LA by way of Florida psych-rockers SWIMM are known for their dreamy titillating shoegaze music. It’s the type of music that is slightly surreal yet rough around the edges like if Ryan Gosling was a note.
For their new track “True Romance” the band teamed up with the director and creative Sydney Schafer of Lil House Production to make a color noir video that highlights all the textures and sensuality of love and dating.
We premiere the video and get to know Swimm by talking to lead singer Chris.
Tell us how you came up with the band name Swimm and describe everyone in the band with one word?
The main reason was that we have always wanted to make music that had an element of fluidity… If we could mimic the way it feels to be floating or the way serotonin rushes to the brain. We also grew up around the ocean… surfing and camping so it feels natural to move toward those themes.
We let Sydney, the director of the “True Romance” describe everyone in one word.
Chris Hess -Brains
Adam Winn – Heart
Hany Zayan – Soul
Marton Bizits – Guts
Can you tell us the origin of “True Romance?”
Yea true romance was written and recorded at our warehouse in LA about a year ago. We worked with a friend/producer Alex Fitts. He flew in from NY with a little recording set up and we started jamming some ideas. True Romance, First Time, Mans Man, and a song that will be out on our debut album next month called Barbara Walters all came from those sessions.
The origin behind the lyrical theme of True Romance, in short, came from dating in Los Angeles. It can be fun as hell and soul-crushing in the same breath. I’ve also observed a lot about how people date, what people are attracted to, etc. The line “LA girls are ready for the summer, I want a base tan and a married man, is that so much to ask for?”, came from a conversation I had with a girl about how she only dates married men but had fallen in love with the last one which left her heartbroken after he went MIA to focus on his repairing his marriage.
Who are some of your truest romances? People, places, things are ok!
I can say watching Adam (drummer, best bud) find love with Sydney (director) has been the truest romance I’ve witnessed in a while. It is inspiring to see something driven by such pure intentions. It grew out of a friendship and has become an example to me of what to aspire to romantically.
For me personally, writing has become one of my truest romances. Ironically, a cloistered practice in and of itself that isn’t really thrusting me into all the speed dating opportunities that lay waiting in LA, but a boy sure can get starry-eyed and lost in the practice.
How does LA inspire your sound?
Moving to downtown LA from a quiet beach town in Florida was a wonderful culture shock. All the cliche trappings of this city can really feed ya. Obviously not in the healthiest of ways at times, but it is feeding something. It has made the songs more socially reflective.
What have been some of your biggest expectations of love and dating?
Wow. Let’s get therapeutic in this, shall we? I feel like I have a cynic and a hopeless romantic duking it out inside of me. I want people to be genuine. Sometimes being genuine is setting up a lowered set of expectations… cause like, we’re all just humans, ya know? But at the same time if I’m gonna fall in love I want it to be dreamy and out of this world. Alas,,, a cynic and a hopeless romantic are raging against each other inside of me. What do I do?!?
What is the muse for your upcoming album Sentimental Porno?
A lot of songs came from a relationship I had a couple years ago with a lovely girl. We both learned a ton. And that learning was painful as shit! The muse throughout it is definitely the interplay between sex and love… which is what led to the title ‘Sentimental Porno’.
What type of porn would you guys be if you could be a genre, real or made up?
Harkening back to the name… a very, very sweet, emotionally rich porno. Like 45 minutes of pillow talk, oversharing and laughing hard enough to annoy the shit out of your roommates and then a good 11 minutes of ravenous sex… lots of eye contact, obviously. Followed by smoking a joint and bonding further over a shared love of Patrick Swayze movies. I don’t even know if there is a rating for how hot and steamy this porn would be.
What is your favorite thing about creating music?
Imagining some of my closest friends being impacted by it.
Where is the ideal place in your opinion to listen to SWIMM?
In bed with someone you think you could be falling for… before, during or after those 11 minutes of ravenously tender love boning. Providing all the right charges to your electrifying Patrick Swayze discussion. (For the record, I really do get sad when I think about how great he was. fuck.)
What are your favorite things to do together?
I suppose it goes without saying that we just love making music together so much. I have such a respect for everyone in the band and their abilities. Outside of music… We are all really fun when it comes to trips that involve psychedelic mind expansion. We all go. And thankfully we all come back, better for it.
What other bands do you admire?
So many friends bands. Too many to even try to be diplomatic and name them all. Personally, I admire when someone is going for a sound of their own. While it is impossible to be wholly original at this point, you can tell when someone at least cares about trying and isn’t just harping on a formula that seems to be working. From Frank Ocean making the best album of the last few years and barely having drums in a lot of tracks to Nick Cave always pushing his songwriting to be more honest to Kim Gordon making noise rock at the Echo to Rihanna coming out with ANTI… I just love when people are striving to be themselves in their music.
photos / Sydney Schafer
videographer / Dan Sripuntanagoon
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