Swim School keeps their fans on their toes with surprise releases and ever-evolving musical style. With the recent release of their EP, Duality, the group continues to feed their audience with passionate tracks that feed both the message they want to convey and the issues their fans want to fight. The band was inspired by their listeners after the success of their song Delirious to write Bored, which both speak to the misogyny found within the music industry and displays the theme under different lights.
First of all, for those who might not know you, how would you describe Swim School?
We are a three-piece guitar band from Scotland. We love ‘90s bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Slow Dive, and we also love current bands such as Wunderhorse, Fontaines D.C., Foals, and Billy.
Congratulations on your recent releases – your second EP, Duality and newest single, Bored. How has it been since these songs dropped?
It’s been crazy! We really pushed ourselves in the studio and worked hard to get these songs to sound the way we envisioned them. We worked with Iain Berryman, who is so insanely talented, and he brought out a new confident side to Swim School which you can hear in the EP.
Bored was released as a surprise single. What about the song made you want to keep it a secret until its release?
The EP was basically finished, we went into a songwriting session with Bored and fell in love with its meaning and sound. After talking with management and our label, we decided to add it onto the EP, and I’m so glad we did!
Furthermore, it was released about two weeks after Duality was. This seems so soon to be putting out new music after the release of an EP. Why did you choose to do this instead of including Bored in the initial EP?
So Bored is technically part of Duality, but we liked the surprise aspect of putting it out after we released the EP. As a band we like to keep things interesting and keep our fans on their toes, which is why our songs never sound the same. We love changing up sound and bending the rules, we never want to be just one genre.
Do you think the later release of Bored took away from people to give the proper time to appreciate Duality?
No, not at all. Like I said previously, it keeps everything exciting. Our fan base has grown so much this year, and they have been so supportive that we thought why not, they deserve another song. I personally think it went down so well with the fans.
Bored is somewhat of a song that builds upon ideas talked about in the song Delirious, one of the tracks in Duality. There’s a clear correlation between the single and the EP. Could you tell us more about it?
Our songs represent events that have happened in our lives over the year. Delirious was so relatable to so many of our fans that it actually empowered me to continue to stand up against misogyny and sexism. With Bored, I wanted it to have a more positive outlook on the situation. I wanted it to be all about confidence and empowerment.
One motivation for your music is the inner-industry misogyny. Are there specific instances or social patterns that you’d like to share that inform the kind of music you create in response to this injustice?
The main inspiration behind Delirious was the constant sexism I encountered from male sound engineers during festival season last year. Although it’s mainly a middle finger up to sound engineers, to me, it has evolved to be about misogyny and sexism in general, not just the music scene. When I’m writing lyrics, I try to be direct with the subject, but also not too detailed, so the listener can relate to the lyrics with their own personal experiences.
Your style is obviously very indie-infused and pop-influenced. Additionally, it seems somewhat anger-driven, rightfully so. From your first EP to now, you are strongly leaning into that indie pop, punk rock type feel. How would you describe your style? And how do you see it evolving further as you continue to create?
We are definitely less pop-influenced than when we first started the band. In our early stuff you can hear that heavier side to us whether that’s in the middle section of Sway or the intro of Too Young to Know. I think it’s always been within us, and we have found that confidence to create this sound we love. For me personally, I found my voice through certain experiences in my life, and I feel confident enough to write about them and perform them, and that’s probably why they are anger-driven.
How do you see the music you like inform your own approach to songwriting?
The reason our sound as a band is so diverse is that we each have our own personal music tastes and preferences, but we also share the love for so many bands. This means when we are writing we can agree on what we love, yet bring our own unique elements to the songs.
You’ve just completed an EU tour prior to the release of Duality. How was that? How do you find the sound and style of Swim School translate live?
Touring Europe was amazing. It’s the first time we have played a show outside the UK. As we were on tour with Inhaler, who are also a guitar heavy band, we knew that their audience would like our sound from the start. One thing we learnt about European fans is how passionate and supportive they are. Even though some of them might not have heard of our stuff before, they still welcomed us and gave us so much energy every night. We can’t wait to go back over to Europe and play more shows.
What’s next? Do you have plans for a tour, incorporating the new music you’ve released? What song are you most excited about debuting live?
As we are currently in festival season, a lot of our downtime is spent writing new material. Once festival season is over, we will be back in the studio and also touring a lot. We can’t wait to be travelling up and down the country again and playing to loads of new fans.