heavy metal

Switched Bio

Band members
Ben Schigel - Vocals
Brad Kochmit - Guitar
Joe Schigel - Guitar
Shawn May - Bass
Chad Szeliga - Drums


Vocalist/percussionist Ben Schigel, lead guitarist Brad Kochmit, rhythm guitarist Joe Schigel, drummer Chad Szeliga and bassist Shawn May grew up on a steady diet of hard rock and the heaviest of metal. Brad and Ben, the band's core writers, have been together in one band or another since high school and over the years the partnership has developed to the point that their collaboration is more like two minds thinking in unison.

"We are just so in tune. I know he's going to sing what I'm thinking without me even telling him," says Brad. "When I met him, I had only been playing guitar for six months. So my growing up and evolving as a player has always been with him."

Taken at face value, the band name Switched and the title of its debut are part of the same inside joke. "We were Switch before this," explains Brad. "We picked that name because we had a different band name every two weeks. We finally said, 'we've switched our name so much, we may as well just call it Switch.'"

After less than a year as Switch, they were threatened with a lawsuit from a Motown act of the same name, so they modified their moniker one last time. But, while they are finally confident that they have found a name that will stick, everything else about Switched is definitely subject to change.

"We went through three stages," explains Brad. "The first stage was writing cool guitar parts. You've got to be able to do that. So our first band was all riffs. Then we got bored with that, and decided we've got to be able to write a song. So we started another band, with emphasis on songwriting instead of just guitars."

"Once we learned how to write the song, then we got Switched together," he continues. "Now, we've got the songwriting, but with cool guitar parts, too."

Not content to be simply either or, Ben and Brad tirelessly build upon the riffs at every song's foundation - rearranging, adding layers, and then cutting away the excess. The result isn't a contrived hybrid, but a seamless fusion of ferocious rhythms and classic rock 'n' roll songcraft. With the help of producer Jason Beiler (Nonpoint) & mixer Toby Wright (Alice In Chains, KoRn, Sevendust), Subject To Change is a savage, jarring album bursting with irrepressible melodies and a dynamic and immediate appeal.

Switched is distinct not just in its musical approach, but its lyrical content. Ben's dark, expressive lyrics aren't representative of some message the band is trying to push on its listeners, or a deliberate attempt to reflect the harsher side of adolescence for "the kids" to relate to.

"When I hear music, a picture comes to my mind," says Ben. "Whatever I see is what I'm probably going to write about." Those pictures tend to form out of real experiences like breaking up with a girlfriend ("Inside") or dealing with people who are terminally unable to tell it like it is ("Anymore"). But, the lyrics lean towards the abstract and symbolic, leaving the listener plenty of options to interpret them as they will.

Ben's philosophy is "If you do it right, everything should come together and sound good as a whole. You shouldn't be able to pinpoint each element. Our music is dark, pissed off music, but with nice melodies."

Or, as Brad puts it, "There's parts you can sing along to, and then there's parts you can beat your buddy's head in to."

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