Already Heard Recommends: Swim Good

At the end of 2012 London/Guildford quartet Swim Good called it quits due to professional and personal issues, even though the band had just completed recording their debut EP.

Fast forward 12 months, the band reconvened after newly-formed UK label Failure By Design Records asked Swim Good if they could release their self-titled effort. Now ‘Swim Good’ is finally seeing the light of day and is released this week. The end result is a impressive brand of energetic British alt-rock. Tracks like ‘Make Your Mind Up’ and ‘Hatchet’ are throughly confident and sets the bar high for the bands future releases, which we predict will be sooner rather than later.

From speaking to Swim Good, they are certainly a band reinvigorated from their time apart. Already Heard recently caught up with the band to discuss the EP, their recent tour with Yearbook, future material and more.

Already Heard: Can you introduce yourself and your role in Swim Good?
Dan: My name is Dan and I play Guitar, do some singing and drink Guinness on behalf of Swim Good.

Joe: I’m Joe, I play drums in the band and don’t eat bacon for Swim Good.

Curtis: Hello! I’m Curtis – I play bass and do lots of jumping leg kicks in Swim Good.

Ryan: Last but not least eh, I’m Ryan and I’m the funny one. Oh, and I sing in Swim Good.

Already Heard: To begin with can you tell us a bit history on the band. I understand the band reformed towards the end of 2013?
Curtis: We’d all crossed paths in one way or another in the ‘scene’ back when we were teenagers in our various old shitty bands.

Joe: So when we all by chance came to be living in the same town as each other a few years down the line, we knew immediately we should start jamming.

Dan: We’d always sort of joked about it in the past at shows when we were younger. Like “hey, you’re a pretty good drummer, better than ours, WE should start a band.”

All laugh fondly.

Joe: Originally we had 2 drummers – Curtis and I would rotate instruments for different songs. We fairly quickly decided this was a bit silly.

Ryan: Well, and Curtis actually bought a bass first.

Joe: Haha, yeah I guess that sorta sealed the deal. Anyway, after we’d got a few tracks sorted we decided to start looking for a singer.

Dan: We got in touch with Ryan and he completely killed it first time.

Curtis: When we broke out there, we went at it hard. We played something stupid like 40 shows in 4 months. It all got to a point where we had to reel it back in and sort of take a breather. We all had various things in our professional/personal lives to sort out before we could put into the band like we’d have wanted.

Already Heard: What was the reason for you getting back together?
Curtis: It was actually our label, Failure By Design Records who approached us and asked if they could release our EP.

Joe: We’d known Ben and Connor who run the label for a little while, and they seemed like good dudes and like they genuinely dug what we were doing.

Curtis: We had already spent time/money on it (recording the EP) and kinda thought “why not?”

Ryan: It was well-timed too, I think we were all starting to miss it.

Dan: We’d sent a few demos back and forth to one another at this point, and [I] could definitely sense everyone was getting itchy fingers… or whatever the expression is.

Curtis: So with that, a ‘comeback show’ was booked.

Dan: The response at the show and online was incredible! When we saw how much people still cared, it made complete sense to start playing again.

Already Heard: How has the time apart helped Swim Good develop as a band?
Curtis: I think it has. Above all, it re-affirmed what Swim Good was supposed to be about in the first place; friends playing music for friends. Rather than focusing on being a huge band and trying to make a living out of playing our music, we’re now enjoying the song writing and playing together live together more than ever – which I think comes across in our energy on stage.

Dan: Nailed it! For me it was definitely just having time to miss it, y’know.

Ryan: That, and everyone has their lives sorted out a bit more now.

Already Heard: Now you’re set to release your debut EP which was recorded with Chris Coulter back 2012. How come you’ve decided to release these songs even though they were recorded before your initial break?
Ryan: No comment.

(The band laugh and make [terrible] jokes about being too big for their own boots.)

Curtis: We all completely stand by these songs as much now as we did then – we think they’re killer tracks!

Dan: I mean, we’ve written new material since then…

Ryan: A couple of which you may just hear on tour, hint hint.

Dan: …but lots of bands neglect old songs in a rush to push out new material. Putting this material out also gives us an opportunity to focus on the newer songs fully.

Joe: More than anything, we’re just excited for people to actually get to hear us and what we’re about. We’ve never really released anything properly before, so we’re hoping people will finally be able to ‘get’ what we’re about – if that doesn’t sound too cheesy.

Already Heard: I’ve read your sound has been described as a mix of bands like Say Anything, Title Fight, Biffy Clyro and Taking Back Sunday. How would you define your style?
Dan: “Crushing guitars and soaring melodies” Haha, I love when bands describe their sound like that, it makes no sense!

Curtis: Yeah, I think those are all pretty fair comparisons.

Joe: Perhaps with the exception of Title Fight. Cool band but I wouldn’t say they’ve put a massive stamp on our sound.

Curtis: I’d just say we’re quirky, unusual and un-interested in doing anything that other bands in the UK are doing right now. It’s technical and poppy, and above all, it’s fun.

Ryan: I guess to summarise our sound in an adjective it’d be “Spikey” – we’ve heard more than a couple people use that word, haha.

Curtis: Verb-wise it’s definitely “Kick”.

