Posted On 16 Aug 2018
For almost a year, fans have anxiously awaited the debut full-length album from East LA pysch-pop outfit, SWIMM. Via a premiere with Buzzbands LA, the band recently finally delivered Sentimental Porno, a pristine collection of eleven tracks that range from the serene to the full-on psychedelic. The record puts the band’s diversity on full display, painting the picture of a trio of disciplined songwriters (Chris Hess, Adam Winn and Hany Zayan) that have found the balance between meticulous arrangements and free-flowing creativity.
The result is a slacker rock album that will encourage listeners to consume as one piece – bucking the current trend of albums as a loosely connected collections of disposable singles. You can listen now on Spotify and Soundcloud and a very limited run of vinyl is available on the band’s bandcamp.
Here are some listening links:
Vinyl (Buy Link): https://swimmmusic.bandcamp.com/album/sentimental-porno
Learn more about SWIMM in the following All Access interview:
All Access Music is currently compiling a list of our artists favorite songs this summer so what is YOUR song of the summer?
“Miki Dora” by Amen Dunes
How has 2018 been treating you all? What is one musical goal that you have had for this year?
Our main goals this year was to release our first album ‘Sentimental Porno’ and put on the 2nd mini-festival we curate called Love You Down. We did Love You Down in February and it was a blast. It sold out and was twice the size as last year with 14 bands that we hand picked and multiple DJs as well as live art. We released the album in June and while the notion of putting out an album is becoming more and more questionable, it felt really cool to finally put one out.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Has anything surprised you about this ride so far?
I think the first time I showed Adam the songs to learn for a show I had booked that coming weekend, (as I was unexpectedly out a drummer) I knew I wanted him to be join full time. Then a week later when we played that show, I had a feeling we would actually be doing this together for a long time. I’m surprised with every step of progress. Especially the caliber of musicians we have gotten to play with. Always surprised they give me the time of day.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group?
I think it grounded us. There wasn’t much of a music scene in the beach town we grew up in so the idea of being in a band was almost mythical. I think it always gave us a kid-like appreciation of getting to actually do this.
Where did your band name first come from? How did you go about picking it? Was it a hard decision to make?
The combination of growing up in the ocean and always wanting to create the feeling of weightlessness in our music. The name seemed fitting.
What did it feel like finally releasing your debut full-length album, “Sentimental Porno”? What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the overall process?
It was a very emotional process writing these songs and putting them together. A lot of them stemmed from a tumultuous time in my life involving love, family, relationships and an overall outlook on we silly humans, all cascading away from preconceived ideals I had formed. But releasing the songs into the public was such a cathartic result. Getting to connect with people on some deep shit mannn. Ain’t that what it’s all about?
Do you remember what it felt like the first time you heard the whole album from beginning to end? How did you celebrate the official release of it?
There are some songs that are just as difficult as they are therapeutic to listen to or even play. So listening all the way through was intense for me but also a proud feeling. Went through a hell of a lot to get this album into existence. haha. The celebration involved a lot of molly and a lot of cuddle puddles with our friends in a house we all rented in Palm Springs.
How did you go about writing the songs on this album? Do you all work on them together or separately first and then together?
A lot of the songs for the album started with me writing the skeletons of them. Meaning I would write the words, melody and basic structure and then bring it to the guys to see where they wanted to take it. Sometimes the initial ideas would come from us just jamming around and finding a groove we were drawn toward. Amongst the ethereal nature of some of the sonics in our sound, we are drawn to a good groove more than anything.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
The initial stages of the writing process and performing live are the most exciting for me.
Do you have any upcoming tour dates this summer that you would like to tell our readers about?
We have a Florida tour in September. Then a party with Doc Marten’s in November!
How do you think being musicians and in this band gives you all the most joy in life today? What would you say is the most challenging part about it?
Just the idea we get to actively pursue these wild ideas we have about music and art every day. It can be grueling trying to formulate the magic quotient for how all this ‘being a band in 2018’ stuff works but as long as you remember you are doing for the joy of getting to make cool shit with your friends and try to connect with people through that, it’s a very charming existence.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
I think it has to be affected at this point. Perhaps your music isn’t politically charged, but it is most likely affected in ways you may not even realize. I was working on a song last week and the point of view I was trying to write from was that of a non-white man and how he may feel growing up reading fairy tales and seeing movies where the Princes don’t look like him and the Princesses don’t look like his mother. That led the story of the song to reach a point where this man is dating a white girl and has to meet her father for the first time. I realize as a white man I can’t know what that feels like but the racial issues that have been brought to the forefront in the last couple years have made me want to search for empathy of those situations any way I can. A similar notion in writing Kim K, that is on our album. That song is written from the perspective of Kim Kardashian, not about her. It’s all an attempt to see things differently and with a softer edge.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this group?
I would love to work with Dave Friedman some day on producing a SWIMM album. An absolute pipe dream would be to work with Paul Thomas Anderson on making some sort of narrative film with the music from SWIMM being used. I think a dream collaboration for this group would be getting to make some songs with the girls from Warpaint. I’m obsessed with their ability to write groove based music that sounds like it is still floating through a sunset to get to you. But not a sunset without a little smog and burning LA asphalt. Oh and if I could sing a straight up duet love song with anyone it would be Karen O. Give me a chance, Karen. Just one!
If you guys were all going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you want to take with you and why?
Well I’d have to bring the first guitar. It’s a Takamini and it was given to me by an older guy that I grew up surfing with. That way I could at least play love songs to court myself as my sun-drenched mind began to slip into the equatorial abyss. In some fashion, I suppose that means I wouldn’t die alone at that island.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I hope our music makes people feel and think deeper than they normally would. I would hope that people could find some magic in the nuance of every day life through our music.
Where can our readers connect with you?
Instagram is the best way. @SWIMM_music
(Photography provided by ngagency)