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Although Swann doesn't regret either those days, or being in that band, she says it wasn't all fun and games.
"It was just kind of this on-off thing that went crazy, like a mistake. I was like, how did that happen? The experience left me feeling unusual about it, I was getting to make money performing, but on the other hand I wasn't song-writing. It was very confusing. That was why I had to stop doing it," she says.
When we caught up on the phone this week, she and band-mate Brett Alexander had been trying to meet a video producer on Bethels Beach, but modern technology let them down.
"We went to meet our guy, but we kept missing each other when we were late and he went to find good cell reception. By the time he returned, we'd gone to find better reception. [It was] one of those days. It would have been funny if someone had filmed it. I still don't know how we missed each other."
In the decade-plus since her time in When The Cat's Away, Swann's been busy, and overseas mainly.
"I was in the UK for 12 years, and Brett was there for 14. We met there. He used to be in The Mockers. We share a similar sense of humour, and music, and I've always loved his guitar playing."
Swann says the band's name comes from the initials of Brett and Dianne's names.
The Bads: Brett Alexander Dianne Swann.
The tour is to celebrate their album, which was released in April, but Swann says they're going for the second push.
She is no stranger to playing big stages and big shows, but a recent pair of performances was straight out of the box.
"We recently supported Lucinda Williams as a duo at Wellington and Auckland in the Town Hall, it was special."
It's been a desert between drinks for fans of Swann's music in Dunedin, as the last time she played here was in 1991 when she performed solo as part of Orientation.
She says people can expect "nice interpretations of our songs, hopefully vibrant but acoustic and stripped back. I think it'll still be absorbing".
Swann says the pair are really looking forward to it.
• Catch them
The Bads play Chicks Hotel, in Port Chalmers, on Wednesday, August 26.