Monday, 7 November 2011

AUSTIN WILLIAMS (Swim Deep) Interview

Austin Williams and his band of best mates Swim Deep want to escape the midlands.
You will too, after emercing yourself in their music.
Secret Admirer met up with Williams to hear his plans of action.

When and why did you start the band with the other guys?
Yeah, we started, erm…it was me and J Wolfgang in college and we were just always listening to music and thinking oh yeah I’d love to do that. We used to listen to The Libertines loads and stuff like that. But we were like ok then, why don’t we do it. But he couldn’t play anything and I was alright but…so it started just me and him. And then I met Tom, Higgy, through Morrissons. I was like, do you want to play bass? And he’s not a bassist but I kind of like persuaded him to be so he was like, yeah ok.
We went through a number of drummers but we basically started it because we wanted to do the same thing as like, the bands we were listening to and stuff like that. Like, you know, do it all. But yeah, then we started. We were in loads of different bands before Swim Deep, before this, like Galahads, Jungle Blood…various names that we all just changed all the time. It was all a load of bullshit but we got down to it properly in the end. Yeah, we were kind of like, more punk-y back then. We just wanted to go on stage, get fucked, just like do whatever. We didn’t use any effects or anything like that. And at the time, we thought that was like, yeah, wicked. It was fun but wasn’t great, so yeah we knuckled down to it when it came to Swim Deep. That’s what we are doing now.
Why did you choose the name Swim Deep?
Well we had a song, in our old band that had the lyrics swim deep in, we called it ‘Swim Deep’. When we changed our name, we thought of loads of stuff, but Swim Deep just stuck, it meant something to us. As you say it, I don’t know, it kind of gives you a good picture in your head. Like blue and nice colours and shit like that. So that’s why.
Do you feel as though the band fits into a certain scene in Birmingham?
Yeah I don’t know if there is a scene yet. But I think we are, I don’t know, accidently we’re creating a scene, we’re not doing it intentionally. I think us, Peace, Troumaca, Corelli are all like making a scene that…we’re not the same kind of music. Like Blessing Force in Oxford where it’s all math-rock and stuff like that. We’re not intentionally doing that, I mean we’re not going to get Birmingham tattooed to our head or stuff like that. We’re all just doing it together, like when we do shows we are all good mates. So it kind of like, seems a scene, we are all doing it together and making good music. But us, Peace, Troumaca and Corelli are all completely different. I think that’s what is good as well. Like, it shows the diversity.
Definitely, so, how do you go about writing songs together?
Ok, well, recently we’ve been doing it more together. But in the early days, it used to be like, me or…well actually any of us would come up with a riff, but it was mainly, it was mainly kind of like me and Higgy who were doing it. We’d come up with a riff, play it at practice then see where it went from there, like whether they liked it or not, stuff like that. So, yeah it was mainly that. But then we all come together, so we all do it on our own and come together and put it together. It works much better like that. We don’t go into a practice room with nothing in mind. Because as much as we’d like it to come out like: go into a practice room, you’re not doing anything, nothing in mind, then you all jam and something comes out. It’s happened before but it’s always turned into a large, kind of like prog-rock song that we are not going to use. It’s fun but it’s not what we are going for.

Are there any bands or anything that inspire your sound?
Yeah, there’s a lot of bands that inspire our sound. Well, what inspires our sound is not being in Birmingham, not being in the Midlands, not being in England. We want to be somewhere sunny and hot and on a beach with women that don’t wear bikinis. Stuff like that, but we don’t want to be in rainy Birmingham and that’s what inspires us. We’re making it to do that, so we can like eventually like, do that.
Some bands like Beach Fossils, Girls…summery bands that come from America. And obviously we have influences like The Strokes but just like, bands that we don’t sound anything like but we take influences from. I’m not sure how it comes about but yeah.
So it’s like a means of escape for you, through your music.
Yeah, definitely man. When we play the music it doesn’t feel like we’re in Birmingham and it’s kinda nice to just be able to do that through our music.
Do you want people to get a similar thing from your music?
Yeah. We want people, when they hear it…to have it as like, driving down the road music. Like, you’ve got a song on in your car and erm, you can just drive to it. You can walk to it, and it automatically makes you feel happier.
I’ll be in the rain and I’ll listen to reggae on my headphones and I won’t think I’m in the rain. It’s kind of like that, I want people to hear that in our music.
What are your plans in terms of releasing your music?
Well basically, erm, we’ve recently got a manager, he’s a good guy. So we’re doing no shows until January now. So we have two London shows at the moment in January. But we’ll be recording with the producer of the recent TEETH album actually. Just over the winter. We are going to get a few songs done, release a single, we aren’t sure what the single is going to be yet but yeah. We’ll decide that as we do it. So the single will be January or February. And then yeah, we’ll do some shows from then on. Hopefully tour in the summer, yeah.
Nice! What music are you into at the moment?
I listen to a variety of stuff, but at the moment…I don’t know, the only album I can listen to at the moment is actually Aloe Blacc. His new album, I think it’s just amazing. Love that kind of music. I don’t listen to a lot of albums, so when I do listen to an album…yeah. But also, Higgy has got me into a lot more grunge stuff now. Rock’n’roll. Because I didn’t used to get it but now I completely get it. Yeah, I’ve been listening to that.
But the other guys, I don’t know, Higgy sticks to his grunge and stuff like that. Zach has been listening to a lot of, what album has he had? He loves like, erm, Crystal Castles, stuff like that, The Drums. But then Wolfgang, god knows what he listens to. He’ll listen to anything from Dianna Ross to…but yeah, he’s very diverse.
Is there a record label that you are going to release your music on?
We haven’t been approached by any record labels yet. But obviously, hopefully when we do the single, January is the time for them to pick it up. We’ll see how we do with the single and hopefully from then on…give us some cash! Basically.
Cheers, thanks for that.
No worries man.


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