Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 | 11:59 p.m.
2013 has been a year of firsts for Muskogee, Okla., duo The Swon Brothers — siblings Colton and Zach Swon, who placed third on Season 4 of NBC’s “The Voice.”
Mentored by Blake Shelton, The Swon Brothers over the summer became the first duo in the reality-TV competition’s history to reach the finals.
And on New Year’s Eve, the brothers are in Las Vegas for the first time headlining the soiree at Gilley’s in Treasure Island.
The Swon Brothers chatted via phone the morning after Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin was crowned on Dec. 17:
Did you watch Season 5 of “The Voice”? If so, what did you think of this season’s winner, Tessanne Chin?
Colton Swon: There was a lot of talent this year, and she was a powerhouse from the start. I am glad we weren’t on this season; otherwise, we would’ve gone home a lot earlier!
Congratulations on your record deal with Arista Nashville and your single “Later On.” (It shot to No. 1 on the iTunes country charts in less than 24 hours.) How does it feel?
Zach Swon: It feels awesome. We’ve been waiting our whole lives for this. The amount of support from fans after “The Voice” has been amazing, and to be invited back to do our song, which has been well received, it is an unbelievable dream come true. We really are grateful to all the people.
What have you been up to since Season 4 ended in the summer?
Colton: We have been playing concerts all over this nation, and we’ve gone out of the States. We’ve been writing for our record and been in the studio recording. It’s been fun and really busy; William Morris has kept us so busy.
What was Blake Shelton really like as a mentor?
Zach: Blake Shelton is very genuine. What you see is what you get. He’s an Okie just like us, and we immediately felt comfortable with him. He was more like a big brother instead of a coach. He didn’t sugar coat anything. It wasn’t about his technical and music advice, though. He said to be yourself and be who you are. He is successful because he is real and treats everyone like family and is a class act.
What can fans expect on your album in 2014?
Zach: It will be very harmony driven. Our writing gravitates toward songs with great melodies, digging in and singing together in brotherly harmony. We are having fun and taking our time. We want to get it right for fans who spend their hard-earned money. We want to make a great record. … I hope it’s something people love.
Speaking of brotherly harmony, did you fight a lot growing up? How about now?
Zach: We fight every day! In fact, I punched him in the face just now (laughs). We get along pretty well. We live and work together and are best friends before business partners. So far, so good.
Is it true that you knew Carrie Underwood growing up?
Colton: We were like two minutes apart; our schools were rivals in football. … We performed at the same types of shows in college, and we’re pretty close now. Her husband and she had us over for dinner, and she gave us advice. She’s been great, and we’ve gone to hockey games. She’s a friend and a mentor.
How does it feel to have industry supporters like Carrie, Blake and Miranda Lambert?
Zach: It is really surreal, these relationships. They’re real people who’ve become friends, and they’re genuine. It’s good to talk with someone who has been through it. Blake has had ups and downs in his career. And we’re label mates with Carrie now!
Have you been to Las Vegas before?
Zach: We have never, ever. It’s going to be fun!
What are you looking forward to most in your New Year’s Eve gig at Gilley’s?
Colton: We’re just excited to hear people singing our songs, our new song. We’ll play original tunes, and hopefully the audience will sing along.
New Year’s resolution and goals in 2014?
Colton: To not kill each other on the road; those buses and planes get really small (laughs). To go out and meet a lot people and say thank you to fans. And play as many shows as possible.
Zach: I never really commit to resolutions because I don’t follow though with them (laughs), but 2014 is going to be a big year for us. We believe it, and we have a great team surrounding us.
The Swon Brothers perform at Gilley’s in Treasure Island on New Year’s Eve. The celebration includes a four-hour open bar.
Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
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Treasure Island, now known as TI to many, is a Strip casino and resort that features a tropical pool, a variety of restaurants and Las Vegas' first resident Cirque du Soleil show.
Before even entering the casino, Treasure Island treats visitors and Strip passersby with a raucous and free pirate show, "Sirens at TI," each evening in the lagoon in front of the property.
Inside, guests will find a 95,000-square-foot casino with thousands of slot machines, a race and sports book, a poker room and plenty of table games. Treasure Island boasts a variety of dining options, from unique barbecue at Gilley's, to Vietnamese at Pho, to Carribbean with flair at Kahunaville.
After dark, head over to Senor Frogs for nightlife "where anything can happen," or pick up tickets to the visually stunning "Mystere" by Cirque du Soleil.