It’s Valentine’s Day and I am a little tipsy in The Macbeth. I am sat on a table upstairs with three boys (living the dream) who go by the collective name Swim Deep whilst a drunk hipster murders Pulp’s ‘Disco 2000′ on the karaoke downstairs.
How was the gig?
Austin: Brilliant. We’re quite happy about it.
You’ve played in London before; how was it compared to that?
Austin: Much better. We’ve played here before but we only did four songs but we did a slow song as well but I guess that we should save the slow songs for the arenas and shit because there was only like 50 people in there, there must have only been like one girl wanting to listen to a slow song. I guess we should give the audience what they want.
And how did you find tonight? It’s been quite a strange evening…
Austin: There was a lot of people doing karaoke and singing shit.
Zach: There was people dancing as well whilst we were playing though and it’s always great.
Austin: Yeah, it was great. They were basically grinding on me at one point. That was alright. It’s all part of the experience isn’t it.
You’re from Birmingham; how’s Birmingham these days? I used to spend a lot of time there.
Austin: Birmingham’s alright. It’s going up in the world. They’re building like new parks and stuff. Parks are always good. That will just cause more loiterers and tramps but there’s always Pigeon Park for that.
So, you’ve got the single (King City) coming out soon.
Austin: It’s the first proper single and it’s being released on Chess Club Records.
Have you written an album?
Austin: We’re not writing an album because I want to write an album when us three are sitting together and live closer to each other as we all live apart from each other now.
So what are you planning on doing this year then?
Just gigging. I just really want to get Swim Deep known and shit.
You’ve already had quite a lot of support from other bands like Is Tropical which I guess is nice?
Austin: Yeah, they’re good friends of ours. It’s cool because whenever we meet up with them they’re like sweet guys and there’s three of us and there’s three of them so it’s a good laugh…not in THAT way!
How did you meet them?
Austin: Through old bands that we were in.
Zach: Yeah, me and Austin were in a band together.
So, how long have you been in bands then?
Zach: We’ve only been as Swim Deep for about a year so it wasn’t that long ago.
Austin: But we met Is Tropical at this one gig that we played and they had a party afterwards and we stayed in touch with them then.
Have you got any more shows coming up?
Austin: Yeah, we’ve got a Birmingham one on Saturday at The Rainbow. It has really good vibes. Every time you go in there you know everyone there. Then after that, we’ve got one which I think is on March 12th in Manchester with March Tails and then the gig after that is with PEACE , our really good friends from college at The Old Blue Last.
Do you like gigging in London?
Austin: It’s alright. It’s a bit tricky.
Zach: It’s nice to play to people that we don’t know.
Austin: I don’t really see the appeal of being here. We’re a Birmingham band, we’re not going to move to London and then be some big London band.
There isn’t many bands like you in Birmingham either…
Austin: No, there’s none at all. There’s not even any in the world like us. I don’t see the point in doing something that’s already been done. Yeah, okay I do sometimes as it’s very catchy. I admit that we’re catchy and melodies are running out now a days.
Would you not say that you’re influenced by Californian surf pop though?
Austin: Yeah, there is all that but I think that we’re only really influenced by wanting to go there. I don’t listen to bands like Waaves and stuff and think that we sound like them although I do love what they’re doing. It’s nice being British. I’m not very patriotic, I’d rather have been born in America but I still think that living here’s great.
I can’t even think of any bands in Birmingham like you right now…
Austin: Well there’s PEACE and Silver Souvenirs who are really good bands in their own way. PEACE are gonna kill it this year
You’re doing really well considering you’ve only been together about a year. Did you all meet at college?
Austin: I met Higgy in Morrisons. We met in the ready meal isle. Love at first sight. So, yeah, it’s quite weird how we’ve come together. We’ve had members and we’ve lost members.
Before you started Swim Deep what did you want to do?
Austin: I’ve always wanted to just be entertaining people. All I want to do is make pop music. If you don’t like pop then I don’t know what you would listen to. I think that popular music’s got a bad name. We want to give it a good name. There’s a lot of bullshit bands, like, everyone doesn’t know what’s ironic and what’s not. I don’t want to sound pretentious. I’m not trying to sound pretentious.
What kind of stuff do you all listen to?
Austin: We all listen to lots of shit.
Zach: We all like the same stuff.
Austin: Yeah, I like music that’s got a melody like Lionel Richie and shit. I listen to Bob Dylan. I listen to anything that has a sick melody. To quote Dave Grohl, “Don’t write a verse, a chorus, a bridge, just write a chorus…..
Zach and Austin: All great pop songs start and end with a chorus….
Austin: And have a chorus in the middle and then there’s a chorus afterwards because all of the crowd are still singing it. That’s a great pop song.”
Words by Katie Wilkinson
‘King City’ is released next month on Chess Club Records.