January 28th, 2016
Band Interview | SWIMM Billy Bombards Chris Hess with a Slew of Life's Weirdest Questions
SWELL: What’s yer favorite venue to play and why?
SWIMM: Well for sentimental purposes let’s just say Detroit Bar. Can’t believe its the end. We honestly have had some of the most fun nights playing music because of that place. It is pretty sad to think this will be the last time we will play there. Damn I just got sad.
SWELL: What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened at a show you guys have played?
SWIMM: A he-she started grinding and stripping right in front of me and I didn’t know if it was a boy or girl so I didn’t know if I was supposed to look or not. He-she (it) danced really provocatively though so it was really distracting and confusing. One time a kid came up to me right after we played bleeding profusely from his face. He wiped it with his hand and said I bleed for you… then walked away. That always stayed with me since we are pretty pussy on the scale of toughness of bands go.
SWELL: Are you working on a new album or have one coming out anytime soon?
SWIMM: Yes we have been writing and testing out new material live for the last few months and will be recording our first full length album in March! Hopefully it will be coming out some time around Summer or Fall.
SWELL: How would you classify your sound in a musical genre?
SWIMM: Some one called it ‘Feel-Good Psychedelic dance music’ one time and I dug that.
SWELL: Who are your non-musical influences?
SWIMM: I am more inspired by my friends than anything. Being in La and seeing my friends artwork, photography etc has been a huge push towards wanting to make something genuine. I find movies also really inspiring. To be able to have such a precise vision and make it come to fruition on such a grandiose scale is insane to me.
SWELL: Who writes your songs?
SWIMM: For the most part I’ll write the songs, or skeletons of songs. I’ll either demo them in entirety and play all the instruments for them or if I feel like they need to be hashed out more in a live manner then I’ll jam on them with Adam. Depending on who is around that particular day, we will sometimes have our friends/roommates we play with write parts for the songs as well. It can be really fun as a very loose, collaborative “whatever is best for the song” effort sometimes.
SWELL: What are yer thoughts on the music industry today?
SWIMM: Well we care a lot about putting on a show. My least favorite thing to go see at a show is apathy. I get that it gets the cool points or whatever but it fuckin blows in my mind. I’d rather see someone completely going for it and not hiding behind anything so hopefully it comes off that we do care. We definitely want it to be somewhat of an experience. More than just hearing the songs you hear on a CD.
SWELL: How do you promote your shows?
SWIMM: By bugging the shit out of all of our friends. Isn’t that the only way?
SWELL: What’s yer ideal level of fame?
To have my own feature on Welcome Rivers website. It would come with drawbacks… paparazzi digging through my trash, hackers going through my hard-drives lookin for nudes, etc.. but it would be worth it. That or being so famous that the cast of Seinfeld would reunite for one hour long special just to give me a cameo.
SWELL: Where’s yer next gig?
SWIMM: Um Detroit Bar? Monday night.
SWELL: You guys recently changed your band name from Le Blorr to Swimm. Why Swimm?
SWIMM: Well Le Blorr was a 2 piece band with just Adam and I playing stripped down rock n’ roll and dance music and when we started writing new music in the last year or two it just felt like it was going in a whole new direction. One that would require more people to play live (5 now). So it made sense to change our name. And there are a hundred reasons why we chose SWIMM. The music was going in a more buoyant, floaty, fluid direction. If you wanna go deeper.. we have always lived near the ocean so water is really important to us. If you wanna go scandalized… maybe we wanted the music to have the same affect that certain drugs do, in the way that they make you feel lighter and freer … as if you are swimming in a pool at night time.
SWELL: What bands inspire you? Name yer top 5 favorite bands of all time
SWIMM: I’ll even give a suggested song with each…
Keith Sweat – “Twisted”, INOJ – “Let me love you Down” , Robyn S. – “Show Me Love” (black Robyn not white Robyn), Jodeci – “Freak’n You”, Bel Biv Devoe – “Poison”
SWELL: I’m not sure you guys realized, but I actually played bass in 2 bands. Both in 6th grade. One of the bands was called The Blood Stained Bananas – the other one was Tyrex Fire. Just by their names, which one do you think you’d prefer to hear most?
SWIMM: Oh Billy… I don’t care if Blood Stained Bananas consisted of you playing bass along to a click track in a pair of flip-shades… I would pay so much to see it. Ps. What year did Lowers first see Billy Laity take off full bore on a left-hander?
SWELL: I’ve always noticed, and have even been uber-jealous at times, of how ultra-stylish you guys always dress and look. What’s yer favorite type of duds to wear on and off stage?
SWIMM: Just check out “hipster or homeless” and don’t discriminate.
SWELL: Have you ever signed your autograph on a girl’s breast?
SWELL: What’s your favorite cocktail and why?
SWIMM: Tequila pineapple because it tastes like a vacation.
SWELL: What’s your favorite beer and why?
SWIMM: Anything with a lime. I’m a pussy.
SWELL: Do you think Warren should get his high school band back together and play gigs solely in PC?
