Classic with a twist? You couldn't find a better description of indie pin-ups Swim Deep. This year, the band have gone from a lynchpin of the Birmingham scene to international acclaim with their romantic guitar pop – a little like The Stone Roses with Trevor Horn on production. This week the four-piece team up with Converse to launch their Winterized collection, which updates Chuck Taylor All Stars with cosy fabrics that keep you warm and dry in the cold winter months. In an outdoor pub gig on November 30, Swim Deep will be making the cold nights cool, showing the importance of not forgetting where you came from, but also not being afraid to put your own stamp on it. To win tickets to an outdoor event, go to getwinterized.co.uk, and read our interview with the indie idols below.
Dazed Digital: You’re currently on tour in Europe – whereabouts are you right now?
Tom ‘Higgy’ Higgins: I think we’re in Austria. I’m pretty sure we’re in Austria. We just went through Germany and got pulled over by the police for narcotics – but we don’t have any, so we’re alright. We’re in the Black Bullet – it’s just a van, but it’s black, and Bobby our tour manager drives quite fast.
DD: How many shows have you played this year?
Tom ‘Higgy’ Higgins: Oh man, we talked about it the other day. I reckon maybe 150, I reckon maybe closer to 200. A lot of shows.
DD: What’s the best way to deal with a hangover on tour?
Tom ‘Higgy’ Higgins: Probably get back on it. Have a beer in the morning. Warm beer.
DD: Aside from drinking warm beer, are there any Swim Deep pre-gig rituals?
Tom ‘Higgy’ Higgins: We all do the cinnamon roll before we go on stage – where you all put your hand in the middle and like, cinnamon roll it into each other. It makes sense when you see it. We learned it off a band called Pond when we went on tour with them. It was actually the first tour we ever did.
DD: What’s the best gift a fan’s ever given you?
Tom ‘Higgy’ Higgins: Cav gets shortbread off this one Scottish fan every time we’re in Scotland. Every. Single. Time. I don’t really think he is a fan, I think she just must like it. We all eat it. I eat quite a lot of it. I got given flowers the other day…
DD: What you be doing if you weren’t making music?
Austin Williams: I’d have a job, but I don’t think it’d be a very fun job. My first job was a paper round and I worked on a market stall for a while – I used to get up at 6am and then go to school after. That was horrible. I was selling these really rubbish clothes, helping out this old dude. He wasn’t very nice to me. But that was the first time I ever heard ‘Sheila’ by Jamie T. The girl on the stall next door was playing it out of her phone and I was like ‘what’s that? It’s incredible’. That was when I learned what a real chorus was.
DD: Were there any other names for the band in the running?
Austin Williams: So many. We were in band before and for a while one of our names was Jungle Blood, one of our names was Galahad, Fine Young Galahad – because Galahad was the outlaw, a bit of charmer, a bit of a bad boy and I guess we were 18 and all wanted to be that. There were some really ridiculous ones. We had a gig on one day and a gig the next day, and on one gig poster we were called one name and the day after we were called the other name and then in brackets it said ‘formerly known as’.
DD: If you had to steal a member of another band and make them join Swim Deep, who would it be?
Austin Williams: Chili from Palma Violets. He’s such a nut onstage. I like the naivety of it - he didn’t play bass before. I don’t like bands who are really bloody good at their instruments at this age.
DD: I heard you’ve been coming onstage to the Jurassic Park theme?
Austin Williams: It’s a really, really good soundtrack. The music is incredible for that film – I’ve always wanted to write songs for movies as well. It’s just epic - it’s a real good song to walk on to. It was either that or Michael Jackson.
DD: If money were no object, what kind of stage set-up would you have?
Austin Williams: Have you ever seen the Katy Perry movie? I watched it on a flight to America – basically the opposite to that.
DD: What are the plans for your second album?
Austin Williams: We’re always writing – I’m doing some demos at the moment but I’m going to do some more – and I think maybe we’ll release an EP, as a warm-up, as soon as possible. I don’t think we’re ready for the album yet. Hopefully we’ll release the album late next year and I really want to do the festivals again, that was really fun.
DD: What was your favourite festival of the summer?
Austin Williams: Probably Glastonbury. I had one of the best nights of my life. We were watching Jagwar Ma at this little stage in The Park area and Alexa Chung told Cav he looked like David Bowie. He nearly fainted. I had to catch him.