After sharing their talent with Team Blake and the entire country on the fourth season "The Voice," The Swon Brothers released their major label debut album this October. The successful self-titled record debuted in the top ten of the Billboard Country Albums chart, and although the guys started off on Team Blake, now they're gearing up to hit the road with Brad Paisley -- and they are VERY excited.
Zach on being a big Brad Paisley fan:
"I've wanted to be Brad Paisley on the guitar since I discovered who he was. So much, in fact, when we played music growing up, I always covered Brad Paisley songs and tried to play the guitar like him. Never could quite master it, but I'd fake it a little bit."
The Swon Brothers recently stopped by iHeartRadio HQ in New York City where they treated us to an intimate performance and had a quick chat. The duo talks about the powerful message in their single "Pray For You," embarrassing Christmas presents, a very scary moment on tour, and give their pick for who will win "The Voice" this season!
Check out "Five Questions with The Swon Brothers" below!
1. What is your song "Pray For You" about and what does it mean to you guys?
"I think, for us personally, it just hit us right square in the heart and face. Like when we heard it, we knew we had to be a part of it. Because, you know, you just have those rock-bottom moments in your life, or moments that you feel like, whether it's your dreams, or whether it's a death in the family, or whatever you're going through, you have those moments when you feel like, 'well, all I can do is just pray.' So when we heard that, I think everyone can relate to that. And I think the writer, Jessi Alexander, it's actually about her dad. So it's just one of those songs that, just, it's real to us and that's why we love it."
"As far as the messages and response we're getting from fans, most of the stuff that I've read, it has been, just, 'Man, that song, really touched home with me.' Or some of them will be like, 'Well, you know, we just lost a loved one and that song really helped get us through,' or 'My, my wife is battling cancer.' I mean, you name it, we've heard it."
Listen to The Swon Brothers latest single "Pray For You" below.
2. What was your favorite memory from making your self-titled album?
"To warm up some mornings, you know, it takes a while to get awake. And when we had morning sessions, it just took me a while to get going. So, we would play ping pong, they had a ping pong table in the studio. So we'd play ping pong just to get warm and kinda get the juices flowing. So that was pretty fun, playing against some of the producers and stuff.
And then working with Carrie Underwood was amazing. When she came in and did her part on 'This Side of Heaven.' For her to come in and sing a song on our record, that just, that meant the world to us. And she's amazing. She's flawless."
3. Being real brothers, do you ever play practical jokes on each other?
"The other night I was the last one to get on the bus, and so when you're loading up the bus, they have the bays you lift up and put your suitcases in. So I was just coming out, it was like three in the morning. I was coming out, getting ready to leave, and I open the bay and they [Zach and crew] had hidden in the bay and filmed it, like, from inside the bay, and jumped out and scared me from there."
"I set it up. Our drummer Joe got in the bay. But it's really funny though. Colton is a perfect person to get with a prank like that, because he's scared anyways. Like, he's paranoid. He's always, like, watching his back. And, you know, assumes the worst situation. It's just what he is. He's a worrier. And the whole reason we even knew he was coming out there -- cause it was like three A.M. and we would have never known it -- but he called me and wanted me to watch him walk from the hotel to the bus. 'Cause it was late and he didn't know who was out there or whatever."
The Swon Brothers tell us about a very scary situation a few days prior to this prank:
"We were going through a drive-through to get a milkshake, and our bus wouldn't fit. So they said, just walk through. And so, we're walking through and this guy just speeds up behind us, and there's like fifteen of us. There's like the crew and band and stuff. This guy speeds up behind us, starts cussing at us, like 'What are y'all doing? Blah, blah, get out of the way!' And we're like, 'Hey, we're just getting food, just like you." And then, he was really ticked. So we offered, were like, 'Hey, why don't you go around us, we'll buy your meal tonight, you know, what do you want?' And he said, 'I want your mama.' And so then we knew this guy's just looking for trouble. Ten seconds later, he was like 'You want a forty-five in your head?' And he pulled out, he loaded his gun, started waving a pistol out the window, and started pointing it at us. We were like, 'He's not gonna shoot all fifteen of us,' you know? We turned around, everyone had ran. So it was just [us] and [our] bass player, and we're like, 'Oh my gosh, where'd everybody go?' So yeah, that was a kind of scary moment. That was in Virginia, I think."
4. In the spirit of Christmas being around the corner, have you ever received any embarrassing or awkward Christmas presents?
"My my older cousins, I thought they were the coolest guys and I wanted to be like them. I wanted to wear what they wore. They had this Tommy Hilfiger cologne that I just loved. I loved the smell of it, and I was, like, girl-crazy, even in first grade. And so, I asked my mom for some Tommy Hilfiger cologne like my cousins'. Well, at that time it was pretty expensive for a bottle of cologne, and what first-grader wears cologne? So, that's all I wanted, and she didn't really want to spend $85 for that. So, she goes to the local dollar store and she finds this other thing. So when I open my present up on Christmas morning I pull it out and it's the same color scheme, looks like the box, looks like the bottle. I was like, 'Yes!' And then I notice, it was a little weird, and I pulled it out and it smelled a little different. And I looked and on the bottle it said, 'Johnny.' You know, where, on the other bottle, it said 'Tommy.' This was Johnny cologne, and it was the dollar store's version of Tommy Hilfiger cologne. It did not smell good. I mean, I will never forget this, because I felt like she was gonna pull it past me, you know, like I wouldn't notice. My dad didn't know she had done it, and he was like, 'Oh, my goodness!' He was like, 'We'll go tomorrow and get you the real stuff. I don't even know what that is.' We still laugh about that today."
"I was a senior in high school, and, by that time, you're out, of the 'Looney Tunes' stage. A family member, I [needed] something for like a Christmas dance, and they got me a Tasmanian Devil, like this big "Looney Tunes" shirt, to wear to this thing. A sweatshirt. As a senior. And so, I was like, 'Thank you so much.' I really did appreciate it. But it wasn't my first pick to wear to what I was going to. That was kind of embarrassing, wearing it to the little shindig I had to go to, but oh well!"
5. Based on your time on "The Voice," what are a few things to keep in mind if you're on Team Blake?
"Just expect, if you're a guy, expect beard-on-beard kissing. He is affectionate. But, it really is like working with a big brother. It's like, crazy uncle, big brother type-feel. What a dude. He's so real. And he's exactly what you think he's gonna be like. It's not like, some diva. What you see is what you get with him."
"The other thing you've got to remember is, you can't take anything too seriously. Like, if you get your feelings hurt really easy, Blake Shelton is not your guy. He's a jokester. I mean, he was real mean to us, but in a loving way -- just like a brother would be."
"The first two things he said to me were, he told my brother, 'Hey, your brother, you know, he just has one of those faces you want to punch.' And then he -- I had a little bit different hair cut at the time -- but he was like, 'Hey, you know, nice to meet ya,' he was like, 'Your hair looks a lot like Farrah Fawcett's. They gave you the Farrah Fawcett hair 'do.'"
BONUS: What is your "The Voice" prediction on who will win?
"We always are -- it doesn't matter if someone is the best singer on another team -- we always are rooting for Team Blake. Team Blake, all the way [**Craig Wayne Boyd was the only contestant left on Team Blake this season at the time of the interview .. and ended up WINNING!!! The Swon Brothers correctly predicted the winner!]."
The Swon Brothers perform live at the iHeartRadio studio in New York City.
Photos: Jess Mandia for iHeartMedia