“Don’t just dream in your sleep, it’s just lazy” – the catchy chorus of last year’s sweet indie pop tune Honey from Birmingham-based got stuck in the heads of pretty much everyone here at the NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION headquarters. Not only due to it’s good lyrics but also because of the quite sunny vibe it got. And it was just the start. With their sunny follow-up singles The Sea and She Changes The Weather SWIM DEEP proved that their harmonic indie-pop is more than the soundtrack for just one summer.
There’s at least a second one following in 2013 with the release of their debut longplayer Where The Heaven Are We, scheduled for July the 29th. We had the chance to have a short chat with frontman Austin Williams at a recent show in Berlin about the group’s optimistic vibe and why he also joins the current DAFT PUNK hype with great pleasure.
Okay, let’s start with a very ridiculous reference question on your band name SWIM DEEP – who’s the best swimmer in the band?
Well, probably me. I used to go swimming a lot when I grew up. Although it has nothing to do with the name. (laughs)
Are you also someone who can hold his breath under water for quite some time?
Yes, if I needed to. Like James Bond would do it. I don’t know how long actually… probably two minutes or something. It’s quite good I think.
Your debut album is coming in July and it will be called “Where The Heaven Are We.” What can the fans expect from it?
Pretty much the same of what you’ve already heard. Though I guess it’s a bit deeper as well. We wanted to keep it the way it was going before. We were not interested in changing it too much. You know, stick to our roots and everything – basically to give the fans also what they liked us for in the first place.
You worked with producer Charlie Hugall on it. He’s got quite a fancy recording history, including artists like FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE or LUCY ROSE. How did you come up with him?
He was just recommended by someone we knew. So we had a meeting and he seemed like a really cool guy. We got on pretty well with him, he almost felt like being someone from us. And he also had a lot of wisdom too. It basically just clicked with him.
Did you learn anything specific from him in terms of the whole recording process?
You have to stick to yourself and your vision, even if there were no barriers. And we didn’t had much in the studio so it was important not stray out too much and be the real ‘you’.
As a new band is it a special feeling to have your first longplayer completed?
Definitely. It’s been a dream since I was a kid to have an album out. It’s just like a collection of songs about a certain time. It’s fantastic to have this – sort of – ‘document’ now. I haven’t had the chance to hold the CD in my hand but I got the vinyl pressing and it is really a great feeling, I can say.
There is a quite sunny and uplifting vibe to your songs. Would you consider yourself as optimistic persons?
Yeah, definitely. I think this is just a main reason why I’m in a band. And the others are some sort of partners in this optimism as well. It’s a really positive adventure to go on.
You’ re coming from Birgmingham. How would you describe the musical scene there?
It is maybe not a great space but there is a really viral scene there. For a long time it’s been that way with all the ska and reggae coming from here. Everyone’s quite happy to make music there - and if you make music in Birmingham you’re kind of a legend already. Ozzy Osbourne style. (laughs)
Your song “Honey” was one of our favourite tunes last year…
Cool. Thanks for this.
You’re welcome. It was released a bit too late to become a summer hit but it had the right mood for one. Do you have any personal hits or favourites for this year’s season?
I don’t know. (thinks) Hmm, quite a few, I guess. I know it’s pretty obvious but Get Lucky from DAFT PUNK really is a massive hit. Every now and then there is a track coming around catching the atmosphere and vibe of the time perfectly. And this is just one of these tunes.
Finally – what meaning have ‘hope’ and ‘passion’ for you?
Hope means everything to me because you have to be hopeful about it, otherwise it is just not worth doing it. Love, music, travelling and all this stuff – you gotta be hopeful for each and everyone of these themes. And you need passion to do this, you need passion to have hope, I think.
What are your hopes for this year, especially with the album coming out?
I really hope that our album gets received in a great way by the people. And I mean not in a way like we influence pop music in a big way. But we would love to have the people feeling what we felt with this record.