SWIMM: Spring Break house band at La Vela? Gosh Warren could probably find a way to make that look edgy and it would end up leading the next generation of counter culture surfer kids into this weird trashy spiral of ditching their boat-trips to Indo and playing Pennywise covers at Spring Break clubs in Florida. What Youth would move its headquarters to Pensacola or Daytona. There would be all sorts of ‘Dane and Courtney’ sightings at Spinnaker. Surfing trends would go from hipster to skankster and it would all be because of Warren.
SWELL: Has Tommy Brown ever seen you guys live?
SWIMM: I’m guessing not. He exists only in disturbing pictures and videos to me.
SWELL: Where’s your favorite place to eat in the U.S and why?
SWIMM: Getting Pineapple curry and Chicken Pad Thai and eating in my Dad’s living room while watching some weird movie with him would be my favorite.
SWELL: Where’s your favorite place to eat in California and why?
SWIMM: Since this is a surf doggie interview I’ll answer appropriately…. Of course it would be Pedro’s Tacos!!! Why? Cause after a hot session at lowers with all your sponsored friends it’s just the gut bomb ya need right! Right!? Add potato… to EVERYTHING!!!!!
SWELL: What’s the longest stint you’ve ever done van living while touring?
SWIMM: 2 months of summer sweating.
SWELL: Who’s your favorite band to tour with?
SWIMM: We got to do a bunch of shows with our buddies Fayroy this December and I could spend all my time with them.
SWELL: What’s yer favorite D.R.I. album?
SWIMM: Domination by Pantera… wait what?
SWELL: What’s the worst venue you’ve ever played and why?
SWIMM: There was a place in Massachusetts that was like a time warp. It was like entering the set of the Fighter. It was scary and when I went to try and get paid the chick told me how she was gonna murder the promoter for not showing up with our money and took me down this scary hall way where I thought she was gonna kill me. It was freezing and in a cracky part of town and I literally ran to the van after i got the money and we bolted back to NYC as fast as we could.
SWELL: Is there any type of music that you completely dislike? Like when you hear it you puke up a little bit in yer mouth. If so what is it?
SWIMM: Billy is it true Joe Crimo owes you everything for his success at Lowers lefts?
SWELL: Have you ever done 2 chicks at the same time?
SWIMM: Billy have you ever succesfully gone right and left at the same time at Lowers?
SWELL: Do you have groupies?
SWIMM: Billy is it true the Fletcher family has a living room mural of you doing a front-hand whack on a Lowers Left?
SWELL: Who’s your favorite surfer who rides for an energy drink?
SWIMM: James W. Smith.
SWELL: Who’s yer favorite surfer who doesn’t ride for an energy drink or Target?
SWIMM: James W. Smith
SWELL: Is Ke11y an alien or just a superhuman that still wins events, like the Pipe Pro while Pipe is going absolutely bonkers, at age 42?
SWIMM: Did you really just spell Kelly’s name with two ones instead of L’s to signify his eleven world titles? God I love you Billy. I think he is just a really weird human. Hell I’ll even get controversial… I think they should have given him his 12th based purely on how bonkers he was going at the Pipe contest! How is that for surf dog talk! Although “Ke12y” doesn’t have quite the same aesthetic as “Ke11y”.
SWELL: If you could play any venue which one would it be and why?
SWIMM: Red Rocks. Just look at it.
SWELL: Who do you think the hottest chick in the world is?
SWIMM: Its a tie between me and Pringle. Ok fine fine Pringle is hotter.
SWELL: Chris- What’s yer favorite type of guitar to lay down riffs on and why? Adam- what’s the ultimate drum set to blast away on?
SWIMM: I went down the fender route a few years ago and haven’t been able to turn back. I love a thinline tele and a strat almost equally but always kind of dream of being cool enough to play soly a Jazzmaster.
SWELL: Have you ever surfed naked?
SWELL: Do you agree with us that there’s always room for “Jello?”
SWIMM: More of rice pudding guy myself.
SWELL: Do you think Insight really went under this time?
SWIMM: I’m just gonna keep holding on to hope. It really does suck that the raddest brand in the industry can only have the power to influence all the others but not flourish themselves.
SWELL: Do you think Tommy Sandoval is as much of a big gap loon as we do?
SWIMM: Billy why do you think you have Lowers dialed like you do?
SWELL: How is Ben Raybourn so god damn good?
SWIMM: Billy why is that Warren says your turns are 50 years old?
SWELL: Is Cardiel yer favorite skater of all time like ours?
SWIMM: James W. Smith is obviously.
SWELL: Have you ever seen Slayer live?
SWIMM: I wish. Although the place we played Tuesday night had a bar that consisted of all Marshall stacks. And I actually thought to myself “this may be the closest I’ll ever get to feeling like I’m at a Slayer show.”
SWELL: What’s the most French toast sticks you’ve eaten in one day?
SWIMM: Billy why do you think your front-hand turns are so powerful? Experience or just natural ability?
SWELL: Do you think Grady will puke at your show this Monday at the Detroit Bar?
SWIMM: There are three signs of true success. One is getting interviewed by Lowers legend Billy ‘daddy’ Laity. I’m not sure what the second one is yet but the third is having Grady puke at one of your shows. So I would greatly appreciate it if we made this a team effort to make Grady “don’t call me Garchy” Archbold projectile vomit at the show Monday at Detroit bar.
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