Interview: Can’t Swim’s Chris LoPorto on Aptly-Named New LP, ‘Change of Plans’

There may not be a more fitting title for an album released in 2021 than Can’t Swim’s record, Change of Plans, out October 22 via Pure Noise Records. Recording an album through a year of uncertainty, the band found themselves in a place that felt like both a blessing and a curse. Twenty-twenty put many aspects of their career on hold, but also gave them space to create something new. 

“We planned to release [the album] months ago, but we didn’t want to put it out and not be able to tour on it,” vocalist Chris LoPorto says. “It was bothersome, but I’m happy that we waited as long as we did, so the album could kind of live in a place where we were excited and confident that everybody that wanted to hear it would get a chance to hear it.” 

While nobody enjoys putting their plans on hold, for LoPorto, the experience of putting all of his energy into simply creating was worth the wait.  

“To be honest, I was very excited to be creative in a time like that,” LoPorto expresses. I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time to make this album, and I was getting quite bored without touring and whatever else, so I definitely didn’t look at it as a struggle. I looked at it as an opportunity and a blessing to be able to make something in that time.” 

The timing of it all worked out in more ways than one, giving them the time they needed to make the best record they could, and opening the opportunity to work with producer Will Putney to take their goals even farther. 

“I think a lot of the themes are there, but Will was just really good at pushing the envelope,” LoPorto says. “Definitely themes we’ve explored in our previous albums, but I just think Will was able to intensify all of the things that we do.” 

For the members of Can’t Swim it was enlightening the get Putney’s third-party perspective and think beyond what the already knew they could do musically. 

“Listening back to it, I can certainly hear it. Like kind of like, ‘Oh maybe I would’ve done this,’” LoPorto explains. “I’m very, very happy that I let Will kind of steer this ship because I think it made a way more exciting album than anything we’ve ever done.” 

For Can’t Swim, it’s always been about channeling the harder moments into lyrics and chords, and ultimately, a body of work, to take pride in, serving as an outlet and as a tangible product of that process. 

“I wouldn’t know what I would write about if everything in my life went according to plan,” LoPorto says. “Not necessarily saying that you have to have bad things happen to you in life to make good art, but like maybe, maybe you do [laughs].” 

But the circumstances around Change of Plans really brought that core element of the band into perspective for LoPorto.  

“With COVID and having all that time off from something that I really desperately loved, touring and being around the guys, that was kind of stripped away,” LoPorto describes. “The only thing I really had was the songs. The only thing I really had was the writing. I think that’s pretty evident in how the record came out.” 

If the last two years have been an example of anything, it’s that our plans and outlines for our lives are often feeble and unreliable. There’s something to be said for having to learn to move one step at a time because you can’t see more than the next few weeks in front of you. 

“I also love the notion of, like, ‘Life is what happens when you’re making plans,’” LoPorto says. “So many of us are like, ‘Oh, I’m going to do this, and then it’s going to be so great when I do that.’” 

With the album, LoPorto says he wanted to challenge those views in the world and even himself.  

“I think the album title also is almost like a reminder for me to be, like, ‘Things aren’t going the way you think and there’s going to be change in plans and everything, try to just enjoy what’s going on.’” 

Watch the video for “Set The Room Ablaze (feat. Caleb Shomo)” here:

For more from Can’t Swim, find them on Instagram, Facebook, and their official website.

Photo courtesy of Can’t Swim and Nia Garza

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