Features

Can’t Swim: Chris LoPorto’s track-by-track guide to Change Of Plans

From opener Standing In The Dark through to closing track Everyone That I Know I Hate, Chris LoPorto lifts the lid on every song on Can’t Swim's new album Change Of Plans…

Can’t Swim: Chris LoPorto’s track-by-track guide to Change Of Plans
Words:
Chris LoPorto

Following a double-whammy of 2020 EPs (When The Dust Settles and Someone Who Isn’t Me), New Jersey alt.rock / emo / punk / little-bit-of-everything gang Can't Swim are continuing their hot streak with what they're calling a "culmination" of their six years as a band: Change Of Plans.

Recorded last year at producer Will Putney's Graphic Nature Audio studio, album number three from the quintet – Chris LoPorto, Danny Rico, Greg McDevitt, Mike Sanchez and Blake Gamel – takes a reflective and yet equally forward-thinking approach, with vocalist Chris explaining of how he pieced it all together: "All the good songs I’ve been working on for the last two to three years finally have a home.

"We didn’t expect to record an album last year, but the opportunity came up, and we took it. After our recent EPs and singles, it made sense to put together a record."

Here, the frontman tells Kerrang! a little bit more about each of the 11 tracks that make up Change Of Plans…

Standing In The Dark

"As soon as I recorded the demo for Standing In The Dark I knew it would be the first track on a Can’t Swim record. It’s a good summary for what the album sounds like, and each section of the song is reminiscent to previous releases of ours. Blending the electronic elements with the traditional Can’t Swim sound and combining the melodic and heavy parts was a challenge. I'm very proud of how this song came together."

To Heal It All, You Have To Feel It All

"To Heal At All, You Have To Feel It All was one of my least favourites going into the studio. [Producer] Will Putney liked the melodies but felt the flow and pacing of the song could be better. Last-minute, Danny [Rico, guitar] wrote the riff in the pre-chorus and outro to really add some excitement, which I think pushed the song into a new direction. It wasn’t this slower kinda ballad feel anymore; it quickly started to feel aggressive which complimented the lyrics. It’s always exciting to see a song change and reshape in the studio, and this was a great example of that."

Set The Room Ablaze (feat. Beartooth’s Caleb Shomo)

"Set The Room Ablaze is my favourite Can’t Swim song. I wrote it in an hour one afternoon when my mind drifted to a past professional relationship. Harnessing those emotions, the resentment I still had for this person and putting it into a song didn’t only make it a breeze to write the music, but was also very cathartic. A musical 'fuck you' to a person I should have told years ago."

Sense Of Humour

"Sense Of Humour was a contender for the first single off this record. I think it has a lot of elements of a classic Can’t Swim song but intensified and pushed to a point we haven’t gone before. Will really did an amazing job with the mix and writing the harmonies on this song. The bridge is possibly my favourite moment on the record. An almost Nightmare Before Christmas lullaby section right into a smack-ya-in-the-mouth breakdown. I'm very much looking forward to playing this song live."

Ten Years Too Late

"Ten Years Too Late was the least finished song I have ever presented a producer before recording. I believe I only had the verse and a few lyrics written. One night after we were done working Danny and I stayed up super-late and wrote the rest of the song to give ourselves a little creative break from the tracking process. Will woke up the next morning and heard what we had put down and questioned if we slept at all the night prior. A few quick alterations and the song was ready to be tracked. When I listen to it now I can hear how genuinely and natural it came out due to the last-minute writing session."

Deliver Us More Evil

"The demo of Deliver Us More Evil has been patiently sitting in my laptop for four years. It never felt fitting on any other album until Change Of Plans. I’ve played it for countless people over the years with a lot of positive reviews, making it very difficult to hold onto for this long. I think it was a song that I always hoped would become the sound of the band, I just didn’t know if I could write a whole album's worth of it. Once we sent the record to the label and management it was a unanimous decision to have it as the first single."

Opposite Of God

"Opposite Of God is another good example of all the elements we explored on this record jam-packed into one song. The vibe of the intro sets this dark ambient tone, curated by Will and this crazy delay effect he came up with. The post-chorus was also elevated by Will, being so heavy and melodic at the same time. The bridge always felt boring and bare and we struggled to find the right ingredient for it. I started singing a new melody and I thought the notes would suit Danny’s voice way better than my own. As soon as he started singing Will and I instantly knew it was what the song was missing."

Better Luck Next Time

"Better Luck Next Time is potentially my second favourite Can’t Swim song ever. The chaotic vibe of the verse is something I always try to sneak into our songs but doesn’t always work. Greg [McDevitt, bass] had the idea to even push it further and add gang vocals in between what I was signing. Will did such a great job with the chorus, adding harmonies and layers of guitars which I think really complimented the song. Tracking the gang vocals all together – even Will was yelling! – is 100 per cent my favourite memory of making this record."

Careless. Anxious. Neurotic. Tired.

"Careless. Anxious. Neurotic. Tired. was very challenging to write. I rewrote the lyrics and title of the song what feels like a hundred different times and struggled to find the right chords to compliment the melodies. Will added a lot of synth and electronic drums which made the song feel way less stock to me. It’s one of the more melodic songs we’ve ever written and I think is a nice change of pace from the other tracks on the album. The title is referring to the emotions I had when writing it."

Altamonte Explode

"Altamonte Explode is a quick, in-your-face rock song. The title, a play on words of the town I was in when I wrote it: Altamonte Springs, Florida. The drums really move and take the spotlight on this track. When I first presented it to Will I thought it may be too fast, but to my surprise he responded, 'What if it was even faster?' The whole recording process could be summarised with that conversation: whenever we wrote a part we sat and asked, 'How can we make it better? How can we push it ever farther?' I think with that attitude Will was able to get the best out of our band and put it on this record."

Everyone That I Know I Hate

"Everyone That I Know I Hate is the last song on the album. I tried to fit as many things I admire in music into this song. An odd time signature – it’s mostly in 5 and 6; a chorus effect on the guitars – I love The Cure; string section in the hooks – I love Cursive; and tongue-in-cheek lyrics – I love Evan Dando. A song 'for me' on the record which I am very happy made the cut."

Change Of Plans is due out on October 22 via Pure Noise Records.

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