Interview | Swim Deep



On the back of only three singles, Birmingham boys Swim Deep have already marked their place as 2013′s ones to watch. A mixture of 90s bagginess, grunge, and psyche-pop vibes, their music has caught the attention of everyone from tween gals to major international press, although perhaps for different reasons. I had a chat to Swim Deep frontman, Austin Williams, about their stomping ground Birmingham, touring, and the new album in the works.

MM: How did you guys come together to form Swim Deep?
SD: Me and Higgy met in Morrisons. We were working there and wanted to get the hell out of there obviously.

What was your first gig like?
I can’t remember it actually. It was probably horrible, we were all a bunch of confused punks, I think it wasn’t really music back then.

What’s it like starting up as a band in Birmingham?
Just as you imagine it, I guess. I don’t know, there’s a good vibe for music in Birmingham, there actually always has been. Everyone digs it that you play music, and all the musicians around us were good eggs.

You’ve had a pretty hectic year of touring so far this year in the UK and overseas, how have you found the response from audiences so far?
Better than we could imagine. I love our fans, man. They’re fucking mad for it, like, actually just mad for it. I don’t even know what ‘it’ is, I think it’s us, but I understand it. I really get it; I feel like one of them and I think they feel like one of us, so it’s a big fucking love shack.

How did you find playing with Two Door Cinema Club and the huge audiences they pull at their shows?
Their audience was huge, yeah. They’re a great, live band and good lads. You could tell that most of their crowds just thought we were all wasted or on crack or something. It felt quite tame, you know? We were first on and had like seven beers between us, we had to take it in turns to get drunk.

You’ve got a huge European and UK tour coming up in May, where are you looking forward to heading?
Birmingham, man, obviously. I guess it’s the most nerve racking as well though ey, because you know it’s going to go off but you know you have to really impress (sic). The Birmingham crowd is the crowd I wanna impress the most because they’re one of the reasons we get to play big shows like that this early on. Everyone’s bloody nuts for live music right now and I’m well into it.

Who are some people that inspired you guys musically growing up?
Neil Young, Lionel Richie, Run-DMC, Michael Jackson, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Offspring… I dunno about the other guys. Cavan idolised Eminem, I don’t think Zack listened to music, and Higgy had a shrine to The Who, no doubt.

The new album, Where The Heaven Are We, is due out in July. What can you tell us about the record?
You can really get into it, I reckon. I should probably say it’s like a duvet of love, man. Just get in it, let it wrap around you, you know?

What was it like working with producer Charlie Hugall?
He’s one of us, he gets it. I swear to God he was in Beastie Boys in a past life or something.

Stock question, but for people over here who are unacquainted with your music, how would you describe Swim Deep’s sound?
I reckon it makes your bones feel good. It’s a bit more roll than rock, you know?

What’s your writing process like, is it a combined effort?
I write the songs on a whole. I love writing music, it makes me tick. I show the guys and they jam with me and I love what they all do to it. Cavan’s got quite good on bass now, he’s writing some real Jamiroquai bass lines.

Any chance of you guys coming over to Australia?
Gimme that chance (sic)! I love the Australian vibe, take me away.

What else is in store for Swim Deep this year?
We’ve just got back from this cottage in the middle of Middle Earth. It was a real special time and we wrote some music we were really itching to write. It’s like psychedelic Michael Jackson, psyceal Jackson… it was Michaldelic. I wanna start working on the second album ASAP. I don’t get any bands that wait forever to write more music. I hate waiting to release music I’ve written, it makes me feel like a liar and I don’t like it.