SWIMM, a psych-pop duo from LA are to play Denver’s Larimer Lounge tonight, July 10th. Having toured with the likes of Dr. Dog, Bright Light Social Hour and Young Empires, they've come to Colorado to play both Denver and Boulder before they're off to record a new album. SWIMM's lyricism has strong narrative; the band brings highly listenable pop licks, dance-able tracks which will help you get down and get sweaty with good friends and strangers alike.
Chris Hess and Adam Winn of SWIMM have been self-releasing their own music since 2014. After a recent move to LA, the band has been helping crowds get down on the DIY scene, throwing warehouse shows, and playing LA’s historic venue, The Echo, which has seen The Rolling Stones, Pixies, and FIDLAR.
The band and I talked while they were in an Uber, (their tour van broke down en route to Denver from last night's show at Boulder's Fox Theater) and despite their hindrance of heatstroke and hangovers, Adam and the rest gave me the low down on SWIMM, and what to expect for tonight’s show at Larimer.
Kendall: Can you guys tell a little bit about your beginning?
CH: We became friends over the course over ten years. We’re from the same hometown, and we started playing music together years after we’ve been friends. We started out seven or eight years ago, with a two piece band called Basset Love Hounds of Rock and Roll. we were in that project for a couple years, but then we started SWIMM, and started to look outside the confines of a two-piece band. Once we started writing new tracks, we invited some other friends to play with us. Along the way we met a band called Golden Sun in Utah, and snatched them up, and now they’re playing with us. [SWIMM] has been an open door; everyone that plays with us brings a different flavor.
Kendall: What does the writing process look like?
CH: It’s a little bit of a mixture of different things. Sometimes it’ll just be us hanging around, vibing. You know, getting connected to the zeitgeist. Tapping into the vein. Feeling the flow. Other times, it’ll be a solo thing. I’ll write some lyrics, map it into a song, and bring it to the boys.
Kendall: How was the move to Florida?
CH: It’s been really fun. We got lucky, and fell into a rad group of friends right away. We live in a warehouse near downtown, with a couple friends who we’ve played with over the years. They had one room, so Adam and I actually shared a bed for six months. One of our friends moved out, so we’ve got our own little cubby-holes now. It’s like Never Never Land. We can do whatever we want, throw shows, and practice whenever we want to. It’s been a burst of culture in comparison to our quaint beach town in Florida.
Kendall: You played The Echo. What was it like to play at the historic venue?
CH: It was a bit of a dream. That was the first venue that i ever went to in LA. When I was twenty I visited and went to a show there. Once we moved out to LA, we started playing shows there pretty regularly, and got offered the residency in January. It’s wonderful every night we play with friends and other bands from LA. The Echo asked us to headline last month, and it was our first ticketed headline in LA.
Kendall: You guys have a history of throwing DIY shows. What do you like about DIY shows as opposed to playing at larger venues?
CH: Well, i think the main thing is that we have more control over the environment. There’s so much freedom when we throw our own shows at the warehouse. We go all out. We decorate two weeks in advance. We get sponsors, so we can get people drunk for free. It’s always pretty wild.
Kendall: Are you currently working on anything?
AW: Our main focus lately has been writing and recording. We have so many new songs, it’s actually kind of daunting. We’ll have a lot to choose from, for an album. We’ll be releasing a few singles, and planning on releasing an album by the beginning of next year.
Kendall: You guys played at the Fox in Boulder last night. How did Boulder treat you?
CH: Way too well. It’s probably why I’m saying the word vibe like, 800 times. The people at The Fox are actually really special friends to us. I’m looking at bunch of guys in the backseat who can’t even pull their eyes out of the back of their heads right now.
Kendall: What can we expect at Larimer tonight?
AW: We’re all gonna be drunk; that’s for sure. It’s going to be a good time. You can expect to dance a little bit, hopefully smile a couple times.