I Swim With Sharks - Interviews - Soundblab

I Swim With Sharks

by Amy Baker Rating: Release Date:

Hotly tipped Yorkshire three-piece I Swim With Sharks have been creating a buzz with their new single 'Just Be Good'. We caught up with them for a quick chat.

How did I Swim with Sharks come to be?

I used to play a lot of solo beatbox/guitar style stuff and ended up putting an album together with extra instrumentation and wanted to translate that live so hooked up with Phil. Our sound quickly changed and evolved and we got Evan on board to complete the trio, we have been together as I Swim With Sharks for about 18 Months, but we have played together for longer than that.

What's the story behind the name?

We had recently changed our name from L-Mo to Time of Hibu and were in France playing a show when I saw a flyer on the wall saying 'I swim with Marcus'. It was a charity swim to raise money, my brain changed Marcus to sharks and I kept walking and then mentioned I had just seen a potentially better band name. We had literally just finished all the new branding for the TOH stuff so it was a lot of good work gone but we all preferred the new name so just ran with that.

Your sound has been described as rock-smothered, aggro-pop - are you happy with this description? Is this how you would describe your sound?

That is actually a description we came up with, It is our way of trying to describe our music without just calling it pop-rock or indie-rock. We did not feel like they sounded exciting enough for what we are trying to do.

You're due to start recording your debut album in Jan/ Feb next year - this must be an exciting time for you? What have you been doing in preparation?

Yeah, it's an awesome time; we have been writing lots and recording already actually. We all found some free time and just jumped on it. We have been working with Lee from Middleman and Jamie from My My at their Analogue Studio Green Mount here in Leeds.

What's the process when you are in the studio - do the lyrics come first or the melodies?

It can happen in a few different ways, it is usually either I come in with a guitar part and vocal melody or just a guitar line which we build up and break down til it is right, or Phil comes in with a bass part and a hook or Evan has a beat he has been working on and we all jam around it and either record it or just stop as soon as we hit on something we all like.

What can people expect from the debut?

Our aim is to write really solid exciting songs that push things forward but also let you sit back and enjoy them on the first listen. They will also be kick-ass to play live and get people shaking their junk appropriately.

You are touring throughout the UK and Ireland in April next year - what can people coming to your shows expect from your performance?

I (Luke) aim to make our live show the best live show people have ever seen, I want to become the best live band in the world, create a ridiculously entertaining show, lights lasers and real emotion

Are there any places that you are particularly excited to play?

I love playing all gigs to be perfectly honest, if there is an open-minded crowd and good sound-system then that is my idea of Heaven. I cant wait til we get to play shows every single night on a massive tour.

The video to your single 'Just be Good' begins with you in the World War One trenches - what was the thinking behind the video? Who came up with the concept?

The entire concept and execution came from the guys over at Brown Bread Films, they put a shit-load of work into it and I think it really shows in the result.

You played quite a lot of festivals this past summer - were there any favourites for you?

I think my favourite was Y Not Festival, we played in the Flaming Goat Stage and the crowd were really into it and we rocked the shit out of the tent, so that was an awesome feeling.

You hail from Leeds, home of a notoriously talented and overcrowded music scene. What do I Swim With Sharks do to make sure that they stand out from the other acts?

I think regardless of where you are and how crowded the scene is, there is always room for exciting, well-written and genuine music and that is what we aim to create. We are quite removed from the Leeds scene in terms of our style not particularly being the dominant one, Our aim is to be thought of as a great UK band, not just a great Leeds band so I think that desire could help us stand out, plus at a live show, people's commitement and belief in what they are doing becomes very apparent one way or the other and that is where we really shine.

Are there any other acts coming out of Leeds at the moment that Soundblab readers should listen out for?

There is an awesome band called Mishikin who are doing some interesting kick ass things and also Nature of the Beast plus Middleman and My My who are both kicking all types of ass right now.

As a band - who would you cite as your musical influences?

I can't speak for Evan and Phil but my personal ones are At the Drive in, Skunk Anansie, Food Fighters, Bon Iver, Rocket From the Crypt, The Afghan Wigs.

What kind of things inspire your lyrics?

I am into my lyrics. It is mainly personal things in my life that really inspire me. Regardless of how the songs may sound, I have only written one song about a girlfriend. I like to imagine my personal situation from all perspectives and then write about a particular one. All my lyrics this past year have gotten a lot more personal, almost scarily so, but I think the emotions really translate much better now because of it.

Are there any people that you would love to collaborate with?

Never been asked that before. I would love to work with Mars Volta and also The Presidents of the United States of America plus Dave Matthews drummer Carter Beauford.

What's your idea of music Heaven/music Hell?

Musical Heaven would be creating and playing live to people until the day I dropped dead, preferably on stage singing.

Musical Hell would be having to watch people chase trends and sing songs they don't believe in with X Factor production behind them with loads of commercial breaks.

Listen to current single 'Just Be Good'
Watch the official video for 'Just Be Good'

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