The band which would eventually become SWIM was first formed in 2010 when then-drummer Dan McCaffrey and four of his junior high school classmates were inspired by early influences like Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, and the Beatles. The group, called Apollo, would go on to perform almost exclusively in then-guitarist Justin Iaquinta’s basement before 2012, when lead vocalist Orazio Marine left to pursue other interests and Nick Riviezzo, a close friend of McCaffrey’s, was invited to join.
Moving forward, McCaffrey, Iaquinta, Riviezzo, and bassist John Fiore would perform locally during their senior year of high school in 2013 while they worked on a five-song EP which would be released in April. With each of Apollo’s four members contributing equally to the writing process, “With You In Mind” set the tone for the collaborative artistic process that the band has retained today. McCaffrey and Riviezzo describe this first collection of songs as “juvenile” and “unpolished,” but they both agree that exploring the creative process for the first time was a learning experience which would set them up for future successes.
Following high school graduation in June of 2013, Apollo experienced a hiatus which would end in the spring of 2014 when Iaquinta transferred from SUNY Geneseo to Stony Brook University, joining McCaffrey and Riviezzo, and when Fiore left the group, concerned with the level of commitment he would be able to guarantee while attending Manhattan College. At this time, McCaffrey and Iaquinta changed the band’s name officially to SWIM, a simple word which they believed could serve as the clean slate upon which the band’s fresh start would be written. By the summer of 2014, former bassist Tyler Aigotti and drummer Brian D’Angio would be introduced to the lineup, giving new life to the band’s live performances and song structure. McCaffrey formally became the group’s permanent lead vocalist, Iaquinta transitioned to keyboards, and Riviezzo officially became lead guitarist.
SWIM spent the summer of 2015 recording their self-titled EP before releasing it in November of 2015. The EP featured 5 songs, written primarily by Iaquinta, with McCaffrey contributing lyrically. Leading up to the release, Iaquinta would elect to transition from keyboardist to manager, and Pat Morelli was introduced as mutual friend of D’Angio’s to assume the vacancy. The first EP was met with praise by listeners, with “Natural Feeling” garnering the most popularity. Retrospectively, the band today considers this release another stepping stone along the way to where they are today.
SWIM, 2016- present
By early 2016, Iaquinta would exit permanently as band manager, making McCaffrey the only remaining original member. The band moved forward, and by June, Aigotti made his permanent exit after his high school graduation. Morelli would spend the summer learning bass guitar in order to fill the void, and by August, SWIM finally arrived at their current lineup. Following their first semester of their freshman year of college, D’Angio and Morelli returned to Long Island to join McCaffrey and Riviezzo on a three-day retreat to Studio G in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where they got to work on their sophomore EP, “Finally, Someone.” The band would finish the EP in the summer of 2017 following a week-long songwriting retreat in Rangeley, Maine, where the band stayed in McCaffrey’s family cabin.
“Finally, Someone” put SWIM on the map in the Long Island music scene following its release in July of 2017. The band played a local tour of shows to promote it and placed within the top 10 in Newsday’s Annual Band Battle, even being interviewed by one of their journalists. The EP has thousands of plays across streaming platforms, and the band members agree that it is responsible for establishing their loyal fanbase of listeners on Spotify. In the spring of 2018, SWIM won a trip to SXSW in Austin, Texas, where they would perform in March at Maggie Mae’s on a stage graced by the likes of The Lumineers and many of the band’s other influences.
Eager to propagate their momentum, SWIM returned to ZIN Records in Calverton, New York to record their three follow-up singles from late 2017 through the summer of 2019. “Heartbeat Connection,” “The Chase,” and “Pass By” collectively display the band’s songwriting maturity and range, each one adding to the band’s genre-bending repertoire. Today, the band is in the early stages of writing and producing what they hope will be their debut LP, in collaboration with recording engineer, producer, cowriter, and friend Nick Zinnanti. It is their dream to attain an endorsement from a record label in order to continue sharing their music with the world.
Dan McCaffrey (vocals): One of the group’s founding members, McCaffrey got his start in music as a saxophone player in the school ensembles and marching band, and began as the drummer for a since-disbanded Apollo, which included Riviezzo as well. McCaffrey began singing seriously in his freshman year of college, and began singing with SWIM in the summer of 2014. McCaffrey has graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in health science. As SWIM’s primary lyricist, and one of its primary songwriters, Dan cites Harry Styles, The Killers, Cage the Elephant, King Princess, HAIM, Catfish and the Bottlemen,The Lumineers, The Strokes, Lorde, Maggie Rogers, and Vampire Weekend as his greatest influences, among others.
Nick Riviezzo (guitars):
Guitarist Nick Riviezzo began playing with McCaffrey in early 2012. Although he began as a saxophone player, Riviezzo finally took to the guitar quickly during his freshman year of high school after years of listening to classic rock music and hours spent playing Guitar Hero. His tasteful solos and signature licks complement the melodies produced by McCaffrey, helping to modernize and sharpen the group’s sound. Nick graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in computer engineering. While attending, Nick was the saxophone section leader in the university’s marching and pep bands. He cites his biggest influences as being divided into two classes: those who established his childhood love for and background in classic rock (Van Halen, Def Leppard, Foreigner), and the modern artists who he prefers today (Bleachers, Ed Sheeran, The Kooks, Gavin DeGraw). Nick currently teaches guitar lessons and manages SWIM, booking gigs and marketing the group.
Brian D’Angio (drums): Brian D’Angio began playing the drums in elementary school, and rose to prominence playing in his high school jazz and wind ensembles, as well as the marching band. D’Angio’s diverse, extensive background gives him the ability to set sharp, dynamic, undeniable beats beneath the melodic and rhythmic work of Riviezzo and Morelli to ground SWIM’s sound. Brian graduates from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 2020 with a business degree. D’Angio’s musical influences span from his love of jazz to pop and rock artists like WALK THE MOON, One Direction, The Kooks, and Vampire Weekend.
Pat Morelli (Keboards/bass guitar): Although Pat Morelli was the last member to join SWIM, he has quickly become one of the group’s chief songwriters, and brings a unifying energy to the group as its bassist and keyboardist. Pat played piano in his high school advanced jazz ensemble and French horn in the school’s wind ensemble. Pat graduates from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York in May of 2020 with a degree in biology. He was a starter for the Continental’s division three football team in 2019. Pat’s influences include Dispatch, The Lumineers, and other alt-rock groups. In 2018 and 2019, Pat was a member of Chadwick Stokes’ touring party. He is largely regarded as the group’s “heart and soul” by his bandmates.