Already Heard: Like we mentioned earlier, the EP was recorded sometime ago. Have you been writing new material since then?
Joe: Ooooooh yes!

Curtis: Yeah new material is well and truly in the works! Those who come and see us live will be hearing some tracks that won’t be on the EP.

Dan: We’re completely loving writing again. All the songs are sounding great so far.

Ryan: I feel like we’re being a lot more fun and creative this time around. We’re giving less fucks, I guess.

Dan: It’s 1000 times more crushing and 100% more soaring.

Already Heard: What impression do you hope listeners take away from the EP?
Curtis: Well, really I hope they think it’s the coolest thing ever.

Ryan: Same!

Dan: We just want people to hear it and get stoked!

Curtis: I also hope they like that we’re trying to do something a little different. We don’t want to be the next Biffy or You Me At Six or whatever and we’re not trying to be. Hopefully people hear it for what it is, y’know.

Joe: Put simply, the EP’s a mix of styles with a few surprises along the way. I guess that’s kinda how I like to think of the band.

Ryan: Hopefully people hear it and want to come check us out live to see how it translates onto a stage.

Already Heard: You’re working with the newly formed Failure By Design Records for the EP release. What is it like working alongside a new label? Is it a gamble or the ideal situation for a band like Swim Good?
Joe: Ooh, very good question! This is a fun!

Dan: Told you!

Joe: I guess it’s always a bit of a gamble with something like this. Our EP will be the label’s first release, at the time of meeting up for the first time to hear their ideas FBD hadn’t even launched. So admittedly we were a little apprehensive. But we’ve loved it so far! Great guys to work with.

Curtis: I think it’s worked perfectly for us thus far! Here you have a couple of guys who are genuinely really passionate about our band.

Ryan: I mean, they effectively got us playing and making music together again.

Curtis: And stuff like that makes us realise how much we care about our music too – and thus we look to deliver the best results for everyone!

Dan: And they took us bowling!

Already Heard: To coincide with the EP you’re set to tour with Yearbook in February. Having played with bands like Don Broco, Blitz Kids, and Hildamay, what have you learnt from playing with bands of that caliber and what are your expectations for the tour?
Ryan: Man, we’re all so excited!

Curtis: The tour’s going to be incredible. It’s a privilege to be out on the road with a band we get on with and respect such as Yearbook. We’ve both got our own distinct sound, but share a lot of similar influences and fans.

Dan: It’ll be awesome to visit some new places and revisit some old favourites. That’s my favourite thing about being in a band; meeting people.

Joe: It’ll be our first tour, so no doubt it’ll be hard-work, but I think we’re all up for the challenge. We’re all willing to put the work in and so far the response we’ve received since coming back has been nothing but a testament to hard-work paying off. We’re excited!

Curtis: I’ve learnt that you’ve got to enjoy ‘the journey’ of being in a band. If you play a show and there’s 10 people there, that’s awesome! If you play a show and 1000 people are there, that’s awesome! You give it all your all and have the best time in the world doing it regardless. It comes across, and that’s the stuff which will turn those 10 people into true fans & friends. And that’s something that’s worth so much more than a few Facebook likes. I have no doubt this tour will be one of my favourites I’ve ever been a part of.

Already Heard: How would you sum up a typical Swim Good live set?
Joe: It’s like listening to us on record, but waaaay faster.

Dan: PAF! Punk-As-Fuck, mate.

Curtis: Our live show’s like raw, unadulterated energy. I don’t think we ever have as much as fun as we do when we’re on stage, and that can’t really be contained.

Ryan: So many kicks…

Joe: You can always tell how into it Curtis is by how many times he jumps and kicks the air during each song. I don’t know where he gets the energy from!

Dan: Crushing and soaring…. Sorry.

Already Heard: You’ve just released your first video How was the experience of shooting the first Swim Good music video?
Joe: It was awesome! that whole weekend was great!

Ryan: We shot the video on the Saturday, having played our ‘comeback show’ the night before and getting very sweaty curtsy of the FBD fellas’ organisation. They took us bowling on the Sunday too! Great weekend, top lads!

Dan: The shoot was tiring but a lot of fun. We were all super stoked on the final result. Did NOT expect Ben (FBD co-owner) to do such a great job.

Joe: It was the first time all four of us and both the FBD boys were all together so it was great to be able to get some hang-time in. An essential part of any working relationship.

Curtis: The video’s for a song called ‘Hatchet’, which is a bit of a statement of a track – it’s a little bit between Panic! At The Disco and Proceed. We wanted to put a song out there that caught people off guard and made them listen up.

Already Heard: On top of the EP, tour and video, what else can we expect from Swim Good in the coming months?
Curtis: More of the above, really. We’ll be looking to release another video in the coming months, and there’s already been some exciting talks of tours coming up in the summer. That’s all I can really say, other than the fact 2014 is going to be gnarly.

Dan: More crushing and more soaring.

Joe: Dan! Stop!

Already Heard: Do you have any final words to round off this interview?
Curtis: Pick up our EP, come to a show and have fun. It’s what we’re all about!

Joe: Thanks to AlreadyHeard for the interview, hope we didn’t ramble too much!

‘Swim Good’ by swim Good is out now on Failure By Design Records.

Swim Good links: Facebook|Twitter

Words by Sean Reid (@seanreid86).

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