass hardcore metal from a band called Amongst The Swarm. With a dynamic EP on the upstart Skeptic label that literally shreds through the speakers entitled Crowning The Defeated, the band is ready to take on the States and beyond! Founded in late summer of 2001. This interview is with drummer Bob Fouts who also use to play in Burn It Down!

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Amongst The Swarm, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Bob Fouts and I play drums for ATS. The band started getting together around late summer of 2001. Took us awhile to get the line up stable and what not. We started playing out around Feb of 02.

Prior to ATS, what other previous bands have members been involved with and why did they decide to leave?
Most of us have been involved in the INDY scene for quite some time. I've been in tons of different bands over the years, as have most of the other guys. I guess my last "real band" before ATS was a band called BURN IT DOWN. We released 2 EP's and a full length and also did quite a bit of touring. BRYAN, our bass player was in a band called Upheaval that was also pretty active at one point. As far as why those bands are not together today. I guess nothing is forever and people move on but I can say I totally enjoyed being a part of all the old bands. I learned quite a bit from it.

If you had to describe the music of ATS to an elderly relative, what would you say?
Itís got a nice beat and easy to dance too...haha.

Where did you get the idea for the title Crowning The Defeated?
BOBBY, one of our guitar players, came up with that title. Not too much thought really went into it. He had the title and we all really liked it. This band took quite some time getting our shit together and when we finally went into the studio to do the EP, we were all very stoked and I think the title really fit how the band was feeling at the time.

So exactly what Swarm are you Amongst?
We wanted to have a very "neutral" and open-ended name. Something that would not directly associate us with a certain style or sound. We had a list of about 20 names and that was the one we kept coming back to Everyone is out there AMONGST THE SWARM, trying to do their own thing and get through this life as best we can. We wanted a name that people could relate to right away and i think most people can relate to the name.

How did you wind up being signed to Skeptic Records?
We have known Chris from SKEPTIC/HARAKIRI for quite awhile. All our old bands used to play with HARAKIRI and we would all hang out. Back in Jan.02 we recorded a 3-song demo and passed it out to a few people and friends of the band. Chris was one of those people and not long after we decided to do our first release together. It was a very obvious choice because we are all good friends and hang out all the time. Chris and I also play in another band together called ABOUT THE FIRE. Skeptic has been nothing but awesome to us and we hope to do another release with them in the future.

Describe a live ATS show to someone who has never seen you before?
Full on metal! Haha. High ed a great time. At least i would like to think so.

Have you ever played out here in California or plan to do so in the future?
We would love to do a West Coast tour in the near future. Unfortunately, due to day job's and the lack of money in the underground metal scene we have not had a chance to do so yet. I can tell ya we would do it in a heart beat if the right opportunity came along. Hopefully this will happen after the full length is released later this year. Let's hope.

Where do you get the ideas for some of the lyrics on Crowning The Defeated?
Well, I do not write any of the lyrics so Iíll do my best to answer this question. Most of our lyrics are based on the daily struggles of the human race and the things that everyone needs to overcome to get by and survive in life. Very general but that's the way we like it. We are not out to be some "poet metal" band or what not. We keep our lyrics direct and honest but at the same time let the listener draw their own ideas and interpretations. We write about the things we know and have been through and we would not have it any other way.

Have you ever played or been to the Milwaukee Metalfest? If so, how did it go?
ATS has yet to play the MMF. We are hoping to do so after the new record so maybe we will get the chance next year. I did however play the MMF with my old band Burn It Down back in 99 and it was a fucking blast. So many killer bands and way too much beer! I encourage everyone to attend MMF at least once.

I interviewed your label mates Project Bottlecap last month and they had a lot of nice things to say about you guys. What do you think about Project Bottlecap, the only non-metal band on your label?
GREAT band and awesome people! I will say this, I've heard a few tracks from their upcoming record on Skeptic and mark my words, it will be one of the best rock records of the year! I really can't say enough about those guys. I totally back Chris and Skeptic for putting out records beyond the metal scene. I think it's really cool. It's still total DIY style bands regardless of the sound or style. It's not like he's gonna start putting out nu-metal bands or something.

What are the future plans for ATS?
Well, as of now we are writing for our first full length that will be out sometime before the end of the year on Willowtip Records {}. We have a ton of summer shows booked around the Midwest and we are also doing a short {6-8 dates} tour of the East Coast in July with KALIBAS {}. After the new record is released we plan on doing a full U.S. tour to support it and hopefully on to EUROPE if everything works out right.

Do you have any messages for metal or hardcore fans here in California?
Support your underground metal! Go to shows when you see a touring band is coming through and show them some support! Check out as well as You can email the band directly at . Also check out: THE DREAM IS DEAD, MAJHAS, KALIBAS, RUNE and ABOUT THE FIRE!


AMONGST THE SWARM: Their Official Home Page!
SKEPTIC PRODUCTIONS: The Record Label for Amongst The Swarm!
THE HIGHWIRE DAZE HOME PAGE: Return to the Main Page!

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