Seth MacFarlane may be famous for creating irreverent comedies like Family Guy and Ted, but he takes crooning very seriously. Holiday For Swing, his Christmas-themed follow-up to 2011's Grammy-nominated Music Is Better Than Words (due this fall via Republic Records), finds him tapping a 65-piece orchestra and veteran arranger-producer Joel McNeely to perform a handful of well-known ("Let It Snow," "Baby It's Cold Outside") and semi-obscure yuletide chestnuts (Frank Sinatra's "Christmas Dreaming," Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney's "Snow.") MacFarlane called Billboard from the Boston set of Ted 2 to reflect on the album, which was recorded from Christmas Day through New Year's Eve last winter between Los Angeles and London.
You recorded this album during the actual holiday season. Why was that so important to you?
Seth MacFarlane: Generally with a holiday album, you find yourself making the recordings during the summer or any time but Christmas, with this one we actually lucked out. Part of it was because we didn’t want to bump up against the production schedule for Ted 2, which is not an ideal time to be recording anything with 12 to 15 hour days shooting a movie. It worked out nicely, and it was just a pure joy to do. Joel actually went straight from that project with me to the scoring of A Million Ways To Die In The West, so we’ve had a fun year.